Campus Dining

New Brunswick, NJ
Tuition (in-state)
$23,676 ($10,356)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Campus Dining: The dining hall food is surprisingly tasty. It does depend on what campus you are on, but most are pretty good. They have a little bit of vegetarian food, but could use some more.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Takeout options can be repetitive at times but we have 4 dining halls to choose from. There's always a dining hall that's sure to be serving something you'll enjoy. Neilson and Livingston are my top choices for dining halls, as they are always the cleanest and have options I prefer. RU express comes in handy on the days that I miss the dining hall hours or want to go out to eat but don't have cash on hand.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: I've only eaten in the Livingston Dining Hall and it had amazing food.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Dining was good at most cafeterias, but I didn't eat there often.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Meal plans are expensive, and there is take out at the dining halls, but the take out selection is extremely limited compared to the wide variety of food in the dining hall itself.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 26th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 51st
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 53rd
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 203rd
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 210th
    Best Quality Food

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jill Weiss
Ardsley, NY
View all previous student authors

A quick swipe of a Rutgers ID card grants students entry into any of the University's dining halls, but whether there is edible food within is another story. For many students, meal plans often go to waste when fine dining is only a block away at College Avenue's infamous grease trucks. For a mere $4.50, Rutgers students feast on foil-wrapped, grease-saturated sandwiches guaranteed to satisfy hunger or speed chances of an early heart attack. However, if you come to Rutgers and want to avoid the Freshman 15 (with the grease trucks near your residence hall, it is rumored to become the Freshman 30), healthy food is available at the five dining halls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m until 8 p.m, and on the weekends from 10 a.m until 7 p.m.

For students with different eating styles, vegan and vegetarian lines are also present. Salad bars, fruits, and vegetables are also served daily, as well as dry cereal. Rutgers's dining halls are not like eating at home, and it is easy to fall into the trap of eating burgers and fries everyday. Dining services host numerous "RU Eating Right" sessions in the dining halls to warn freshmen about the dangers of eating unhealthy. However, most students are satisfied with the dining halls because they all feature something that they would eat, even if it's Cookie Crisp cereal or a crunchy peanut butter sandwich on white bread for dinner.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4370 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Freshmen are required to have at least 210 meals per semester. Options of 255 and 281 meals per semester are also available.
Student Favorites
  • Deli lines and sushi bar on College Avenue
  • Douglass Café
  • Made-to-order strawberry, orange, or banana smoothies on Busch
  • Pizzeria Uno
  • The Rock Cafe
  • Sbarro
  • Specialty days offered at each of the dining halls
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Special Options
  • At the Douglass Student Center, you can swipe your card at the Douglass Café from 7 a.m.-10 a.m. for breakfast and from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. for dinner. You can also swipe your meal card at Pizzeria Uno from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. for dinner.
  • At the Livingston Student Center, you can swipe your meal card at the Rock Café from 7 p.m.-10 a.m. for breakfast and at Sbarro from 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m. for dinner.
  • On College Avenue, students can dine at the Rutgers Club, which was built in 1915. For one meal swipe and $2, students can enjoy a meal every Monday and Thursday from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Did You Know?
  • To avoid the Freshman 15, Rutgers has organized an RU Healthy Dining Team that sets up tables in the dining halls to educate students on healthy eating habits.
  • At the beginning of both semesters, students can take a survey about the dining halls and receive a $25 credit added to their RU Express accounts.
  • Students can get a grease truck fat sandwich named after them by eating six sandwiches in 30 minutes.
  • You can take out lunch and dinner at each of the four dining halls.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Brew Ha-Ha's
Location: Douglass Student Center
Food: Coffee, pastries, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Brower Commons Dining Hall
Location: College Avenue Campus
Food: Cafeteria-style variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Busch Dining Hall
Location: Busch Campus
Food: Cafeteria-style variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Cooper Dining Hall
Location: Douglass Campus
Food: Cafeteria-style variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Location: Food Science Building
Food: Variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dunkin' Donuts
Location: Livingston Student Center
Food: Variety
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Neilson Dining Hall
Location: Cook/Douglass
Food: Cafeteria-style variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Rock Café
Location: Livingston Student Center
Food: Variety
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Location: Livingston Student Center
Food: Italian, pizza
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Tillet Dining Hall
Location: Livingston Campus
Food: Cafeteria-style variety
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Student Polls

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

  • 22% Au Bon Pain
  • 20% Stuff yer face
  • 18% Pasta, chicken
  • 18% Food trucks
  • 7% Hansel and Griddle - Easton Avenue
  • 4% Old man rafferty's
  • 4% Chipotle
  • 2% Gerlanda's
  • 2% Tumulty's
  • 2% None

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 181 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 best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 23 responses

  • 45% Many options of where to eat
  • 21% Nothing - it's a waste of money
  • 14% Made-to-order bars (ex: omelettes, pasta)
  • 10% Salad bars
  • 10% Knight Wagon

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 23 responses

  • 34% It is very expensive to have a meal plan
  • 24% Sometimes the food isn't cook properly
  • 21% Selection of food offered
  • 21% The unused meals don't rollover

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 23 responses

  • 53% Brower commons
  • 9% Sbarro
  • 9% Douglass cafe


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