The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

Opinion: School Lunch Rankings- From the Best to the Worst


For years, public school hot lunches have been the butt of the joke in the collective conscience of American students. You won’t have to look far to find a public school student with a gripe about hot lunch meals. Here at Granada High School, senior Lucas Varagas says, “Sometimes the lunch can be good but it’s a gamble whether it’ll be something good or something that’s hard to eat.” Despite all of this animosity towards hot lunches, the school lunch line is chaotic and full every time lunch is in session. Scanning over Granada’s lunch menu you’ll find 25 unique lunches that get cycled over the school year, here are the ones worth lining up for and the ones only worth eating if you’re really hungry. 

Before reading the list please keep in mind that GHS lunch cooks and staff are not responsible for the menu and work long hours cooking for thousands of students every day. We love our GHS lunch staff and thank them for supplying free food to us five days a week.

1.) Calzone

The best hot lunch on this list is also the hardest to get. Technically served as a vegetarian option to a variety of lunches, this hot lunch is rarely listed on the menu come lunchtime and takes a mix of luck and timing to acquire. Pre-packaged in orange and clear plastic, this Italian delicacy consists of a crisp bread outer shell and a cheese filling. It’s a hot pocket handed to you by the state of California, and it rocks. “The school calzone has no right being as good as it is,” commented Granada senior Isabelle Hart.

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2.) Bosco sticks

This student favorite is a package of 3 mozzarella sticks served with the option of marinara sauce. Having a side dish from a pizza joint handed to you for free midday is one of the best ways to enter fourth period, and it makes the number two spot on this list.

3.) Pepperoni/cheese pizza

There’s no way to go wrong with a slice of pizza. This lunchtime staple is prepared by our lovely lunch staff on campus, and they rock. “The school pizza is definitely the way to go, it’s the only lunch I even bother lining up for,” said senior Joshua Yelavich.

4.) Beef and cheese lasagna

A layer of pasta, cheese, and ground beef completely fills the black serving container, and points are awarded for being the most satisfying meal to eat with the school spork. “The beef lasagna is surprisingly good, definitely underrated by people,” said senior Jack Varagas.

5.) Cheese quesadilla

A staple snack and main dish for Hispanic households, a cheese quesadilla is nearly impossible to get wrong and a great meal to have in between classes.

6.) Bean and cheese burrito

This Mexican-American classic is served so hot it requires patience to eat.

7.) Bean and cheese nachos/southwest dip nachos

A blend of seasoned ground beef, beans, and cheese (or just beans and cheese for vegetarians) with a bag of salty tortilla chips, what could be wrong with that? Keep in mind this lunch has shot up this list since they added salt to the tortilla chips during the 2022-23 school year.

8.) Spicy buffalo nuggets

These buffalo nuggets have a spicy outer breading, just tame enough to be well-liked by the majority of students but not dull enough to not be enjoyable. “I like the buffalo nuggets but only because the school offers ranch; by themselves, those things will have you coughing for days, popeyes biscuit level dry,” commented senior Tara Cayab.

9.) Popcorn chicken

Small bites of fried chicken, similar to something students wait in long lines for after school at Fat Straw Cafe.

10.) Orange chicken over rice

It’s like eating takeout on campus.

11.) Chicken marinara

It’s nearly impossible to mess up a chicken pasta dish.

12.) Chicken chow mein/vegetable chow mein

This is less like eating Chinese takeout on campus and more like eating the side dish the takeout came with and nothing else.

13.) Chicken egg roll

Served with sweet and sour sauce, the chicken eggroll isn’t a student favorite but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a student complaint. This menu item was called “despicable” by GHS senior Isabelle Hart.

14.) Turkey/cheesy marinara pasta bake

The amount of cheese used in this lunch makes it impossible for it to be dry. When this is on the menu you’ll wish they would’ve just served the similar but far superior beef lasagna.

15.) Spaghetti and meatballs

This dish tastes alright after you mix in the caked-on marinara sauce sitting atop the spaghetti. It’s extremely easy to break a spork prong on the tough meatballs, so eat with caution.

16.) Chicken and cheese burrito

Chicken and some unidentified yellow cheese served extremely hot in a tortilla. Not the worst thing you could be eating, but definitely not a first choice.

17.) Chicken Caesar salad/cobb salad/garden salad with pretzel

Salads as a whole aren’t exciting or even close to being a student favorite. The school salad is usually offered as a vegetarian option and not a main dish. It’s nothing to write home about, it’s a salad. “The salad is the only thing I eat from the school’s hot lunch but that’s because I’m a fan of salad,” commented GHS senior Taylin Upshaw.

18.) Chicken teriyaki over rice/chickpea teriyaki over rice

The chicken teriyaki itself is surprisingly good, but the mountain of plain and dry brown rice it’s served on, not so much.

19.) Southwest turkey and pepper jack sandwich

Not a bad lunch on paper, but the combination of individual preferences and allergies keeping any type of sauce off the sandwich and the state forcing whole wheat buns onto the dish killed any flavor the dish had a chance of having.

20.) Turkey ham and cheese sandwich/hoagie 

No condiments whatsoever, just ham and American cheese on wheat bread. Make sure to grab a drink.

21.) BBQ chicken quesadilla

The combination of sweet barbeque sauce and cheesy chicken is an abomination on this Earth.

22.) Crispy/spicy chicken burger

This breaded chicken patty inside of a whole grain bun will send you running to find a glass of water. “This is only worth eating if you’re hungry, I’ve had it a lot, there’s definitely worse you could get,” said senior Cody Malessi.

23.) Hot meatball sub sandwich

When you first get handed this aluminum foil rectangle, the heat radiating off of it seems appetizing. That is until you open the foil to find sauce has soaked into the bread making a soggy meatball sandwich with a smell that can fill a room.

24.) Chicken nuggets and cheesy mashed potatoes/veggie nuggets

Unseasoned chicken nuggets aren’t the worst thing you could be eating, but mass-produced cheesy mashed potatoes come pretty close. “The chicken nuggets are decent, not good but not inedible, just alright,” commented Julia Cuison. A moment of silence for our vegetarian alumni eating unseasoned veggie nuggets when this is on the menu.

25.) Double cheeseburger

Taking the last spot on our list, the double cheeseburger is the worst school lunch you could possibly be served. When you first unpeel the foil on this burger you’ll immediately find that any paper touching the cheese has now become bonded to the cheese. No amount of caution can stop you from spending the first few minutes of your lunch picking paper out of the oily American cheese on the school double cheeseburger. If you’ve successfully de-papered your burger you are now free to enjoy two suspiciously colored meat patties and American cheese, which you’ve now touched all over, between a whole wheat bun.

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About the Contributor
Eddy Martinez, Reporter
Eddy Martinez is part of Granada's class of 2024. Having lived in many different California cities, he's interested in local politics and social change taking place in California. When he's not working on his academics or working his part time job, he's exploring California's beauty at places like Yosemite, San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

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