Many of the questions that freshman have about college have fairly definitive answers. Unfortunately, “where should I get food?” is not one of them. There is not a real consensus on where you can get the best food on campus. However, I am going to do my best to outline the dining hall situation at UConn in order to help point you in the right direction and hopefully save you from every college student’s worst nightmare – a bad meal.
South Campus houses one of UConn’s larger dining halls, and it is one of the most balanced places to eat. Whenever you go to South, you know that you will be able to fall back on comfort foods like hamburgers, grilled cheese and pasta if none of the other dishes pique your interests.
That said, the dining hall also does a good job offering up dishes, like Chinese food, that you cannot often find at other locations. One of my favorite things about South is that there is an omelet bar during breakfast on weekdays, a real godsend if you get stuck with any classes at 8 a.m.
One final detail worth mentioning is that there is that South is home to the grab and go, where students can quickly pick up a sandwich, dessert or fruit and a drink, right next to the dining hall. Once you finish a meal you can eat later during the day without having to make another dining hall stop.
McMahon is another big dining hall, and it is perfect for those who are looking for a bit more variety in their meals. McMahon often has a greater selection of cultural dishes, at the cost of more traditional foods. This is definitely the stop for more exotic cuisine however, as there are usually entire stations devoted to different types of food, such as Asian or Italian. The biggest gripe most people have with McMahon is the small portions. Unlike South, everything gets plated for you, so it can be a bit tedious to have to keep grabbing plates.
Whitney is dramatically different than McMahon or South, both in size and selection. It is a very small dining hall, so those looking for a more low key dining experience may want to check it out. The food choice is very niche, however. Whitney is a haven for vegetarians and vegans because all of the food adheres to such diets, so do not walk into Whitney and expect to have a hearty steak dinner. The dining halls greatest strength is simultaneously its greatest weakness; the vegetarian/vegan option is a great bonus for those who want it, but everyone else is left out to dry.
Buckley is often described as one of the more low-end dining halls to be found on campus. Its selection is never really that great, and the execution is often even worse. Unless you live in Buckley, I have a hard time recommending it, especially due to its close proximity to South. Trust me, the walk to South will be more than worth it.
As for the rest of the dining halls, it really becomes a matter of location. Dining halls like North and Putnam are far from the center of campus, so they’re generally only worth popping into if you happen to be in the area.
Making the move to college brings a lot of changes with it, and every student knows how important food is, so I hope this breakdown of some of our dining halls will help to make your transition to UConn a bit easier. Good luck out there Huskies.
Ben Wagman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.