A Definitive Ranking of Columbia Menu Stock Photos

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About any Columbia student who was ever a freshman with that 989-meals-a-week dining plan has probably frequented the Columbia Dining menus before. As such, I’ve recently realized that the dining hall menus use some pretty quality, and some not-so-quality, stock photos to represent their dishes.  After doing some research for this article, I’ve formed a definitive ranking of the dining menu stock photos.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup, John Jay

There is no question that chicken noodle soup is the put-together royalty of menu stock photos. Its matching cloth napkin complements the color of the vegetables in the soup; the saltines placed strategically on the side scream “effortlessly classy.” Even the goddamn spoon looks beautiful. Not only that, but chicken noodle soup is actually good. Chicken noodle soup goes to East Asian and actually gets work done, has a spacious, well-decorated single with a pristine private bathroom in Watt, and probably has flawless (but never trashy) style. Well done, chicken noodle soup.

2. Four Cheese Pizza, Ferris Booth

Four cheese pizza looks fun, but kind of in a showoff way. The fact that it’s named “four cheese pizza” is fancy as fuck, which is well reflected in the vegetables just casually hanging out in the back. Also, the fact that the cheese is oozing off of the slice held up in the air is the food equivalent of that one kid who humblebrags about a 96 on their Frosci midterm, but like, without the curve. Pizza, you’re cute, but kind of annoying.

3. Pancakes with Syrup, Ferris Booth

As far as stock menu photos go, pancakes with syrup are about as basic as you can get. If the pancakes photo was a person, he would probably be named “Matt” and his interests would be Kendrick Lamar, the Ref Room, Canada Goose, and Columbia football (but only this year). He wanted to be a human rights lawyer as a freshman, but that didn’t work out so now he’s an Econ major with an interest in investment banking. We all know pancakes. We all have pancakes in our life. And pancakes is, well, fine. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.

4. John Jay Sushi Roll, John Jay

Okay I’m sorry, but something about this photo just makes me inexplicably, physically uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the completely impractical way the chopsticks are crossed (if you use your chopsticks like that, you need Jesus) or the fact that, like the actual John Jay sushi, there’s no fish in the picture. I honestly just can’t place my finger on it, but something about this picture rubs me the wrong way. This picture is like that one white kid who’s a little too into Asian culture. The only reason why the John Jay sushi roll photo is not at the bottom of this ranking is that even though it’s weird as fuck, it at least assumes a semi-normal facade from first impressions.

5. Vegan Hummus Wrap, JJ’s

Umm excuse me, what is this? I know that vegans have to cut a lot of food groups out of their life, but this is just….sad. Not only does the fact that the background is off-white but not quite completely white bother the fuck out of me, but also – where are all the other ingredients? Where is the “hummus” so quickly promised and then discarded? If you looked at this photo and were like, Wow, delicious! I implore you to reevaluate your life choices.

6. JJ’s Eggs Any Way, JJ’s

I almost didn’t include this photo in the ranking because I couldn’t tell if this was supposed to be food or just a blank picture. Is that supposed to be an egg? Where is the yolk? Where are the egg whites? What kind of person thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of a white object on a white background? That’s like wearing lime green against a green screen – all around just a terrible fucking move. What makes this photo even more disappointing is how promising the title is (“eggs any way!”) and how deeply empty and discouraging the actual photo is. No, no, no, we do NOT stan this. Eggs photo, you’re a disappointment.


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