Eating on Campus

Food is very important to me. So, when I was looking at colleges five years ago (!!), I was super curious about how eating worked in college. For that reason, trying cafeteria food was a must on my college visits. Hailing from Northfield, I was under the impression that college cafeteria food should be amazing. During tours of various campuses, I came to realize that Carleton and St. Olaf are not the norm. However, I don't think Luther disappoints.

I quite honestly have very few qualms about the Luther dining options. Sure, I sometimes get sick of the options in the cafeteria, but my family sometimes gets in a rut with meals as well. I actually think I tend to eat better at school than I do at home -- there's always tons of vegetables and somehow I manage to drink about 8x more water a day at school than when I'm at home.

Now that I live off campus and make most of my own meals, I'm even more grateful for Luther's dining options.

The Cafeteria

Located in the bottom level of the Union, most students get the majority of their meals here. Open from roughly 7a.m.-7:30p.m., the cafeteria has a bunch of options: a "comfort food" line (think lasagne, meat and mashed potatoes, fajitas, chicken nuggets, and the like), a salad bar, a pasta line (two types of noodles per meal, two types of sauces, and veggies), a pizza line (all kinds of pizza), a deli line (like Subway, someone will make a sandwich or wrap to your specifications), a grill line (burgers, fries, quesadillas, my beloved Black Bean Burger), a "Simple Servings" line (which has no gluten, dairy, soy, etc. -- often meat, rice, vegetables), a Vegan/Vegetarian line (quinoa, curries, lentils, yum), soups, fruit, yogurt, cold cereal, and a bunch of dessert.

What I love about the cafeteria is that one meal "swipe" gets you as much food as you want; you don't pay per item, but instead for the whole meal buffet-style. Then there's no guilt (or at least no monetary shame) for having an extra piece of dessert or another Diet Coke.

Grab & Go

Connected to the cafeteria, this is a great option for when you need something to eat but you don't have time to go the cafeteria. A meal "swipe" gets you an entree, two sides, and a drink. So, that might be an egg salad sandwich, a banana, and some chips. It might be something from the grill line, carrots and dip, and roasted veggies. It might be lasagna, green beans, a breadstick, cookies, and a lemonade. They also have reusable containers for you to take your food in and then return (they do the clean up!). Super great for when you have classes through the lunch hour, or when you have a busy night of rehearsals and need something to keep you going.


Located on the main floor of the Union, this dining facility is open for breakfast and lunch on schooldays. They have soup, hot and pre-made sandwiches, panini, salads, fruit and veggie cups, salads, chips, tons of desserts, and lots of coffee and pastry options. I love making salads there and getting them to go for days when I work practically until class time. I also occasionally look to see if they have Seven Layer Bars or M&M Dream Bars. Yum.

This is a cool place to hang out. A lot more professors eat here than in the cafeteria. I often see groups meeting here for projects, students hanging out with professors, faculty and staff members eating together, etc. It's also a really popular place to just hang out and do homework.


Marty's is located in the basement of the Union. This place is kind of like a sports grill -- they serve burgers, chicken strips, salads, cheese curds, chicken sandwiches, and the like. They also have a line that's kind of like Chipotle where you can get burritos, tacos, or nachos. So yum. Marty's is also famous for their cookies. They're huge and super good. Often when you do things for the college, like take a survey about your alcohol use, they reward you with a free cookie. 100% worth it.

This is another popular place to hang out and do homework. There are also TVs, a pool table, and a stage for hosting events.

Nordic Brew

A coffee shop in the basement of the Union. Coffee, chai, milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream, Nitro brew coffee, and all of the cookies and pastries your heart desires.

The C-Store

A convenience store in the Union. You can buy things like candy, soda, frappuccinos, Kleenex, aspirin, milk, Gatorade, chips, granola, yogurt, pints of ice cream...

Sunnyside Cafe

The only dining option not located in the Union, Sunnyside is located in the Center for the Arts (CFA). It's a full coffee bar (coffee, lattes, the like), with cinnamon rolls, cookies, pastries, and grab-and-go options like pre-made sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, Naked juices, etc. This is another really popular place to do homework and hang out, and it's another reason why the CFA is the best building on campus.

You can read more about all of Luther's dining locations and meal plans on the Dining Services page.

The Cafeteria

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