Oregon State University offers an array of food, drink options

Freshman Jacob Yen orders at Five Four One at McNary, one of the dining halls on campus that offers a variety of restaurants.

Tosca Ruotolo, News Contributor

This article is a part of the START issue, a guide for all incoming Oregon State University students and their families going through START, which aims to help familiarize them with the campus, college life, academic success and more.

On move-in day, after you’ve waved your family goodbye, finished unpacking the last of your things and started to chat with some of the other students on your floor, you decide that it’s time to find something to eat. You’re ready to begin exploring Oregon State University’s variety of food options.

At first, OSU’s many restaurants, cafes and convenience stores may be overwhelming, but there are many guides and suggestions from both students and faculty created to help new students adjust and find their favorite meals and snacks. On the University Housing and Dining Website, information about dining hours, menus, campus grocery stores and care packages are available. 

Arnold, West and McNary are the three major dining halls on campus. They include restaurants like Five Four One, Coopers Creek, Serrano Grill and Nori. Each restaurant includes a wide variety of healthy options, including gluten-free, lactose-free, allergen-free and food that accommodates Halal restrictions. 

“[My] favorite restaurants were Serrano and West Deli…customizable food was great so I could see what food I was actually eating and the prep process,” said Madeleine Millar, a biology student at OSU. 

Claudio Rigo de Righi, an agricultural science and soil science student at OSU, said that his favorite restaurant on campus was Five Four One in McNary because of their vegetarian options. 

Kaden Flick, an OSU geography & geospatial science student, said the location of his residence hall affected where he chose to eat on campus.

“I lived in Bloss which is decently far away from everything, so I pretty much ate at Arnold every day. Most things at Arnold were pretty good, decent selection with the deli and the Grill and Global Faire,” Flick said, “ I think my favorite place on campus was probably Five Four One; they had a great variety of interesting food that were all generally pretty good.” 

For smaller snacks, OSU offers multiple areas across campus with affordable options. EBGBs in West, Main Squeeze in McNary and Ava’s Cafe in Linus Pauling are a few of the many places to grab chips, crackers, candy, energy drinks; and other snack foods and drinks. Like the dining hall restaurants, all snack locations help cater to student’s individual dietary needs. 

“EBGBs was great for snacks and coffee and had the best hours, I definitely studied there for 10 or more hours a day sometimes, and could easily walk over and get more food and coffee,” Millar said. 

According to Eden Bell-Wilkins, a finance student at OSU, the best snack options are at Main Squeeze. 

“I always liked getting the smoothies and giant cookies…I’m vegetarian and I was always able to find something to eat,” Bell-Wilkins said.

For coffee and tea enthusiasts, many places at OSU can cure a caffeine craving. The Java coffee shop has two locations: the Memorial Union and the Valley Library. In Weatherford Hall, Bing’s Cafe offers baked goods, coffee drinks and smoothies. In McNary,  RainTree Coffee offers Starbucks brand drinks. The many coffee shops on campus also offer space to study, chat with friends or take a relaxing break. 

OSU is also home to the Cascadia Market, a small student grocery store. Here, students can use their dining plans to buy many of the things that are found in a typical grocery store, such as cereal, pasta, soup, baking supplies and even toiletries. 

“I used Cascadia all the time, getting snack foods and stuff for breakfast like cereal, oatmeal, and various types of fruit,” Flick said. 

According to Millar, she shopped at Cascadia Market to buy cleaning supplies and things to keep in her dorm.

For more menu options, dietary information and dining hall logistics, students can visit the UHDS website.