The Best of Dining Halls

All of the flavour without any of the guesswork

Some of the best food that Queen’s has to offer.

The first time I stepped into Leonard Dining Hall, I nearly ran back out the door. 

These were my first days at Queen’s and the crowded lines, clamouring students, and countless options were more than overwhelming. I didn’t even try to assess my options—instead, I grabbed the first two plates of food I spotted, topped up my minuscule cup of water, and found a table with my friend as quickly as possible.

Now, as I enter my third year of using dining halls, I have all but mastered the ins and outs of the Queen’s meal plan. From giant waffles to grilled paninis, here are the best items you can find in the various dining halls on campus.

Leonard Dining Hall

‘Lenny’ is the place to go for the most satisfying eat-your-feelings kind of cravings. The pizza station hiding in the back of the hall basically fed me for the first two weeks of school before I had the guts to experiment with the menu. Their pizza may not taste as good as Domino’s, but its supply is virtually unlimited and you can always count on it to be there for you when times are tough. 

Right near the pizza is a generic sandwich-making station. However, the panini grill next to it can transform the entire sandwich experience. Craft your own gourmet sandwich with all the fixings and watch with satisfaction as it cooks to perfection in front of your eyes. 

If you aren’t already too full, grab a plate at the dessert station and pile it high, because there is usually a table covered in cookies, pies, and cake waiting for you. 

Finally, don’t worry if you start getting sick of indulging at every meal. Leonard Hall has something for everyone, and the humble Simple Servings station will be your source of everything healthy, home-style, and allergen-free. 

This station also usually has options for vegans and vegetarians. If you see roasted potatoes on the menu, get in line, because they will blow your mind in the healthiest way. 

Ban Righ Dining Hall

This past year, Ban Righ was my go-to favourite. It has all the comforts of home, especially with its breakfast foods. Leonard Hall doesn’t serve breakfast during the week, so Ban Righ really steps it up. The cafeteria has a waffle making station, cereal bar, and decent fruit selection. 

Other breakfast staples include potatoes, bacon or sausage, and scrambled eggs. When you spot tater tots being served, you should fill up your plate—those deep-fried spuds are delectable. 

For my fellow vegans, Ban Righ has two foods that will become a key feature of your dining hall experience. First, scrambled tofu is always available on request at the breakfast bar. My advice is to pair it with some toast and potatoes to create a drool-worthy spread. Ban Righ also regularly serves slices of rich, moist vegan chocolate cake at lunch on Friday.

Jean Royce Dining Hall

For anyone living on Main Campus in first year, you may not feel the need to visit West Campus unless you have a lecture there or want to see a football game. However, the Jean Royce Dining Hall on West has some of the best food in residence.

Jean Royce mostly provides traditional buffet-style dining, but  on weekdays lunch items are purchased with trade-a-meals (TAMS). 

This means you can combine certain lunch items to make a meal and pay for it with one of your 200 TAMS, which are available through the meal plan for all first-year students in residence. 

Jean Royce is popular in part because of its huge brunch portions on weekends, where you can treat yourself to a custom-made omelette and lots of toast and bagels. Another highlight is the pasta bar, which you can find on West every Thursday in the dining hall. 

In the evening, keep an eye out for some indulgent dishes like West’s well-seasoned fries and cheesy nacho platters, which can’t be found anywhere else on campus.

With this crucial information under your belt, you’ll be able to enter any dining hall with confidence in September and impress your classmates with mouthwatering meal choices. 

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