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Meredith Kress / Her Campus

The Most Edible VCU Dining

One thing I personally really struggled with daily as a college freshman in the beginning of the year was food. VCU’s main dining hall, Shafer Court, was already intimidating and mediocre enough. So that will not be on my list. Being on your own for the first time is a handful as it is. Personally, my days are typically more on the hectic side. I do also have the common bad habit of forgetting to eat until the last minute.

Another issue I noticed personally is that the most available food option for college students on campus is fast food, and I personally feel like I am decaying if I go out for fast food too often. However, I have found some places on campus that are somewhat convenient and nutrient-dense. Please keep in my that my standards have been lowered over time since living on campus.


This was a very obvious first choice. While not in the most convenient location, it is arguably the healthiest food choice on campus and that fits in with the prepaid dining plan. This one is not only a personal favorite but almost every VCU student’s favorite. It is a one-swipe-and-go dining hall/cafe. I personally head straight to the salad bar and pile on the avocado. I also take soup, potatoes and clementines back to my dorm to get my $10 swipes’ worth. There is also a healthy pasta bar, as in red lentil pasta and zucchini pasta.

Shake Smart

Once again, not the most convenient place. While in a convenient location, the hours are not. The fact that this place is closed on the weekends is slightly inconvenient. Right next to the library, you to can feel like “that girl” while ordering an acai or smoothie bowl. Personally, I find this to be the healthiest “fast food” option on campus that takes swipes. While the bowls melt into a soup-like mushy consistency not even halfway through, it still makes me feel like a Pinterest girl. The fact that it is basically fruit and protein powder makes me walk out feeling like a YouTube daily vlog health queen, both physically and metaphorically. Solid 8/10, recommend– points for taking the dining plan swipes.


This place is both in a convenient location and has convenient hours. Finally, a place on campus that is not out of sight from the dorms and library and does not close before 7 pm. Located in the commons, it is the perfect place to grab something quick while studying and to take a few items back to the dorms being that you have a fridge and microwave. While some of the items are a little bit questionable, it is worth it to try out a few things. I personally enjoy the salads and breakfast tacos. The pasta salad did make me gag a little, so respectfully don’t waste your swipes on it. If you are willing to spend dining dollars, they have fruit and the basics that a convenience store would have.


Finally, bento sushi. Convenient location if you live in Rhodes or Brandt, or if you happen to be in Monroe park. The hours are not too bad either. They offer not just sushi, but I personally enjoy their Udon soup. To be fair, Asian food is my absolute favorite. This is a great option if you are vegan or vegetarian. While some of the sushi is nauseating, the rest is fairly okay. To be fair, I am partial to sushi. Their poke bowls make me feel like an Instagram influencer that paid for an overpriced aesthetic bowl. To be fair I am that, but just paying for an overpriced bowl as well as an Instagram user. While the sodium probably cancels out anything too healthy about it, I still enjoy it as a quick and dining plan-friendly option.

Salma is a freshman at VCU. She is currently undecided, but considering majoring in journalism. She loves iced coffee and a comforting gilmore girls marathon.
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