Food options on and off campus

Where to go to satisfy your freshman cravings


Cooper Sullivan

The Pit has many buffet-style stations from which students can choose, including the omelette station (left), Southern Kitchen (left center), allgood (center) and Black and Gold Grill (right).

Aine Pierre and Cooper Sullivan

According to LendEDU, Wake Forest’s on-campus dining is the 29th best in the country. With a whopping three dining halls, four coffee shops, a food court, a 24/7 Subway, a pizza place, a juice shop and a campus-specific meal delivery service, there is never a shortage of options. However, the abundance of choices does make it overwhelming sometimes, even without the addition of off-campus options. So, here is a comprehensive(ish) guide to sating your freshman appetite. 


Dining Halls (mostly use Pit/Meal swipes, but you can pay with an Old Gold or real money if you want to). 

Wake Forest boasts three dining halls: The Pit, which is on the ground floor of Reynolda Hall, the Magnolia Room, which is two floors up; and North Pit, which is located near the Magnolia and Dogwood Residence Halls. Which should you choose? It depends on the day, the offerings and your palate. Before we go any further, I would implore you to check the menu before you go to any dining hall. This will help you determine if what’s being offered is, well, what you want to eat. 

The Pit is set up in multiple stations: salad/fruit bar (or yogurt bar for breakfast), pasta (made to order), pizza, grill, international, Southern Kitchen, allgood (formerly True Balance), omelet, dessert, sandwiches and wraps and vegan. There is also a waffle maker available all day, and next to what I put in bold above, I think that is the most important information in this article. The most popular of all these stations by far, to my eye, is the omelet station, which has made-to-order eggs. I am personally not a fan. This is followed by the pasta station, which may have a line wrapped around the place during dinner rush. My favorite station is the Southern Kitchen, especially when the special is either beef stroganoff or brisket (Aine: I’m a European jew, what do you want from me?). The Pit also has pancakes every morning of the week except Friday, when it has breakfast sandwiches, but make sure you get there before 10:30!

North Pit is a smaller-scale version of The Pit, with just a pasta station, an entree station, a grill, a deli and a salad bar. As a result of the smaller space, indoor and outdoor seating can be more limited, but the quality is generally better, despite fewer options. I find the North Pit pasta station to be much better, the entree station to be marginally better and the grill station to be about even.

The Magnolia Room is a good, old-fashioned dining room, and as a result, tends to be a bit more upscale. The downside to the better, more premium food options is that there is not as much variety as there is at the other two dining halls. Some days, there is a line extending into the Reynolda hallways waiting for seats to open up. However, if you check the menu and like what is available, you cannot go wrong stopping at the Magnolia Room. 

Other Options (Use food dollars, Old Gold/meal swipes or real money)

Other main food options on campus are mostly located in the Benson Food Court, but there are some on the Upper Quad and one attached to North Pit. At the Benson Food Court, there is a small grocery shop, a Chick-Fil-A (a fast food chicken shop, for the non-initiated), Bento Sushi (good, but pricey and they do not take Old Golds), a sandwich shop called Forest Greens (great, fresh food, though the wait time can be long during rushes), Yamas Mediterranean Street Food (most of their stuff is tasty, but dry) and Shorty’s (more of a sit-down restaurant, so if you’re looking for fast, stay away. Good burgers, though). 

On the Quad is another grocery store and a Subway that is open 24 hours, as well as Zick’s, which is a fairly decent pizza place that also sells fried chicken. Attached to North Pit is Village Juice, an expensive juice and toast place that is personally not my favorite but that a lot of people love. There is also an Einstein Bros in Farrel Hall, which is convenient, but I just do not like Einstein Bros. 

In terms of coffee shops, there is a Starbucks in North Pit, which is…a Starbucks. There’s Camino in the library, whose coffee I think is worse than Starbucks but whose pastries I think are much better. 

Finally, a word about Good Uncle, a college campus-based food delivery service. I have never had Good Uncle, but all of my friends who order it enjoy it. You can use your food dollars to purchase Good Uncle, which is convenient, and there are multiple drop-off locations around campus. 

Budgeting Reminder: Your allotted pit swipes and Old Golds are only good for one semester, so use every single one of them. Your food dollars will roll over during Winter Break, so if you have a few left, don’t worry about anything being wasted.


Aine’s Go-To’s

Chinese: China Wok, 5085 Country Club Rd; I really love their boneless spare ribs.

Pizza: (For dine-in) Cugino Forno, 486 N Patterson Ave Suite 115; tastes exactly like pizza you would get in Italy. Not great for take-out, though, it doesn’t keep its freshness.

(For take-out) Coppola’s Pizza, 3512 Yadkinville Rd; This pizza tastes like the kind you can get in New Jersey and New York City

Indian: Nawab, 129 S Stratford Rd; A favorite of the Old Gold & Black’s Executive Board, I’ve yet to have better Indian food in Winston-Salem.

Japanese: Umi, 1280 Creekshire Way; Their food is good and their hibachi is entertaining. Plus, their miso soup is among the best I’ve ever had. 

Vegan/Vegetarian: Dom’s, 134 N Spruce St; their menu is seasonal, so I can’t make concrete recommendations, but this place is very good.

Burgers: Cin Cin’s Burger Bar, 1425 W 1st St; Great burgers and even better milkshakes

Fast Food: Either Bojangles, a cajun chicken shop that has become my new obsession, or Cookout, which is, to quote a TikTok, cheap and aggressively mediocre. It is, however, open until 2 a.m. 

Cooper’s Go-To’s

Pizza: Elizabeth’s, 2824 University Parkway; Right across from the LJVM Coliseum, this makes for a great pre-, during, or post-tailgate meal. 

Domino’s, 7821 N. Pointe Blvd; while they may not have the best pizza in the city, they do accept food dollars.

Mexican: Taqueria el sabroso, corner of Polo Rd and Cherry St; this cash-only taco truck es realmente bueno.

Brunch: Midtown Cafe & Dessertery, 151 S Stratford Rd; you will walk out having eaten way too many pancakes, but you will never have a happier tummyache.

Sandwiches: Dioli’s, 2898 Reynolda Rd; this is the place you take your nonna to.

Chinese: May Way Dumplings, Reynolda Village; pro tip, order online while in your dorm room, and by the time you walk over to the quaint shop, your food will be done just in time.

Fast Food: Cookout; ignore Aine’s harsh remarks, go and enjoy every single aspect of this piece of fine Southern cuisine.

Contact Aine Pierre at [email protected] and Cooper Sullivan at [email protected]