A comprehensive review of CU’s dining halls and grab-n-gos
The dining hall experience at CU is generally what you make of it.
Some students eat a variety of different foods and take advantage of the daily specials; some students only eat Jell-O and cereal for the nine months they live in the dorms. No matter what eating habits you choose, the huge variety offered ensures you’ll find something you won’t get sick of eating until at least October.
Dining halls have different chefs who do not follow a uniform menu, so each dining hall offers something different for dinner every night. However, you can count on every dining hall to have soda, coffee, tea, milk, juice and the same variety of generic brand cereals. Dining halls are open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Breakfast is served on the weekdays only from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Alley @ Farrand: The largest dining hall on campus, this is basically the pinnacle of CU dining. The Alley offers the biggest variety of foods of all the dining halls. There are flat screen televisions all over the dining area to watch while you eat. It’s also the most crowded dining hall during peak lunch and dinner hours; the line often flows out the door and into the courtyard. Burgers, fries, pizza and the most impressive salad bar of all the dining halls are offered every day for lunch and dinner in addition to daily specials. Daily specials are usually chicken or pasta dishes. Breakfast includes omelettes, bagels, toast, a rotation of breakfast meats, oatmeal and a make-your-own-waffle station.
Darley Commons: This is the only dining hall in Williams Village and it’s definitely big enough to accommodate the 2,000 freshmen who live there. Darley Commons offers eggs, sausages and a rotation of other hot breakfast foods such as hash browns, pancakes and French toast for breakfast. Lunch and dinner consists of a daily special entrée, soup, salad bar and deli bar. The daily special is often a fish dish, and cornbread is served quite frequently.
Libby: This dining hall is one of the smaller dining halls on campus, but it can become fairly crowded due to being located on central campus. A chef’s station is open during all meals to make made-to-order daily specials.
Kittredge Commons: A spacious dining hall that offers a nice view of the mountains, Kittredge Commons does a good job of changing up their dinner menu so the same entrees aren’t constantly being served. Sometimes a taco bar or a deli bar is set up for dinner, other times it’s typical pasta and chicken dishes. Burgers, fries and chicken tenders are usually served for lunch. A big salad bar and larger-than-usual varieties of cereal choices are safe bets at Kittredge Commons.
Sewall: This is one of the smallest dining halls on campus, but also one of the most well-liked. Asian cuisine is served frequently for dinner. A chef’s station serves made-to-order grilled items during lunch and dinner. Breakfast options include a chef’s station with made-to-order omelettes and bagel sandwiches and the usual fare of scrambled eggs, bagels, fruit and oatmeal.
Grab-n-Gos are CU’s version of meal-plan covered fast food. All your food is packaged to go so you can take it with you and eat it wherever you want. Each swipe at a Grab-n-Go counts as a meal and gets you one entrée and three sides (two sides at Piazano’s). A drink counts as a side. You can also take out four sides as a meal (three sides at Piazano’s), so it’s common for students to use their extra meals to stock up on bottles of water and soda from the Grab-n-Gos.
Piazano’s: Located in Cheyenne Arapaho hall, it’s by far the most popular Grab-n-Go on campus among students. Piazano’s claim to fame is its 100 percent organic fare. Pizza and pasta are the most popular main dishes served, but sandwiches and subs are also available. While most Grab-n-Gos offer only Coca-Cola products for beverages, Piazano’s offers only all-natural beverages, such as Izze sparkling juices and Hansen sodas. Side dishes range from pickles to Boulder chips to soups de jour. Due to Piazano’s popularity, long lines tend to form, particularly during the lunch hour.
Alley Express: This Grab-n-Go located within Farrand Hall offers main dish options such as cheeseburgers, pot pies, ravioli and rotisserie chicken. There are many side options, including mac ‘n cheese, chips, cookies, fruit and mini salads. Milk, coffee and hot chocolate are available at this Grab-n-Go in addition to soda and water.
Lickety Split: This is a relatively small Grab-n-Go located in Libby Hall, but it has a surprisingly wide variety of good eats. Expect to find fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads, mac ‘n cheese dishes and subs are your main dish options along with a weekly special. Coffee and hot chocolate are available in addition to fountain sodas. Side options include chips, fruit, mini salads and jello among other things.
2.1.3.: This is the only grab-n-go in Williams Village and serves made-to-order sandwiches and burritos. With so many different sandwich toppings and bread choices, you could probably go the whole year without ordering the same sandwich twice. Two percent milk and chocolate milk are available along with the usual set of sodas and Dasani water bottles. The 2.1.3. provides free fruit that does not count as a side. Because the sandwiches and burritos are made to order, really long lines tend to form during peak lunch and dinner hours.
Zeller’s: This grab-n-go, located in Sewall Hall, is the newest grab-n-go on campus but it is not very well-liked. Main course options include mediocre prepackaged sandwiches and wraps and side dishes include chips, cookies and sodas. Zellers is a good option for days when you want a quick dinner and you don’t want to wait in a long line for your food.
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