New Food, Beverage Options to Enjoy This Fall

  • August 10th, 2021

There are several new ways to chow down, quench your thirst, and get your caffeine fix on and near campus this fall.

“There are some things we learned during the COVID-19 outbreak that we’ll maintain this year,” said Kristina Patridge, director of University Dining Services. “There will be some food self-serve options that are pre-proportioned out, and all-you-can-eat buffets. It’s like a hybrid system of last year and what we did in previous years before COVID.”

a student wearing a mask in Lakeside dining operates the touchscreen on the new Starbucks Serenade machine
With the new Starbucks Serenade machines located across campus, you can make a custom coffee, chai latte or hot cocoa with just the tap of your finger.

Dining Hall and Menu Upgrades

One change patrons may notice in all the campus dining halls is that Starbucks Serenade machines have been installed. The machines grind whole coffee beans on the spot creating a fresh cup of joe every time. For non-coffee drinkers, fresh-squeezed orange juice is now available in dining halls as well.

Several new food items have been added to the dining hall menus, too, including shawarma. Bama Dining also now offers personalized desserts such as birthday cakes and cookies for students, faculty and staff.

Mobile Ordering and Digital Ordering

Thanks to mobile ordering through Bama Dining’s mobile app, which was introduced last year, eating on campus has never been more convenient and will continue to be offered at all dining halls and many campus eateries. Ordering and pick up at Ferguson Center hot spots will be easier, too. High-speed, self-service ordering stations are being added to the Ferg Starbucks and Chick-fil-A.

New Spots to Check Out

Taking classes in the new Hewson Hall? You can grab a quick coffee on your way to class at the new Cooper Café, which serves Java City Coffee. Offering healthy and refreshing options including shakes, smoothies and coffees that can be made vegan-friendly or lactose-free, Shake Smart will replace Smoothie King at the Student Rec Center. And for those who prefer to consume their smoothies with a spoon, the food truck Blenz Bowls now has a location in the Ferguson Student Center.

Off-Campus Restaurants

This summer, the Strip welcomed Rita’s Italian Ice & Custard/PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans and Jersey Mike’s Subs. Three new eateries will be opening in University Town Center in the coming months. Whataburger, Mediterranean Sandwich Co. and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza will provide more dining options for the UA and Tuscaloosa communities.

For Bama Dining locations, menus and hours, visit the Bama Dining website. Weekly food truck hours can be found on the food truck page.


Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.