Man Goes To The Hospital Just So He Can Eat The Cafeteria Food – 'They Don't Know That You're Not In The Hospital'

If you're searching for a cheap meal spot, look no further.

A man eating freshly cooked food from his local hospital cafeteria. @dreindallas / TikTok via Canva

Money-wise, times are tough, with groceries seemingly more expensive than ever before, housing prices through the roof and inflation on the rise. To combat the cost-of-living crisis, one man revealed a surprising hack that could be the solution to saving your wallet.

The food enthusiast says he always goes to the hospital just to eat their cafeteria food.

Residing in Dallas, Texas, with over half a million followers on TikTok, Dre (@dreindallas) shared a video of his recent expedition to a hospital he frequents whenever he’s on the hunt for something cheap and delicious to eat.


In the two-minute clip, Dre took his viewers to the hospital cafeteria at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and films the surprisingly myriad array of food options they had to offer.



RELATED: Woman Says Her Boyfriend Charged Her $3.23 For Food She Ate At His Mother's House


For this hungry diner, that day called for “a little bit more” of everything in his order: diced red onions, tri-color bell peppers, creamy pasta, and a delectable meat combo of shrimp, chicken, and sausage. 

Cafeteria worker serving food at a hospital. Photo: TikTok / @dreindallas

By the time his order was finished, Dre began indulging himself in the beautifully complicated and savory meal that came at zero cost. 


“I come here all the time to get something to eat,” he said. “They don’t know that you not in the hospital.”

RELATED: Woman Says She Orders Kids' Meals 5 Days A Week Because It's 'Cheaper Than Groceries'

In an email correspondence with the Daily Dot, Dre explained how a scary medical condition introduced him to hospital food. The TikToker revealed that two years ago he suddenly woke up in the ICU due to a rare yet life-threatening blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a condition that provokes a series of blood clots, which can limit blood flow from reaching vital organs that keep the body functioning.

Dre explained that the only solace he had during his hospital stay was none other than the food that was served. “My full stay was 28 days, and all I had was the amazing staff in the cafeteria and their food. They made me feel like I was getting home-cooked meals daily,” he wrote.


Dre films himself eating cafeteria food he ordered at his local hospital.Photo: TikTok / @dreindallas

People in the comments shared a mutual appreciation for hospital cafeteria food.

“My dad just passed from cancer,” one person revealed. “He said the hospital food was his favorite. Made eating a lot easier.”

Another wrote, “My dad been in this hospital for about a year & a half... the cafeteria go so HARD.”


“Me and my husband do this. Hospital cafeteria food is so good and inexpensive,” a third user shared.

Many hospitals don’t have the bandwidth to provide freshly prepared gourmet meals.

Unlike Dre’s to-die-for experience, the bland meals typically served at most healthcare facilities might just make you want to rinse off your tongue. In fact, according to a 2019 study, hospital malnutrition affects 1 in 3 patients.

Fortunately, a handful of facilities have decided to revamp the stigma around hospital food by restructuring their menus to cater to staff and patient dietary needs and preferences, and from the looks of it, it seems that Dre’s local hospital has already taken that first step.


If trying out the hospital cafeteria is intriguing, check with your local hospital's rules before making your reservation. In addition, many hospital cafeterias sit past the security area, meaning only staff, patients and their approved visitors can visit. Otherwise, there does not appear to be any hard and fast rule that eating hospital food when you're not a patient is wrong!

RELATED: Hospital Charging Staff $2 For Single Use Of A Breakroom's Microwave And $30 For A 'Monthly, Unlimited Pass'

Xiomara Demarchi is a writer based in New York covering human interest topics for YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up with them on Instagram.