Food Court Foods You Should Absolutely Never Touch

Hunger strikes nearly everyone at the mall, sooner or later. But the choices at the food court are not all created equal. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on something that didn’t taste half as good as you thought it would. These are the food court foods you should never eat.

For pizza chains desperate to crack the food court puzzle, the solution seemed simple: Make pizza available, without making customers wait to have the dough mixed to perfection, layered with cheese and toppings, and cooked in a high-heat oven. After all, mall shoppers have a packed day of shopping ahead of them; they can’t be expected to wait around while their fresh food cooks. Making a few pizzas ahead of time, keeping them warm, and selling them by the slice must have made a lot of sense.

The problem here is volume. If you’re hitting the food court during peak mealtimes, these pizzas are turning over pretty quickly, and you’re able to get a fresh and delicious slice.

But hit the mall in the mid-afternoon, and there’s no telling how long those slices have been sitting under the warmer. If you must resort to eating food court atrocities, the least you can do is eat food that’s made to order.

Basic food safety issues aside, gigantic steam table trays of spaghetti and meatballs or eggplant Parmesan are also nutritional minefields. Look, we get it; you’ve had a tough day of spending money. But unless you’re an Olympic athlete, you don’t need to pile 1,200 calories worth of sugary carbohydrates down your gullet in one sitting. These dishes aren’t going to energize you for more shopping. Instead, they’ll probably make you want to go home and crash.