Future Focus: Dining on a College Campus

Dining on a College Campus:

By Christine Parke, UH Mānoa Student

Moving away from home for the first time can be very exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking for many college students.  Not being able to eat a delicious home cooked meal every night is certainly one of the biggest things you’ll probably miss.  Whether you live on campus or not, you will most likely be eating on campus at some point in your day.  Many campuses offer meal plans for students where you can purchase a set amount of ‘meal points’ to last you a semester.  The money is stored on your student ID card for your convenience and as a precautionary measure against theft.  You can present your student ID at various food vendors around campus to pay for your meals. It’s simply swipe and go!

At UH Mānoa, there are over 20 food vendors to choose from on a daily basis. So how do you decide where to eat?  Well, if you are a student with a meal plan, the best deal you can get is the all-you-can-eat meals at Hale Aloha and Gateway Café located near the dorms.  Both cafeterias serve soups, salads, sandwiches, and a variety of main entrees on a daily basis as well as fresh fruits and desserts.  The Campus Center Food Court is another great option with grilled foods, salads, ethnic foods, sushi, bentos, and plate lunches all in one place!  Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway, Jamba Juice, and Starbucks are also all conveniently at Campus Center, which is located right in the middle of campus and a quick and easy place to go to grab a bite.  Paradise Palms Café, located on the other side of campus, is another place to go and eat.  Paradise Palms offers many different vendors such as Domino’s Pizza, Honolulu Gourmet (fresh salads and grab-and-go entrees), India Café (vegetarian and meat curries), L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, Panda Express, Super Gyros (Greek sandwiches and salads), and The Curb (coffees, specialty drinks and pastries). Last but not least, there are multiple vendors scattered across campus in lunch wagons which offer a variety of food including healthy plate lunches, burgers, and delicious vegetarian options as well as smoothies, iced teas and even crepes.

Although there is nothing like a home cooked meal, dining on a college campus can be a fun place to hang out with and meet new friends.  With the variety of foods offered, you can enjoy something different every day!