These Are the College Cafeteria Food Items With a Cult Following

If you think back to what you ate in college, your diet was probably a little all over the map. Most people, though, had staples in their diets thanks to their favorite cafeteria food items. Read on for a look at the college cafeteria food items with a cult following.

1. Breakfast for dinner

Steak and Egg breakfast

Steak and egg breakfast | LauriPatterson/iStock/Getty Images

A lot of colleges serve breakfast for dinner for special occasions or certain clubs will hold a “breakfast for dinner” night in the cafeteria as a fundraiser. Whatever the reason, because it doesn’t happen every night, it’s always highly anticipated by students. There’s nothing like getting a plate full of waffles, sausage, and eggs after a long day of class.

Next: The best kind of dessert

2. Fresh cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with milk

Chocolate chip cookies |

Not just any cookies, but fresh cookies. Fresh, gooey, straight-out-of-the oven cookies definitely garner a cult following at several universities. The chocolate chip cookies at Penn State’s West Dining Hall are a particular cookie favorite among students. “Students say that West Hall’s cookies are the best since staff plan the baking schedule so that the cookies offered are usually warm and fresh out of the oven,” says  Food Service Director.

Next: You can’t go wrong with this sandwich. 

3. The panini station

Grilled panini sandwich

Grilled panini sandwich | CLFortin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Most college cafeterias have a create-your-own panini bar. You get to pick the ingredients included in your sandwich, then you throw everything between two slices of bread and wait for everything to become warm and toasty. It’s usually pretty popular because it’s hard to go wrong when you’re picking all the ingredients yourself.

Next: For when you’re trying to be healthy

4. Salad bar

Green Salad

Salad | peredniankina/iStock/Getty Images

One of the best ways to start working off that freshman 15 is to start hitting the salad bar a little more regularly. For that reason, the salad bar is a wonderful asset to have in a college cafeteria. If a cafeteria has a salad bar with especially fresh ingredients from local farms–even better.

Next: So flavorful!

5. Asian stir-fry bar

Vegetarian stir-fry

Vegetarian stir-fry |

Similarly to the panini station, the stir-fry bar is so popular because students get to pick the ingredients they want. College Fashion talks about how to make your stir-fry order healthy. “The perfect stir-fry has a combination of protein, veggies, and healthy carbs,” says the publication.

Next: Stephen Curry loved this dish at his school. 

6. Pasta

Tricolor pasta salad

Pasta salad | EzumeImages/iStock/Getty Images

Pasta is a staple in the college student’s diet, it’s no surprise pasta dishes have gained a cult following in cafeterias around the country. At Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., former student and current NBA star Stephen Curry used to love the chicken parmesan his school served, according to Food Service Director.

Next: This menu item is so good it’s being used as a recruiting tool at Florida State University. 

7. Fried chicken

Homemade Southern Fried Chicken

Fried chicken | 

Fried chicken is another favorite among students. At Florida State University, the students love the honey fried chicken served in the dining hall.

“The fried chicken is even being used as a recruiting tool—one of the school’s newest football players, Marvin Wilson, says the chicken influenced his decision to sign with the team,” says Food Service Director.

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