Campus Dining

Location
Brunswick, ME
Undergrads
1,831
Tuition
$44,118
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The dining hall food is good. There are many options available for all types of diets, especially for vegetarians and others. There's something for everyone present at every meal. Outside of the Dining Hall, Jack McGee's Pub and Grill is a fantastic place to get grill food. The Cafe in Smith Union is a nice place to get coffee and other kinds of pastries. Finally, the C-Store in Smith Union is a good place for students to buy snacks and drinks.

The general meal plan is 19 per week. This means that during the weekdays, students may have breakfast, lunch and dinner in one day, while on the weekends only brunch and dinner are served. There is also another late night option for students called supersnacks. If for some reason a student missed one of the nineteen meals, the meal transfers over, meaning that you would be able to use it for another meal on a different day. In addition, at the start of each semester, students are given $100 by the college, who calls the money "polar points." Polar points may be used to buy food that is sold outside of the dining halls; this includes Jack McGee's, the C-Store and the Cafe.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: Any food you can think of...easy to put on weight.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: Great quality food. Generally locally sourced organic options. We have our own butcher.

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: It's the best in the nation and it deserves it! The dining is amazing!

5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Bowdoin's dining is amazing and more than worth what it costs. While it's not quite as good as my home food, many students would rather have dining food than home food. While it might be nice if dining was open 24/7 (their hours are still decent), it's hard to complain about anything. Sure, the lettuce might seem old on Thursdays, and a fish taco might be soggy if you come late, but beside them are fresh spinach and amazing London broil. With at least four main options (and about six sides, plus salad and sandwich bars, a few desserts and always-available cereal) in the all-you-can-eat environment (plus the made-to-order pub meals and express meals), dining is awesome, even after a couple of years. Also, there are always veggie/vegan options, about 90% of which are top quality.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 3rd
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 3rd
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 4th
    Best Quality Food
  • 5th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 15th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Danica Loucks
Hometown
Hamilton, Mont.
Major
Probably Sociology and German
View all previous student authors

Most college students suffer through years of on-campus cafeteria food. However, at Bowdoin, each meal is like eating at a restaurant but even better because you can wear your pajamas if you want! This is the place to be if you want to make your own omelets at brunch, decorate cupcakes, squeeze fresh orange juice, and eat such things as mussels in butter sauce, teriyaki chicken, or pesto pizza. The meal rotation pattern can sometimes be indentified and you might see an entrée repeated every two weeks or so, but the food is so good that having it again is quite alright. Both main dining halls offer hot entrées, a deli, salad bar with vegetables from Bowdoin's organic garden, soups, cereal, dessert, soft serve ice cream, and a wide variety of drinks, and each menu expresses the unique personalities of the head chefs, who specialize in different cuisines and styles. And all of these are just the regular offerings—special meals, like Thanksgiving, are even more impressive! And you can definitely get your fill of the food here. All first-year students receive the 19-meal plan, which can be used at any of the following meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the week, brunch and dinner on the weekends, and Super Snack on Thursday–Saturday nights.

Each dining hall has a unique atmosphere. Moulton has small tables and simple lighting to create an informal setting, and there is also a second dining room there with cushioned seats that give it a diner-like appearance. Thorne Hall is much more grandiose, with high ceilings, artistic lighting, and long tables, creating an ambience of a banquet. All dining locations offer comment cards where Bowdoin students can voice their opinions and desires, and the staff tries its best to meet requests if possible. Speaking of the staff, the head chefs are backed up by a wonderful group of people from their supervisor (who is also a registered dietitian and can help you if you have dietary restrictions) to the dishwashing crew and everyone in between. Overall, Bowdoin Dining Service is a great source of pride for employees and students alike because of its food quality, variety, value, and options regarding ethnic, kosher, organic, vegan, and vegetarian foods.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
19
Average Meal Plan Cost
$6390 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
All first-year students get the 19-meal plan.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
Moulton Union is especially popular for breakfast and lunch, while Thorne is more popular for dinner.
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
The C-Store (officially known as Bowdoin Express)
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Bowdoin waffles (the waffle iron has the Bowdoin emblem)
  • Homemade granola
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
Thanksgiving dinner is the most popular meal all year, but on a regular basis, the dining hall that serves chicken Parmesan will get the most students.
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
Super Snack in Thorne Hall
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
None
Special Options
The dining halls do a pretty good job of providing kosher, vegan, and vegetarian options, as well as dishes for student who are lactose intolerant or have celiac. However, it's not a guarantee that everyone working in the dining hall understands various dietary conditions and restrictions, so it is important to ask about each dish and be clear when describing your needs. Students can also use Bowdoin's catering services for student organization or personal events (for a price, of course!).
Did You Know?
  • Bowdoin is ranked No. 2 in the nation for best dining-hall food, and offers one of the best meal plan options for the money among Ivy League or NESCAC schools. And while dining isn't quite as great as it used to be (Bowdoin used to be No. 1 in the nation!) due to a reduced budget in harder economic times, the chefs are great at making do with whatever they have.
  • The lighting in Thorne Hall was the gift of a successful alumnus who requested his donation be used for the "artistic betterment" of the campus. The lights flash rhythmically and with varied colors.
  • Dining services kicks off the academic year with the Lobster Bake. The Lobster Bake is an all-campus event held before the start of classes with fresh Maine lobster, clams, grilled corn, seafood chowder, steak, and chicken. The bake is held at the Farley Fields. It is a good time for students to meet new friends and visit with old ones.
  • Dining services offers many themed-meal options for the student body during Parent's Weekend, Homecoming, Trustee Committee Weekend, Thanksgiving, and holiday festivities.
  • Thorne Hall opens from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday for Super Snack. Snacks are provided, including cheese, chips, cookies, crackers, cut-up vegetables, grilled cheese, and fun creations made from leftovers.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Bowdoin Express
Location: Smith Union
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
The Café
Location: Smith Union
Food: Bagels, baked goods, snacks, sushi
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Jack Magee's Grill
Location: Smith Union
Food: Appetizers, burgers, nachos, wraps
Hours: Monday -Wednesday 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 6 p.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 6:30 p.m.-12 a.m.
Jack Magee's Pub
Location: Smith Union
Food: Mostly appetizers
Hours: Thursday 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Friday 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Moulton Hall
Location: Moulton Union basement
Food: Cereal station, dessert bar, hot entrées, salad bar, sandwich bar, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. (express meals are available 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.), Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thorne Hall
Location: The Tower
Food: Buffet, including Cereal station, dessert bar, hot entrées, salad bar, sandwich bar, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Super Snack is available Thursday-Saturday 10 p.m.-1 a.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 39 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Availability
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

Photos

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