Campus Dining

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Like everything else, it's vastly improving.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Somewhat of a range, not very healthy at all.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Gets really old, REALLY fast!

2 College Junior

Campus Dining: As far as eating healthily and for a good price, there really is no place that is good for both, excepting The Exchange.

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: There is no official dining hall. There's little cafes around campus. I feel like the meal plan is generally a big rip off. It's cheaper to pay by cash, in my opinion, because for me, one meal is not worth $10-$11. There is a wide selection, with options like sushi, stir fry, and Indian. However, I find that options at the Underground, Skibo, and the CM Cafe are very unhealthy. I like how they have a small World of Cultures cafe where they change the culture being featured each week. However, the food might not always be good (I definitely recommend the French food). The crepe place is my favorite. I feel like they're always good and the chefs are nice enough to let you replace any ingredients you don't enjoy. Dinex/flex dollars are the best part about the meal plan because you can spend it at La Prima and at Entropy. La Prima has awesome mocha lattes and pastries, but be warned that they usually run out by noon. Tazza d'Oro also has great pastries.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 141st
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 310th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 356th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 427th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 1273rd
    Healthiest Dining Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Brookfield, CT
Professional Writing
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

In comparison to most campus dining halls, Carnegie Mellon's dining options are really varied. There is only one dining hall-style eatery that utilizes the system of trays to collect pre-cooked, buffet-style food. This dining hall, Schatz, is really only used by students on weekend mornings when they want their dose of greasy and soothing hangover food. The rest of the vendors and restaurants on campus cook food to order, which almost guarantees a hot meal. Even though the options are varied, students with meal plans usually have to eat on campus three meals a day to make the most out of their expensive meal plan. As such, even the most varied of options becomes monotonous, a downside many students are quick to exclaim. Some vendors also have higher quality food than others, which is why places like The Exchange and Tazza D'Oro are favored over Si Señor and The Underground. 

Another downside to campus dining is the block system. Unlike most schools, where a meal is an all-you-can-eat affair, a block is a set amount of food at most of the restaurants on campus. Also, there are set meal times in which blocks can be used, and more than one block cannot be used for the same meal time. It gets confusing, and many students find it frustrating that they aren't always getting what they pay for, especially because when you do the math, the price of a meal is usually less than the price of a block. Students are usually astounded by the food variety at first, but it gets old quickly. However, overall, it's better quality than the dining hall mush served at most schools, so many students just grin and bear it and eat off campus as much as possible.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4920 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
  • The Exchange
  • Resnik House
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • Entropy
  • The Exchange
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
Breakfast sandwich (The Underground)
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Pasta (Pasta Villaggio)
  • Sushi (Sushi Too)
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
Pizza (Skibo Café)
24-Hour Dining
None-although the Maggie Murph Café in Hunt Library is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday.
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • Eat'n Park (Squirrel Hill)
  • Subway (Craig Street)
  • Vocelli Pizza
Special Options
On Margaret Morrison Street, right next to the soccer field, there are four or five food trucks open for lunch and dinner. These vendors, fondly called "the trucks," offer Thai, Chinese, Indian, and more at cheap prices.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Location: Newell-Simon Atrium
Food: Chinese
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon Café
Location: Resnik House
Food: Hot breakfast, fried foods, sundaes and milkshakes
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.- 12 a.m.
City Grill
Location: University Center
Food: Burgers, fries
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Downtown Deli
Location: University Center
Food: Panini, sandwiches, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: University Center
Food: Campus convenience store
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-2 a.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Location: University Center
Food: Vegan, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Exchange
Location: Tepper School
Food: Sandwiches, hot soups, and entrées
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ginger's Express
Location: Baker Hall and Purnell Center
Food: Coffee, sandwiches, salads, and soups
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Heinz Café
Location: Hamburg Hall
Food: Grab-'n-go
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Kosher Korner
Location: University Center
Food: Kosher meals, salad bar
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
La Prima Espresso
Location: Wean Hall
Food: Espresso, cappuccino, Italian pastries
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Maggie Murph Café
Location: Hunt Library
Food: Starbucks coffee, pastries
Hours: Sunday 12 p.m.-Friday 9 p.m. (24 hours), Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Mitchell's Mainstreet Marketplace
Location: Newell-Simon Atrium
Food: Soup, hot entrée and salad bar
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Pasta Villaggio
Location: University Center
Food: Made-to-order pasta bowls
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Quick Piks
Location: University Center
Food: Grab-'n-go
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Schatz Dining Hall
Location: University Center
Food: Buffet-style breakfast, daily specials, grill, salad bar
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
SEIber Café
Location: Software Engineering Institute
Food: Sandwiches, hot entrées, coffee and pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Si Señor
Location: University Center
Food: Southwest/Mexican
Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Skibo Café
Location: University Center
Food: Coffee, sandwiches, salads, and soups
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-2 a.m.
Souper Soup
Location: Resnik House
Food: Soup and full salad bar
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Spice it Up Grill
Location: Resnik House
Food: Burgers, steaks and fries
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Spinning Salads
Location: University Center
Food: Fresh salad bar
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Mellon Institute
Food: Grab-'n-go
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sushi Too
Location: Resnik House
Food: Sushi
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Take Comfort
Location: Resnik House
Food: Hot entrées
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Take Comfort Too
Location: University Center
Food: Hot entrées
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tartans Pavillion
Location: Resnik House
Food: Pasta, pizza
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
Taste of India
Location: Resnik House
Food: Indian
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Tazza D'Oro
Location: Gates Hillman Center
Food: Coffee, paninis, pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Totally Juiced
Location: University Center
Food: Fruit and juice bar
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Underground
Location: Morewood E-Tower
Food: Hamburgers, sandwiches, salads
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
The Zebra Lounge
Location: College of Fine Arts
Food: Baked goods, coffee, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 67 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 worst food options on campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 33% Schatz
  • 33% The Underground
  • 22% The Options on campus
  • 11% Every single one

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 67% The Exchange
  • 33% To make your own food.

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% The Exchange
  • 20% Nothing really


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