Vandy dining can get pretty confusing. It has secrets and unwritten rules, and has forced us all to wonder what meal options we've been missing out on. 

To help you overcome your food FOMO, here's the guide to Vandy dining that you always wish you had, but never knew you needed.

(Because campus dining should never be harder than Gen Chem).


muesli, yogurt, banana, salad
Peaches Memishian

For smoothies, you have to choose between water and juice as a base. There's another choice though: if you get a cup of milk and bring it to them, they can use that instead. Also, if you want your smoothie to look as good as this picture, head over to the fruit bar in the mornings and pile on some fruit, peanut butter and granola.

The Comelette

squash, cheese, spinach, ravioli
Danielle Limcaoco

They’re so important that they deserve their own category. Other than the visible toppings, there are hidden ones in a drawer: spinach (see above), broccoli, jalapeños, ricotta and feta cheese.

Also, you can ask for scrambled or fried eggs, and they only count as a side. If you don’t love the idea of them pouring your omelette eggs out of a carton, you can politely ask them to use cracked eggs. I warn you, though, if you don’t want people putting you on their arch nemesis list, only do this when the line is short.


Bowls at Chef James

salad, arugula
Madi Sweedler

If you’re trying to maximize your meal plan — and feel environmentally friendly while you’re at it — don’t get to-go bowls at Chef James. They’re a lot smaller and make your food awkwardly spill out. Obvious, I know, but we’ve all seen someone make this mistake at least once.

Pie and Leaf

pizza, pepperoni, dough, crust, cheese, mozzarella, salami, tomato, sauce, frozen pizza
Posey Memishian

You can get a side salad with your pizza, as long it’s only three toppings. Do this if you’re trying to tell yourself you’re being healthy, or if you’re just looking for some extra veggies to put on your pizza.


chicken, sweet potato, salsa
Monica Jeon

You can combine food from the Kitchen and Market all in one meal swipe. If you need an explanation on how this works, here you go (see number 3). Also, Sushi Monday-Thursday 11-1. This is not a drill.


salad, carrot, vegetable, slaw, cabbage
Gabrielle Levitt

Get wraps unwrapped. Sounds counterintuitive, but they give you more food, it’s less messy and you can combine it with your sides. My favorites are the Apple PBG unwrapped mixed with a side of oatmeal, and the Mexicali unwrapped with a veggie burger (that’s an extra cost though). Get creative with it.


vegetable, pho, soup, chili, meat, pasta, noodle
Avery Hannon

If you want to look like a seasoned veteran, pronounce “pho” right. It’s like “duh” with an “f.” Also, know whether you want chicken or vegetable pho before you get to the end of the line. They don’t like it when you hesitate.


chicken, meat, sauce, french fries, ketchup, pork
Olivia Benjamin

You’re either sitting away from the screen and have to keep getting up to check, or you’re right in front of it and can’t stop looking up every 0.23 seconds. End the madness and get the Vandy Dining App. Click on the Pub, then the “123” symbol on the top right corner, and type your order number in. You'll get a notification when it's ready. Oh, and if you really can’t wait for your food, they have free popcorn on the bar at all times. 

Last Drop

doughnut, sweet, pastry, chocolate, dough, candy
Megan Prendergast

Krispy Kreme on Wednesdays. We’ve all signed up for a random club just to get the free doughnuts, but now you can get them on your meal swipe every week. Doughnuts - barrage of GBM emails equals = you're welcome. 

Food for Thought Café

Rachel Labarre

They have sushi on Mondays and Wednesdays, but get there early before they run out. If you want warm food, you can ask them to warm up your sandwich or wrap, but make sure to unwrap it first. It’s also probably one of the healthiest places on campus. All their food is local and you get fancy sweeteners, such as raw honey. Stay away from the blue agave though, turns out it’s not as great as the fancy name suggests.

Branscomb Market

chicken, sandwich, meat, bread, bun
Kelly Redfield

They have Chick Fil A sandwiches every Saturday night. If this isn’t exciting, I don’t know what is.

Commons Munchie Mart

candy, chocolate, sweet
Katie Zizmor

15 pieces of candy are one side, and you have three sides. The best decision I ever made was when I got 45 airheads for one swipe.

You can also make avocado toast from just one side. Get an avocado from Munchie, then grab a bowl from Commons and mix in chili flakes, honey, lemon and salt and pepper. Toast the free bread from Commons and go ahead and brag to your friends about how you’re a chef now.

So there you have it. Now you’re ready to go show off your secret knowledge and embrace that Freshman Fifteen in style. Oh, and if you clicked on this hoping to find out about the Starbucks Secret Menu, here you go. I’m just impressed you made it this far.