Campus Dining

Tuition (in-state)
$35,742 ($12,864)
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There are multiple dining halls and options within each. The foods are diverse in culture and they're decently made.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: A lot of people complain about the food but honestly I like it. I think people just get tired of it and probably just miss home cooked meals but i'm usually pretty satisfied with the dining hall food. There's usually at least one thing i like and I dont really need more.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Dining: The campus dining halls are buffet style so you can eat as much as you want, although you can get sick of it after a while and crave homecooking.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: I ate at the University's dinning hall when i was a freshmen. Students often claim that the food is bad, but i quite liked it. I ate a lot at Crossroad. It's buffet system , so you can eat as much as you want. If you want to eat healthier, there is always salad booth.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: I've seen worse. At least there are some healthy options, Clark Kerr and Foothill offer some decent food, and late night food is offered on weekends at a couple of the dining halls. Bear Market is great for spending the rest of your meal points when you have an excess at the end of the semester. However, the meals are actually overpriced in general, and when you live off campus, you can save a large amount of money by not having a meal plan.


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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
Granite Bay, CA
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?
Student Favorites
  • Crossroads
  • The Den
  • The Golden Bear Café
24-Hour Dining
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 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.
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.
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.
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 158 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 food options on campus?    Based on 21 responses

  • 29% Telegraph has so many options though and its close
  • 17% Qualcomms is my favorite (Engineering area)
  • 17% Off the Grid
  • 14% GBC
  • 11% Ramona's
  • 6% Everyting sucks
  • 6% Pat Brown's

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 20 responses

  • 68% There are several places to use your meal points!
  • 14% You can use them to buy yoga mats!
  • 14% Nothing, You don't have enough points. food is bad
  • 5% Never ending amount of points, if you aviod halls

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 15 responses

  • 53% Crossroads
  • 20% Cafe 3
  • 13% Foothill

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 20 responses

  • 47% Meals and groceries are really expensive
  • 44% Remaining points not reimbursed
  • 9% Dining halls have bad food


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