Healthy dining hall options can be hard to find, but they do exist. The key to finding them is to ignore the posted nutritional information and look to the salad bar. While they can be found in every dining hall, all campus salad bars are not created equal. Here are the top three salad bars with the healthiest ingredients.
1. Palladium Restaurant
While it is definitely a step above the alternatives, one of the Palladium salad bar’s greatest strengths can also be an issue from time to time. Though there is something nice about having someone make your salad to order, miscommunication can be an issue when the person working the station gives you the wrong topping or you forget to tell them when to stop with the dressing. Overall, the variety of options and numerous possible combinations make the Palladium salad bar a great choice.
Tip: servers sometimes skimp on the protein, but most will be happy to give more if asked (just be sure to ask politely).
2. Kimmel Marketplace
If you ever question the benefits of eating healthy, head to Kimmel Marketplace around lunch time. While other stations typically have incredibly long lines, there is rarely a line for the overlooked salad bar. Burgers and burritos might sound great to an empty stomach, but head to the salad bar and your body will thank you later. The variety at this salad bar is almost as good as that at Palladium, and the fact that it is self serve means that you have total control over what and how much you take. There is a catch, though, as meal exchange only covers a salad weighing one pound or less. Still, the Kimmel salad bar is great for a quick, healthy meal where the longest wait is either to pay or snag a table.
Tip: staying away from heavier items (such as water-loaded cucumber) can help you get the most out of the 1lb weight limit.
3. Weinstein Dining (Downstein)
Third North and Hayden can be solid options, but Downstein’s salad bar wins in terms of value and variety. Unlike in Palladium and Kimmel, the salad bar here does not offer multiple protein sources. However, what is available might be even better. After putting a salad together from the many other (mostly vegetarian) options, head over to the grill or deli where a server will happily top it off with a scoop of tuna salad or a piece of grilled chicken. What the Downstein salad bar lacks in convenience and diverse choices, it makes up for in quality and potential combinations.
Tip: take advantage of the “all-you-care-to-eat” aspect by adding items from other stations to your salad.