Delicious local food choices on a college budget

Miranda PrescottA&E Correspondent

Coming into the college world for the first time, many freshmen are searching for the best and most meaningful ways to spend their small stash of dollars. 

While this may include decorations for their dorm room or clothing, it also includes necessities, such as food. Since most of the dorms on campus do not have fully operational kitchens that students have free access to, home-cooked meals are almost impossible to come by. 

Also, let’s be honest here for a minute, the food on campus is good, but after a while, you’re bored of it. Luckily, I am here to tell you the best places to get food quickly and at the best price point. 

Here are three of my favorite places to eat in Jacksonville that have the best quality food for the best prices.

  1.       Cookout

This one is a given. Here, you can grab an entrée, two sides and a beverage for less than five dollars before tax, as well as choose from over 40 milkshake options. One of my favorites on their menu is the bacon cheddar hotdog. It is exactly what it sounds like: a hotdog with two strips of bacon and nacho cheese on top. Fair warning — it can be messy, but doesn’t any food that’s delicious have that problem? Cookout is also open until 2 a.m., meaning that you are pretty much set when it comes to staying out late and having somewhere to go for a quick bite.

  1.       Waffle House

Waffle House is always a viable option for anything. Saturday morning breakfast? Waffle House. 3 a.m. post study session meal? Waffle House. You just had your car break down and really need a pick-me-up? That’s right, Waffle House. You name the scenario, and nine times out of ten Waffle House will always be the answer you are so desperately looking for. Although it is most famous for its namesake waffles, there are options for lunch and dinner, and they will typically cost you less than ten dollars. I typically get the chocolate chip waffle with a side of bacon on a regular visit. However, if you can catch their seasonal blueberry waffle promotion, then do it. You will not regret that decision, I promise.

  1.       Domino’s

Now, it’s a little confusing for this choice to be on the list but hear me out. Domino’s has a deal on their website that allows you to order two pizzas, a bread side, a dessert and a two-liter soda for less than twenty dollars. So not only do you have lunch or dinner for one day, you have lunch and dinner for however long you can make those pizzas last. Now, not only do you get pizza that will last you a while, but you also do good in the world. That is a win-win scenario if I have ever heard of one.

There you go. You now have three of my favorite deals around the community. Yes, there are other deals that I believe are good choices out there, but the three I have listed are, in my opinion, the best you can get out of the food scene in Jacksonville. I really hope this helps with your quest to have food that is dorm-friendly, does not require you to actually cook the meal, and, most importantly, not from the same on-campus locations.

Photo courtesy of Cookout

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