The ultimate guide to eating at Ohio University’s dining halls

I will level with you, dining halls just aren’t fun. After not eating dining hall food for a while they don’t seem so bad, but try eating at a dining hall every day and you will grow sick and tired of the same food every day.

Eating pizza, burgers, and more pizza gets pretty annoying, so this article will help you find variety and get to know the dining halls at Ohio University.

Boyd Dining Hall/The District on West Green:

The District on West Green at Ohio University.
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A lot has changed since my freshman year, when Boyd was the ugliest dining hall paired with the worst food within a 100-mile radius. Today, Boyd is newly renovated and offers much healthier food compared to the other dining halls. On the flip side, Boyd is not where you go for pizza or burgers.

Boyd offers a sandwich station, a grill section with fairly lean meats, a pasta section, and a salad bar. You will learn really quickly as a freshman that eating healthy is difficult, especially considering the vegetable to fried chicken ratio in the dining halls. That’s why I would take advantage of Boyd, especially if you live on West Green since it will be close to your dorm. If you are looking for a healthy option in a much more modern and clean setting, Boyd is the dining hall for you.


Nelson Dining Hall:

The biggest dining hall on campus, Nelson offers all-day breakfast, a grilled food section, pasta, thin-crust pizza, Asian food, and an ice cream bar. Nelson is my personal favorite, and probably has the widest selection of any dining hall that OU has to offer.

Nelson Court at Ohio University
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This means that you can go to Nelson a lot and, as long as you mix things up, not get too tired of the food. It should also be noted that Nelson Court is the only dining hall to offer all-day breakfast, which means waffles for dinner is now a reality for you. Also, there is a made-to-order omelette station, which is actually pretty cool relative to the somewhat bland offerings of Ohio University’s dining halls. Nelson is on the edge of South Green, and within very close walking distance to East Green as well.




Shively Dining Hall:

Shively Court is your standard college dining hall. It is okay, but nothing too special. There is a grill station, thick-crust pizza, pasta, salad bar, and a section dedicated to home-cooked style meals. Personally, I find Shively underwhelming, but you can decide for yourself which dining hall fits you best.

Shively Dining Hall at Ohio University
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Shively, like Nelson, has an ice cream/dessert section that is pretty solid. One thing that Shively does hold as a strength is that it has a sandwich bar, as well as an extended building specifically for Shively Grab ‘N Go. Shively Grab ‘N Go offers sandwiches, soups, fruits, and chips. Placed right next to Morton Hall, Shively is the dining hall on East Green. So, if you live on that side of campus you will probably be making a lot of trips to Shively.

Other resources:

I think you will find the locations and hours of each dining hall helpful, as well as the menus on any given day. Hopefully you found this article helpful, and if you visit OU or end up coming here, let me know in the comments which dining hall is your favorite and why.

Gluten free me, Athens, Ohio

By a show of hands, how many of you have been to a restaurant and seen the tiny font at the bottom of the menu that reads, “We will gladly accommodate special dietary needs?” I know I have! It has become increasingly popular. This is mostly because of the high growth of dietary needs.

Now let’s imagine for a minute that you are gluten-free. Most people who live a gluten-free lifestyle have celiacs disease. If you have celiacs, you can’t eat bread, pizza, or even drink certain beers. You can’t eat anything with wheat, barley, or rye grains. If you do consume these things, you can get very sick. This could make things increasingly difficult.

Luckily, the town of Athens, Ohio has many different options for people who are gluten-free.

Fancy Pants Veggie Plate , Photo curtsey of
Fancy Pants Veggie Plate , Photo curtsey of

Chelsea’s Real Food Truck

According to Chelsea’s Real Food Truck’s website they are a “full-service mobile kitchen, serving locally-sourced, made from scratch, gluten-free foods.” This unique truck gets most of their food from local Athens farmers so their food is always fresh and unique according to the season. You can find this option at the Athens Farmers Market, 1000 East State Street, every Saturday from 9am-noon. She also travels to many different festivals and events during the year.

Casa Nueva
Casa Nueva Enchiladas. Photo courtesy of JoyusJoy Blog.

Another very local Athens treat is Casa Nueva. While this restaurant is known for its Bloody Mary and music, it also houses its own gluten-free menu. You are guaranteed the best local products when you visit, which makes it even better. One of my favorite Casa meals is an enchilada with pulled pork and BBQ sauce, mixed with cheese and onions. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The best part, it’s gluten free!  If that doesn’t strike your fancy, try something else on their gluten-free menu! Casa is at 4 W. State St.

Lui Lui

If you are looking for something a little different and higher end, Lui Lui’s in the place to go. With a wide variety of sushi and curry products, there are many gluten-free options. If you stop in, you should try their chicken jalfrezi. It will really get your taste buds working. They have many other options that you can browse here. They are located at 8 Station St. and are very accommodating if you let your server know.

Avalanche Pizza

The Avalanche Ranch Pizza. Photo Provided by
The Avalanche Ranch Pizza. Photo Provided by

Pizza is a huge staple in the lives of college students. Avalanche Pizza has trained its employees and is dedicated to serving gluten-free pizzas and subs. You can order a make your own 12” pizza with whatever toppings you can imagine on it. If you don’t feel like pizza, try one of their six subs. They range from veggie, to steak and are full of wonderful and fresh ingredients. You can take a look for yourself at all of the mouthwatering products they offer.

Last but not least

Boyd Dinning Hall

West Green Market is open for 3 meals a day and plays a part in the special diets on campus. Photo curtosey of Ohio Culinary Service
West Green Market is open for 3 meals a day and plays a part in the special diets on campus. Photo curtosey of Ohio Culinary Service

Ohio University spent all of spring semester 2015 renovating Boyd Dining Hall. Located on West Green, Boyd features new special dining options to accompany its redone look.  In the far back corner sits a station dedicated to serving students with special diets. Here, they serve gluten-free noodles, cakes, cupcakes, and sandwiches. They even have deep fryers dedicated to special needs. This is to help serve the growing population of gluten-free students on campus.

While there are many more places in and around Athens to eat and explore, these are some of the best choices for gluten-sensitive residents. Do you have a favorite spot that has a gluten-free menu? Comment below and share! Happy eating!