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Brain food: Where the smart folks take lunch breaks at PCC Cascade

Coffee beans
Coffee beans
Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images

No matter what day it is, you will find students drilling away at coursework non-stop on the Portland Community College Cascade Campus. As far as vegetarian options go, PCC actually isn't half bad -- you can choose pre-made items like the "Rock Creek" breakfast sandwich with veggie sausage, order at the hot food line, or hit up the make-your-own salad and sandwich bar.

Unfortunately, as many hardcore health science students already know, campus cafeteria hours on the weekends leave something to be desired. Besides, sometimes it's nice to leave campus. Here are two great places every PCC student must go for food, study time, and -- of course -- coffee.

Coffee House Five
740 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217
Hours: 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. weekends

Sitting right across the street from the arts and humanities building, this coffee shop is perfect for between-class study sessions and last-minute refills. Weird music, mismatched furniture, fresh pastries, on-sale day-old bagels, and healthy to-go foods make it even better. Get the grab-and-go pesto veggie sandwich, piled high with a thick slice of mozzarella cheese and more spinach than you'll know what to do with.

Thai Food Cafe
833 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217
Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. every day

This hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant has incredibly friendly staff and quick service. It's a sit-down restaurant, but the staff will tell you that you may stay and study as long as you like -- nice! Like any good Thai restaurant, there are plenty of veg-friendly options. Try the green curry or spicy eggplant, and finish it off with an intense Thai iced coffee.

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