Campus Dining

Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Senior

Campus Dining: I also do not eat on-campus much, but I do know there is a large variety of options. There are four dining halls and alot of restaurants around the college accept flex dollars as well.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Pollock has the best food hands down

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: It's alright you have a lot of options though all around campus

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: East Hall's dinning is manageable you just need to know what to get. Pollock and West are the best places to get food on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Dining: The food isn't the best, but it isn't the worst either. I lived on campus for two years and I got sick of the lack of variety.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 8th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 14th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 51st
    Best Quality Food
  • 105th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 127th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

James Bunting
Hometown
Whitehall, PA
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

No college dining hall has ever been famous for its food quality-except, perhaps, on parent visitation day. Penn State is no exception. Some meals are universally enjoyed, while others will leave you gagging. The University's A-La Board meal plan is required for all undergraduates living in dorms. This plan is based on a "points" system: depending on the option you purchase, you get a number of points that can be used through your student ID to buy food on campus. The meal plan is not accepted elsewhere in State College, so it's best to set aside cash for the days you simply can't stomach more of the dining hall fare. The meal points can carry over from fall to spring semesters, provided you purchase another A-La Board plan within two weeks of spring term; however, this doesn't hold true for spring to summer terms. Any points leftover by the end of spring semester are forfeited. The size of the plan can be changed throughout most of the semester.

As far as food goes, no two halls serve the same menu. Depending on the size of the hall, options such as salad and pasta bars, stir-fry stations, and mini-bakeries may also be available. Each commons building also has a smaller alternative to the dining hall with different hours. There is also the HUB to fall back on, which is similar to a food court at a mall. There's Chinese, Italian, and Mexican fast food, a sandwich shop, a burger joint, and a café. The options here are endless. However, the HUB is probably the most expensive place to eat on campus.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4780 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
All campus residents are required to purchase a meal plan.
Student Favorites
  • The Big Onion
  • Bluespoon Deli
  • The HUB
  • Waring Square
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • The Big Onion
  • Bluespoon Deli
  • The HUB
  • Waring Square
Did You Know?
  • The Penn State Bakery offers all kinds of cookies and personalized cakes to celebrate any occasion. They can be ordered online, so parents can send their kids sweet care packeges.
  • The Creamery has made Penn State famous for homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other great snacks. There are 110 flavors of ice cream to choose from!
  • The University purchases 300,000 gallons of milk each year, all of which is grown locally.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Au Bon Pain - IST Building
Location: IST Building
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
Au Bon Pain - Kern Building
Location: Kern Building
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
Au Bon Pain - Zoller Gallery
Location: Zoller Gallery
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
The Big Onion
Location: Findlay Commons, 1st floor
Food: Cheesesteaks, pizza, salad, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-1 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday- Sunday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Blue Chip Bistro
Location: Warnock Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Coffee, desserts, pizza, salads, sandwiches, soups, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Bluespoon Deli
Location: Warnock Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Breakfast, grill, salads, subs
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Café Laura
Location: Mateer Building
Food: Full restaurant run by HRIM students
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Findlay Dining Commons
Location: East Halls, Findlay Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Fresh Express
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Healthy á la carte items, salads, Mongolian-style grill, smoothies, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
Good 2 Go
Location: Convenience store
Food: Findlay Commons, 1st floor
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-1:30 a.m., Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m.
The Organic and All Natural Coffee Bar
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Cappuccinos, fruit, lattes, sandwiches, smoothies, tea, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
The Organic and All Natural Sisu Store
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Cappuccinos, fruit, lattes, sandwiches, smoothies, tea, wraps
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
Pollock Dining Commons
Location: Pollock Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat, Big Daddy's Deli, Centre Court (dessert), exhibition cooking, Tina's muffins
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Redifer Dining Commons
Location: South Halls, Redifer Commons
Food: City Grill's, Fresco y Caliente (Mexican), Hot Steel & Noodles (stir-fry), In a Pickle (subs), InfiniTea, Louie's (convenience store), Off the Ground (coffee), Piatto Felice (pasta and pizza), Southside Buffet (all-you-can-eat), Urban Garden
Hours: Varies based on individual vendors
rigaTony's
Location: Pollock Halls. South Dining Room
Food: Breadsticks, pastas, pizza, salads
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Roxy's
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd Floor
Food: `50s-style American
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
Simmons Dining Hall
Location: South Halls, Simmons Hall (lower level)
Food: All-you-can-eat, deli, desserts, pizza salad bar, pizza
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m.,11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Union Street Marketplace
Location: HUB-Robeson Center, ground floor
Food: Food court including: Chat's, Burger Co., Chick-fil-A, Higher Grounds, Joegies, Mixed Greens, Nathan's, Panda Express, Piccalilli's, Sbarro, Wild Cactus
Hours: Varies based on individual vendors
Waring Square
Location: West Halls, Waring Hall (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat, deli, pasta, pizza, salad bar, stir-fry
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Warnock Dining Commons
Location: North Halls, Warnock Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat
Hours: Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
The West Wing
Location: Waring Hall (2nd floor)
Food: Salads, sandwiches, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 251 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • 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 32 responses

  • 27% HUB or Blue Spoon
  • 24% Pollock
  • 22% Redifer
  • 22% West
  • 5% Fresh Express

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 32 responses

  • 44% Can be used at any food serving place on campus!
  • 26% Can lower your plan level throughout the semester!
  • 16% Can be used in the HUB
  • 12% Points system as opposed to "meal swipes"
  • 1% It's pretty freaking awesome

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 29 responses

  • 38% Meal points don't rollover to the next academic yr
  • 31% It's very expensive
  • 21% The dollar system stinks a bit but it's ok.
  • 10% You do not get a discount some places

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 24 responses

  • 58% East Hall's dining hall
  • 39% North Hall's dining hall
  • 3% It's progressing. Their cookies are amazing

Photos

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