NYU was recently rated one of the best universities in the country for vegans and vegetarians. While it is true that there are many options for carnivores, herbivores, and everyone in between, dining hall food can still get old fast. There are eight dining halls on campus, which make for some nice variety, but many students still tire of dining hall food before the end of their freshman year. All dining halls offer a to-go option, and you can pay with your meal plan, NYU Campus Cash, real cash, or credit card. Six of the dining halls are all-you-can-eat—which can be either a blessing or a curse. Two dining halls right on campus, Upstein and Kimmel, offer "meal exchanges," which translate to an entrée, side, and drink for a swipe.
All upperclassmen can opt to have or not have a meal plan, since all upperclassman dorms are equipped with kitchens. Freshmen who live in traditional halls are required to have a meal plan. For those living at Third North, the meal plan is optional, as each suite has a kitchen. Most freshmen actually enjoy having a meal plan since it eliminates the stress of having to worry about the source of your next meal. More importantly, the dining halls are great places to make friends and socialize. The dining hall staff is always great, and the nicer you are to them, the bigger slice of steak you get. Overall, NYU does a great job of providing students with a variety of healthy options, and if you get bored with the cafeteria, you have hundreds of restaurants at your disposal, even within campus grounds.