Campus Dining

Saint Paul, MN
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2 College Junior

Campus Dining: Our cafeteria is too small for how many people eat at the prime meal times. Also, the food is good but so unhealthy. I lost 15 pounds just from not eating at the cafeteria (even when i was eating very healthy options there!).

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Very good at catering to all kinds of dietary restrictions. Cafe Mac does get a bit boring though but once in a while there's always a great surrounding neighborhood to explore without having to completely unload your wallet.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Food is great! Many options. Limited times to get the food, though.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Food is pretty good. Frequently have lots of options. Best days are when prospective first years are visiting.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: In the past, campus dining on Macalester has offered an astonishing variety and endless celiac friendly, vegan and vegetarian options. This year, new management has led to less vegetarian and healthy options (though there are still far more than at any other school I've seen). That being said, the food is extremely good and it's possible to eat well and maintain a healthy diet. The dining hall is the social capital of campus. People often spend hours at the tables, meeting with friends and discussing what's new. Meal plans are required for freshmen and sophomores (except for those in specialty housing) and often provide more food than you can possibly eat. In this way, they end up being a bit of a rip off.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 28th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 40th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 42nd
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 44th
    Best Quality Food
  • 79th
    Best Cafeteria Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Tatiana Craine
Eden Prairie, MN
English with emphasis on Creative Writing
View all previous student authors

Compared to countless other college campus dining options, Macalester offers its students a Grade-A cafeteria. Café Mac offers a huge variety of options for students (and often professors). Students can take a trip around the world during one meal, with different food stations that include a diverse selection of international cuisine. The North Side of Café Mac offers deli items including cold cuts, chicken and tuna salad, hummus, soups, and a well-stocked salad bar. The East Side of the cafeteria offers Italian and Asian cuisines. Chefs constantly bake pizzas in the wood oven, and there are always pasta options available, too. Rice is a staple in the Asian line accompanied by stir-fry, and on occasion, the ever-popular cream cheese wontons or tempura make an appearance. The West Side features the Iron Grill with traditional American food, including hamburgers, veggie burgers, and different types of entrées. The South Side carries a made-to-order burrito station and a curry line that presents brown rice with several different curries. Desserts include cookies, cakes, and a soft-serve machine with ice cream cones for warm days.

Though Café Mac really does offer a smörgåsbord of choices for students, many people soon grow tired of the cafeteria fare. While there are a lot of options from week to week, the food itself seems pretty similar on a daily basis. Students are also frustrated by Café Mac’s strict rules about what kind of food one may take from the cafeteria. Don’t try to sneak a sandwich out because Café Mac workers are known to chase students. Instead, go for a discreet cookie or an ice cream cone.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4512 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
All freshmen must have the 19-meals-per-week plan.
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
Café Mac Grille
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Chocolate croissant
  • Eggs made-to-order
  • French toast
  • Hash browns
  • Omelets
  • Pastries
  • Sausage/bacon
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • "Breakfast for Dinner"
  • Burritos
  • Caesar salad
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pierogies
  • Tater tot hot dish
  • Veggie wrap
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Appetizer sampler
  • Avocado sandwich
  • Chicken burrito with guacamole
  • Chicken tender melt
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Smoothies
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Coffee News
Did You Know?
  • The best and newest perk about Café Mac is that anyone with meal-plan money on their ID cards can now go out into the surrounding community on Grand Avenue and use that money at participating restaurants.
  • One of the biggest upsides to Café Mac is its attention to detail regarding diet restrictions and sustainability. Have an allergy to nuts or shellfish? No problem! Café Mac always puts out signs next to its menu items that say what's in the food. Café Mac also includes and labels food for vegetarians and vegans. Café Mac also tries to buy its food from as many local food sources as possible.
  • For students living off campus, Café Mac is an expensive option (for those on the "Commuter" plan) in comparison to buying groceries.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Atrium Market
Location: Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
Food: Healthy
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Café Mac
Location: Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
Food: International cuisine, divided into four "hemispheres"
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Café Mac Grillé
Location: Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, in front of Café Mac
Food: Appetizers, burgers, deli-style sandwiches, desserts, grilled foods, salads
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 2 p.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 2 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Scotty's at Leonard Center
Location: Leonard Center
Food: Healthy, organic
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 28 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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