In defense of Okenshields: Cornell’s most underrated dining hall

I love the most widely hated dining hall on campus

I recently joined the page Make Cornell Meme Again, and I noticed a substantial amount of Okenshields memes that discuss how Okenshields has “shitty food.” Overheard at Cornell, another popular Cornell Facebook page, has had multiple posts of people using Okenshields as an insult, including people saying things like, “you are the human version of Okenshields.” I spend a considerable amount of my week on the Arts quad, and with my last name being Shields, I was naturally drawn to Okenshields. I now eat there almost every day and you should too.

Happy Dave

Happy Dave is a local legend, especially in the meme community. Seeing his smile and blond hair every afternoon as he swipes my ID leaves me in a great mood for the rest of the day. Last Monday, he was not working, and I never imagined how unnerved I would be to see someone else in his place.


Dave in the flesh

Garlic Bread

I’m oddly passionate about garlic bread, and it’s rare that I can find garlic bread that I truly enjoy. I genuinely believe Okenshields has the best garlic bread on campus. It’s not too salty and the flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it’s a damn party in the mouth.

Fire Music

Happy Dave also DJs the entire day at Okenshields, playing the greatest hits from 2004 to the present day at full blast. Lunch has never felt more like a party!

The ambiance

The Lines

I, as most people do, hate standing in lines. Nonetheless, waiting up to ten minutes in lines at Okenshields for pasta or sweet and sour chicken really makes me appreciate the work that the chefs have put into our meal.

A delicious Okenshields lunch

That Other Dining Area That Kinda Looks Like Hogwarts

Because Okenshields is in Willard Straight, it naturally has an area that feels like a Harry Potter movie. That room also has a surprisingly large TV so you can eat your lunch while watching Steve Wilkos, college basketball, or whatever the hell AMC decides to throw on at 12 in the afternoon.

Sadly, the TV was off today

Continue to judge Okenshields if you must, but please, give Happy Dave and the gang a visit some time.