Campus Dining

Location
Princeton, NJ
Undergrads
5,327
Tuition
$39,537
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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2 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: If you like non-bland food, late meal will be your only salvation. Dining hall food sucks. Eating club food is sometimes good but sometimes sucks too.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: There are multiple colleges within the Princeton University umbrella, and each college or pair of colleges has its own dining hall (all dining halls are open to all students). Eating clubs and the Frist campus center are also food options. With so much food everywhere, you will definitely find what you want to eat. And the food is great! People who whine about the food are spoiled by all the choices. Ask those same people who complain how they fair with food after graduation.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Food is good, but make sure to check menus online to figure out which dining hall has the best food for the night,

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Breakfast is awesome. Lots of cereal and sandwiches consumed for dinner and lunch gets kind of boring.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Dining halls have a variety of food and menus and many of the residential colleges have special dinner nights. However choosing where to eat becomes a bit more convoluted when one must decide their sophomore year whether to remain in the dining hall system, join an eating club, go independent, etc. This can cause some anxiety about not being in the same club as friends and being able to have meals with them but otherwise the off-campus options are pretty good and the dining staff here is excellent.

4 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 55th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 61st
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 71st
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 75th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 78th
    Best Quality Food

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kristen McCarthy
Hometown
Mahwah, N.J.
View all previous student authors

The strength of Princeton's dining hall facilities is that they have many options. While the food in the hot line tends to be somewhat tasteless and boring-although that is changing-events such as the visiting restaurant night more than make up for it. Sunday brunch is by far the best meal of the week, and students are more than willing to struggle out of bed on Sunday mornings to get to the dining halls for made-to-order omelets and bagels and lox. Eating in the dining halls does get boring after two years, so the vast majority of students opt to go independent, join a co-op, or join an eating club. The food quality at the co-ops and the eating clubs is varied. While some clubs brag award-winning chefs, others complain about a constant barrage of fried foods. The common thread that students enjoy in both the eating clubs and the dining halls is an active social scene, and meal time at Princeton is seen generally more as a social hour than a period of nourishment.

Despite the exciting dining options readily available, they do not come without a huge cost and relative inflexibility in scheduling. The lack of a 24-hour campus dining facility can be frustrating during exam periods, but the University has promised to address that issue. Furthermore, the costly dues of the eating clubs leave them open to those who can afford it, thus leaving the clubs open to the critique that they are active remnants of Princeton's elitist history. Independents also complain about the high cost of food in the town of Princeton and the dearth of a major grocery store within walking distance. Essentially, Princeton's dining facilities offer many options to students for a price.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
35
Average Meal Plan Cost
$5680 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Student Favorites
  • The Deli
  • Forbes College Dining Hall
  • The Grill
  • Villa Pizza
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
None
Special Options
After sophomore year, most students elect to move out of their residential colleges, forfeit their meal plan option, and move into upperclass housing. In upperclass housing, students must decide whether they want to join an eating club, one of the campus co-ops, or "go independent," meaning cook for themselves.
Did You Know?
  • Students with a meal plan can eat in one of the eating clubs under a meal exchange program. Once the contract holder has a meal in the eating club, the eating club member must have the same meal in the dining hall.
  • Princeton's Dining Services won a prestigious Ivy Award with five other groups, including the famous New York sushi institution Nobu.
  • Students with a meal plan may request to organize a cookout, and all food and supplies are available at the contract holders' dining unit.
  • Students may request a bagged lunch in the Dining Hall at breakfast if they are going to miss lunch.
  • From Monday breakfast through Friday lunch, students who miss a meal in the dining halls are able to use their meals at the Frist Campus Center Food Galley during designated times called "late meal."
  • Once a semester, Dining Services organizes to have a local restaurant come to each of the residential colleges and cook a gourmet meal. In the past, cuisines have ranged from Ethiopian to French.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Butler College Dining Hall
Location: Wu Hall
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Cafe' Vivian
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Coffee, pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-2 a.m.
Center for Jewish Life
Location: 70 Washington Road in the CJL building
Food: Kosher
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Chancellor Green Café
Location: Chancellor Green
Food: coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches, soups, sushi
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Convenience Store
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Ice cream, snacks, drinks
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m.-2 a.m., Thursday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Deli
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Food for Thought
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Home-cooked entrées
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The Food Gallery
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Grab & go
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-3 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Forbes College Dining Hall
Location: Main Inn, Forbes College
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Grill
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Fast food, Mongolian Grill
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Healthy Eating Lab
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Salads, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Mathey College Dining Hall
Location: Madison Hall
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
New South Café
Location: New South
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Ole Nuevo Latino Cuisine
Location: Frist Campus Center Dining
Food: Mexican fare
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Rockefeller "Rocky" College Dining Hall
Location: Holder Hall
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Stix Asian Cuisine
Location: The Gallery on A Level, Frist Campus Center Dining
Food: Asian cuisine
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Villa Pizza
Location: Frist Campus Center
Food: Pizza and pasta
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Wilson College Dining Hall
Location: Wilcox Hall
Food: Hot line, grill, salad bar, fruit basket, dessert bar, sandwich bar, frozen yogurt
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Woodrow Wilson Café
Location: Shultz dining room
Food: Coffee, hot line, pastries, salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 20 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options
4
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