WWU’s Busiest Dining Hall

What comes to mind when you think of a college campus? What comes to mind when you think of the dining halls and food of a college campus? Some might see similarities and differences in each of them. A college campus is full of social butterflies and new opportunities while the dining hall is full of food that will give you the freshman fifteen, right? That could be true, but in regards to Western Washington University, the differences aren’t as extreme as some may think.


What’s Bellingham? Where is it you might ask? Bellingham is located in Western Washington. It’s a relatively small location filled with all of the norms you think of when it comes to the Pacific Northwest. It’s full of amazing hikes, good people, hippies, and mountains. It’s a town where you say thank you to the bus driver and have a good day to the grocery clerk. It’s also where Western Washington University and the Viking Commons dining hall is located.

The Viking Commons

The Viking commons is the busiest out of three dining halls at Western Washington University. It’s located on the Northern End of campus where there are 5 different dorm buildings. Students from these buildings as well as students in the area at the time converge to eat at this one location.

The view from the Viking Commons overlooking Bellingham Bay

The Viking commons aims to serve a high number of people with quality food that fits around their schedule. As a student at WWU, they have served food at proper times that have fit around my schedule every quarter. Whether it’s breakfast from 7:00–10:30 am, lunch from 11:00–1:30, or dinner from 5:00–6:30, it’s relatively easy to always find time to eat.

Once you enter the Viking Commons, you realize how crowded the busiest dining hall in one of the busiest campus’s in Western Washington really is. The lines can get very long, but the dining hall does a good job of separating out the amount of people by providing so many different food stations. There are seven different vendors ranging in food from pizza, to a salad bar, to local-comfort food.

The Viking commons does a great job of serving a diverse range of people by serving diverse types of food. There are days when curry, Asian cuisine, or even Gyro’s are served. These foods combined with the staple foods of a college diet such as pizza, cheeseburgers, and ice cream and cookies makes up the different types of food that are served at WWU.

The salad bar shown at a lesser busy time of the day

Social Aspect

A prime aspect of the college experience is the social life. There are thousands of new people all around you, and you’ve got to find out how to interact with them all. The social aspect falls into place easily in the Viking commons. It’s difficult to find a whole table to yourself, even though there are over a hundred tables in the seating area. Unless you’re lucky, or you just won’t settle for sitting with strangers, you sit with new people everyday. Bellingham, once again, is a social town where everyone shows mutual respect for each other. This shines through in the Viking commons where you’re greeted and introduced to a new stranger almost every day. Eventually, you get to recognize almost everyone in the area.

The Real Question, How Does the Food Taste?

When college food comes to mind, there usually aren’t a surplus of great ideas that follow. Ideas about cheap food, the freshman 15, and less than average taste come to mind. When comparing these norms with WWU’s Viking commons, it’s different. The food is always changing. The international foods combined with the American food that’s always there combines for a good switch of taste every week. There are plenty of healthy choices as well. There is food for vegans and vegetarians as well as an amazing salad and fruit bar that is always stocked with fresh fruits and veggies.

Concluding Thoughts

I’m not going to lie, the food isn’t perfect, it can be a bit crowded at times, and the service isn’t always the best, but what college campus does live up to all of these expectations day in and day out? Western Washington University’s Viking commons can be counted on to provide good food in a relatively fast manner while also providing a safe environment to meet new people.