Caf hacks: five ways to avoid a boring cafeteria meal

Spice up your food life with these simple and easy cafeteria hacks.

Burrito Bowl

Photo by Kelly Itatani


For those days when the walk to Qdoba is too far or your Panther Bucks are starting to get dangerously low, you can satisfy your burrito bowl cravings at the cafeteria. Start with the cilantro lime chicken and rice from the Simple Servings station and make sure to grab a knife and a bowl from the soup station. Fill your bowl with the rice, and, while you are near the soup station, add chopped lettuce from the salad bar along with beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, or any other toppings from the chips and salsa station next to the toaster. Once you are sitting down, cut up the chicken, top your finished burrito bowl, and enjoy.


Iced Coffee

Photo by Kelly Itatani


Want an iced coffee from Starbucks without the 20 minute wait in line? Grab a clear glass, fill it with ice from the soda fountain, add your choice of hot coffee and then add your choice of milk or creamer. Take a wooden stirrer and get ready to be addicted because this staple is something you can make every day.


Sausage McMuffin

Photo by Cienna Roget


The omelette station can only be cool for so long, and since the breakfast in the cafeteria never changes, here’s a hack to fuel your mornings. Toast a bagel or english muffin in the toaster next to the nacho bar, and then head over to the hot breakfast section. Place a sausage patty and a large scoop of egg on one side of your bread. Throw some cheese in and a sauce of your choice, and you get a breakfast you can eat on the go.


Noodle Stir Fry

Photo by Kelly Itatani


Did you know you can go up to the pasta station and ask for plain noodles? Skip the spaghetti sauce and head to the wok station. Ask for whatever the wok station is serving without the rice. Once at your table throw the noodles into your wok bowl and mix it all together for a delicious noodle stir fry. Add sriracha or soy sauce to for an extra kick of flavor.


Soda Float

Photo by Kelly Itatani


The easiest hack of all, but the one no one thinks of. Use a cup from the soda station and fill it halfway with vanilla soft serve, making sure to leave room for the good stuff. Then utilize Randall Dining Commons’ Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine and get any soda flavor your inner child desires. Sadly, this treat is only available on weekdays because the ice cream machine is put away on the weekends, but it’s the perfect sweet treat to brighten up a long day of classes during the week.


BONUS: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Photo by Kelly Itatani


Didn’t think there was a way to make the caf cookies any better?  This one can get a little messy. Take two of your favorite cookies – vegan or regular – and put them on a plate. On one side of the cookie, pile on the soft serve and use the other cookie to top it off.

Kelly Itatani

Leave a Reply