Campus dining breakdown

Graphic by Rainier Pederson | Mercury Staff

UTD has plenty of dining options outside of Dining Hall West where you can grab your next bite.

The Student Union is the center of most dining options on campus. Its main attraction is Starbucks, where you can order a variety of coffees, sandwiches and pastries ranging from around $4 to $10. Starbucks is right above the Plinth’s stairs at the center of campus, so it’s very hard to miss. But keep in mind that their peak hours are around noon. Depending on the time of day, it might be best to do a mobile order ahead of time if you don’t want to wait!

On the other side of the SU, you have Halal Shack. This is a favorite for students who want to grab a quick, filling lunch on the way to class. Halal Shack offers meal exchanges for a rice bowl or naanrito with a drink, and the adjacent Smoothie King offers meal exchanges for any 32oz drink. Right next to Smoothie King, we have Firehouse Subs, which sells gourmet sub sandwiches, perfect for Subway fans. The peak hours for both Halal Shack and Firehouse are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. due to students grabbing a bite before class, so if you’re thinking of doing lunch, prepare for a wait.

The back area of the SU offers Panda Express, Chick-fil-A and Kalachandji’s. Panda Express consistently runs out of orange chicken — a campus favorite — so if you order that at a busy time, expect a five to 10-minute wait. Chick-fil-A offers waffle fries, chicken sandwiches and milkshakes. If you are a fan of Indian food, then visit Kalachandji’s, which has a variety of vegetarian options for those with dietary restrictions.

Near the freshman residence halls on Rutford, there is the Taco Bell Cantina, which offers both food and alcoholic drinks for those 21 and up. It’s usually pretty packed from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., so beware the dinner rush. Their meal exchanges include two tacos and a chalupa or three nacho cheese doritos locos along with a drink. However, you can only use your meal exchange from 4 p.m. to closing, which is at 12 a.m.

Around the corner from Taco Bell is an Einstein Bros. Bagels, which typically has a breakfast rush around 11 a.m. Their meal exchange includes a veggie melt or salad with chips as well as a breakfast bagel with a fountain drink or coffee.

Finally, there is a Papa John’s in DHW where you can fulfill your pizza cravings! Their meal exchanges include six wings or an eight-inch pizza, perfect for a quick trip from the dorms.

For those seeking fresh food, look for the Market, which offers a variety of to-go meals, snacks and drinks. It offers sushi, salads and rice bowls at reasonable prices, as well as a meal exchange for a wrap or sandwich with chips. The Market has several locations, including in the SU, DHW, JSOM, the Sciences building and ECSW.

Since it’s difficult to remember all the options available on campus, be sure to refer to the Dining Services calendar, which has information on available meal exchanges and daily restaurant timings.

  • At Einstein Bros I would like to propose not using your laptops during the hours of 11:00 am-1:00pm as many students are coming in and cannot find a place to sit down and eat. What I am seeing is that after a student eats their lunch, they start working on their laptops which gives no available tables for eating…..

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