Campus Food

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Campus Food

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3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Brooks is the all you can eat dining hall. It is about $10 per swipe. I have never left Brooks feeling like I got my money's worth of quality and healthy food options. More options are a necessity. Also, being someone with several food allergies, more options should be available to those of us with limitations. McKins has better quality food, yet is very expensive for the food that they serve. They serve the same things all of the time. There is little variety there.

3 College Senior

Campus Food: McKinley's is by far the best place to eat on campus. It has 6 stations in which a variety of food can be purchased such as: a pasta station, grill, salad bar, vegetarian, Mexican, etc. There is not a lot of variety day-to-day. Each station has the same thing each day and some of them will have a daily special. The food here tends to be pricey for what it is. Brooks is the other dining hall on campus. The options at Brooks change daily, but there is always a salad/soup bar, pizza, sandwich bar, and fruit options, etc. Brooks is all you can eat. Brooks can be really good or really bad depending on the day.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Need more variety and choices with healthier selections

2 College Freshman

Campus Food: McKinley's has pretty good food, but there never seems to be enough munch money to go there as often as I would like. Brooks has a lot of food, but it's all pretty gross and because it's the same stuff time and time again, it gets really old really fast.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: Get the biggest meal plan. Getting a smaller meal plan was the stupidest thing I did last semester, because you run out of money like nothing. So, even if you're pretty petite, get the big plan. Also, put more money towards Munch money for McKinley's instead of Brooks swipes.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There are two dining halls on campus: Brooks and McKinley's. The most popular dish at McKinley's is the stir-fry, where you can get chicken, steak, or tofu and pick your own vegetables to sauté on the spot. Brooks Dining Hall is an all-you-can-eat buffet with three kinds of pizza, a salad bar, a pasta option, an open grille (for burgers and hot dogs), and a selected entrée. Students generally think the food is decent but monotonous. Vegans and vegetarians only have about three or four options for any meal. At McKinley's, students pay in what is called “Munch Money"; at Brooks, students swipe their cards to use "one meal" and eat as much as they want. There are several different meal plans, but they all split money between the two dining halls. The major problem with the meal plan is that students are required to have one as long as they’re living on campus. With Allegheny's recent implementation of a four-year residency requirement, students wanting to save money by self-preparing food simply can't do it.

In recent years, the dining services department has made a greater effort to buy locally. Sustainability movements have definitely affected the food providers, and vegetables and herbs are planted around campus. Some students just walk to a campus garden, pick some basil, and use it in their own cooking in the dorm kitchens. In 2009, two environmental science students planted apple trees on campus for students to pick from on their way to class. For those who aren't into making their own food, students can buy anything from a milkshake to a macchiato at the student-run coffee shop Grounds for Change; however, they have to pay in cash or shop money. At the library, the Wrecking Ball Café sells salads, sandwiches, and lots of coffee for students who don't want to leave during a study session to grab a bite.  

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4700 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Everyone living on campus is required to have some kind of meal plan.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
McKinley's
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
Grounds for Change
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Bagels
  • Belgian waffles
  • Muffins
  • Omelets
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
Eggplant and gouda panini
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Chicken sandwich
  • Gator fries
  • Mozzarella sticks
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
None
Did You Know?
Most academic buildings and residence halls have vending machines to grab a snack to bring to class.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Brooks Dining Hall
Location: Brooks Hall
Food: Buffet, grille, pizza, salad bar
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:15 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Grounds for Change
Location: Campus Center
Food: Coffee, cookies, tea
Hours: Varies
McKinley's Food Court
Location: Campus Center
Food: Grille, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, soup, vegan
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-3 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Wrecking Ball Café
Location: Pelletier Library
Food: Coffee, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 55 responses

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

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 9 responses

  • 50% Brooks is only good a few times a week
  • 25% Need more selection
  • 17% Need more healthy selection
  • 8% Brooks is awful

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 9 responses

  • 89% McKinley's
  • 11% Brooks

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 7 responses

  • 86% Brooks
  • 14% Fried food

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 6 responses

  • 57% Munch money
  • 43% A lot of food

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