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Nov 6, 2012 10:21 AM

Best College Campus Eats

Hi Chowhounds,

I work for a website that is trying to put together a list of the best college campus eats across the country. With the basketball season about to kick off, we think the madness shouldn't be limited to only on the court.

We are trying to answer the question: What school has the best campus eats?

Here are a few preseason contenders:

Baylor University’s Dr Pepper Float
Florida State’s The Animal Sandwich
Gonzaga University’s Cog Cookies
Marquette University’s The Marquette
University of Montana’s Griz Burrito
Syracuse University’s White Coney (+ chocolate milk)
Temple University’s Koagies (Korean hoagies)
Purdue University’s Boilermaker Pete

I would love to hear about any of you guys' college campus experiences and dishes that are must-have's.


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    1. re: ferret

      fat mojo please! i always had one when visiting friends at rutgers...i also forced whoever to split it with me as that is a scary caloric bomb!
      perusing the new menu though, i really want to try the veggie butt! oh the names!

    2. Check out Cal @ Berkeley. They're doing amazing things both with quality of raw product and finished dishes. I'd eat there any day, any week, any meal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mamachef

        MC, which of the cafeterias did you try? I've been to Crossroads and the I House. I like the variety, quantity and cost, but the food seemed just a step up from Hometown Buffet (which I like on occasion). They do a better job of feeding the faculty at the Men's Faculty Club. I do like the breakfasts (especially the oatmeal and tator tots) at the Golden Bear.

        1. re: chocolatetartguy

          I love I-house - the variety and quality seems to me a step up from the Bear, though I wholeheartedly agree about the oatmeal. The Crossroads - for all it's touted to be, I didn't find it was THAT much more special. I've gotta try the MFC - you've mentioned some REALLY nice meals (lunches) that you've enjoyed there.

      2. University of Connecticut Dairy Bar Jonathan Supreme Ice Cream. 28 lovely flavors including Toasted Almond Amaretto.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DonShirer

          YES! I grew up on that ice cream!

        2. I graduated from Marquette University and still frequent the campus somewhat regularly. That said, I have absolutely no idea what you're referring to by "The Marquette". Care to elaborate?

          If you're looking for Marquette-related establishments, the best known is probably Real Chili ( It was founded in the basement of the priests' residence hall on campus in the 1920's and is still an institution.

          If we're talking about that "other" university down the road (aka the University of Wisconsin), the winners are either Ian's Pizza (crazy rotating flavors like Fish Fry Pizza and Chicken Mashed Potato Pizza) or the Babcock Hall Dairy (ice cream parlor operated by the University's department of Food Science.) Craaaaazy good ice cream made in-house with local ingredients.

          13 Replies
          1. re: mse924

            I think he means campus food, and I can't remember anything decent from mine. Do the little individual boxes of Frosted Flakes count? If so, put that down for Texas Tech.

            1. re: mse924

              my sister went to the University of Wisconsin, and i remember everyone loved the giant Rice Krispy treats they sold at the KK.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I loved those....they were the size of a burrito.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  University of Wisconsin - I spent a summer there in 8th grade and could not get enough of Gumby's. The Pokey sticks were addictive.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Gumby's is actually a national chain now. when they first opened at Emory i thought we were the only ones fortunate enough to have it nearby - it was off campus. and yes, i inhaled my share of Pokey Sticks (dipped in a combination of red saue & ranch dressing - gack).

                    thinking back to it, they weren't even good. they were just there.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Yes - always with marinara sauce and ranch dressing!! Exactly, not good but oh so good. I'm surprised to hear it's a national chain. I live in the mid-Atlantic and have never seen one but will keep my eye out when traveling. I'm sure I'd find it appalling if I actually were to consume some pokey sticks now

                      1. re: fldhkybnva


                        interestingly, the ATL location is no more. so much for the memories!

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        National, but in college towns, yes? Only college kids can keep a chain in business by giggling while ordering a "16-inch Pokey Stix" or a "Gumby Dammit."

                        If they have expanded beyond the co-ed market, then my college memories are probably tarnished forever.

                        Oh, and I think I need to hear more about a Boilermaker Pete. I was a grad student at Purdue, not an undergrad, but have never heard of such a thing.

                        1. re: Wahooty

                          you know, i didn't even notice it before but they're all listed as college campus locations. the one near Emory was far enough away that you had to have it delivered or drive to pick it up.

                          i'm not surprised that one didn't survive - they probably couldn't handle the competition from Mellow Mushroom, which was far better.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            It's funny you mention Mellow Mushroom. My best friend is from Tennessee and is in love with Mellow Mushroom - best pizza ever he proclaims. I have never had it but if I'm ever in Nashville I'll have to make a stop.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Mellow Mushroom isn't even close to the "best" i've had, because i grew up eating NY pizza. but it's pretty great when you're wasted at 4 am...or from Tennessee ;)

                              seriously though, it's been 20 years since i last ate the stuff so i have no idea if it's good - at the time i was a fat-phobic vegetarian college girl who appreciated that they offered low-fat cheese as an option. i do recall liking their Greek salad and the calzones, and my roommate who had a sweet tooth loved their fresh-baked cinnamon sugar pretzels.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I think that's his definition of "the best" - not a very discerning palette, so great when wasted = top notch.

                      3. re: fldhkybnva

                        Oh Pokey sticks....Pokey sticks and Loose Juice.....

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      that ice cream is fantastic. it literally wins awards, and I don't mean "best campus food" for it's type. ;-)

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Totally overrated. Or maybe the quality's just gone down.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          or could it be you just don't like philly style ice cream?
                          Just sayin'...
                          (n.b. it's always been best with fruit...)

                          1. re: Chowrin

                            No, I just don't think it's all that it's made up to be. Overhyped. I find the ice cream at Meyer's dairy better, and I am not alone in thinking that the overall quality of the creamery has gone down.

                            But given the alumni, I have no doubt this fine old tradition will continue regardless.