It’s an open secret: students spend half their time in college in the canteen — and this time colleges are preparing in advance to indulge them. With spruced up menu cards, new colour schemes and comfortable furniture, colleges in Delhi University’s North Campus are going the extra mile.
Sri Ram College of Commerce and Daulat Ram College plan to add gol gappe, bhelpuri and dahi bhalle to their menus: Rs10 per plate, while Hindu and St Stephen’s plan to serve a variety of fast food, including pizzas, hot dogs, dosas and idlis. Hindu also plans to serve American corn and sprouted bean salad for the health freaks.
“The charm of canteens is they are affordable. Since college students always run on a tight pocket, they look forward to affordable, good quality food,” said Hina, a final-year student at Miranda House.
Canteens are also upgrading facilities. “Our canteen has a ‘eat then pay’ service. It has a restaurant feel to it and we also provide a buffet for just Rs35”, said Rajesh, manager of St Stephen’s cafe.
The most renowned of the lot is the Delhi School of Economics canteen, known for its keema dosa, mutton cutlets and jelly, all priced at around Rs15-20. The DSE canteen also serves filtered Indian coffee that few other college canteens can match up to.
“At Hindu we always ask for seekh kebab rolls and jelly. The shahi paneer with butter naan is also one of my favourite at just Rs20,” said Saiba, final-year student at St Stephen’s. “I also love their chole bhature, shakes and fresh juice.”
Among other popular canteens is Kirori Mal’s, known for its rajma rice priced at Rs10-12. “We are perhaps the only college canteen that offers a variety of shakes including vanilla, strawberry, butterscotch and pineapple, all priced only at Rs10,” said Jagdish, who works in the canteen.
For the health-conscious, colleges such as Stephen’s and Hansraj provide fresh juice, shakes and lassi at Rs10-12.
So if you are a foodie or love hanging out with friends over a cup of coffee, do check out the college canteen before making up your mind. And who knows, they might be talking about your presence years after they are gone, just like they do in Hans Raj College.
“Shah Rukh Khan used to come to our canteen after his game of hockey and eat his fill of spring rolls and cheese cutlets,” recalls Anthony, owner of Hans Raj canteen for the last 25 years.