Unless you live in an apartment or have a kitchen, college is the only time where you won’t be expected to buy or cook food for yourself. We are lucky enough to have meals prepared and served for us for four entire years.
Unlike my previous school, which boasted a single dining hall filled with fried food, pasta, and a wilting salad bar, Boston College has two main dining halls, two smaller ones, and two small cafes that serve delicious coffee and pastries.
Mac and Lower, the two largest places to eat, have an array of food choices. The “Grill” and salad bar at both these locations remain fairly standard for both lunch and dinner: you can always count on having grilled chicken or steak with rice and steamed vegetables. The soups vary from day to day – going from bold ancient Aztec grain and kale linguica sausage soup, to classic clam chowder and comforting chicken noodle. Although I prefer eating at Mac most of the time (the main dining hall on upper campus, partly because it’s five minutes from my dorm), the other dining hall named Lower has an array of healthy grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, couscous, barley, and beets with potatoes, meant to broaden the options for vegetarians. Though I’m not a vegetarian myself, I like to eat healthy, so those options are a great way to spice up my meals.
Lyons (also called “the Rat”) is a great place to eat if you’re a big breakfast person or in a rush during lunchtime. They have the best muffins, croissants, biggest variety of cereals, and vanilla Chobani yogurt. Though the other dining halls have blueberry and plain flavors, the vanilla is personally my favorite (if you’ve never tried mixing vanilla yogurt with cocoa powder then you’re missing out). The Rat also has a Panini press, so if you buy a cold premade sandwich, you can stick it in the press for a few minutes and voila – you have a (almost) gourmet sandwich! Plus, the Rat is right in the middle of campus, so your trek to class will end up being less than five minutes no matter where it is.
Eagles Nest, located right underneath Mac, is also a smaller, yet wildly popular dining hall. They make fresh tossed salads, and the best sandwiches. Although their flatbreads are delicious, the Mediterranean chicken sandwich – chicken breast, pesto, mozzarella, mustard, lettuce, and tomato on toasted multigrain baguette – is to die for. They have so many different options that change nearly every day, so there are always new things to try. Unfortunately, Eagles is only open from 11:30-3:30, so it’s best to avoid going right when class begins or ends – that’s when the biggest rushes occur.
Boston College also has two small cafes on campus: the Stokes Chocolate Bar, and Hillside Café. These two cafés do not accept the regular meal plan money, but use the alternate meal plan (mostly used by/meant for upperclassmen who have kitchens). Hillside is much more of a dining hall – their sandwiches are arguably even more delectable than the ones at Eagles, and they even make frappes! The Chocolate Bar, on the other hand, sponsored by Pete’s Coffee & Tea, is better known for its specialty coffees. Though they have containers of Chobani yogurt, fruit/vegetable platters, and pre-packaged sandwiches, this is the place to get your latte, gelato, or chocolate covered pretzels (or any other chocolate goodie, including the 6 inch diameter cookies).
Even though I’m lucky to have so many options to choose from, and the “specialty” sushi and burrito nights are exciting, the food still does get repetitive. After all, there are only so many dinners of fish or chicken with rice and vegetables one can eat! Overall, however, the standard of good quality food is consistent over all the dining halls and cafes; there are plenty of options for vegetarians (even vegans!), and for those who want to eat healthy or not.