Back to Basics: Find a Cheap Meal on a College Campus

It the food part of your travel budget is running a little low, but you just can’t face one more trip to the local grocery store for bread and peanut butter, try heading to a nearby college campus to find a hot meal for a reasonable price.

While many students take their meals in their dorm dining halls, most campuses still have other student dining facilities.  Whether it’s a snack bar, cafe, full restaurant or bar, the prices are geared to a student budget.  Of course, the food is geared to a student palate as well, but if you’ve been subsisting on a diet of cold snacks, a burger may seem pretty darn tasty.

Most non-dorm dining facilities are open to the greater campus community – meaning visitors as well as students.  Plan on using cash, as not all accept debit or credit cards.

A couple weeks ago, I found a fun little bar at the University of California – Berkeley and found a reasonably priced menu, including some vegetarian choices, as well as inexpensive specialty brews.

If you know a great campus cafe or bar, please leave a recommendation in the comments.


Photo credit:  personal collection


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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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