As a college student, I always try to come up with reasons not to go to the dining hall. "Oh, it's raining, guess I can't go to the dining hall for dinner" or, "Oh, it's the weekend, the dining hall has bad options." My friends and I will find any excuse to go out to dinner or UberEats the many delicious foods Ann Arbor has to offer.
However, the dining hall (the South Quad dining hall in specific) has plenty of great options — if you know these 9 tricks.
1. Get the Freshman15 app
Before I even go into the best foods to eat, download this app ASAP. All you have to do is press the time you're eating, what dining hall you're eating, and there you go: a list of every station and what they're serving.
2. Breakfast necessity = omelettes
The unsung hero of the dining hall breakfast options is the omelette station. If you get there early enough, you can make your own omelette (if you have the patience to wait). Want an even better idea? If you buy an avocado you can put it on toast and add eggs on top. Boom, your own homemade avocado toast. Yum.
3. Best dish? Stirfry.
My biggest suggestion? Get to the dining hall before 7:00. That way you can make your own stirfry. Add chicken, tofu, veggies, edamame, or whatever else you want to make a perfect dish. BUT, make sure to ask for light sauce, especially if it's General Tso. If not, be prepared for your mouth to be on fire the rest of the night.
4. Don't rule out the hummus
The hummus at the dining hall is surprisingly good, especially with the crunchy pita. Actually, I take that back. Eat it with vegetables! Take the carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies from the salad bar and eat your hummus with them. There you go, a healthy and delicious snack!
5. Search for the veggies
My favorite side for dinner is surprisingly the vegetables served at the dining hall. The zucchini, carrots, asparagus, and spinach are all really good. They never have them all served in one day, but you're guaranteed to find at least one deliciously cooked vegetable a day.
6. Potatoes. Enough said.
I don't know what it is about the South Quad dining hall, but they have an influx of potatoes —specifically, sweet potatoes. But I'm definitely not complaining about it because they're amazing! If you see that there's a night where the dining hall is serving mashed sweet potatoes, you have NO excuse to eat out.
7. Use the salad bowls for fruit
If you want a healthy option for dessert, use the bigger salad bowls to stock up on strawberries, grapes, and any other fruit they serve. I look forward to my massive bowl of fruit every night because, sadly, as a college student I don't have the luxury of freshly cut fruit in my kitchen.
8. Warm. Mini. Corn muffins.
My roommate and I can attest to how amazing the South Quad dining hall's mini corn muffins are. Just recently we were blessed to try the corn muffins when warm. 100/10 recommend.
9. Don't forget the soft serve
Did you think I would forget the soft serve? Never. I shouldn't even have to explain this. The soft serve is always an A+, but if you want an A++ wait to cheat on your diet on a day that the dining hall makes fresh waffle cones. Now THAT'S a dessert for champions.