Campus Dining

Location
Berkeley, CA
Undergrads
25,018
Tuition (in-state)
$35,752 ($12,874)
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food is a great price, and the variety is amazing. I love that there are vegan and vegetarian options everywhere; it is easy to stay healthy while staying satisfied.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food is not well seasoned so it tastes very bland.Apart from that I personally feel that the food tends to be too oily and there are more fast foody options than fruits or greens.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: During my first month at UC Berkeley, I was very excited to be able to eat at a buffet-style dining common every night - there is a wide variety of foods to choose from, and each dining hall has a different menu every night. However, I discovered that after a month of eating in the same dining hall every night, I became sick of the food and need more variety. I find myself buying food from markets, or skipping meals entirely, rather than forcing myself to eat food I have began to dislike. Although the food at my specific dining hall has become boring to me, I still enjoy eating at the other dining halls throughout campus, it's just a matter of whether or not you are too lazy to get the food like me.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: It's just ok, nothing awesome just a lot of the same whatever food.

2 College Junior

Campus Dining: It's hit and miss and almost all of the dining locations on campus that accept meal points. Russian Roulette for your stomach.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 5th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 6th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 23rd
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 31st
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 108th
    Best Cafeteria Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Meegan Brooks
Hometown
Granite Bay, CA
Major
Political science
View all previous student authors

Before its recent campaign to improve food, Cal’s poor campus dining gave prospective students a reason to attend UCLA instead. Now, Cal Dining is proving itself by offering the nation’s first all-organic salad bar and hiring gourmet chefs to design meals. While everyone likes to make fun of dorm food as second-rate to local dining, no upperclassman would turn down a free "swipe” to Crossroads, which is why when the dining halls are open to the public during move-in days they are packed with older students. The huge, 800-person capacity commons is clean, modern, and gives students more of a buffet-style setting, rather than a cafeteria atmosphere. Most students buy a lunch item at the Golden Bear Café and catch dinner at Crossroads. The other on-campus restaurants serve less-enticing entrees with less variation, but they are nonetheless good places to grab a quick snack or sip coffee and read. Most students also agree that the meal plan is a good idea for incoming students because it’s considerably flexible, convenient, and affordable, and it gives students one less thing to worry about when adjusting to Cal.

 

Every cafeteria offer a several entrées each night, a soup and salad bar, an American entrée like chicken and potatoes, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, Asian, Mexican, and pasta. There is always at least one vegetarian option, sometimes to the point that there’s no strong “real meat” entrée available. Also, almost every cafeteria offers soft-serve ice cream and several dessert options, which are inconsistently good. Almost everyone agrees that while the food is nothing compared to local restaurants and most stop eating at the cafeteria after freshman year, it is fine.

 

Facts & Statistics

Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Student Favorites
  • Crossroads
  • The Den
  • The Golden Bear Café
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Meal points cannot be used off-campus, but students may add money to their Cal1Cards and use these debit points at many local vendors, including Chipotle and Blondie's Pizza.
Special Options
Cal 1 Debit Card, Cal Diners’ Club, Co-operative Housing Room & Board plan
Did You Know?
  • Even if you're not a hall resident, you can still use a meal plan with the Cal 1 Debit Card or the Cal Diners' Club. Go to www.housing.berkeley.edu/dining/meal_plans.html for more info.
  • UC Berkeley is the first university to offer an all-organic salad bar.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

The Bear's Lair Pub
Location: 2475 Bancroft Way (Student Union)
Food: Bar food, burgers, pizza
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Thursday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.
Cafè 3
Location: 2400 Durant Ave.
Food: Breakfast bar, deli bar, desserts, sandwiches, soups
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Clark Kerr Campus (CKC)
Location: 2601 Warring St.
Food: Made-to-order sandwiches, salads, soups
Hours: Monday-Friday 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Common Grounds
Location: Level F of Dwinelle Hall
Food: Coffee and tea products, grab-and-go food items
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Crossroads
Location: 2415 Bowditch St.
Food: Deli, grill, pizza, vegan
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., late-night grill open daily 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Den
Location: 2415 Bowditch St.
Food: Sandwiches, smoothies
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7 a.m.-2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Foothill
Location: 2700 Hearst Ave.
Food: Deli, pizza, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m., late-night grill open Sunday-Thursday 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
Golden Bear Cafè
Location: Cesar Chavez Student Center
Food: Breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, soups, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Pat Brown's
Location: Koshland Hall
Food: Breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, sushi
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ramona's
Location: Wurster Hall
Food: Breakfast, made-to-order panini and rice bowls, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Terrace
Location: Bechtel Building Rooftop
Food: Breakfast, salads, soups
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 150 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Availability
  • 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 11 responses

  • 29% Off the Grid
  • 24% Telegraph has so many options though and its close
  • 24% GBC
  • 18% Qualcomms is my favorite (Engineering area)
  • 6% Ramona's

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 62% Crossroads
  • 25% Foothill
  • 12% Cafe 3

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 10 responses

  • 50% Remaining points not reimbursed
  • 43% Meals and groceries are really expensive
  • 7% Dining halls have bad food

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 10 responses

  • 75% There are several places to use your meal points!
  • 25% You can use them to buy yoga mats!

Photos

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