Among the millions of amazing amenities that the University of Alabama has to offer, the dining plan is nothing to look over. Bama Dining gives each student enrolled in nine credit hours or more $325 worth of "Dining Dollars" which are included in your tuition. Dining Dollars are accepted at Lakeside, Burke and Fresh Foods company dining halls. In addition to the dining halls, the university also offers multiple options both on and off campus that will accept payment with an easy swipe of your Action Card. So pretty much whatever you are craving, you are more than likely going to be able to get payment free thanks to Bama Dining. Here's a few of the many options:

1. Domino's

pizza, pepperoni, crust, salami, cheese, dough, tomato, mozzarella
Mary Voelker

Yes, you heard me. As a proud Domino’s rewards member, I would be lying to you if I said I didn't spend 80% of my dining dollars on their pizza. This deal of the century can be a game changer when it come to late night munchies. All I ask of you is to take it slow, an addiction to free pizza can consume you faster than you think.

2. Buffalo Phil's

Next up is Buffalo Phil’s which is pretty much a Tuscaloosa staple. It's located right on the strip. If you have not visited yet and gotten their famous buffalo chicken dip and Phillibuster you have my full permission to stop reading and immediately go see what all the hype is about for yourself. I particularly love being a guest here because it really captures that college town restaurant feel and you can cover the bill without going broke (I swear it makes the food taste even better knowing you didn't spend any money).

3. Food trucks

One of latest crazes with the University of Alabama’s dining plan are the local food trucks that ride around to various spots on campus serving delicious on the go meals. Surprise! They also also accept the glorious Dining Dollar. There are multiple food trucks that drive around serving barbecue, snow cones and much more. My particular favorite is The Local Roots food truck. Local Roots has an extensive menu with to die for burgers, salads and orzo all prepared with locally grown ingredients. My particular favorite is their chorizo and egg taco. Having trouble finding this food Mecca on wheels? Simply just follow Bama dining on Twitter for live updates on when and where each food truck will be for the day.

4. The Ferguson Student Center

Aka, "The Ferg," is located right behind Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. The Ferg is the fast food Dining Dollar Eden on campus. It houses food ranging from Greens To Go and Union Market to classics like Chick Fil-a, Panda Express and Starbucks. The Ferg is the perfect place for when you are in a rush and need a quick bite or even just a convenient place to snack and study.

5. Around Main Campus 

milk, chocolate
Sophie Shi

But wait, there's more! Our campus holds multiple other Starbucks, Chick Fil-as, a Raising Cane’s, Auntie Anne’s, Panda Expresses and Wendy’s just to name a few. Bama Dining has locations in several academic buildings. One of the Bama Dining cites I hold near and dear to my heart is Julia’s Market located inside the Tutwiler dorm. Julia’s is a main factor to most girls gaining the freshman 15. One can simply walk in, grab a made to order wrap, cases of Coke, new pencils and some nail polish and pay for it all with Dining Dollars. I would probably be in major debt if it wasn't for this incredible place. Living off campus now I still sometimes revert to going back to Julia’s for a quick and easy run for anything I could possibly need just to save an extra buck.

5. The Student Recreation Center

Even after you're done pumping iron, Bama dining offers a Smoothie King right inside the university's Student Recreation Center, aka, "the Rec." I would be lying if I said I haven't gone to the Rec for just a smoothie. The gym also offers multiple vending machines that take Dining Dollars. 

With all of this being said, the University of Alabama’s dining halls are pretty top notch and are always coming up with new ways to keep students satisfied. If you are a student you get the emails advertising things like “late night at Lakeside” events or new menu options. For example, recently the Lakeside and Burke dining halls have been offering “Fantastic Fridays” when one can have all- you-can-eat for only $5.50 worth of Dining Dollars.

Alabama is known for doing all things big and being the best, our dining program is not short of that. It is obvious how hard Bama Dining works to make sure each student has multiple options tailored to their needs and cravings. The $325 Dining Dollars equals a nice chunk of change of about $19.12 per week or $2.73 per day. So why not go out and see what our school offers? It is already paid for. As Julia Child once said “People who love to eat are always the best people."