Campus Dining

San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: The dining is subpar, nothing quite extravagant, but satisfactory nonetheless.

2 College Senior

Campus Dining: The food tastes like cafeteria food and does not seem like high quality or fresh

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There are many different options for food on campus all with fast service which is a plus.

1 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Campus dining is the worst aspect of freshman year.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The food itself is not too great, but there are a lot of options. However, eating the same things over and over gets you very sick of it.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 165th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 1338th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 1340th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 1347th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 1363rd
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Burbank CA
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Campus food is, well, campus food. It's better than McDonald's, but it's not mom's apple pie, either. Since everyone comes from different culinary backgrounds, it's impossible to please everyone. But you become accustomed to it. There are many options to choose from: deli sandwiches at VGs, semi-fast food at the Avenue, or packaged goods from the Campus Market. 

Freshmen who live on campus are required to have a meal plan, but they can choose from three. In each, there is a specified number of meals allotted each week, along with Plu$ Dollars, which work like cash on campus. With the meal plan, the more meals you get, the less Plu$ Dollars you receive. The trick is figuring out what kind of an eater you are. If you prefer three square meals a day, pick the plan with the most meals. If you are picky and like to snack here and there, pick the plan with the most Plu$ Dollars. If you don't know, compromise and go with the in-between option. Campus dining also offers a meal plan for off-campus residents, but don't bother—it's more expensive to purchase the plan than to buy five meals with cash.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4556 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
A dining plan is mandatory for all freshmen on campus.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
19 Metro station
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • The Avenue
  • Starbucks
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Breakfast burrito
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Subway sandwiches
  • Tacos
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Starbucks
  • Waffles
Student Favorites
  • 19 Metro Station
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Did You Know?
Campus dining works to accommodate students with special dietary concerns such as vegan, religious, allergies, and others. It's also very easy to eat vegetarian on campus.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

19 Metro station
Location: University Union
Food: All-you-care-to-eat
Hours: Monday–Friday 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.–8 p.m.
The Avenue
Location: Dining complex next to the University Union
Food: American, Asian, Mexican
Hours: Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Campus Market
Location: Building 24
Food: Convenience store, grill, groceries
Hours: Monday–Friday 6:30 a.m.–12 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: University Union
Food: Pizza (by the slice or whole), salad bar, free delivery on campus
Hours: Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–12 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–12 a.m.
Curbside Grill
Location: Mobile restaurant; Dexter Lawn and Cerro Vista Apartments
Food: American, Korean, Mexican
Hours: Monday 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Tuesday 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m., Wednesday–Friday 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Poly Canyon Village
Food: Bagels, coffee, sandwiches
Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Jamba Juice
Location: Poly Canyon Village
Food: Fresh-squeezed juice, smoothies, yogurt
Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Julian's Patisserie
Location: Kennedy Library (second floor)
Food: Coffee, pastries, sandwiches, tea
Hours: Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–10:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
Lucy's Juice
Location: Building 19, Dining Complex
Food: Smoothies, juice
Hours: Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Peet's Coffee & Tea
Location: Poly Canyon Village
Food: Coffee, tea
Hours: Monday–Friday 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sage Restaurant
Location: Building 112
Food: Upscale dining, contemporary and ethnic dishes
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sandwich Factory
Location: University Union
Food: Sandwiches made to order, bagels, breakfast croissants, breakfast burrito, waffle, drinks, yogurt
Hours: Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Starbucks Coffee
Location: University Union, Campus Market
Food: Coffee, drinks, pastries
Hours: Monday–Friday 6:30 a.m.–12 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Building 34, Dexter
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Daily 24 hours
Tacos To-Go
Location: Building 24, Dexter
Food: Mexican
Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
VG Café
Location: Building 112
Food: Grill items, pasta, subs, specialties of chicken and beef, salad bar, desserts
Hours: Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–2 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–12 a.m.
Village Market
Location: Poly Canyon Village
Food: Cal Poly and local produce, snacks, organic foods
Hours: Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–12 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–12 a.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 129 responses

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

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 18 responses

  • 37% Einsteins
  • 24% Sandwich Factory
  • 18% Subway
  • 11% Burger Bar
  • 5% Salad Bar at Campus Market & The Ave
  • 5% Sage

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 17 responses

  • 39% Metro
  • 32% VG's
  • 16% All food is horrible on campus
  • 13% Tacos to Go

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 18 responses

  • 43% Eating the same thing over and over
  • 39% The food
  • 18% Lack of healthy options

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 18 responses

  • 45% The 8 meal / $525 Plusdollar plan
  • 35% Nothing
  • 20% Can choose from 19 locations to purchase food
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