Campus Life, Lifestyle

Gluten-free options around campus

Gluten-free foods and college campuses do not exactly go hand in hand. Navigating your way through the dining halls, on-campus restaurants and snack aisles can be extremely difficult. But with some time, I’ve been able to discover some of my favorite gluten-free options around the Boston University campus. These have changed my life for the better, and hopefully, they’ll help someone else.

Dining Hall

To begin, the most basic of all choices is the BU dining hall. I would highly recommend getting gluten-free pantry access since it offers up one more avenue of possible food choices. Not only can you pick up snacks, but you can make sandwiches and other meals of your desire, allowing you to take advantage of your meal plan. 

When it comes to the actual meals the BU dining hall makes, they are lacking in flavor and substantial options. It won’t take you too much effort, but you’re going to have to get a little creative with your meals. 

I usually only ever get one or two things from the gluten-free serve all station, which normally consists of rice or cooked vegetables. I then create a salad with my favorite toppings and add the rice and vegetables to it. You can also bring your favorite condiments to add some much-needed flavor. I know it may not sound like the most appetizing meal, but coming from a rather picky eater, it works. 

The George Sherman Union

The George Sherman Union Food Hall has saved my life, to say the least. However, since this is my first semester on campus, I am most definitely not experienced in the best places to dine. But in the meantime, I will dive into my top two favorites at this food hall so far. 

I get food from here about three times a week, and I have yet to get sick of it, which says a lot. I first discovered Basho from my roommate, and I cannot thank her enough. We have both become obsessed.

A gluten-free aisle of a grocery store. Morgan shares some of her favorite gluten-free food options found across the Boston University campus. COURTESY OF MEMPHIS CVB VIA UNSPLASH

I take advantage of the “create your own” option for an eight-piece roll and bowl. For the eight-piece sushi roll, I keep it simple because there are few options. For both my roll and bowl I ask for white rice, cucumbers, avocado, jalapenos and sesame seeds. I then add a personal with the addition of ginger and sriracha. I also highly recommend purchasing seaweed snacks as they add an excellent crunch to the sushi bowl. 

Another go-to spot in the George Sherman Union is Greens and Grains. Once again, I keep it simple, but it is a nutritious and tasty meal. I use the “build-your-own” option adding lettuce, vegetables and chicken. The final step to top the salad off is the addition of my own dressing. 

Life Alive Organic Café

While Life Alive isn’t an on-campus dining option, I think it’s important to treat yourself to a good meal every once in a while. I cannot speak highly enough about Life Alive and their grain bowls. I often switch between the Green Goddess Warm Bowl and Avocado Sol Warm Bowl. 

In regards to their breakfast options, I’ve only tried their Blueberry Superfood Waffles. While they were very tasty, they were not super filling. So I would advise getting another side dish as well. They also offer seasonal soups, and the two I have tried and loved were the Vegan Broccoli Cheddar and Spring Vegan Chili. The last item you must try is the Elvis Alive Smoothie. It’s heaven in a bottle. But to be completely honest, everything I have gotten from Life Alive has tasted amazing. 

City Convenience

Although it does not relate to on-campus dining, my final piece of advice is to take advantage of the multiple convenience stores on campus. 

I used to always go to the City Convenience in the GSU. But I soon realized the one in Warren Towers offers a much wider selection of choices. There are some specific necessities I think all students, gluten-free or not, should have in their dorm, which would allow you to make an “at home” meal if needed. This list includes hummus, crackers, fruit, vegetables, milk, rice cakes, popcorn and some of your favorite frozen meals if you have a freezer. The City Convenience also offers pre-made salads, which are an easy and safe gluten-free option. 

Throughout my two and a half months of attending BU, I can say being gluten-free has been a challenge, but over time you learn how to make it work and enjoy your meals. The key to having a delicious, gluten-free meal is to be creative with it.

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