The 11 Weirdest Foods Students Have Made/Eaten In College

weird college food

Ramen noodles are the trademark food of the college student diet. There are a variety of flavors available and there is the option of mixing in frozen vegetables if you’ve got a little extra cash and you’re feeling guilty about all the junk you’ve been eating since leaving home.

Even so, heating noodles over and over again can get really boring. Necessity is the mother of invention, and being broke and hungry is the perfect storm of circumstances that forces college students to get creative in their kitchen or dorm room microwave. Whether you’re starving and bored with your go-to meal or just looking for a little college nostalgia, we have a treat for you.

We scoured the internet for the weirdest things different students have eaten or cooked while enrolled in college. For the most part, these meals are all budget-friendly and easy to prep in a dorm room or assemble in a cafeteria. The first on our list is different from the rest and that is what makes it so dang weird.

Keep reading to hear about how these college students made sure they got fed — there was one who ate discarded bread for two months straight and a Columbia student who started an exclusive supper club out of their dorm kitchen.

1. Dumpster Bread

Broke and unwilling to ask for help, this student took cheap dining to a whole new level.

When Reddit user Frequenter found themself dangerously low on cash, they started wandering the streets in search of food. Apparently, bakery bins were the most reliable source. As a result, they ate bread topped with butter and a squeeze of lemon juice every day for two months straight because they were so desperate to avoid calling their parents and asking for help.

2. “Spam” Parmesan

Necessity is the mother of invention and this college student needed to cook something that tasted like home.

Posted to Imgur in 2018, this college dorm masterpiece is a twist on a classic American-Italian meal. “Spam” parmesan, easily prepared in a microwave, begins with two kinds of noodles — egg noodles and thin spaghetti. To that, the student added fried spam, topped it with a slice of cheese, and covered the whole dish in canned tomato soup. Is it genius? Maybe. Does it actually look appetizing? I’m not so sure about that.

3. Hot Dog Stirfry

This Reddit user chose their username based on one of their go-to meals in college.

While HotdogStirfry doesn’t divulge what goes into their go-to college meal, I was able to find multiple recipes online. Veggies, soy sauce, and hot dogs are the main ingredients of every iteration of this dorm room staple. Some include minute rice while others rely on ramen noodles as the carby base. The junk food lover in me is tempted to give this one a try.

4. He Meant Well

When her college boyfriend offered to make her dinner, she couldn’t bring herself to turn down the disgusting result.

Young love will make us do some weird stuff, even eating something inedible to avoid hurting our sweetheart’s feelings. Vice shared the story of Christina, who was flattered when her boyfriend offered to make her dinner one night. Little did she know, he had absolutely no cooking skills and seemingly no understanding of what is and isn’t edible.

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The resulting meal was the most bizarre combination of convenience food I’ve ever heard of.

Apparently, he toasted two slices of bread and slapped an entire package of super noodles (which are basically the U.K.’s version of ramen) between them along with a slice of cheese. According to Christina, it was the most disgusting thing she has ever eaten, but she ate every last bite because she couldn’t bear to hurt his feelings. I don’t think you could pay me to eat that sandwich.

5. A Smokey Steak

Desperate for some decent food, this college student begged his mom to send him some food.

When his next care package arrived, he was thrilled to find she had sent him an entire bag of steaks. As you can imagine, he had to get creative preparing steaks in a college dorm. He got some cheap wine and used a hot plate to keep himself fed. Things went well for a long time until he ran out of wine and money.

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Looking for a creative option ended with a campus-wide evacuation.

In an attempt to save some cash, this college student tried to reuse the wine they had previously used to cook steak in and it didn’t go well. While studying one day, he started cooking a steak in his dorm room and, unfortunate, it started burning. When the steak started smoking, he tried to intervene but it was too late. The fire alarms started going off — in his dorm building and throughout the entire campus. The end result was a campus-wide evacuation!

6. Broke College Student Taco

This student’s version of a “taco” is certainly creative.

Shared on Imgur, the broke college student taco is closer to a sandwich than a taco. It’s the heal of a loaf of bread, a slice of cheese and lunch meat, and some broken potato chips. If I’m being perfectly honest, I love chips on my sandwich and the broke taco looks like something I’d totally eat when in a pinch for some food between classes.

7. The Mondo-Breakfast Oatmeal

This isn’t your mama’s oatmeal.

Oatmeal is a really great food to keep handy if you’re a college student looking for something cheap and semi-nutritious to eat. Reddit user cyrusm took their oatmeal to a whole new level, however. According to their post, the mondo-breakfast oatmeal is a savory concoction complete with a sunny-side-up egg, bacon, and sausage.

8. Ten Slice Catherine

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After a weird lunch, Catherine found herself with a new nickname.

It is hard to explain why we crave what we do after a night of heavy drinking. For Catherine, a hangover craving for carbs plus the limitation of being totally broke ended with a really strange lunch. She ate ten slices of bread in a single afternoon and never lived it down. Her friends gave her a new nickname, “Ten Slice Catherine.”

9. A Five-Course Meal

This college student was cooking full meals out of his dorm room’s shared kitchen, and charging between $10 and $20 to diners.

In 2015, GrubStreet reported on a college student at Columbia who had started an unofficial restaurant in the small kitchen he shared with his roommates. Serving only four people at a time, Jonah Reider prepared between five and eight courses. Called Pith, his “restaurant” was charging only for the cost of ingredients. Despite spending between two and three hours in the kitchen each night, Reider wasn’t making a cent off of his experiment.

It wasn’t long before word got out about the cheap and delicious food Reider was preparing.

Although he originally began by serving only his fellow college students, that didn’t last long. When GrubStreet reported on Reider’s restaurant in October of 2015, he had a waiting list that was full through January. On the list were college students, but also anyone in New York who had caught wind of what he had cooking in this Columbia dorm room. At the time, he had stopped taking reservations, unsure that what he was doing was sustainable for the long-term.

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Reider might not have been making a massive profit on Pith, but his experiment paid off.

In 2018, CNBC reported that Pith was back in business, with a few VERY big changes. Jonah Reider is no longer a college student, but he is the 24-year-old owner of one of the most exclusive supper clubs in New York City. Based in a townhouse in Brooklyn, Reider sells tickets to his supper club two or three times a week for $95. He charges an additional $45 for wine pairings.

Starting a business while still in college isn’t unheard of, but using a toaster oven to become one of the “trendiest” chefs in New York is.

In his interview for CNBC, Reider insists that he was not a good chef when was preparing meals in his dorm room, but his 4,000-diner record says otherwise. His non-restaurant was even on Yelp and getting rave reviews. It is truly amazing that what began as a non-profit and all fun has grown into an establishment attended by celebrities and professional chefs alike. In case you are wondering, his tickets always sell out.

10. Bulk Cooking

A lot of the weird eating habits that emerge in college have less to do with taste and more to do with financial limitations.

Reddit user thegreatgazoo knew how to stretch a buck and adopted a bulk cooking habit in college to get by. Along with their roommate, they would stock up on just pasta and pasta sauce from Sams Club, spending only a few dollars. Cooking it in a batch, that was dinner night after night after night. I’m sure that had to get old, but so would going hungry!

11. In-Class Dining

When you’ve got to get to a lecture, but you need a bite to eat, you’re forced to get really, really creative.

In an article for Spoon University, college students shared the weirdest things they’d eaten while in a college class. Our favorite? A Ziploc bag filled with macaroni and cheese. The funniest part is that this student brought chopsticks along, instead of a fork or spoon, to eat their in-class lunch.

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Cheap college food that is also healthy is hard to come by, so it makes sense that the following student’s classmates took advantage of his willingness to share.

For some reason, this student was given an entire bag of full-sized carrots one day before heading to class. During a test, he pulled a few out to munch on. It wasn’t long before he was sharing, and there were two full rows of students crunching on carrots while finishing up their exams. At least they were eating their veggies?

What is the weirdest thing you ate as a college student?

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