Feeling Like Home At High Point University
Being from Northern Virginia, I was one of many students who struggled to feel at home during my first semester at High Point University. It’s easy to feel like an outsider when you don’t know anything about this new living area – how do you fit in if everything back home was different? Now I’m a junior at HPU and, luckily for you, can save you the time of figuring these things out on your own! From the best restaurants around to what the food is like on campus, your dining experience plays a huge role in how welcome you feel! This blog post has your back when it comes to all of the above, and then some. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything I wish I had known about available dining options in High Point when I was in your shoes.
At first glance, the city of High Point may not seem like it has much to offer, but there are more than a few hidden gems. I’ll stick to the main attractions closest to the school, which include Debeen Espresso, Penny Path Café and Crepe Shop, Sweet Old Bill’s, Giannos of High Point & Andy’s Frozen Custard.
The first few weeks of college are extremely important in terms of establishing a friend group and bonding with the people you are around. You want to have off-campus places to hang out with your friends and great brunch places to look forward to during a hard week at school, but you also want to know about on-campus options for a typical day of classes, tests, and homework without having to think twice.
One of the best activities to aid in this bonding is spending a Sunday at High Point’s popular espresso and bakery shop with a group of new friends catching up on homework.
Debeen is a complete hole-in-the-wall place, located just two minutes away from HPU but hard to spot unless you are actively looking for it. However, the inside is a completely different story. There are plenty of seats and creative, comfortable lounging areas. There is even a koi pond fountain and a yoga studio if you want to try a yoga class out! Debeen is the place to go on the weekends, and the coffee and tea options are incredible – I personally recommend the Banana Bread Latte, one of many creative flavors offered.
Another fun weekend option would be Penny Path Cafe – only a five-minute drive away from campus, and a local favorite for both sweet and savory crepes. This place has tons of options and is a great location for a Saturday brunch hang out. A personal favorite has to be the Kitchen Sink – stuffed with tomatoes, hummus, pesto, artichoke hearts, and much more. I get this crepe with my friends after hitting the gym on Saturday mornings for a protein boost. This cafe is located in the small downtown area of High Point, near where the furniture market is held in fall and spring, so the sites are scenic and a nice change of scenery than the rundown roads just outside of campus.
Looking for something heartier? Check out Sweet Old Bill’s, a southern favorite just a minute away from campus with a large, inviting dining space for hosting families or friend groups. This restaurant features seasonal dishes such as a delicious Sweet Potato Waffle in the fall around Halloween and is beloved by the students and locals of HPU for the mouth-watering BBQ and nachos. Come here on a Friday night for a social atmosphere with friends, or to watch your favorite sports team play on the tv on the weekend! In terms of a personal recommendation, hands down I suggest the nachos. They taste great every time and are always served quickly.
Now that we’ve covered some student-loved, tried and true basics, there’s one last essential college category: where do I take my parents when they come down to visit me or move me in? One word: Giannos. This Italian restaurant is no more than five minutes away from campus and has some of the best casual Italian food around. The restaurant is popular among local families, making it the perfect place to bring family members for a family-safe, fun environment close by. Giannos is well-known on campus as they sponsor many of HPU’s sports team dinners and are a popular take out place for students on the weekends. A personal favorite of mine would have to be the build your own pasta choice: you get to pick everything, down to the type of sauce and the shape of your noodles!
Since family is never a one size fits all scenario, I’ll supply a dessert option as well. Andy’s Frozen Custard is by far the best dessert joint for a casual family hang out or a break from moving in during the hot late summer months in North Carolina. They have tons of flavors to choose from and fun seasonal options. My favorite thing to pick has to be the snowman concrete, which includes vanilla frozen custard with chocolate chips and strawberry puree. There are benches to sit on outside, and this is a favorite of HPU’s students when the weather gets nice later on in the spring semester months before moving out.
Food on Campus
While the restaurants and hang out spots around High Point are fun, they can get pricey fast. So, let’s talk about our meal plan at HPU – there are tons of easy options on campus, and the mobile ordering app is essential for grab-and-go lunches when you’re in a rush walking to class. The largest dining areas on campus include Farmers and The Caf, both being completely different options to choose from. The Caf features traditional American cuisine, with a brunch of eggs, sausage, and pancakes available every morning, and then slightly different options for lunch and dinner every day. Some popular Caf dinners include the pasta bar, where you get to choose what you want on your pasta and see it be made right in front of your own eyes, fried chicken and mac and cheese Fridays, and the avocado toast bar.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, however, Farmers is the place for you. Every day for lunch, there is a buffet style line open where you can make your own taco or rice bowl, or even opt for nachos, much like Chipotle, as well as a salad bar open 24/7 with heart-healthy ingredients such as kale, spinach, tomatoes, and hummus. For dinner, Farmers offers a make your own stir fry option where you can decide on a base of rice noodles or rice, and then add whatever toppings you like. My personal favorite would be a rice base with a protein of chicken, and toppings including snow peas, bell peppers, and bock choy. Farmers also have a frozen yogurt bar, as well as freshly made chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies by the beverages area.
However, sometimes you’re in a rush and too busy to go to a dining hall location. Sometimes you just need something quick and easy. Don’t worry! HPU has many fast food chains available on campus, and some are even relatively healthy options! The most popular mobile order locations on campus include Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Starbucks, and The Point. The Point is very much like a sports bar, serving burgers, wraps, and pizzas all day, and open late into the night. While it is fun to visit The Point with friends because of the speakers always playing music and the large TVs on the walls, it’s also a great option to just grab and go from. Sometimes The Point will feature special menu items for a limited time only, such as a wings night for Super Bowl Sunday, or a chicken parmesan sub for the month of April.
In terms of healthier grab and go options, there are two great choices on HPU’s campus: Butterfly Café and The Bakery. The Butterfly Café is a Mediterranean cultural experience, with the most popular menu item being a make your own bowl, where you can decide between a lettuce base, wrap, or many other options. This is a fun option because while it is primarily a grab and go place, the ingredients used are healthier and rare, with protein options such as falafel balls or salmon fillets, and sides such as mozzarella and tomato salad or pasta salad.
Last but certainly not least, HPU offers two extraordinary dining options as a fancier dinner option. These two locations are only available through booking a reservation online here with your student account information, and the reservations fill up extremely fast each week!
The first of the two is 1924 Prime, a steakhouse located on campus. This place is a tradition for formal nights, date nights, or just a night out with friends and an excuse to dress up and enjoy yourself. Each month, Prime hosts a different culture of the month, adding a dish from the culture onto the menu. This month, the culture is Brazil and the menu option is a delicious flank steak with a side of cilantro lime rice in an orange ginger sauce.
The second formal dining restaurant on campus is called Alo, located in the brand new Qubein arena and has a Mediterranean focused menu. Both options are included in HPU’s student meal plan and have a restriction of each student only being allowed to come once a week.
Now that you know everything there is to know about where to go on campus and off campus, you’ll be well fed, well informed, and full of ideas for social events - family or friend based.
A huge part of feeling at home in a new place is the dining experience, and I hope you will find that High Point has so much to offer in this category, as I have throughout my years at HPU.