The dining halls may seem like an endless repetition of boring meals, but with a few simple tips, you can get the most bang for your buck. With the expensive meal plans offered at Elon, you might as well get everything you can and more. Colonnades, AKA Nades, has Boar's Head sandwiches and salads downstairs, and the dining hall and Green World upstairs. That's a ton of options in one dining area, and if you combine them you can completely re-vamp your dining hall experience.

Pancake Tower

chocolate, peanut butter, pancake, butter, peanut, banana
Julia Winer

Breakfast is a great way to get the most out of your swipes. Colonnades offers a variety of pancakes every morning such as plain, whole-wheat, banana, and chocolate chip. The best part is watching them flip the pancakes on the griddle knowing they are hot and fresh. The best breakfast hack luckily involves these delicious hot cakes.

Make sure to ask for three pancakes, and remember you can eat as much as you want. That is the beauty of dining hall swipes. After you get your pancakes, go over to the yogurt bar to complete this breakfast creation. Take one pancake and top it with plain or strawberry yogurt, some granola, and fresh berries. Top that with another pancake and repeat the process until you have a delicious tower. Using the different stations in the dining hall can help you maximize all there is to offer.

Grilled Chicken Salad

vegetable, salad, meat, pepper, rice, seafood, chicken, chili, sauce
Holly Rule

If you have a +7 or +14 addition to your meal plan, you can use it to open up a variety of options at Colonnades. Something I recently learned is the value of eating at Boar's Head and the dining hall in the same meal. I get a salad at Boar's Head with heaping handfuls of toppings, but instead of getting the chicken there, I bring my salad upstairs to get the fresh grilled chicken, which is served during lunch on most weekdays. Not to mention, I can also use my swipe to get dessert. It's a win-win situation. 

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

tomato, cheese
Elyse Belarge

Another great way to use your +7 meal plan at Colonnades dining hall is to make a classic American combination: grilled cheese and tomato group. In order to only use one +7, make a grilled cheese downstairs at Boar's Head. The cheese options are endless, so pile it on. Once your grilled cheese is pressed to perfection, go upstairs and use a meal swipe to get a bowl of creamy tomato soup to complete this comforting meal.

Yogurt Combo

banana, chocolate, chips
Holly Rule

If you haven't experienced the Chobani yogurt bar on the first floor of Colonnades, you might be missing out. But you are really missing out if you don't take your yogurt upstairs to maximize the decadence. The Chobani bar has some great topping options, but let's be honest, they're pretty darn healthy. If you want something a little sweeter, go upstairs and top your yogurt with some of the dining hall's desserts.

I like to crumble a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie on my yogurt. By using the different floors of Colonnades, you can make one delicious snack or dessert.

#SpoonTip: Try popping your yogurt in the freezer for fro-yo later.