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  • Looking for a snack between the meals or for a coffee? No problem in the cafeterias or at the cafebars. Photo: University of Oldenburg / Daniel Schmidt

Meetingpoint: The Mensa

The Mensa canteen offers students a fresh and varied range of food and drinks: from tasty lunches and fresh snacks to coffee for during the breaks.

The Mensa canteen offers students a fresh and varied range of food and drinks: from tasty lunches and fresh snacks to coffee for during the breaks. It is not only places to go when thirsty or hungry, but also important meeting places for students, staff and guests.

The sound of laughter, of people greeting and calling out to each other fills the air. In the queue at the counter, people discuss the latest news. Various aromas that whet the appetite compete with each other. Someone quickly passes on a hot tip about which of today’s dishes is not to be missed. Chairs are shifted around, and the tables are filled with a hodgepodge of students, lecturers and employees who enjoy eating here. You may be wondering: where is this magical location? Well, it’s the Mensa!

Mountains of vegetables

During a regular semester, around 3,700 hot meals are served every day in the Mensa Uhlhornsweg on the Haarentor Campus alone. To keep things running smoothly, Mensa manager Marc Pargmann and his 50-strong team start their preparations at 7 o’clock in the morning: In the canteen kitchen, where the pots are the size of bathtubs, they tirelessly prepare mountains of vegetables, clean fish and tenderise meat. Pre-prepared food has no business here.

The food and drink on offer at the Mensas and cafés run by Studentenwerk Oldenburg is healthy, fresh and sustainably produced. As early as 1983, vegetarian meals were added to the menu in response to students’ requests. The current menu includes up to seven dishes, from the classic schnitzel to vegan couscous dishes.

Whether in German or English, the new Mensa web app, which can be used on the smartphone with just a few clicks, provides a quick overview. This way, the designated allergens can be filtered in the blink of an eye, so that allergy sufferers can also enjoy their meals without worrying. In addition, the illustrations of the menu help you decide between the changing dishes and the abundance of side dishes and desserts: seasonal vegetables, rosemary potatoes, freshly fried fries and crisp salads. And to top it all off, there is always a great selection of desserts, such as a light chocolate cream, vanilla blancmange or an Egyptian pastry with a hint of orange.

Create your favourite pizza

Be sure to have your decision-making hat on if you head to the pizza counter; here, you can create your favourite pizza.

A lot of the ingredients used in dishes at the Mensa are organic. In 2004, the Oldenburg Mensa was the first in Lower Saxony to be awarded the organic logo in accordance with the EU Eco Regulation. Beef and pork are reared in welfare-friendly conditions, and fish comes exclusively from sustainable fisheries or organic aquacultures.

It goes without saying that the Mensa also uses regional and seasonal products. And the coffee on campus is fair-trade, organic coffee. By purchasing bottles of Viva con Agua water, Mensa guests can support the foundation of the same name, which is dedicated to providing access to clean drinking water all over the world.

Freshly baked goods every day

And don’t worry, you won’t go hungry on the Wechloy Campus, either; the Mensa here also offers plenty of freshly cooked meals. For those who can’t make it to the Mensa for lunch, there’s always the large cafeteria on Uhlhornsweg (where you can grab a fresh pizza in the afternoon) as well as three café bars on the Haarentor Campus and the new canteen on the Wechloy Campus. So, there are plenty of options to satisfy growling stomachs!

Those who are in a particular hurry can now use the express checkouts in both Mensas. There, guests can pay conveniently with their CampusCard. The only prerequisite is that the card must be loaded with credit at the appropriate terminals beforehand, then nothing stands in the way of enjoyment - even in the cafeterias. If you don't even have time to eat, you can also take food with you. The Mensas offer a sustainable takeaway service that enables transport in reusable containers.

And, did you know... The Uhlhornsweg cafeteria offers an extraordinary number of home-made products. Among other things, rolls, flatbread, bread, cakes and pies come from their own production.

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