Ask Abe: Famous Campus Foods

An Alum

What are some of the famous campus foods?


The first class of students, back in 1849, probably lived on bread, milk, and the odd fish from Lake Mendota. We’ve come a long way. Today, the most universal favorite food is Babcock ice cream. In the mid-1900s, chef Carson Gulley’s fudge-bottom pie was wildly popular. It still makes an appearance at dining halls and class-reunion dinners. Juston Stix, created by Juston Johnson ’02, were added to the UW Housing menu in 1997. The butter- and cheese-covered bread sticks were a huge hit for years, but alas, they are no longer offered. Brats on the Terrace and Union popcorn are time-honored traditions. But UW students, ever in pursuit of calorie-laden goodness, often source their sustenance off campus. The venerable Plazaburger with its secret sauce holds a special place in the hearts of many alums. More recently, Ian’s mac and cheese pizza has become a student staple. Another recent favorite, judging by the crazy-long lines at the Fresh Cool Drinks food cart on Library Mall, are the huge spring rolls priced for a student budget at only $3.50 apiece. Giant pancakes at Mickie’s Dairy Bar and (especially at bartime) gyros from the Parthenon and donuts from the Greenbush Bakery are other popular go-tos. What were your favorites when you were on campus?