First-year students who live on campus have a meal plan and that means becoming familiar with the dining options Ball State has to offer.
The Daily News editors took the time to rank each dining hall so you can stick to the good stuff.
Note: We did not rank stand-alone, chain locations like Starbucks or Quiznos. COVID-19 might affect usual services like buffets.
1. North Dining: North Dining offers unique foods not found anywhere else on campus, including build-your-own pasta bowls, a specialized barbeque station and all-day breakfast complete with fresh-baked pastries. The facility also has a stand-alone Starbucks location.
2. Woodworth Commons: Woodworth offers a variety of foods including sandwiches, sushi, salads, fresh fruit, packaged snacks and a cafe. It is also a great choice for breakfast, with a custom omelette bar. The food court can get crowded, especially on weekends, but it offers ample indoor and outdoor seating.
3. The Atrium: The Atrium has everyone’s chain favorites — allowing you to have Papa John’s pizza and Chick-fil-A waffle fries in the same meal. You can also get fresh fruit and a few healthier options. It is the perfect stop after classes close to the Art and Journalism Building.
4. Student Center Tally: Apart from some comfort food, the Tally also hosts a Taco Bell and a salad bar. It also has convenient snacks and freezer meals perfect for shorter lunch breaks. The Tally isn’t too crowded, but the Starbucks right next to it can be in the mornings.
5. Atrium Cafe and Convenience store: This location just opened in the spring 2021 semester, separate from the Atrium food court. The convenience store focuses on healthy eating options, with its own salad bar and packaged food from local vegan kitchens. Because fresh foods have a shorter shelf life, you can frequently find on-sale items here.
6. Noyer Buffet: Noyer is close to the center of campus, but doesn’t have as much variety as the other dining halls. You can find a changing homestyle menu, sandwiches and soups, but eating here doesn’t offer much convenience and the hall doesn’t have signature dishes like others on campus.
7. Bookmark Cafe: Located on the first floor of Bracken Library, this cafe is perfect for getting your caffeine fix and for grab-and-go snacks. It was closed during the 2020-21 school year, but will open again in the fall. This is a great location for breakfast, but can get crowded before morning classes.
8. Micro Cafe: This dining facility offers snacks, coffee and microwavable entrees. It is located in the Studebaker West Complex and open later than other dining halls. If you want ready-made sandwiches or extra snacks and bottled drinks, this is the place to go.
9. Tom John Food Shop: Located inside Kinghorn Hall, this dining location offers custom-made sandwiches and convenience store items. It’s great if you’re meeting a friend who lives in this residence hall, but it lacks the variety that other dining facilities offer.
New addition: Multicultural Center Ice Cream Shop
The new Multicultural Center will open a dessert shop in August 2021. It will feature 16 different flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, which you can order in cones, shakes or on doughnut ice cream sandwiches.