Prefrosh Preview: Eating at Leo’s—A Primer

Georgetown has but one, single dining hall—everyone’s favorite, Leo J. O’Donovan’s. The University considers purchasing a meal plan a “fundamental part of developing community among resident students,” which seems to be true, though it may be more of a point of commiseration rather than celebration. Here are a few  tips on how to get by dining at Leo’s.

  • Get to meals early. We can’t stress this enough, especially at the beginning of the year. Lines are long and tables can be scarce, so go on off times. This means 11:00-12:15 for lunch and 4:30-6:00 for dinner.
  • Unless you just love eating breakfast, there’s no reason to get a meal plan with more than 14 meals a week. Vox endorses the University’s recommendation to get the 14 plan your first semester.
  • Keep track of the number of meals you use. Running out of meals is not a common occurrence at Georgetown, but make sure you don’t walk up to the card swipers without meals on your GOCard.
  • When you notice that you’ll have meals left over at the end of the week, get grab ‘n go meals and save them for later. Even if you won’t eat all the food, just grab some soda and juice to use as chasers.
  • Don’t be afraid to eat at Leo’s alone. It’ll probably be difficult to schedule a time to go to lunch with all your friends. There’s no shame in it: just get some food and keep yourself busy with a book or a laptop. It’s also best to do this when Leo’s isn’t too busy.
  • Study at Leo’s. If you’re all right with smelling like Leo’s for hours afterward (and oh yes, it’s a distinct smell), head downstairs, find an outlet, and camp out. Not to mention, you also get infinite snacks and free coffee.
  • Late night isn’t that bad. Vox’s previous recommendation to freshmen was to avoid late night altogether. Since then, late night (9pm-11pm, Sunday-Thursday) has gotten better, though it’s still somewhat of a gamble. Some nights they only have breakfast food or pizza-and-corndogs fare. At the same time, they always have the salad bar and cereal out.
  • Invest in some tupperware. While most students get enough cafeteria food during meals, stealing Leo’s food is a cherished Georgetown pastime. If you do it right, then you won’t have to buy bread or fruit for four years.
  • Speak up about how much sauce you want added to your plate when you’re at the make-your-own salad, pasta, and stir-fry stations. Some of the cooks seem to have a heavy hand.
  • Variety is key. Some of the stations change up their menus, but, even so, you don’t want to get stuck eating the same thing every day. If you’ve found something you like, eating it for every meal will certainly change that.
  • The salad bar is where the ladies be at. Take note.
  • Chicken Finger Thursday. Don’t miss it. And be sure to get there early if you want any ketchup.
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday sucks. Make those your Wisey’s days.
  • Sunday Leo’s brunch is awesome. The more hungover, the better.

But before you follow our advice too closely, just a quick caveat: Dining Services apparently reserves the right to search students’ bags:

Coats, backpacks and other personal belongings may be brought into the dining hall with the stipulation that Dining Services reserves the right to search such personal belongings for University property. If participants do not want personal property subject to search then it should not be brought into the dining hall.

That, and Vox previously published two super sophisticated maps of Leo’s for you all to study up on before you reach the Hilltop.

Thanks to Juliana Brint and Rachel Calvert for earlier versions of this post.

9 Comments on “Prefrosh Preview: Eating at Leo’s—A Primer

  1. Why do you guys have a Chick-Fil-A advertisment in your Leo’s map?

  2. I agree with super liberal. vanya leaves for five seconds and all yall’s true homophobic colors start shining that quickly? I’m disappointed. I’m not surprised though. Like they say, Vox News is basically Georgetown’s version of Fox News, right? Or are you just jealous that the LGBTQ center gets more sack funding or something? Typical vox.

    Also you should mention – don’t sit at the big round tables unless you’re with a large group and you dont want to hear half of them (which can happen a lot 1st semester). They’re just too big for you to talk to anyone on the opposite hemisphere of where you’re sitting at.

  3. I didn’t even notice the homophobic cows, but was perturbed by “The salad bar is where the ladies be at. Take note.” I don’t think we need to promote gender stereotyping regarding eating habits. On the other hand Leo’s has a nutritionist available for free that all students can use to help make healthy, body affirming eating decisions.

    This man will be eating lots of salad!

  4. @super liberal Did you miss the part where it says “previously published” and the hyperlink to the original article that published those maps way before the Chick-fil-a controversy?

  5. Does it honestly matter if there is a Chick-fil-a add in their map? Seriously? They are a company that has a right to their own opinion just like JCPenny has the right to support gay marriage. There is no evidence that they do not hire homosexual people so why is it such a huge deal if the owner of the company has a point of view that differs from yours?

  6. Ummmmmmm first off, Leos sucks. Chicken finger thursday’s now suck. Get there early if you want ketchup? Get there early if you want any chicken fingers at all…Second, tupperware doesn’t work anymore, ever notice why they put the cereal outside of the (most amazing smelling!) back room now? Late night sucks so bad it’s not even funny. One time they served fritos as an entrée at late night. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell the head chefs how much they need to step up their game, except Moe and Waka Flocka (or Lil Wayne, whichever you prefer), they are chill. Bottom line, I’m drunk, Leo’s sucks, PEACE.

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