So freshman year, you buy your typical meal plan and you eat in the cafeteria. WHBC comes in now and again with a DJ to turn it up during midterms and other random times, but the food is cool. Its catered by Sodexo, they have the sandwich line, pizza, burgers, fries, the typical college food. The Cafe does have a Soul Food Thursdays where they do fried chicken, greens, cornbread and the good home cooked food; that's always cool. Sophomore year, when your tired of the cafe, you upgrade your life to Dining Dollars and you eat in the punchout. The punchout is more like fast food restaurants, we have different chains like Magic Johnson, Wild Wings, and a sushi spot. That's cool if you still want to be in the social scene and see your classmates when you eat. After sophomore year, its a combination of the punchout, Georgia Ave, and the food in your fridge, and the food you can get when you have a few dollars left in your bank of account. We give the most of our money to Howard McDonalds which I think is one of the most lucrative McDonald's on the eat coast next to Manhattan; we have Potebelly's which is under wonderful management and is a cool hangout spot, China Wonder, and Subway. So the options become monotonous in four years, but we make due.
Depending on your on-campus housing, you may be required to purchase a meal plan. The meal plans give you access to the main cafeteria (Blackburn), the Punch-Out eatery, and the Annex cafeteria. The cafeterias are leave much to be desired. There are staples such as burgers, pasta, sandwiches, salads and burritos; the main dish changes daily. The Punch-Out eatery is only slightly better with sandwich, pasta, wings/burgers, and chinese stations. There are a few convenience stores to make quick purchases and there is also a restaurant for "fine dining". Overall the food is edible but would probably be better elsewhere. Around campus, your options are limited to McDonalds, Subway, Potbelly's, and Starbucks, to name a few. More quality food will require you to travel or cook yourself.
I gained about 20 lbs actually. The cafeteria in Blackburn is where most freshman eat. The food is hit or miss, but it's one of the social havens your first year at Howard. Most upperclassmen eat in the Punchout, but there's plenty of fast food if you like. Ho-Chi is legendary for their wings and mambo sauce. The store looks gross, but the food is pretty good :)