Tivoli Food Court: SONO! or Taco Bell?


Taco Bell, a 20-year-old staple of the Tivoli food court, has been tragically ousted from campus—and Aurarians are not happy about it.

Its usurper, SONO!, took over the contract for coveted space in the Tivoli just in time to launch for the new academic year. CU Denver Today reported that a tri-institutional committee of student advisors were assembled over the summer to approve the new fast food offerings, but months later, consensus seems to agree that those committees chose wrong.

Little Is Constant Anymore

Though SONO! made its debut on Auraria Campus—rendering it an ill-tested and risky business decision—the problem doesn’t lie with SONO! itself. Rather, students are more grieved by what was lost.

Nobody thinks of Taco Bell as fine cuisine. The lines that once snaked around its barricades weren’t there for a healthy, well-rounded meal—those students wanted something comforting and familiar, and that’s exactly what Taco Bell had to offer. The allure of fast food giants is bedded in global prevalence. To be able to go to any location in the world and know how your meal will turn out (even if that meal is greasy and inauthentic) is a small but necessary pleasure, and it’s one CU Denver students are now being denied.

No longer can people plug in their go-to order and walk away with a familiar meal in two minutes or less. Instead, they must navigate a menu that is both more niche and expensive, two qualities that make it difficult to explore the array of options and find a new favorite.

In the last couple of years, a lot has changed on campus. Buildings have undergone major renovations, entire sports fields have disappeared, and CU Denver has completely reinvented its branding (hello, Milo). Little is constant anymore, and students are unhappy with the lack of transparency behind how those decisions are made. To show up the first week of classes and find out that both Taco Bell and Einstein Bros. Bagels have made their exits without any notice is more than an inconvenience: it’s disrespectful to the thousands of people investing their lives in this campus every day.

While students will miss $1 tacos and rejuvenating Baja Blasts, what’s more notable is the sense of security that’s departed along with the wide array of salsa packets. SONO! is so no, on many levels, the least of which has to do with its more expensive food. Taco Bell: you will be missed.

-Taylor Kirby


On Auraria Campus, the Tivoli is a meeting place for many, a refuge when there is nothing to do between classes, or when students just need a place to sit down and study. It also serves as a place to refuel during long days on campus. It allows for students who are starved after walking to every one of their classes to stop and get a quick bite to eat while they have some down time. SONO! has recently replaced Taco Bell in the food court, and for good reason.

Traditionally, most of the food options at the Tivoli have been less diverse. Most offer some form of American cuisine, e.g. pizza, hamburgers, or just fast food places in general. Taco Bell (or Toxic Hell) was a place that students couldn’t forget. Between the greasy, unhealthy food and horrible knock-off version of what real tacos should taste like, SONO! is a much needed breath of fresh air.

I just swallowed a gallon of gas

SONO! offers so many options that are lighter and healthier in comparison to Taco Bell. The Hawaiian Poke ($7) and Curry are by far the best options to order at SONO!. The food is vibrant in color and taste, and the best part is one doesn’t have to feel like they just swallowed a gallon of grease. The food is rich in culture as well—stemming from Asian roots, it offers something different and exciting for students who are tired of eating American fast food.

While, yes, SONO! is not Elway’s, it does have a higher stature in comparison to Taco Bell. It seems like the quality of the food and price is most comparable with Noodles and Co. Its entrees are served in to-go plastic containers which make it easy to eat on the run, but also makes it easy to not make a mess whilst eating.

There is nothing to be missed about Taco Bell. The food was often cold and dripping with excess fat, leaving one a little nauseous post-meal. SONO! is the much needed revival of enjoyable food at the Tivoli. It has a variety of different Asian cuisines to choose from and has a much more vast choice of options than Taco Bell, making it an absolute necessity for students of Auraria Campus to check out and enjoy.

-Ashley Bauler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *