© Rick Poon / Thai Chicken Soup
London is full of amazing restaurants, but Olympic athletes can’t entrust their diets to just anyone. The U.S. team installed its own nutrition center and dining hall with staff who know exactly what an athlete needs—like a recovery shake for an underweight wrestler or a calorie-packed dinner for an exhausted swimmer. But it’s not just protein shakes and plain pasta. The center provides a wide selection of foods so that the athletes will actually enjoy refueling. “About seven years ago, we took nutrition science and merged it with culinary arts, and we now call it our performance-based menu,” says the U.S. Olympic Committee’s associate director of food and nutrition services to Outside Magazine. “We’re the only country in the world that is providing this level of food service.” While there are burgers, a full salad bar, a deli and more, the most popular dish in the dining hall is a Thai chicken noodle soup. F&W’s version of the tangy, spicy soup uses rice instead of noodles and creamy coconut milk for a filling dinner that's also superfast.