Campus Food

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Campus Food

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3 College Junior

Campus Food: While there is a lot of food available to people who live on campus, the hours aren't great.

3 College Student

Campus Food: On a scale from one to ten, I would personally rate the school food here at a six. It is defiantly not the best food, but it is not the worst. The variety is not prevalent. It seems to have a repeat meal schedule each week. There have not been any noticing issues with any shortage of food, so the meal plan, when it comes to financing, is good.

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4 College Freshman

Campus Food: The food can get monotonous after a while, especially if you only eat at whatever dining hall is closest to you. However, if you're willing to walk a little bit and change it up, there's normally something good somewhere for every meal. The food has almost never been bad, only boring or repetitive.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: After about a month, everything in the dining halls starts to taste the same. It all has too much tomato, oil, and salt. Recently they started having more healthy options. I also really like the vegetarian/vegan section of the dining hall. The salad bars in larger dining halls like Sargent or Allison are good, but in smaller ones like Elder the vegetables tend to look limp. There are a few good soups, but in some dining halls they will be burnt.

I switched to the Block meal plan because it is more convenient for me. However the hours of restaurants at Norris and limited variety in non-dining hall eating locations is rather annoying. Frontera is delicious, but they are only open for about 4 hours a day. I wish they had not gotten rid of the crepe place or the Jamba Juice.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: I can either stay in my dorm and eat some freshly cooked food in Allison, or stroll to Norris and pick up a delicious meal from the selection of campus restaurants.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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If you don’t come in expecting much, your taste buds and Northwestern campus food will get along just fine. The dining halls do have specific menus and occasional themed nights, like “Mexican Fiesta” and "Thanksgiving," but the food gets old pretty quickly, especially when you eat at the same place for 13 meals a week. At every meal, there is the standard pasta, pizza, cereal, and salad bar that allows students to get creative when the main entrée just isn’t cutting it. Most dining halls have made-to-order wraps, burgers, and panini sandwiches. Allison Hall has a themed cuisine that changes each day (like stir-fry or tacos); Foster-Walker is known for its omelet bar and burritos; and Willard lets you order your food on kiosks, similar to a real restaurant. In 2011, Northwestern changed its meal policy, requiring freshmen to be, at least, on the 13-meal-per-week plan. Unfortunately, this limits eating options at other places on campus that are not specified dining halls, like Norris, Fran’s Café, or Lisa’s Café. But after freshman year, many students switch to block plans, allotting students more “points” that can be used for any food on campus, at any time.

Select dining halls also offer convenience stores (“C-Stores”), which are similar to a mini-grocery store. Here, you will find little snacks, toiletries, and on-the-go meals for when you don’t have time to sit in a dining hall or want to stock up on treats for your looming all-nighter. The University Library and Kresge Hall have cafés that are great for study breaks or a snack in between classes, and Tech has a secret Einstein Bros. Bagels and Tech Express. While the quality of food may not be the best, you will never go hungry. College students love to eat, just be watchful of the desserts. They always look good but are almost never worth the calories.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
19
Average Meal Plan Cost
$5975 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Freshmen living in University housing are initially assigned to a 13-meals-per-week plan, but this can be changed.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
  • 1835 Hinman
  • Allison Dining Hall
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • Jamba Juice
  • Lisa's Café
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Make-your-own waffles
  • Omelets
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Made-to-order pizza
  • Stir-fry
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • The Great Room
  • Lisa's Café
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
None
Special Options
NU offers carb-friendly, low-fat, vegan, and vegetarian menu options on a daily basis.
Did You Know?
In 2010 and 2011, PETA named Northwestern the No. 1, "Most Vegan Friendly College."

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

1835 Hinman
Location: 1835 Hinman
Food: Cereal bar, grill, ice cream bar, pasta, salad bar, stir-fry
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10:45 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
1835 Hinman C-Store
Location: 1835 Hinman
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10:45 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Allison Dining Hall
Location: Allison Hall
Food: Cereal bar, grill, ice cream bar, pasta, salad bar, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Crepe Bistro
Location: Norris Center
Food: Crepes
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Crowe Café
Location: Norris
Food: Coffee, pre-made sandwiches, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Pancoe Life Sciences Pavilion, second floor
Food: Coffee, bagels, salads, sandwiches, soups
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-4 a.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Elder Dining Hall
Location: Elder Hall
Food: Grill, healthy, hot line
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:15 a.m.-7 p.m.
Foster-Walker Complex Dining Hall - East Side
Location: Foster-Walker Complex, east wing
Food: Cereal, desserts, hot line, salad bar, soup, tofu stir-fry
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:45 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 10:45 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Foster-Walker Complex Dining Hall - West Side
Location: Foster-Walker Complex, west wing
Food: Made-to-order burgers, burritos, salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Foster-Walker C-Store
Location: Foster-Walker Complex, west wing
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Fran's Café
Location: Willard Hall
Food: Café-style food
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Great Room
Location: 610 Haven St.
Food: Pub food
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Jamba Juice
Location: Norris Center
Food: Smoothies
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Lisa's Café
Location: Slivka Residential College
Food: Baked goods, coffee, juices, soup, sub sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
Nu Sushi
Location: Norris Center
Food: Sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Paws 'N Go
Location: Norris Center
Food: Convenience store, grab-and-go items
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Plaza Café
Location: 1970 Campus Drive
Food: Coffee, smoothies, sub sandwiches, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Sargent Dining Hall
Location: Sargent Hall
Food: Cereal bar, grill, ice cream bar, pasta, salad bar, soup
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Sbarro
Location: Norris Center
Food: Italian, pizza
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Starbucks
Location: Norris Center
Food: Baked goods, coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-11:45 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-11:45 p.m.
Tech Express
Location: Technological Institute
Food: Coffee, pastries, salad, soup, sub sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Willard C-Store
Location: Willard Residential College
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:15 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Willard Dining Hall
Location: Willard Residential College
Food: Cereal bar, grill, ice cream bar, pasta, salad bar, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:15 a.m.-7 p.m.
Willie's Food Court
Location: Norris University Center
Food: Asian, café, cereal bar, deli, grill hot dogs, Mexican, salad, soup
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 84 responses

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

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 18 responses

  • 52% Not having to cook for yourself.
  • 15% Convenient dining locations
  • 12% Good Variety
  • 9% Good Quality
  • 9% The one lady in Allison that's really nice
  • 3% Being able to stealthily add wildcard money
  • 0% Good on-campus vendors

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 18 responses

  • 36% Balance of points/meals for the cost isn't great
  • 21% Limited hours available
  • 15% Paying too much
  • 12% Limited fresh fruit
  • 12% Terrible Food
  • 3% Crowds in Sargent
  • 0% Everything

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 17 responses

  • 35% Norris
  • 24% Plex
  • 21% Allison
  • 18% Sargent
  • 3% Elder/Allison, Norris

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 18 responses

  • 45% Elder
  • 45% Norris hours are annoying
  • 9% Willard
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