Santa Clara's dining options are a far cry from stereotypical "dorm food." Here, you won't find mystery meat or lumpy mashed potatoes; instead, the school offers a variety of made-to-order options, from pastas and stir-fry to paninis and salads. In addition to these "healthier" options, the cafeteria also features traditional college "comfort" food, like pizza and burgers. The food is usually pretty fresh, as the school makes an effort to use local and sustainably-produced ingredients. The school has significantly increased its vegetarian and vegan options in the past few years, and is generally pretty accommodating for different dietary needs.
On the other hand, the food is definitely not cheap, and many students have difficulty eating three meals a day on a typical meal plan. Each meal plan is based on a number of points rather than a number of meals, and each point equals $1. This setup allows for flexibility and portion control—you don't have to worry about using up an entire meal when you only want a banana or a small sandwich—but points often don't go very far, as entrées range from $8 to $15.