Julia Nagel / Sun Staff Photographer

Martha's Cafe reopens, allowing more dining and menu options for students.

February 23, 2021

With Martha’s Cafe Reopened, Students Once Again Grab Grain Bowls on Central

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With a new semester comes more cafe reopenings on Cornell’s campus: Martha’s Cafe has become one of the latest eateries to reopen its doors, serving up a new menu to eager students.

Housed in the newly renovated Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Martha’s has once again quickly become a popular destination for students, as central dining options including Okenshields Dining Room remain closed.

According to Karen Ma ’24, because the Martha Van Rensselaer building is not too crowded and is closer to North Campus, Martha’s Cafe is an especially convenient location for first-year students. Carolina Agurcia ’24 said the location is one of the eatery’s main attraction points. 

“I always try to go there and study and it feels really good to have an option for food instead of having to walk all the way to any other cafe or dining hall,” Agurcia said. 

Martha’s was temporarily shut down during the fall semester due to renovations in MVR Hall, but the reopening brought with it a redesigned menu. 

Students can now find Mediterranean-inspired grain and salad bowls, as well as multiple breakfast and drink options. Spearheaded by Chef Chloe Greenhalgh, the new menu focuses on a plant-forward approach as well as locally sourced protein options.

For students who frequented Martha’s Cafe in years past, sampling this new menu has been less than convenient, with few in-person classes to bring them nearby.

“I went to Martha’s before they redid it and got a grain bowl that was really good,” said Lily Soeter ’23, who lives on West Campus. “I haven’t been to it since it reopened since it’s far from where I live, but once classes are all in person I want to check it out.” 

With complaints about dining hall food at an all-time high, many students are excited to have more options to eat when they are away from dining halls on North and West Campus.  

Though Ma has been there just once so far, she is enthusiastic about going more often throughout the semester.

“I don’t think Martha’s is a place to complain about. Their food is healthy, so lots of vegetables, and some people may not like it,” Ma said. “But I think a lot of people will go there when they might want to escape the dining halls.”