Columbia Dining Hall

November 8, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Columbia Dining Hall

Where Do Students Eat at Columbia?

The daily meals in each Columbia dining hall are published on the Dining website throughout the academic year. No matter who you are or what you do, we are all dependent on food. A hearty lunch could be your savior, even on the worst of days. Even though you will probably be far from home-cooked meals, Columbia does have a few tricks up its sleeve to keep you fed. So, where do students eat at Columbia? Let’s discuss the dining options at Columbia below.

Diana Center Café

The Diana Center Café, on the second floor of the Diana Center, is a student favorite for a freshly baked pizza or burger between classes. It’s also a popular hangout at lunch, dinner, and especially late at night. It is the smallest of the five Columbia dining halls, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in the variety of food it provides. You can create your own lunch at Diana and indulge in the sushi, sandwich, and pizza stations.

Diana also runs a booth where a changing seasonal menu is available to students. Past menu options have included everything from fried chicken and mac and cheese to butter chicken and naan. Diana serves its renowned late-night smoothies, among other things, until 11 p.m. if you get caught up in writing a paper and arrive for supper late. With ingredients like sun butter, strawberries, kale, blueberries, orange juice, and yogurt, students can create their own smoothies. The smoothies usually run out before 10 p.m., so arrive as early as you can and be prepared for big lineups!

Ferris Booth Commons

Ferris is your go-to dining hall for grabbing a quick bite while still enjoying a view of College Walk, Low Library, and South Lawn. It is situated on the third floor of Lerner Hall, the contemporary and eccentric glass-walled building near the southwest corner of campus. It is a student favorite for fulfilling hunger after midday because Ferris serves a wide variety of pasta, stir-fries, pizza, salads, fruits, and desserts.

The second floor of Ferris has more sitting possibilities and is accessible through two staircases in the lower-level seating area. If you choose to eat somewhere else on campus, you can take the biodegradable containers from the buffet-style stations.

Hewitt Dining Hall

Barnard’s sole authentic sit-down dining hall, which underwent a recent refurbishment, swiftly gained popularity among Columbia students. Hewitt Dining Hall, which is tucked away beneath Barnard Hall, offers students the most trustworthy kosher food options as well as halal meat. You will be rewarded with a real homestyle meal, a juicy burger with a side of curly fries, and a dependable range of veggies and fruits if you can endure lengthy waits during peak hours.

Hewitt features views of Claremont Avenue and a brief glimpse of Riverside Park. Students of all dietary preferences may be found there, including those who consume meat, are vegans, and follow a kosher diet. If you thrive on a balanced meal of cooked Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, salmon, rice, and grilled chicken, make sure to go to Hewitt.

JJ’s Place

A crucial component of the Columbia experience is JJ’s Place. It is a fast-food restaurant where you can get everything from chicken tenders at three in the morning to breakfast burgers and mozzarella sticks.

This little den, tucked beneath John Jay Hall, is where students congregate at all hours of the day for greasy chicken quesadillas and chocolate chip pancakes. After a long night of partying, it is a warm place to unwind and the ideal cozy setting to meet new people while sipping a mango smoothie.

John Jay Dining Hall

John Jay Dining Hall is Columbia’s oldest sit-down dining establishment, featuring long hardwood tables and oversized wooden seats. It is the place for a more proper and healthful supper, and it is on the first floor of the residential John Jay Hall, which is located above JJ’s Place.

Grain bowls, hot dinners, sushi, a salad bar, and the restaurant’s well-known gooey cookies are just a few of John Jay’s items that make you feel warm and cozy on a chilly day. Additionally, there are Kosher to-go options at the counter, and there is a halal section in the dining hall.

Faculty House

Faculty House, the second-newest dining hall on campus, is arguably more of an experience than a dining hall. The fanciest Columbia dining hall yet, this one is entirely self-serve. The dining hall softly plays jazz lounge remixes of pop tunes as you devour your dry couscous, the wait staff takes your plates away for you, and you may eat on the terrace where you can see the NYC skyline.

Chef Mike’s Sub Shop

In Uris Hall in the heart of campus, there is a sandwich, hoagie, and submarine shop called Chef Mike’s that is beloved by the students. You get a sandwich (either a prepared menu sandwich from the hot or cold part or a custom sub), a soup, a bag of chips, a dessert, some fruit, and a beverage here.

If you don’t think that would fill you up, don’t worry; the hoagies are served on a 10-inch roll and are filled to the brim.

How Many Dining Halls Does Columbia Have?

Columbia Dining has options for you whether you want a full sit-down dinner or something you can grab and go. You can avoid the rush by looking into the options.

Two students talking on a table.

How many dining halls does Columbia have? There are five Columbia dining halls that serve meals on-site or to go. Express meals at JJ’s Take 4 or Chef Mike’s Sub Shop Express are also available. Off-campus dining with Flex and retail dining at Blue Java and Cafe East are other options for students. If the dining hall is open, all four undergraduate colleges are welcome to use it. An example is Barnard students can visit JJs, whereas CC/SEAS/GS students can visit Diana.

What Time Do Dining Halls Open at Columbia?

Columbia’s freshmen students might wonder “What time do dining halls open at Columbia? See the Columbia dining halls’ business hours for Fall 2022.

Residential Dining

Dining Location Fall Semester Hours Effective 9/6
Ferris Booth Commons Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Chef Mike’s Sub Shop at Uris Deli Monday – Friday: 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM
JJ’s Place 7 days a week: 12:00 PM – 1:00 AM
John Jay Dining Hall Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Columbia Dining @ Faculty House Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Retail Dining Locations

Dining Location Fall Semester Hours
Blue Java Uris Monday – Friday: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Blue Java Butler Monday – Thursday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Friday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Blue Java Lerner/Café 212 Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Lenfest Cafe Monday – Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Blue Java Mudd` Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Does Columbia Have Good Dining Hall Food?

Dining at Columbia is a true world of surprises. One can either locate a great lunch by stumbling through throngs of flashing figures or a depressing smorgasbord of stale meat. Even if the quality varies, we can always rely on our favorite comfort meals from dining halls for a wonderful experience. So, does Columbia have good dining hall food? You might want to check out The Daily Meal’s 2018 rating of the colleges with the finest food and see that the institution was ranked first.

View of two students eating on a table.

Even if the food at Columbia is not even close to the comfort of a home-cooked meal, it is still one of the colleges with the best food in the country. Here are some of the Columbia dining hall cuisine, from Faculty House fish to John Jay pastries.

JJ’s Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken

Too bad that JJ’s rarely serves this dish because it’s a true classic. This pasta, which has been tossed with butter and cheese, has a thick, creamy sauce that is smooth to the palate and makes us think of a hearty, home-cooked supper. The dish is wonderfully complemented by the marinated crispy chicken, which also gives a sense of flavor.

Ferris Pasta

The pasta that comes in second place is still wonderful. The pasta bar at Ferris has everything, including spaghetti Alfredo and stringy teriyaki noodles. Outside of lunch pressures, a quick, tasty dinner may be had with a variety of toppings and prompt service even though your penne may drown in pesto oil.

Faculty House Atlantic Salmon

This dish is a campus favorite for a reason. The salmon at Faculty House is an excellent option for a protein-packed lunch because of its rich, lemony aftertaste. The crew at Faculty House cooks fish that is crisp and wonderfully glazed almost every time.

JJ’s Burgers

You can find beef, turkey, and Beyond burgers at JJ’s, which is located beneath John Jay Dining Hall, along with the renowned crunchy chicken sandwich. You will discover that the juicy burgers are the ideal post-class supper or late-night snack without having to stand in line.

JJ’s Omelets

JJ’s omelets are delicious and healthful, baked to a golden brown and stuffed with your choice of fresh toppings. Regardless matter how horrible rush hour is, these enormous omelets will satisfy your needs at any time of day and are almost always worth the wait. You will be satisfied from morning till afternoon thanks to the minglin of many flavors created by the combination of ingredients like cheddar cheese and the heat of jalapeno peppers.

View of an omelet sprinkled with herbs and tomatoes.

Macaroni and Cheese at John Jay and Faculty House

The popular macaroni and cheese from Columbia never fail to satisfy. The ideal side dish for any meal, this one is cheesy, creamy, and oh-so-gooey. If you’re visiting John Jay, think about pairing your mac and cheese with some roasted broccoli or fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs.

John Jay Cookies

After a hard day of school, who doesn’t want a warm, gooey cookie and a cool cup of milk? Even while John Jay cookies aren’t quite your grandmother’s secret chocolate chip recipe, anyone with a sweet taste will still like them. These cookies are the ideal afternoon or evening snack because they are little and loaded with flavor.

Ferris Poke Bowl

Ferris’s adaptable poke bowls are tasty, nutritious, and all-around enjoyable to consume. These bowls offer a variety of topping choices, including luscious mango, juicy wakame, and fresh fish, which together provide a meal with a sea-scented aroma and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

How Much Is the Columbia Meal Plan?

There are three First-Year Dining Plans available, and all first-year students at Columbia College and SEAS must sign up for one of them. Upper-class, general studies, and graduate school students frequently struggle to juggle their busy personal lives with their demanding class schedules.

Female students looking bored while sitting on a table.

Even while you’re on the go, you can choose from a variety of delicious and healthy meals with a Columbia Dining Plan. Now, we’ll discuss how much is the Columbia meal plan and its inclusions.

First-Year Plan Comparison

Dining Plan Designed for: # Meals Each Week Per Term Cost/Term
Plan 1 Students who will eat most meals on-campus at one of our dining halls and want the highest number of meals to meet complement their active lifestyle, eating habits, and busy schedule. 19 meals per week, 15 floating meals, 6 guest meals $3,150
Plan 2 Students who will eat primarily on-campus, but would prefer the added flexibility to eat in a dining hall or at one of our retail locations. 15 meals per week, 10 floating meals, 6 guest meals $3,150
Plan 3 Flex Students who want to ensure they have as many meal options as possible, including flexibility to eat on-campus and off-campus. 19 meals per week, 15 floating meals, 6 guest meals $3,150

Upper-class Students Plan Summary AY 22-23

Plan Designed for # Meals Each Week Per Term Cost per Term
Plan A / Weekly Students who will eat primarily on-campus and want the highest number of meals per week. 14 meals per week, 15 floating meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $2,813
Plan A / Term Students who will eat primarily on-campus but would prefer more flexibility of when they use their meals. 210 meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $2,765
Plan A / MealsOnly Students who will eat primarily on-campus. 210 meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $2,565
Plan B / Plus Students who will eat primarily on-campus and need a comprehensive plan like Plan A, but with fewer meals. 175 meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $2,558
Plan B / Flex Students who will eat primarily on-campus and want a large number of meals plus Flex for use at on and off-campus merchants. 175 meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $2,558
Plan C Students who will use Columbia Dining for most meals, but will eat off-campus or have facilities within their residence to also cook meals. 100 meals per term & 4 complimentary meals per term $1,593
Plan C / Plus Just like Plan C, Plan C/ Plus is for students who will use Columbia Dining for most meals but will eat off-campus or have facilities within their residences to cook meals. This plan provides a slight increase in the number of meals over Plan C, plus the flexibility of having both Dining Dollars and Flex. 150 meals per term & 4 complimentary meals per term $2,231
Plan D  Students who will occasionally eat at Columbia Dining but will primarily eat elsewhere. This per-term plan offers the fewest number of meals. 75 meals per term & 2 complimentary meals per term $1,197
Plan EZ1 For students who will eat primarily on-campus and who want to take the guesswork out of selecting a dining plan. Plan EZ1 includes a large number of meals per week plus floating meals and Dining Dollars. 19 meals per week,15 floating meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $3,299
Plan EZ2 Similar to Plan EZ1 but with fewer meals per week and more Dining Dollars. 15 meals per week, 10 floating meals per term & 6 complimentary meals per term $3,194
Plan EZ3 Similar to Plan EZ1, Plan EZ3 includes a large number of meals per week supplemented with a combination of Dining Dollars and Flex. 19 meals per week, 15 floating meals & 6 complimentary meals per term $3,299

While the Columbia dining hall and meal plan might have encouraged you more to apply to Columbia. Also keep in mind that Columbia is known for placing a high focus on academics, much like its Ivy League counterparts, Brown and UPenn, but with a more overt emphasis on intellectual diversity. This indicates that a student should have strong humanities classes (e.g., numerous APs) in addition to their excellent STEM courses, and vice versa.

If you are interested in the field mentioned, start preparing your application for Columbia with AdmissionSight. Book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts to discuss your academic standing and chances of getting into one of the top universities in the US.

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