CSU students share 7 hacks for getting creative in the dining centers

It’s been more than a month since the start of the semester, which means that Colorado State University students are starting to settle into their routines.

With that being said, there’s still constantly something new to discover about campus … especially the legendary CSU dining centers. That’s why we used the CSU Instagram account to ask past and present students what hacks they’d recommend to optimize their dining experience. 

Check out seven of their most popular responses below. 

Go to the salad bar first and then grab protein to add on top 

Chicken on a dining hall salad

(Photo: Hannah Tran, CSU)

To turn your side salad into a full-on meal, students recommended snagging protein like grilled chicken from other stations in the dining center.

The ranch from the salad bar goes great with fries!

Ranch with fries

(Photo: Hannah Tran, CSU)

Enough said.

Experiment with mixing sparkling water and different flavors

Sparkling water with lemonade

(Photo: Hannah Tran, CSU)

Want a tasty beverage without the empty calories that come with full-on soda? Enter the soda water available at all of CSU’s dining centers. Students recommended combinations like soda water and lemonade, soda water and powerade and even soda water and green tea. 

The combinations, like your imagination, can be limitless.  

Top off your hot cocoa or coffee with whipped cream from the waffle station

Here’s one way to elevate your morning coffee into a way to treat yourself.

Don’t sleep on the gluten-free muffins

Gluten free muffins

(Photo: Hannah Tran, CSU)

Seriously: The Instagram community gave us this recommendation over and over … and during our team’s professional taste testing event in Ram’s Horn, we weren’t disappointed! 

Another thing to note? The gluten-free muffins come in their own wrapping to avoid cross-contamination.

Make your own iced coffee with the coffee machine and ice 

Coffee and ice

(Photo: Hannah Tran, CSU)

You don’t need to be fancy to make iced coffee. Just grab some of the hot coffee that’s always available in the dining centers and a separate cup of ice, and voila! You’ll have that much more energy to study.

Snag a piece of fruit on the way out of the dining center for later

We checked with Housing & Dining Services and yes, this is allowed! So snag that apple on your way out without any guilt.