Campus Dining

Mount Vernon, IA
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3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Sometimes, the food is great. I live for the quesadillas and mac&cheese. However, a lot of times there aren't many good options. There isn't a lot of variety, and the good food is a little more rare. Sometimes, in the past, the food wasn't well cooked. I work in the dining hall and I remember a chef who managed to burn the outside of burgers while the insides were undercooked. I live for the days prospective students or alumni visit, because the school tries to impress them and we get better food.

The café, Zamora's Market, has better food including chicken strips and bacon cheeseburgers, as well as packaged food like pop tarts. Of course, it gets pretty expensive. If you have the flex dollars meal plan, you get 100 flex dollars a semester, and it's easy to use those up quickly if you aren't careful.

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: With Bon Apetit, the campus dining has improved dramatically.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The cafeteria food is decent. It's crazy repetitive but they at least try to do unique items. They always have vegetarian/vegan options. People complain a lot, but it's not that bad. Zamora's is a food place in the commons and they have pretty good food, but it's kind of pricey. You can get a meal plan that includes money for it, and I definitely recommend it unless you eat breakfast every single day.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: It's Bon Appetit, environmentally friendly and most of the items are good/make you feel good about eating them

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Meal Plan Is OK – They offer a variety of food for every one. From pasta to salads to tacos and meats. But after a while eating at the dining hall day after day it gets boring. They have a nice dessert and drink selection as well. You just need a break from it every once in a while.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 1054th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 1219th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 1294th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 1352nd
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 1353rd
    Best Cafeteria Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Erin McNeill
Foristell, MO
Sociology/Anthropology, English
View all previous student authors

Variety and flavor can be hard to come by in Cornell’s only dining hall. However, a little bit of creativity can go a long way toward making any meal more enjoyable. Homemade English muffin pizzas and microwaved nachos are just a couple of the student creations you can find at a meal. The menu rotates on a monthly basis, which means students can know which days will offer a favorite and which days to just go to the Ratt. The limited hours for each meal take some adjustment, but in just a couple of weeks, your stomach will be growling if you haven’t eaten dinner by 5:30 p.m.

The cost and inflexibility of meal plans are often the biggest complaints. Students can choose between one of three identically-priced plans: 20 meals/week, 14 meals/week + $100 in Munch Money (which can only be used in the Ratt), or 180 meals/semester. There is a 7 meals/week plan, but it is only available to students living off campus or with special circumstances, like those students teaching for a semester. The Ratt, a café located on the lower level of The Commons, offers some much needed variety in terms of both food and hours of availability. With a menu of hot items (like chicken strips and cheeseburgers in addition to a much-improved selection of grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and wraps), the Ratt satisfies cravings for between-meal munchies or a dinner alternative to soft-pretzel Mondays.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4200 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Not just freshmen, but all students who live on campus are required to have a meal plan. Those with off-campus housing are strongly encouraged to have one, as well.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
The Scramble
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
The Rathskeller (Ratt)
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
Made-to-order breakfast sandwiches
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Chicken patty
  • Exhibition specials (sweet and sour chicken, pot stickers)
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Anything from the Ratt
  • Chicken strips
  • Mozzarella sticks
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Special Options
Late-night pizza delivery is available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday during the block and accepts both Munch Money (meal plan dollars) and credit cards.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

The Rathskeller
Location: The Commons
Food: Grill, grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, Starbucks
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
The Scramble
Location: The Commons
Food: All-you-can-eat buffet with vegetarian options, sandwich and salad bars, cereal and bagels/toast
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 7:15-8:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunday 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., 5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 36 responses

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