Here at the University of Massachusetts, the variety of foods offered across campus are endless. Through different flavors and choices, you are guaranteed to find something you like, while maintaining healthy options, too. It’s no wonder UMass Amherst has been ranked #1 campus dining four years in a row! Here are my usual daily go-tos on campus.
Grab & Go Breakfast
On weekdays, Roots Café (located in the Honors College across from Birch House) opens their breakfast options to be “grab & go” style. This means instead of using Dining Dollars, the UMass currency accepted at eateries outside of dining halls, you are able to use a meal swipe to get your food! This is especially nice for breakfast because it’s quick, convenient, and you don’t have to use your Dining Dollars for it (which are usually limited).
My go-to grab & go meal is oatmeal paired with greek yogurt, topped with some granola and raisins and a piece of fruit on the side. Being a coffee addict myself, I always grab a cup of iced coffee, all of which is included in my single meal swipe. The breakfast options at Roots are extensive! For grab & go, aside from oatmeal or yogurt they have bagels, pre-made breakfast sandwiches, eggs, and muffins.
You can still use Dining Dollars to order from the normal Roots breakfast menu, which serves omelettes, bacon, sausages, croissants, and so much more. You definitely won’t go hungry here! Breakfast is served at Roots until 10:45am, and it’s always a great start to any day.
Lunch at Blue Wall
Because most of my classes this semester are located in the ILC, I eat lunch right across the street at at Blue Wall, located in the Campus Center. Blue Wall is home to eight food markets that are guaranteed to satisfy any taste palette through the various options offered- there’s Mexican food, a deli, a Meditteranean and Italian mix, a grill, an Asian cuisine option, sushi, a bakery, etc.
My favorite go-to lunch spot is Green Fields, a salad and wrap market located right in the Blue Wall entrance. Green Fields is full of healthy options if you want something light, and has plenty of different orders to choose from, as well as the choice to create your own salad/wrap. My usual order is a Medittaranean salad, which comes with feta, chickpeas, olives, cucumber, and grape leaves over spinach. As a new pescataranian, I top my salad with “meatless chicken,” a soy-based alternative available to meat. They also have the option of grilled or crispy chicken, depending on what you’re in the mood for!
One thing I love about UMass Dining is the huge range of options we are given, and how accommodating they are to people with dietary restrictions. At any restaurant or dining hall on campus you will find dairy-free and vegetarian options, which is super helpful in ensuring that no one is restricted from their diets. So, if you want to utilize your meal plan and taste a variety of different flavors from all across the globe, be sure to visit Blue Wall!
Dinner at Hamp
I try to be as versatile with my meal plan as possible, meaning I try to balance how many swipes and Dining Dollars I use per day (because I live in an apartment, I don’t have an unlimited meal plan anymore!) So, for dinner I usually go to dining halls. My favorite one is Hampshire Dining (“Hamp,” as most people call it) which is located in Southwest, right behind Kennedy tower. Hamp is known as the “healthy alternative” of dining halls, meaning they serve mostly plant based and fresh foods, and limit the amount of sugar available — no soda fountains, and frozen yogurt is served rather than ice cream. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t eat meat because of how many veggies and fruits are all over Hamp, but all four dining halls on campus are equally as accommodating.
While my meals differ depending on the day, and the various plates offered change on a daily basis, I usually opt for a sushi roll with a salad, or stir fried vegetables over rice. There are several stations located in a circular buffet style line, with friendly employees working to help if you have any questions and need some sort of substitutes for food.
There’s something good for everyone with UMass Dining, and with all of the options offered, you’re guaranteed to find something you like. There’s a reason UMass is ranked #1 for dining!