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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite parts of the day is getting to plan out what you’re going to eat. Every weekend, I religiously look over the online menus for Local Point and Center Table, the dining halls on West and North campus, excited to pick and choose my meals for the week. If you’re living in the dorms like I am, you would know that having a dining plan is required, and can be a real headache to use up. It may not sound like a lot, but $1,000 can be quite difficult to spend in only a quarter — especially since your leftover balance just gets moved to the next quarter. If you need some help finding food to spend your money on that’s actually worthwhile, read on to discover the best places to eat on campus.

Disclaimer: the dining locations mentioned are ones available during the current time; dining locations open pre-COVID are not listed (RIP Cultivate).

Local point Deli

A real classic, the dining hall at Local Point can be quite hit or miss. Sometimes, you eat something that could be served in a real restaurant, and other times the flavors get a bit confusing. While it’s great to try new things, you always have to stick to the classics, like the Local Point Deli. With fresh-made, toasted sandwiches with any topping you like, dining hall food doesn’t get much better than this. Plus, they always have several interesting specials for you to try every week, which is always fun. Dare I say, I might like it better than Subway?

North campus pagliacci pizza

Of course, the only thing that beats dining hall food is real restaurant food, which is exactly what they serve at the Pagliacci Pizza on North Campus (since West Campus and HUB locations are closed at the moment). You can get pizza by the slice, a calzone, some pasta, or even order your own entire pizza in a variety of styles to share with nobody but yourself. 

Population Health Starbucks

In the newest building on campus — the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health — a new Starbucks cafe has opened! Decked out with gorgeous lighting and a modern-chic ambience, this coffee place on the first floor is the best place to get real Starbucks coffee, some pastries, and study for a while. Plus, they serve your drink in a completely compostable Starbucks cup; who doesn’t want to save the planet with their morning cup of coffee?

Mercer Court Husky Grind Cafe

A real hidden gem, the Husky Grind Cafe in Mercer Court is my favorite place to eat on campus. While Starbucks is great, nothing beats UW’s very own roasted beans and cute pastries. Plus, they have insane breakfast and lunch options only at this location, like pesto grilled cheese sandwiches and some really fancy oatmeal. I mean, a grilled cheese sandwich with goat cheese? On a college campus? Insane.

So, I hope this list helps you find places to spend your money that are more worth your while! Of course, do make sure you’re being safe if you’re trying out the dining locations on campus; what’s worse than not spending all of your dining account money is having COVID. And remember: as the UW struggles through a staff shortage during this time, do be considerate of workers at these dining locations. Wishing you delicious meals and a full belly this winter quarter!

Shima is a sophomore at UW currently residing in Mukilteo, WA. She intends to major in Microbiology and hopes to someday become a physician. She enjoys baking bread, watching Teen Wolf, and practicing Taekwondo in her free time.
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