Alright Pios, it's time to talk about the dining at DU.  Let's be honest, DU isn't really known for it's dining halls. When students are asked what their favorite thing about DU is, rarely do students say "DU dining."  With all that being said, eating at the dining halls is an inevitable part of the college experience. Regardless of how you feel about the food at DU, all freshman and sophomores are required to have a meal plan. 

But that doesn't mean there isn't any good food to be found in the DU dining halls. If you're willing to look for different options and know what kind of meal you're going to get, you can have a relatively decent dining experience at the University of Denver. With the help of an unofficial DU dining survey, we have compiled a simple guide to each dining hall. With this guide you'll know which dining halls to go to and which to avoid depending on what kind of food and atmosphere you're craving.

Centennial Halls

Average rating: ★★★ out of 5 stars

Best for: Freshman in Halls and Towers, quick meals

Worst for: Quality food, healthy options

What Students Said: 

"It reminds me of my freshman year. Had some good memories in that dining hall while making new friends." -Eleanor Challenger

"There was a bug in my salad yesterday"-Anonymous

Stephenie Thorne

Ah Centennial Halls, often considered the Freshman hub for food. As a first year myself, I find myself visiting this dining hall often. This hall definitely stacks up when it comes to variety. There are a plethora of options from pizza to grilled cheese and even the occasional Orange Chicken from the chef's choice station. They are also a great place to go for Late Night. I highly recommend their Wednesday Wings. However as the saying goes quantity does not always equal quality.  I have yet to have a meal I have truly enjoyed at Halls, most of the food is so-so or at best creates feelings of "meh." 

Despite the many blackboards there, bragging about the healthy options, most of produce is pretty bad and the salad leaves much to be desired. With that being said, this is definitely a convenient option for freshman in Halls or Towers. Tower students only have a short walk to the dining hall and Halls residents don't even have to venture outside to get a meal. Compare that to other dining halls which are all the way across campus and Halls becomes the best choice for many Freshman not in JMac. 

Nelson Dining 

Average rating:★★★out of 5 stars

Best for: Atmosphere, vegan and vegetarian food  

Worst for: Lines, seating

What Students Said: 

"It gets really, really crowded at rush times and doesn't handle the crowd well." -Anonymous 

"It's close to the center of action" -Sam Allen

"Honestly liked the food. My sophomore year I ate basically every meal here and never really got sick of it (like I did with centennial halls)." -Eleanor Challenger

Nelson is nested in the center of the campus, making it closer to the hustle and bustle of campus events going on. Similar to Halls, there are plenty of options for food. However, quality in the food seems to be better here. While no meal here is going to win a culinary award, I've yet to have a meal at Nelson that was horrendous or made me feel sick, which, sadly, I can't say about  Centennial Halls. Breakfast seems to be consistently good here, however dinner is a hit or miss.

The atmosphere is also super relaxed and nice. And although Nelson isn't perfect when it comes to cleanliness, it does seem to be the most well maintained out of all of the dining halls. There are also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options at this dining hall, so if you're trying to avoid meals with meat or dairy, this is a good place to eat. I recommend the french toast they offer at breakfast or any of the pasta if you're going to hit up this dining hall.

Nagel Hall

Overall rating:★★★★ out of 5 stars

Best For: Consistency, restaurant style food

Worst for: Variety

What Students Say: 

"I know that when I go, there is going to be something I am going to eat and be fine with." -Erin Rush

"At Rotisserie I got food poisoning from the chicken" -Anonymous 

"Salso Rico is good" -Leonel Gomez

Amity Christie

Nagel Hall is smaller than the other dining halls and different from the other halls in that it offers a more restaurant style type service rather than buffets. Because of this, you don't get unlimited food per meal (a.k.a buffet-style). So if you're looking to stack up on a bunch of food, this is not the place to do it.

The slower paced style of Nagel does mean you get more unique options. Many students rave about the burritos and quesadillas offered at Salsa Rico. If you get sick of that "dining hall" food taste this is a good option. With all that being said, this hall does have some not-so -stellar food. I recommend avoiding Rotisserie, as I and other respondents noted feeling sick after eating there. The pasta is just as good at Centennial Halls and Nelson and you won't get sick eating it. 

In Summary

Students all seemed to have varying opinions when it came to the dining halls. Centennial Halls and Nagel were tied when it came to the student favorite by DU students and Nelson had the lowest percentage of people who considered it their favorite dining hall. Yet, all dining halls have both pros and flaws, so it's important to decide based on your personal taste and preferences as well. For example, Nagel and Halls might have been the Pio favorites, but Nelson is my personal go to when I'm craving something.

Hopefully this guide has helped you make a decision when it comes to which dining hall to visit. Remember, dining at DU may not be stellar, but you've got a meal plan for at least a year, so you may as well use it as much as you can.