There is a specific culture surrounding the two dining halls at Notre Dame. The appropriately named “North Dining Hall” and “South Dining Hall” both have their own cult following. Each person has a strong preference for their dining hall of choice. Most students wear pins that state that they “<3” either “SDH” or “NDH,” but each dining hall has their own pros and cons.
Pros: North Dining Hall at University of Notre Dame
Located near the library and LaFun, North Dining Hall is newly remodeled and bright and shiny. No longer does it look like a cafeteria in a nursing home, but instead, it has new tables, chairs, and silverware (making for much cleaner plates and bowls). The tables are usually very clean and There are banners lining the walls that clearly outline what food is being served where. The categories of “cold breakfast,” “stir-fry,” “Asian,” and many others give a directory on where to find the food you desire. The gluten-free area is clearly defined with many options, and the pasta stir-fry is hard to beat. The salads are always much fresher and crisper than at SDH, and there are always many fresh fruits offered. You won’t have to worry about finding a seat as there are always plenty available. Oh, and the ice cream? NDH offers tubs of ever-changing Blue Bunny with a great toppings bar.
Pros: South Dining Hall at University of Notre Dame
Located in good relation to the buildings with most traffic on campus (O’Shag, DeBart), South Dining Hall has the classic feel that truly embodies Notre Dame. It looks like Hogwarts, and it carries tradition. The desserts, hands-down, is far superior to NDH’s (with fresh-baked cookies). It feels much “home-ier” and the drink station is easy to navigate. The atmosphere is much warmer and the workers are much friendlier. The food is in a wide-open, central location, without worry that you’re missing something. It is also extremely easy to find trays and to put them away. Grab N’ Go is housed in the basement that cannot be beat by NDH’s “marketplace.” Need a quick meal? SDH is the way to go.
Cons: North Dining Hall at University of Notre Dame
There are many unnecessary things in NDH. The arms on the chairs make sitting down and getting up an absolute nightmare. There are televisions docked EVERYWHERE that serve zero purpose (except to show off the logo of NDH). When it gets busy, the lines for the foods cross and jumble. The drink stations are positioned on the far ends of the dining hall, and the dessert station is cold and sad. Some might argue that the dining hall is “too clean” and loses its charm. Good luck trying to put away your tray. For some odd reason, only one of the two dish returns is ever open, causing pileups and spilled trays to become a common occurrence.
Cons: South Dining Hall at University of Notre Dame
South Dining Hall is the epitome of tradition, but with tradition, means that the tables, trays, and chairs are old. The wooden tables are always sticky, no matter how many times you rub them down. The open set-up can cause for more crashes from unaware students, and you may struggle to find a seat. There are two sides to SDH, but, usually, the west wing is blocked off, making students cram into one side. The food, overall, has less variety, and most people say that it tastes worse than NDH’s.
While each person has their preference, outlining the pros and cons truly shows the strengths and weaknesses of both. While North has more pros, South has less cons. Weighing the two against each other is a discourse that is wide-spread across campus. Go to both, choose which one you like better, but you’ll probably always choose convenience in location over other factors.