Eating on campus

Our on-campus eateries offer delicious options for even the most discerning palates. The 24/7 dining lounge is a student favourite—make sure you don’t miss the pasta bar. When you want a taste of home check out My Pantry, a self-assisted kitchen stocked with all of your favourite ingredients. We’re on top of your eating restrictions too. We label our food so you’ll always know when you’re eating Halal, vegan, or gluten-free.

Even though the uOttawa campus has more than a dozen cafés, coffee-lovers might fear that they’ll be out of luck after hours. Not to worry: in our 24/7 Dining Hall you can brew your own, and make mochas and hot chocolates, too. You might even be inspired to practise your latte art and show your Gee-Gees pride!
Do you count the days until cooler weather so you can get your hands on a pumpkin spice latte? Need a double double to get your morning started? However you take your coffee, we have a spot you’ll love. The uOttawa campus is home to two Second Cup locations, one Starbucks, four Tim Hortons and six Go Cafés, along with the student-run Café Nostalgica, Café Alt and Pivik. It might take awhile to figure out your favourite, but it’s nothing a coffee connoisseur can’t handle
At uOttawa, food is served with a side of sustainability. In our zero-waste 24/7 Dining Hall we’re only left with compostable food and napkins at the end of the day, but we’re trying to reduce this waste, too, so that we can be as sustainable and efficient as possible.
We’ve recently adopted trayless dining, a concept that has seen huge success at other universities. Not only does trayless dining eliminate incredible amounts of food waste, but over time it will also reduce the use of water, electricity and dish soap, thereby contributing to a more eco-friendly environment overall.

A wide food selection

Our campus has so many food options that even the pickiest eaters will find their favourites. Taste is one thing, but we’re also conscious of dietary restrictions. To help you make the right choices we use symbols to indicate halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free foods.

You can also support local businesses by eating at one of the many food trucks on campus.

Healthy and delicious food options

We’re committed to providing a variety of healthy and delicious food options to all of our students, particularly those with mandatory meal plans.

The Dining Hall offers carefully prepared, allergy-free meals you can order in advance via a free app. As well, most of the meat is halal.

If you have a food allergy, you may be entitled to take advantage of our dietary restriction meal program. Meals are prepared in a separate, locked room in the central kitchen to prevent cross-contamination, and we use recipes and ingredients that are closely screened by our registered dietitians. All of our Food Services staff members have been trained to prevent cross-contamination at every step of food preparation.

Our hats are off to Nicholas Namespetra, the four-diamond executive chef in charge of the Dining Hall. Trained at Stratford Chefs School, he started his career as chef for Rundles Restaurant in Stratford, Ontario, followed by a position at the Fairmont Tremblant, and later as chef at Château Beauvallon in Mont Tremblant.
Namespetra enjoys receiving feedback from students about what they expect from a meal and what health issues concern them. He also makes a point to remember the name of each student requiring a special diet.
One of the chef's personal recommendations is the made-to-order station, where you can choose your own ingredients as your dish is prepared before your eyes. He also suggests the mushroom ragout, one of the more popular vegan dishes. And don’t miss the shrimp po’ boy!
You might want to start dropping hints early this year: Première Moisson sells care packages that can be gifted to people living or working on campus. Celebrate birthdays with some of the most delicious cakes you’ll find anywhere, send a savoury pie for a great meal and make sure your friends and family are aware of the “Sweet tooth combo” so they can spoil you with cookies, fudge, truffles and freshly baked bread.
Follow your nose to Première Moisson on the first floor of the Social Sciences Building. The aroma of freshly baked bread will draw you in, and the pastries, coffee and chocolate will have you lingering.

With the help of student volunteers, we recently piloted the Love Food, Not Waste challenge, which asked students to pledge to take less food, go back for seconds, and sample new items — strategies guaranteed to help students take only what they really want. During the week of the challenge students eliminated 512 lbs of food waste in the Dining Hall!

We’ve turned the saved kilograms of waste into United Way donations. In two years, we’ve donated nearly $1,000 for uOttawa students with urgent needs.

Our dietician at your service

Our dietitian and food liaison officer Maryann Moffitt is available to discuss any of your questions or concerns. Sit back and enjoy your meal, because we have your health in mind.

Flexibility and variety with My Pantry

You’re not always hungry at the same time every day, and your social calendar can change just like that, so our Dining Hall is open and staffed 24/7 during the fall and winter terms to meet your needs. You’ll also have access to our registered dietitian, along with guest chefs and theme nights.

If you’re in the mood for some comfort food from home or you have a midnight craving, check out My Pantry, a “self-assisted” kitchen stocked with ingredients to make your own smoothies, waffles, sandwiches and hot meals. Associates are on hand to help as needed and ensure the pantry is stocked with fresh ingredients. If we don’t have what you need just add your request to our grocery list!

There comes a time when even the most health-conscious among us want to trade in greens for grease. The uOttawa crowd has been indulging itself on Bac à frites pogos, poutine, burgers and hot dogs in parking lot K for the past 11 years.
If you’re a nacho and taco lover you’ll be spending a lot of time at Nacho Cartel, with amazing eats inspired by Honduran and Latin American recipes.
The Relish food truck uses the freshest ingredients, for an eclectic menu of world cuisine and comfort food that will tantalize your taste buds. Dive into dashi, chilaquiles, jerk chicken, and fried green tomato sandwiches. You’ll never know what’s next!
Order a freshly-made Première Moisson sandwich to go, or bring a quiche or meat pie home for a dinner that will have your roommates drooling.
Although compost waste won’t be sitting in landfills, there are still significant resources invested in every pound of food — from the water and fertilizers used to grow it, to the transportation and labour it takes to prepare it.
For the second year in a row the honour of representing uOttawa at the inter-university Iron Chef finals goes to the Spice Girls. Team captain and biology student Lindsay Trottier, biochemistry student Annalisa Weber and biomedical sciences student Courtney Azure impressed the judges with their version of a dish created by the Dining Hall’s executive chef, Nicholas Namespetra. Their seared to perfection scallops rested on a smooth celery root purée served with a tangy tapenade and sautéed mushrooms.
The inter-university Iron Chef competition has been shaking up uOttawa’s kitchens since it was launched in 2014. Although we haven’t brought a top prize home, we’ve come close, and 2017 might just be our year!
The Spice Girls will receive several hours of first-class culinary training in advance of February’s inter-university Iron Chef competition in Toronto. With any luck uOttawa’s team will be dicing and spicing its way to top honours.

23 places to eat

If you ate at a different dining location on campus every day, it would take you more than three weeks to hit them all. Variety is the spice of life, and with 23 dining options on campus diversity is guaranteed. Take your pick of more than a dozen cafés, the 24/7 Dining Hall, pub food, food trucks and more. With a dining option in most buildings it won’t take long to sate your appetite.

Student-run food options on campus

You can also support the student-run food options on campus. The Pivik convenience store offers affordable and local products and is a great spot to pick up some groceries. Over at Café Alt you’ll find healthy and delicious organic salads, sandwiches, baked goods, pastries, desserts and an assortment of coffees and teas. Where will you start?

When it’s warm, you’ll always find a crowd around the hot dog man between Hamelin Hall and 100 Laurier. Students and staff will tell you that these hot dogs are the stuff of legend.
The owner of the Relish food truck recently opened Bac Plus, a tiny location that’s big on taste. If you’re craving Asian favourites like spring rolls, pad Thai and stir-fries, you’ll find them in front of Fauteux Hall.

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