College food is notorious for being bland, unhealthy, and expensive. Wash U is guilty on the last count, but the first two are at least up for debate. Wash U was, as many students mention, voted Number 2 by "somebody" for the quality of the food service. (It was actually The Princeton Review.) How the ranking was determined is anyone's guess, but campus dining does offer a wide variety of possibilities, including a sushi bar and tasty vegetarian counter in the Danforth University Center, salmon with truffle sauce at Ibby's, omlettes and sirloin steak in Bear's Den, and fruit smoothies and crepes at Ursa's. While great food is available, upperclassmen eventually become bored and like to branch out to off-campus restaurants.
In fact, it's possible to eat very well on campus, and although it isn't easy, it is possible to eat healthy as well. The frenetic pace of life at Wash U does make it hard to eat regular and balanced meals. Dining on campus is by no means cheap, though. All students are required to have some meal plan, with the minimum freshman plan costing about $4,000 per year—Kosher plans are more expensive. And even after students move off campus, they are still required to purchase the off-campus plan. On-campus dining is convenient, but students who know how to cook for themselves can save more than a thousand dollars by getting off campus.