Campus Dining

Location
Columbia, SC
Undergrads
21,646
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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3 College Student

Campus Dining: Personally, I am not a big fan of our on campus dining. There is only on all you can eat buffet dining hall.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: There are a few places available on campus to eat. There is a 'hot-line' eatery available in each end of campus in all four directions. The main eatery is in the student union and consist of a grill place, a specialty pizza eatery, a frozen yogurt/ice cream parlor, a sub-sandwich place, and salad bar, fruits and vegetables stand, taco bell, pizzqa hut, chick-fil-a, a burgur place and a hot-line. there is also asian cusine, a taco bar and a healthy meal place that will give you lean foods and perfect healthy portions. the other places on campus are very similar to that minus the fast food options. Two dorms hold two of the eteries in their common areas and one dorm has an all you can eat buffet that is attainable on the meal plan. two places stay open until 3am for express food. meal plans come in a variety of opitions from 5 meals a week to 21 meals a week. or the flex option which allows you to get more food in one sitting than a meal plan.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: It's not the best but if you branch out to different dining venues you can find some quality stuff!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There is a pretty decent variety of food selections but most of the food made by the school is bland. There are fast food places like Chik-Fila and Pizza Hut, but the healthy food options are not as available and varietal.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Food is pretty good most of the time. Some foods just aren't cooked well.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 95th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 176th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 313rd
    Best Quality Food
  • 567th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 715th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Hometown
Fort Mitchell, KY
Major
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

Ah, the notorious Chicken Finger Wednesday! Yes, USC students do get excited about a two-pound portion of chicken fingers and curly fries on the menu every Wednesday—plan time for a nap afterwards. Naturally, however, chicken fingers aren’t the only thing served at USC. With 24 different restaurant options, students enjoy a wide range of cuisines. The Russell House University Union houses a majority of these options, offering an authentic Italian restaurant, a gourmet sub shop, a smoothie bar, several fast food restaurants (including Chic-Fil-A, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut), and the Grand Market Place (affectionately called the Gimp). Here students can find a hot food line, salad bar, grill, bakery, and sushi bar. Some of the academic buildings and freshman dormitories, such as Capstone, Patterson, and Bates have their own cafeterias so that students don’t have to go to the Russell House every time they want a bite.

Students generally seem to rate the food on campus anywhere from average to good. The main complaint is that it gets old after a while, which is understandable when you’re eating campus food anywhere from 10 to 21 times a week. Despite this, it seems hard to believe that a student would be unable to find something that he or she likes with all of the options available. USC has a variety of food for all different tastes, from the health buff to the junk food junkie. It may not be your mom’s home-cooking, but for campus food, most students find it pretty tasty, and with 24-hour dining Monday through Thursday in the Gimp, the hours are very student-friendly.
 

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
21
Average Meal Plan Cost
$2844 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Student Favorites
  • Colloquium Café
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Grand Market Place
24-Hour Dining
None
Did You Know?
  • In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, every campus restaurant has eliminated Styrofoam takeout boxes and plates when serving food.
  • The University will occasionally sponsor music bands, speakers, and street performers to entertain students while they eat on the Russell House University Union outdoor dais.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Bates Carolina Diner
Location: Bates House
Food: All-you-can-eat: grill, hot entrees, ice cream, pizza, salads, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Burger King
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Fast food
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Café al a Cart
Location: Law School, lobby
Food: Breakfast biscuits, grab 'n go sandwiches, salads, Seattle's Best coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Café Verde
Location: West Quad
Food: Convenience items, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Carolina Fast Track
Location: Engineering Building
Food: Beverages, coffee, Chick-fil-A sandwiches, fruit, salads, wraps
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Chick-fil-A
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Fast food
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Colloquium Café
Location: Between Gambrell Hall and Humanities Building
Food: Desserts, fruit, pastries, salads, sandwiches, soups, Starbucks coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Cooper's Corner
Location: Thomas Cooper Library, first floor
Food: Baked goods, grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, Starbucks coffee
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Bagels, coffee, sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Fast Break
Location: Carolina Coliseum, lower level
Food: Grab-and-go sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Gibbes Court
Location: Capstone Residence Hall
Food: Deli, pizza station, hot line
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Grand Market Place
Location: Russell House, first floor
Food: Baked goods, deli, grill, International, salads, sushi, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-3 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Hampton Street Café
Location: 1600 Hampton St., first floor
Food: Baked goods, breakfast items, sandwiches, Starbucks coffee
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Honors Café
Location: Honors Dorm, Blossom Street
Food: Sandwiches, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Honors Starbucks
Location: Honors Dorm, Blossom Street
Food: Coffee
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
Horseshoe Deli
Location: Russell House, first floor
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Jazzman's Café
Location: BA Building, lower level
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grab 'n go items
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Marble Slab Creamery
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Ice cream
Hours: Monday-Friday 12 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Mongolian Grill
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Asian
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Pandini's
Location: Russell House, first floor
Food: Italian, pizza, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Patio Café
Location: Patterson Hall, lower level
Food: Deli, dessert, grill, pasta, stir fry
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Pizza Hut
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Pizza
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Preston's at Noon
Location: Russell House, second floor ramp
Food: Dessert, entrees, salad, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Preston's Dining Hall
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Dessert, entrees, salad, sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:15 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Santorini's
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Greek
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Sidewalk Café
Location: Between Gambrell and Humanities Building
Food: Baked goods, salads, sandwiches, soups
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Soup Man
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Taco Bell
Location: Russell House, second floor
Food: Fast food/Mexican
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Top of Carolina
Food: Breakfast and lunch buffet, desserts, fruit, omelet station, salad bar, waffle station
Hours: Sunday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Zia Juice
Location: Russell House, first floor
Food: Smoothies
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 144 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Availability
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 15 responses

  • 28% The Colloquium
  • 28% Einstein's
  • 17% Pandini's
  • 14% Bates
  • 7% Student Lounge/Campus Shop
  • 3% Honeycomb Cafe
  • 3% Sidewalk cafe

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 13 responses

  • 47% No cooking
  • 24% Hated the meal plan
  • 24% No grocery shopping
  • 6% No meal plan

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 9 responses

  • 46% You can only swipe once with in a eating period.
  • 38% It can be a little expensive.
  • 15% I don't really like cafeteria food.

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 60% Cafe verde
  • 20% Gibbs court
  • 20% They are all bad since they are so overpriced.
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