Campus Food

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Campus Food

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: I got tired of eating the same thing. Need more variety

3 College Junior

Campus Food: Dinning should be diverse in different dinning halls

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: East dining hall sucks. Pollock and west are alright. Redifer is cool. Never been to north.

5 College Freshman

Campus Food: As a vegetarian, I am able to find many healthy and tasty options I can eat, and I am able to eat a variety of vegetarian meals without repeating the same food day after day.

3 College Senior

Campus Food: It's nice to have the number of options, but it sucks for people living off campus who are stuck on campus all day and can't spend much less than $7 for chicken fingers. I think campus dining should be affordable for all students.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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No college dining hall has ever been famous for its food quality-except, perhaps, on parent visitation day. Penn State is no exception. Some meals are universally enjoyed, while others will leave you gagging. The University's A-La Board meal plan is required for all undergraduates living in dorms. This plan is based on a "points" system: depending on the option you purchase, you get a number of points that can be used through your student ID to buy food on campus. The meal plan is not accepted elsewhere in State College, so it's best to set aside cash for the days you simply can't stomach more of the dining hall fare. The meal points can carry over from fall to spring semesters, provided you purchase another A-La Board plan within two weeks of spring term; however, this doesn't hold true for spring to summer terms. Any points leftover by the end of spring semester are forfeited. The size of the plan can be changed throughout most of the semester.

As far as food goes, no two halls serve the same menu. Depending on the size of the hall, options such as salad and pasta bars, stir-fry stations, and mini-bakeries may also be available. Each commons building also has a smaller alternative to the dining hall with different hours. There is also the HUB to fall back on, which is similar to a food court at a mall. There's Chinese, Italian, and Mexican fast food, a sandwich shop, a burger joint, and a café. The options here are endless. However, the HUB is probably the most expensive place to eat on campus.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4900 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
All campus residents are required to purchase a meal plan.
Student Favorites
  • The Big Onion
  • Bluespoon Deli
  • The HUB
  • Waring Square
24-Hour Dining
None
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • The Big Onion
  • Bluespoon Deli
  • The HUB
  • Waring Square
Did You Know?
  • The Penn State Bakery offers all kinds of cookies and personalized cakes to celebrate any occasion. They can be ordered online, so parents can send their kids sweet care packeges.
  • The Creamery has made Penn State famous for homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other great snacks. There are 110 flavors of ice cream to choose from!
  • The University purchases 300,000 gallons of milk each year, all of which is grown locally.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Au Bon Pain - IST Building
Location: IST Building
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
Au Bon Pain - Kern Building
Location: Kern Building
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
Au Bon Pain - Zoller Gallery
Location: Zoller Gallery
Food: Baked goods, coffee, grill, sandwiches
The Big Onion
Location: Findlay Commons, 1st floor
Food: Cheesesteaks, pizza, salad, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-1 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday- Sunday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Blue Chip Bistro
Location: Warnock Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Coffee, desserts, pizza, salads, sandwiches, soups, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Bluespoon Deli
Location: Warnock Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Breakfast, grill, salads, subs
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Café Laura
Location: Mateer Building
Food: Full restaurant run by HRIM students
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Findlay Dining Commons
Location: East Halls, Findlay Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Fresh Express
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Healthy á la carte items, salads, Mongolian-style grill, smoothies, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
Good 2 Go
Location: Convenience store
Food: Findlay Commons, 1st floor
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-1:30 a.m., Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m.
The Organic and All Natural Coffee Bar
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Cappuccinos, fruit, lattes, sandwiches, smoothies, tea, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
The Organic and All Natural Sisu Store
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd floor
Food: Cappuccinos, fruit, lattes, sandwiches, smoothies, tea, wraps
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
Pollock Dining Commons
Location: Pollock Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat, Big Daddy's Deli, Centre Court (dessert), exhibition cooking, Tina's muffins
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Redifer Dining Commons
Location: South Halls, Redifer Commons
Food: City Grill's, Fresco y Caliente (Mexican), Hot Steel & Noodles (stir-fry), In a Pickle (subs), InfiniTea, Louie's (convenience store), Off the Ground (coffee), Piatto Felice (pasta and pizza), Southside Buffet (all-you-can-eat), Urban Garden
Hours: Varies based on individual vendors
rigaTony's
Location: Pollock Halls. South Dining Room
Food: Breadsticks, pastas, pizza, salads
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Roxy's
Location: Findlay Commons, 2nd Floor
Food: `50s-style American
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
Simmons Dining Hall
Location: South Halls, Simmons Hall (lower level)
Food: All-you-can-eat, deli, desserts, pizza salad bar, pizza
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m.,11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Union Street Marketplace
Location: HUB-Robeson Center, ground floor
Food: Food court including: Chat's, Burger Co., Chick-fil-A, Higher Grounds, Joegies, Mixed Greens, Nathan's, Panda Express, Piccalilli's, Sbarro, Wild Cactus
Hours: Varies based on individual vendors
Waring Square
Location: West Halls, Waring Hall (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat, deli, pasta, pizza, salad bar, stir-fry
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Warnock Dining Commons
Location: North Halls, Warnock Commons (2nd floor)
Food: All-you-can-eat
Hours: Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
The West Wing
Location: Waring Hall (2nd floor)
Food: Salads, sandwiches, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

Student Polls

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 106 responses

  • 18% HUB or Blue Spoon
  • 17% Pollock
  • 17% Redifer
  • 17% West
  • 8% HUB dining i.e. Starbucks/Chik fil A/Jamba Juice
  • 5% MIXXXX is life
  • 4% I eat everything
  • 4% Cookies from West
  • 3% Chick Fil a
  • 3% Noodles & Co.
  • 2% Fresh Express
  • 2% The Corner Room
  • 0% I do not eat at the campus
  • 0% Starbucks!

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 94 responses

  • 45% East Hall's dining hall
  • 23% North Hall's dining hall
  • 11% It's progressing. Their cookies are amazing
  • 8% I haven't found any that I haven't liked
  • 5% I only eat at West and South dining halls
  • 3% I do not eat at the campus.
  • 2% Havent ate at east in 4 years, I enjoy the others
  • 2% Not many healthy choices
  • 1% Almost everything!
  • 1% South Halls
  • 1% South good mix. Pollock brunch. East pizza.

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 103 responses

  • 28% Can be used at any food serving place on campus!
  • 17% Can be used in the HUB
  • 16% Can lower your plan level throughout the semester!
  • 14% Points system as opposed to "meal swipes"
  • 8% Lots of options and medium levels lasts all year.
  • 6% The discounts for food
  • 5% It's pretty freaking awesome
  • 2% I seem to blow through my points fairly easy.
  • 2% I do not have a meal plan
  • 2% It is not good and the food is lousy and overprice

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 316 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 103 responses

  • 33% Meal points don't rollover to the next academic yr
  • 24% It's very expensive
  • 22% You do not get a discount some places
  • 9% The dollar system stinks a bit but it's ok.
  • 7% I seem to blow through my points at the Mix.
  • 3% Easy to run out of points before the semester ends
  • 3% I do not have a meal plan

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