Tag: Campus Dining

The Million-Dollar Question: Food At Loyola

The Million-Dollar Question: Food At Loyola


Believe you me, I toured a lot of colleges when I was in high school. Being led around by the tour guides like some sort of wayward puppy, I’ve asked a lot of different questions. You know, the important ones – and the not-so important ones. “Why did you pick this college?” “What’s there to do around here?” “Would you say the school spirit is high or low?” “How often does the ice-cream truck come by?”

(I’m not ashamed of the last one. The answer was, tragically, not often.)

Here’s one you might not have thought of – and if you did, it’s hard to get a satisfactory answer. “How is the food?”

I vividly remember my older brother coming home from college his first semester and bemoaning his single dining hall and student center with only Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, and Express Pita as other, actually edible options. And even those get old after a while. He was out of Dining Dollars, spent on avoiding the dining hall as best he could. He was sick of it all.

But he doesn’t attend Loyola.

Here, we have not one, but three Dining Halls, each unique for what they serve on any given day of the week, at any time of the day. You could go to Damen for some lasagna maybe, or de Nobili for make-your-own pizza, or Simpson on Wing Wednesday for some chicken wings in a sauce of your choosing. Or perhaps you want some fried rice and orange chicken, so you go to Damen, or you really want some chicken nuggets – de Nobili, but Simpson has a taco bar that is always prime. They also strive to always have a vegan option and to rotate through ethnic/cultural areas like the Mediterranean, East Asia, South Asia, and so on. How can you possibly keep all the options straight?

There’s an app for that. (No, really, there is!)

I won’t tell you the food never gets old – you could go to the same Dining Hall every day of the week if you want, and you could eat the same thing every day. But with this many options, why would you? All the Dining Halls have make-your-own-salads and sandwich bars, all of them have (hopefully) working ice cream machines and soup. It all depends on you.


There’s also wondrously fun monthly events like cookie-decorating day, hot apple cider and hot chocolate bars, and cupcakes for those born in the month. The cookie-decorating is especially great because the cookies are top-notch.

Then again, if you still decide you need a break from the large, open sitting areas and big windows from which you can observe the world, Loyola’s still got you covered. You’ve also got Dining Dollars and Rambler Bucks that can be spent at Bleeker Street, Damen Food Court, Engrained Cafe, Ireland’s, Nina’s, Connections Cafe, Lu’s, and our coffeeshops – and that’s just on campus!

‘Off-campus’ food locations are less than five minutes away, and they include Subway, Pita Pit, Potbelly’s, Five Guys, Felice’s, Cafe Descartes, Flaco Taco, Epic Burger, Metropolis Coffee, and Papa John’s, not to mention local hangout The Coffee Shop.

I’m not saying that each food court is five-star dining all the time, but it’s certainly not slop and it’s much better than anything I tried at all those other schools. I don’t dread eating and I enjoy a lot of the food! The dining hall workers try really hard to spice things up for you and there’s always a variety to choose from.

Photo Feb 08, 11 28 40 AM


I recommend Damen’s meat loaf and potatoes, encourage you to give de Nobili’s pizza a try (my favorite is to make bbq hawaiian pizzas), and definitely, you can’t miss Simpson’s cinnamon sticks!

Photo Nov 18 5 31 16 PM

Top 5 Places to Eat Around Campus

Top 5 Places to Eat Around Campus

One of the things people forget about when they move out of their house is the fact that they’ll have to start making their own meals 3 times a day. That said, there’s plenty of help around if somebody isn’t up to the task–or, more likely, is too lazy– of cooking for themselves. Around Loyola is a range of places from bottom dollar to gourmet.

My favorite place to eat at Loyola

Uncommon Ground – $$$

This is the place you ask your parents to take you when they come to visit. The food is exquisite, local, and fresh. They grow their own herbs on their rooftop garden and purchase their meats from a local farm. The gourmet chefs modify the menu each month with new culinary creations. To top it off, the atmosphere is classic Chicago: exposed brick walls and wooden furniture.

2 for 1 meals if you pace yourself

Chipotle – $$

Everybody knows Chipotle, there isn’t much to be said that hasn’t been said before. This place is great for a college student because everything you buy is really two separate meals. I always get the feeling like I ended up spending more than I meant to when I come here, but then I walk away with tomorrow’s lunch. Those burritos go far and are very delicious.

The only on-campus restaurant

Subway- $$

Three words: 5 dollar footlong. I’m a pretty big fan of the Italian BMT myself, but whatever you want you’re guaranteed to get it fast. The biggest benefit of this place is that it’s the only restaurant on the campus side of Sheridan Road, so you don’t even have to cross the street to get fed.

Quick and Dirty meals

McDonalds – $

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to admit that they eat at McDonalds, but it happens to the best of us. Sure, it’s unhealthy and there’s probably no nutritional value in anything they sell, but sometimes you catch of whiff of those fries and you just can’t help yourself. Call it comfort food.

It's better than you think

Campus Dining – __(meal plan baby!)__

You know what? I actually liked Loyola’s dining. I remember when I came here Freshman year and I couldn’t believe how good the food was. After a while people started to complain about the quality of food at Simpson or Mertz, but I just couldn’t agree with them. And I’m not just saying this. I think people forget how bad food is at other schools and take for granted how lucky they are that Loyola’s dining is so good.

The trouble, in my opinion, is simply this: If you eat the same thing every day, you’re going to get sick of it no matter how good it is. It’s not that Loyola’s food ever got worse, it’s that people just ate the same thing over and over. The trick is twofold: Go out to eat now and then so that your meals are varied, and keep in mind how much worse cafeteria food could be.