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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

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Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

From tacos to cookies: A run-down of on-campus dining options

Customers+order+at+Burrito+Bowl+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Alex Jurkuta | Staff Photographer
Customers order at Burrito Bowl in the Petersen Events Center.

While the Eatery and the Perch remain campus staples, it’s easy for students to get tired of eating at the same places every day. Thankfully, Pitt’s campus touts many different dining locations serving everything from smoothies and salads to tacos and burgers. 

First-year data science major Leah Armstrong appreciates her meal swap, which can be used for a meal at any on-campus dining establishment, and likes to try the new locations when she can. 

“I use them a lot,” Armstrong said. “I typically try to avoid the Eatery and just try everything around here.”

Depending on the meal plan, there are different ways to pay for the various on-campus locations. Students can use meal swaps, flex swaps, dining dollars and Panther Funds. Meal swaps and flex swaps are single-use vouchers for anything under $12.00 or a set combo meal.

One popular location to eat is the William Pitt Union. There are five on-campus choices located in the building’s basement. Wicked Pie offers specialty and BYO pizzas, PA Taco Co. specializes in street tacos and True Burger is the typical burger joint with several allergen-safe options like a black bean burger patty or a gluten free bun.

Ft. Pitt Subs is a familiar sub shop with a variety of toppings, and crEATe is for those hoping for a more nutritious meal including personalized salads, wraps and bowls. Freshman linguistics major Evelyn West likes the healthier options crEATe offers. 

“I like it cause it’s like the only healthy thing around here,” West said. 

Due to the often high influx of orders, wait times for students like West can soar. 

“I did just wait an hour to get this salad. There might have been something messed up in the system,” West said. 

Across Bigelow Boulevard, the Cathedral also houses three on-campus dining options. The aptly named Cathedral Sushi offers pre-made sushi in a grab-and-go style. Pom & Honey boasts Mediterranean cuisine through customizable grain bowls, salads and wraps. The Roost has chicken tenders and sandwiches. 

First-year neuroscience major Michelle Onafowokan likes places at the Cathedral because of their more secluded location.

“They always have the lowest wait times,” Onafowokan said. “[The Roost]’s fries are good and the workers here are nice.”

Students willing to make the trek to the Pete will come across another food court location. Smokeland BBQ, one of two locations on campus, is open semi-regularly for students to get classic barbecue offerings. At Burrito Bowl, students can enjoy the bowls and burritos the place draws its name from. Steel City Kitchen differs from Ft. Pitt Subs by having flatbread pizzas as well as subs.

Students wait for their orders in front of Shake Smart in the Petersen Events Center. (Alex Jurkuta | Staff Photographer)

Shake Smart is for those who want a post-workout protein shake or an açai bowl. Next to Shake Smart is fast food giant Chick-fil-A. No matter the line length, students will tough it out for the iconic waffle fries and chicken nuggets. Unlike most customers, sophomore math and economics major Akaya Gurreonero got the kale salad.

“I wanted to switch it up because I get Chick-fil-A pretty often. And I really enjoyed that,” Gurreonero said. “Honestly, I only really come up here for the food. I love the acai bowls and I love Chick-fil-A.” 

Right down the hall from the Eatery’s entrance, there is a mini food court housing Za’Tar, The Pierogi and Milk & Cookies. Za’Tar, a specialty halal quick service option, is not currently open. The Pierogi’s cuisine takes inspiration from its Polish namesake. Milk & Cookies, the first and only dessert option on the list serves large, fresh cookies. Right outside these three, the newly opened Delicatessen is the third sub spot on campus. Armstrong values the convenience — and taste — of Milk & Cookies. 

“I like that the cookies were warm and they were crunchy,” Armstrong said. “Having a good dessert option is great.”

Not every on-campus dining option is located in a quasi-food court. The other Smokeland Barbeque location, as mentioned earlier, operates out of a food truck parked outside of the Holland dorm. The two Einstein’s Bagels locations, one in Benedum and one in Posvar, are extremely popular on campus. Sophomore bioengineering major Riya Kothari likes that the locations are in academic buildings.

“I really like Einstein’s Bagels… It’s nice in between classes to grab something to eat that’s easy and quick,” said Kothari. 

There are also several university-owned coffee shops if students don’t want Starbucks or Dunkin’. Many academic buildings and residence halls have their own coffee shops. Similarly, Kothari likes the library’s coffee shop, Saxby’s. 

“It’s nice to have something accessible while you’re studying,” Kothari said. 

About the Contributor
Patrick Diana, Staff Writer