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What I Ate in a Week - Food at Harvard

One question that we receive a lot in the office is a very important one. One that I feel is so vital that it deserves a whole blog post….what is the food like at Harvard?

To answer this question, I decided to record all the food I ate for this past week! For reference, Harvard has one meal plan that is unlimited dining hall swipes. There are 13 dining halls in total - Annenberg, which is freshmen only, and then one in each of the 12 upperclassmen Houses. Besides, Annenberg, the dining halls are open to all undergraduates so you’re not restricted to just the one in your House.

In general, there’s a main hotline, a salad bar, a soup area, a desert offering, the grill (which does fries, burgers, chicken breasts, grilled cheeses, eggs, etc.) and a special featured item. The winter version of the special featured items just started this week! So every Monday there is a make your own grain bowl station, on Tuesdays it is Korean beef, Wednesdays are seasonal fruits, Thursdays feature a chocolate fountain or cannolis (!!), and Fridays are ramen nights! There are also all the beverage options - water, soda, milk, tea„ coffee, etc.!

Besides the dining halls, there are also various cafes on campus which take Crimson Cash (money you personally load to your ID for services like laundry) and BoardPlus (which is $65 given to you by Harvard each semester). Harvard Square also has many great eateries as well as the Cambridge/Boston area itself! Many events on campus also feature free food so there’s always option!

Here’s what I ate this past week! I actually didn’t make it to breakfast any day this week (whoops, my body is still on Thanksgiving Break time). But each dining hall does have breakfast options! Annenberg is the only one that does a full hot line with eggs, a carb, and a meat. However, all of them have oatmeal, some kind of muffin, fruit, and cereals. The upperclassmen dining halls also always have the waffle makers out if you feel like treating yourself! Also not pictured below is the Brain Break options which are snacks put out by the dining halls each evening which include everything from fruit and chips to bagels and cookies!

For lunch, I ordered a grateful burger (which is meat and veggies combined into a patty) and some French Fries. I’ve been on such a French Fry kick this semester - I can’t get enough especially since I’ve taken to creating my own Special Sauce (trademark recipe wink wink) with the various sauces in the d-hall.

For dinner, I had some General Gao’s chicken and delicious veggies. HUDS (which is what we lovingly call the Harvard University Dining Services) work hard to offer a lot of different options and cuisine types. They do have to balance authenticity with flavor levels (such as spiciness) to appeal to the most people possible, which is definitely a tough job!

It was Philly Cheesesteak day at lunch whoop whoop! They also had my FAVORITE SALAD ever which is a goat cheese and cranberry salad. As someone who is not a huge raw veggie person, me loving this is a huge compliment.

In the evening, I was a little pressed for time as a I had a film screening for a class (where the President of the World Bank gave a talk!!) and needed to study for my Organic Chemistry exam. I decided to treat myself to a one of the food trucks that sit outside the Science Center on the Plaza. Every day, there are a couple that rotate through. The ones that are there are most frequently is a Mexican one, a Pizza one, a general sandwhiches/wraps one, and my favorite, Bon Me which serves Vietnamese inspired food!

I decided to make myself a version of a veggie burrito bowl at lunch with rice, salsa, corn, tomatoes, and sour cream! I wasn’t very hungry so this was a nice, fresh, light option before heading off to take my exam!

Wednesday evening was super special as I attended a cooking class put on by Cabot House. The head chef of our dining hall taught a group of about 8 of us to make jerk chicken, plantains, and a delicious cabbage slaw salad. It was held at Cabot’s Faculty Dean’s residence (who happens to the Dean of the College too). Dean Khurana was not there, but the other Faculty Dean, Stephanie, and their son joined us! It was really fun to be in an actual kitchen cooking again. I learned some really cool tips and a new recipe! Then we all ate together and learned more about what it’s like being head chef!

I was healthy for Thursday lunch and ate another one of my favorite salads - a tomatoe and Arugula one!

I broke this healthy streak after I had a cannoli for desert after my dinner (pasta from the pasta line that is offered every night at dinner!) I was quite please with how they turned out. They had the filling in a bag for students to fill their own cannoli along with chocolate chips, chocolate and caramel sauce, and powdered sugar. I didn’t do as good as Boston’s famous Mike’s Pastry but hey, it looks really pretty and tastes great too!

It’s Friday as I’m writing this now and I just got done with my lunch. I had a bowl of chili (chili is offered in place of pasta at lunch), a salad, chickpeas, some pesto pasta, and a piece of chicken! I probably shouldn’t have eaten this much as tonight is Cabot’s Festivus event!

Festivus is our annual holiday event. They order Indian, Thai, and Chinese takeout and HUDS cooks a special menu. There’s holiday beverages and deserts as well! It’s a huge feast followed by a talent show and a bonfire on the lawn! I’m looking forward to it so much, but I need to remember to put on some stretchy pants or perhaps go for a run beforehand ;)


About the author

Hi everyone! I’m Alexis, and I’m a senior at Harvard College. I’m originally from Radford, Virginia, and I live in Cabot House here on campus. I study History of Science, and I plan to enroll in a... View full profile

Comments (6)

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

I love to be in this college if Harvard aid can help me God bless America God bless Harvard God bless me.

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

Hi my names is Eddie Ashie. I am not at Harvard nor am I in the state. In fact i live in Virginia, but I have always wanted to go to Harvard. I am also just a 7th grader. I wanted how you entered Harvard? Was it tough, or easy?

~Eddie Ashie

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

Looks good! Can’t wait to try the meals.

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

It looks delicious!

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

that looks yum

on May 19, 2019 pm31 15:46

Hello, I am a huge fan of food so this post appeals to me very much. I especially like plantains, maybe even love them, but I fear I may be unhealthy if I eat so much. Your post has reassured me that salads are also delicious and hav evariety so I am excited to try these out hopefully when I come to Harvard.

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