Campus Dining

Swarthmore, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
YesI'm interested, let this school know MaybeBookmark for later NoShow me better matches What does it mean to express interest?
Oops! There was an error.

Reload the page and try again.

Saving your interest We will attempt to notify this school of your interest. This school has been saved to your schools listyour schools list. This school has been removed from your recommended schools list.
For more schools, visit your recommended schools list.


{{ error }}
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: If you have to pay for the meal plan, then the quality of the food is iffy in comparison to the price. There are a ton of carbs in comparison to (tasty) protein sources or fat sources if you plan to pursue a diet like Keto/Atkins or bodybuilding. However, if you are a vegetarian, there is an entire section dedicated to it.

1 College Freshman

Campus Dining: sub-par to say the least.

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: As the only dining hall, Sharples is okay. The menu tends to get repetitive and the food isn't the greatest, but it isn't the worst either.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Dining: The dining hall is buffet style so you can eat as much as you want. It also has ice cream everyday available for every meal. After dining hall hours it is hard to find food options because of how small the town is. After it's past delivery hours for the few restaurants that are available there are no food options.

2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Strictly average. There is only one dining hall on campus and a couple cafes scattered about. Many students complain about the low quality of food, but I've never found it particularly subpar. The isn't a great deal of variety though. My biggest complaint is that there are NO places on campus to get food at night.

3 people found this useful Report

{{review.SectionLabel}} at {{review.EntityName}}:

{{review.Votes}} found this useful - Did you? Was this useful? Yes Report

Sorry, there are no reviews.

  • {{settings.pageNumber}} of {{settings.maxPages}}
  • Pages:
  • ... {{page}}

Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 89th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 183rd
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 266th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 1177th
    Best Quality Food
  • 1268th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sudarshan Gopaladesikan
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Math and Engineering
View all previous student authors

There is only one real dining hall on campus: Sharples. The problem with Sharples is that the food there is mediocre, or at least that’s what the general student population says. Students can also use their meal plan at Essie Mae’s Snack Bar, but sandwiches and curly fries can get really old really quick. So, for hungry Swatties, Sharples is the most frequent choice. There is an enormous salad bar, a vegetarian bar, a grill, a hot dinner bar, a specialty bar, and a sandwich bar. The dining services employees make a real effort to cater to student’s wishes. There is a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options for the plant-eaters, as well as heaping portions of beef for carnivores.

There are three meal plans options at Swarthmore. The first is the 20 Meal Plan, which lets students get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Sharples Monday through Saturday and two meals on Sundays. There are no meal points—credits on your meal card that serve as cash at the coffee bars and Essie Mae's—with this plan. There are also the 17- or 14-meal plans, who do give students credit on their meal cards. First-semester freshmen get the 17-meal plan as their default, but they can change it prior to coming to Swat. It’s suggested to use the first semester to observe your eating habits to determine the right plan for you for following semesters. Swarthmore also caters well to caffeine-dependent students. The College has three coffee bars, and with around 1,400 students, that’s a coffee bar for about every 450 students, which is not too shabby. The coffee and selection at the Kohlberg and Science Center coffee bars are excellent. Even though the prices can be steep in the coffee bars, you can use your meal points as cash. Take that, Starbucks!

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$6170 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
Sharples (there's only one!)
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
Essie Mae's Snack Bar
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • French toast
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Pancakes
  • The Phoenix (egg and cheese sandwich)
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Asian bar
  • Carribean bar
  • Indian bar
  • Pasta bar
  • Potato bar
  • Wing bar
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Grilled chicken wrap
  • Monster energy drink
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Special Options
There are two student-run restaurants. Paces is in Tarble Hall and has a menu that changes weekly, and QUB, located in the Kitao Gallery, serves Asian fare.
Did You Know?
  • The whole College has been asked to hold budgets at steady levels, but Dining Services is allowed to increase its budget with inflation.
  • Wanna party it up? Swarthmore's Dining Services can help by providing birthday cakes for students, food for barbecues, or bagged lunches for road trips.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Essie Mae's Snack Bar
Location: Tarble Social Center
Food: Breakfast, grill items, pizza, salad bar, sandwiches, wraps
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Friday 8 a.m.-11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Kohlberg Coffee Bar
Location: Kohlberg Hall
Food: Breakfast sandwiches, coffee, salads, sandwiches, snacks, soup
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Science Center Coffee Bar
Location: Science Center
Food: Coffee, salads, sandwiches, snacks, sushi
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sharples Dining Hall
Location: Sharples
Food: All-you-can-eat buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-7:15 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 26 responses

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

Non-registered users are limited to 5 school profile page views per month.

Register for free to gain full access!