Campus Food

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Campus Food


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3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: The first few months, I felt pleasantly surprised with the food options, especially at the Ratty because they have a relatively large selection of vegetarian and vegan options. However, two years later, and I am sick of the food. It's always the same and the only "healthy" options are salads, which can get pretty boring. I definitely miss cooking!

9 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Some things are really good and some aren't. Meal plan is a little confusing. Decent amount of options.

5 College Freshman

Campus Food: So many options (and I'm vegetarian). It takes some time to figure out where you want to eat/what's good, but it works out. That said, I'll probably go off meal plan ASAP because I like to cook. The meal plan is SUCH a rip-off.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Food: The dining halls are okay, though there's not a lot of variety and healthy options are limited. Blue Room, Andrews, and Jo's are great — good variety and good quality, and they have some interesting/unique options (Asian fusion, made-to-order sandwiches, burrito bowls, etc). But it's the same price at those places whether you pay with cash or meal plan, so there's not much of a point to being on meal plan after freshman year.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Few healthy options at most places. While Andrews has different food options, most of them are fried and/or greasy. The Vdub is not open on weekends, which is inconvenient. The only things available at Andrews after around 7 or 9 (don't remember which) are pizza and lo mein, which are not healthy. The salads there also aren't great, and the sushi is wildly expensive. The fruit is usually pretty banged up too. The Ratty can be okay, but usually the meals aren't great.

7 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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While most schools have contracted with Marriott or fast-food companies for their dining needs, Brown prides itself on maintaining a University-run food service. Why exactly this is a source of pride is another question entirely. The main dining halls—the Ratty and the V-Dub—serve what can only be described as average food. Chances are, you won’t return home for the holidays demanding your mom cook more like Brown Food Services (BFS). A lack of variety and the inability to use credits in real restaurants close to campus can be frustrating. The few cafés and restaurants run by the University are equally frustrating because they are more expensive than independent cafés and diners on Thayer and Wickenden Street. The Brown meal plan feels more like a middle school lunch program than a welcomed dining experience.

Year after year, the Ratty is the butt of new and old jokes, but as demonstrated by the Ratty Recipe Repository, many Brown students embrace the standard cafeteria-style eating. Besides, the meal plan provides much more than hot food every day. The meal plan is a state of mind. From your first week on meal plan, you will undoubtedly enjoy meals with friends, meet lots of new people, and sing karaoke with your fellow Brunonians at the V-Dub. Good or bad, surviving meal plan freshman year is a defining experience and undoubtedly a right of passage. In time, however, you’ll find the right balance of splurging for off-campus meals and eating creatively at the dining halls. Students who are off the meal plan might enjoy better food, but it is costly and time-consuming to fend for yourself.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4420 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites
  • The Blue Room
  • The Gate
  • The Ivy Room
  • Josiah’s
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Special Options
If you don't feel like eating the regular dining hall food, a good number of restaurants have very central locations on campus. In addition, a number of trucks and food carts come out around mealtimes. Overall, there are plenty of options and variety to keep things fresh.
Did You Know?
There is a Ratty Recipe Repository link off of Brown's Daily Jolt Web site which has student-submitted recipes for meals using ingredients in the University's cafeteria. Recipes include "Curry Chicken Salad," "Fruity Desert Crepes," and "Macaratty and Cheese."

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

The Blue Room
Location: Faunce House, the Main Green
Food: Sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Campus Market
Location: Under the Blue Room
Food: Cereal, dairy, dry goods
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 2 p.m.-11 p.m.
The Gate
Location: Alumni Hall, Pembroke campus
Food: Pizza, subs
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Ivy Room
Location: Wriston Quad, below the Ratty
Food: Omelets, pizza, salad, smoothies, wraps
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m., 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Josiah's (Jo's)
Location: Middle of Vartan Gregorion Quad
Food: Grill, soups, sushi, wraps
Hours: Daily 24 hours (food is not available 2 a.m.-6 a.m.)
The Sharpe Refectory (The Ratty)
Location: Wriston Quad, main campus
Food: Grill, kosher meals, trattoria, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
The Verney-Woolley Dining Hall (The V-Dub)
Location: Emery-Woolley Hall, Pembroke Campus
Food: Fruit station, sandwich station, vegetarian meals
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 88 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 50 responses

  • 24% Jo's
  • 23% Blue Room
  • 15% Andrews Commons
  • 12% Sharpe Refectory
  • 11% Verney-Wooley Dining Hall
  • 9% The Ivy Room
  • 3% The salads at Jo's are great.
  • 2% Fast food
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