What’s cooking on campus?

Bel Carden, Contributing Writer

Every college has its horror stories about food. Whether they be tales surrounding the inevitable “Freshman 15” or the nasty cafeteria specials, these nightmares (some true and some make-believe) scare a large population of first-year students, causing them to come to campus in the fall predisposed to disliking the University’s food. However, the University is working hard to fight these stereotypes by continuously updating and adding healthier options to the dining menus of on-campus locations, and by opening several new dining stations to create a wider variety of accessible meals to students.

The University offers students eight different dining locations on campus, ranging from the average cafeteria-style, all-you-can-eat buffets, to cafes for a quick bite, to the University’s very own late-night food truck, the Flying Bison. In providing students with so many unique dining choices, the University has tried to ensure a range of nutritional options, even for those with dietary restrictions. To welcome students back from the summer, the University’s dining team has worked hard to add many new exciting additions to the menus at locations across campus.

The on-campus locations with updated dining menus include the Bison, Commons Cafe, 7th Street Cafe and Bostwick Marketplace, along with smaller on-the-go stations offered in multiple locations. 


The Bison Cafe & Bison C-Store

The Bison Cafe & Bison C-Store, located on the bottom floor of the Elaine Langone Center (ELC) allows students to choose from 10 different stations, which offers endless meal combinations. Specifically, some of these stations include Fresh Mexican, Bison Fresh, Bada Basil, East Street Deli, Firehouse Grill, Spoon & Fork and an On the Go section, where students can grab a quick bite before class or a study group.

General Manager of Resident Dining Jay Breeding said he and the rest of the University’s Dining staff have been hard at work preparing on-campus eating locations for students this semester. Bison Fresh “will now be open on Sundays from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., offering smoothies, bowls, toast, grain bowls, and stir fry,” Breeding said. The University’s Dining Services has also made the decision to close the Bison Fresh and Bada Basil stations at 2 p.m. on Fridays.


The Commons Cafe

In addition, the Commons Cafe is offering new hours this year, opening all of its stations at 10 a.m. and closing them at 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The Cafe is also open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday. Dining Services says these new hours apply to the Chopped Salads station. Popular among students, the Chopped Salads station serves a variety of fresh greens, toppings, dressings, and vegetables, so that each student can customize their salads to their liking. In addition, the Commons Cafe features a grill, with made-to-order burgers and flatbreads. Similar to the Bison, the Commons Cafe has a grab-and-go section, which includes a newly-added menu item: daily rolled sushi. The sushi is “rolled fresh daily in front of house” and “distributed to campus-wide retail locations,” Breeding said. Additionally, the Commons Cafe has added new beverages to its menu, including Frescas and infused waters made in-house.


The Bostwick Marketplace

These two new specialty drinks will also be available in the Bostwick Marketplace. The Bostwick Marketplace is located on the first floor of the ELC, one floor above the Bison Cafe. Included in the University’s policy, all students are required to purchase the Unlimited Meal Access plan in Bostwick Marketplace for their first year at the University. “The first-year dining policy in the Caf helped create a sense of community among first-years for me,” Lindsey Burzumato ’21 said. “I always had a friendly face to sit with whether I was getting breakfast, lunch, or dinner.” And because first-year students are required to have this meal plan in the Bostwick Marketplace, dining services is always hard at work keeping Bostwick’s stations updated.

While other on-campus dining options utilize only Dining Dollars as payment, the Bostwick Marketplace also accepts meal plan swipes. In other words, students swipe in with their University ID and can eat as much food as they wish and can stay for as long as they want – up until the Marketplace’s closing. Styled as an all-you-can-eat buffet, Bostwick Marketplace includes customizable stir-fry, saute, salad bar, pasta bar, and vegan stations. One major change to Bostwick Marketplace affects the Deli Station. “The Deli Station will become an attended sandwich-making station,” the University’s Dining Services said. In addition, the Bostwick Marketplace is attempting to become more eco-friendly through requiring the usage of reusable to-go boxes. Students will even be given the first meal box free of charge! Also, in an attempt to make dining for those with food intolerances as low-stress and accessible as possible, the University’s Dining Services is updating and adding more allergy icons at the different serving stations in Bostwick Marketplace. This year, Bostwick Marketplace is opening during the week from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.


7th Street Cafe

Lastly, 7th Street Cafe is also working to offer more meal options to students. New to students, 7th Street Cafe has added paninis and burritos as permanent menu items. These menu items will have “new options made available for daily lunch and dinner options in the cafe,” the University’s Dining Services said. Another new and permanent menu item is the refresher. While 7th Street Cafe will still offer their signature coffees and milkshakes, the Cafe staff hope students appreciate these menu additions. 7th Street Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Note that milkshakes are not available after 12 a.m.!

The University’s Dining Services hopes these changes will make students’ dining experiences on campus easier and more enjoyable overall. Whether a student has allergies, is trying to maintain a healthy diet, or simply craving something different, Dining Services is here to help!


For more information, or to make suggestions to the University’s Dining Services, visit their page on the University’s website.

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