Princeton Dining Hall

November 8, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Princeton Dining Hall

Where Do Students Eat At Princeton?

Where do students eat at Princeton? Princeton University’s first- and second-year students live and eat in residential colleges. Most juniors and seniors at Princeton decide to join an eating club, although many other students make other plans if they want a different kind of dining and social life. Learn more about the dining options at Princeton below.

Undergraduate Dining Options

The Princeton dining hall is where freshmen and sophomores eat most of their meals. Juniors and seniors have the option of dining on-campus, as well as joining eating clubs or student food cooperatives. Additionally, students have the option of cooking their own meals in the kitchens of their dorms or eating at campus cafés, the Center for Jewish Life, or neighborhood eateries.

Students having lunch on the dining hall.

Residential Dining Halls

Students don’t only get food at residential college dining halls. They serve as a place for people to socialize, relax, learn about other cultures through food and language, and grow their Princeton family.

Each of Princeton’s undergraduate residential colleges has a dining hall. Each Princeton dining hall has a dedicated chef who uses scientific culinary concepts to develop sustainable, healthful menus to suit every taste and preference.

You can book an appointment with the Campus Wellness Dietician, Puneet Sethi, by emailing for any dietary needs or specifications. Daily menus and allergen information can be obtained at Campus Dining will be introducing new initiatives, such as special chef’s tables and guest chef events.

Sustainability in the dining halls is a priority for Campus Dining. Some of Campus Dining’s efforts to reduce trash were hampered by COVID laws, but this year, Campus Dining is reverting to the conventional residential dining hall arrangement and take-out containers will not be offered. You can take advantage of the late meal program or lunch-to-go option if you need something on the run.

Eating Clubs

For their members, eating clubs act as social hubs and dining establishments. Juniors and seniors can join any of the 11 co-ed groups, and around two-thirds of students do so. The clubs, which are housed along Prospect Avenue, are run separately by student officials and alumni boards.

View of a woman eating a sandwich while looking at her watch.

The majority of members reside on campus and dine at the clubs, which provide daily meals. Some residential college residents who participate in eating clubs divide their meal costs between the colleges and clubs. Increased meal allowances are included in financial aid awards for juniors and seniors to help defray the cost of eating club membership.

Game rooms, libraries, study areas, and media rooms are among the amenities offered by the clubs. The dining clubs’ member activities include dinner conversations, dances, intramural sports, community service initiatives, and movie evenings. The clubs often host events for the greater campus community, such as parties and concerts. When alumni return to campus, they frequently dine at their clubs with current undergraduates or other alumni. Membership in a club is lifelong.

Six of the clubs have a selection process in which students must apply to join, while five of the groups have first-come, first-serve membership rules. Any student who has not been accepted into a selective club may join one that has open enrollment.

Student Food Cooperatives

Juniors and seniors can join one of three co-ops that run on campus and offer their members access to kitchens and a shared food supply, including vegetarian and international options. These student organizations share household tasks including cleaning, buying, baking, and even gardening while preparing and eating meals together. Since there are several dozen people in each co-op, only one night a week of cooking is required of each student. Culinary expertise is not needed, all students are welcome.

Independent Dining

Some juniors and seniors plan their own meals, cook for themselves, go out to restaurants, or eat in campus dining halls. Spelman Hall, which offers four-person suites with kitchens, is where many students who are “independents” reside.

View of three students eating on a table.

Graduate Student Dining

Graduate students eat together in places including Procter Hall at the Graduate College, dining halls at residential colleges, Frist Campus Center, campus cafés, and the dining hall of the Center for Jewish Life. Graduate students can purchase food at a range of cafés in the area and in the city.

Dining on Campus Areas

On campus, hundreds of employees work each day to serve students nutritious, delectable food and drinks. The diverse array of ingredients, authentic world cuisines, and locally sourced and sustainably produced goods are all celebrated by our award-winning Campus Dining team.

View of students talking and eating on a table.

Halal and Kosher Dining

All students and meal plans are welcome in the kosher dining hall at the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), which is run under the direction of the Orthodox Union. Halal food options are available in residential dining halls, and students can arrange to have kosher food from the CJL delivered to their dining hall.

Retail Dining

There are numerous cafés located across the campus where students, faculty, staff, and visitors congregate. These cafés serve a variety of foods, including made-to-order salads, comfort food, and locally roasted coffee. From tacos to freshly rolled sushi, the Food Gallery at Frist Campus Center, which resembles a food court, provides a variety of hot and cold products.

Eating in Town

Princeton’s Eating in Town program offers an expanding selection of eateries, cafés, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, brewpubs, and other places where students, employees, and professors can mingle with locals. Members of the University community feed their spirits in the areas close to school, whether they are in the mood for some of the best ice cream in the country or a steaming bowl of ramen.

How Many Dining Halls Does Princeton Have?

The campus now has a new dining hall. This fall, the Yeh/New College West Dining Hall will debut. Now, if you’re curious “How many dining halls does Princeton have?” the following are the Princeton dining hall:

  • Butler College
  • Center for Jewish Life
  • Forbes College
  • Graduate College
  • Mathey College
  • New College West
  • Rockefeller College
  • Whitman College
  • Yeh/New College West

What Time Do Dining Halls Open at Princeton?

What time do dining halls open at Princeton? The Princeton dining hall’s regular academic hours will start on September 5, 2022.

Weekdays Schedule

Dining Hall Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Butler 7:30–11 a.m. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. 5–8 p.m.
Forbes Rockefeller College entrance closed.
Yeh/New College West
Center for Jewish Life 8–9 a.m. 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday: 5:30–7:30 p.m
Friday: 7:30–9 p.m September, October, April, May
Graduate College Closed Closed Monday–Thursday: 5–8 p.m
Friday: Closed

Saturday and Sunday Schedule

Dining Hall Breakfast Brunch Dinner
Butler 7:30–9:30 a.m 10 a.m–2 p.m. 5–8 p.m.
Rockefeller/Mathey Breakfast is at Butler College Dining Hall only. Rockefeller College Dining Hall opens at 11 a.m.
Whitman All other dining halls are closed for breakfast.
Yeh/New College West
Center for Jewish Life Closed Saturday (2nd Meal): Noon–2 p.m. Saturday (3rd Meal): 6:30–7:30 p.m September, October, April, May
Sunday: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Sunday: 5:30–7 p.m.
Graduate College Closed Saturday: Closed Closed
Sunday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Late Meal

The University is aware that you might not always be able to eat during the regular dining hall hours, so you may use your meal plan to purchase a late lunch at the Frist Campus Center Food Gallery from Monday through Friday from 2:00 to 3:30 PM and a late dinner there from Monday through Thursday from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM. A late meal purchase is allowed one meal swipe.

Does Princeton Have Good Dining Hall Food?

On the campus of Princeton, there is always food available: late meals, Nassau Street, study breaks, and free food from events. However, students probably eat the majority of their meals in the dining halls of the residential college. Let’s have a quick overview of some of the Princeton dining halls and answer the query “Does Princeton have good dining hall food?”


Environment: The dining hall at Forbes is peaceful for breakfast and lunch, making it ideal for homework or studying. The dining hall is never particularly full during the day when students are out and about because Forbes is the residential college that is the farthest from most classes and activities (a bit of an exaggeration — my longest walk is only 15 minutes). The dining hall receives lots of sunlight on lovely days, and on warm days you can eat outside with a view of Forbes’ golf course.

Most Popular Choice: “Sunday Brunch” (complete with a massive chocolate fountain), as well as special Thanksgiving and holiday feasts. The only dining hall that serves omelets for lunch, and the grill accepts quesadilla orders at any time.

Best Food: At Forbes Flexitarian Night, the best food included paella, tortellini, a potato bar with a variety of potato options, an avocado bar with a variety of avocado combinations, and waffle cones with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Underrated Pick: Saturday brunch, with breakfast quesadillas & açaí bowls, is so underrated.

RoMa (Rockefeller/Mathey)

Environment: Due to its proximity to Firestone Library and other academic buildings, it is a popular spot to meet friends for lunch or dinner. Even when there are many people present, the dining hall is so large that it doesn’t feel crowded. This dining room has two adjoining seating places, one on Rocky’s side and the other on Mathey’s. The dining hall’s Harry Potter/castle-like structure.

Most Popular Choice: The only dining hall with daily fried chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese trio, and two cheese options for omelets – cheddar & mozzarella (most just have cheddar).

Best Food: Creative quesadillas (apple, brie & arugula is a crowd-favorite), chicken nugget bar, and shell mac and cheese.

Underrated Pick: Chicken soup from RoMa’s house.

WuCox (Butler/Wilson)

Environment: Wu Hall (Butler) and Wilcox Hall (Wilson) are connected by a single dining hall, much like RoMa, and both of these halls have seating areas. Most booths are in WuCox out of all of our dining halls. Because there are booths accessible for even huge groups, this is where many student organizations meet. The biology and math departments, as well as Frist, our student center, are all conveniently located nearby WuCox.

Most Popular Choice: “Beans, Greens & Grains” station available for lunch and dinner (a pasta and ramen bar: choose your sauce, pasta – ramen or penne, and add chicken and veggies), breakfast.

Best Food: WuCox morning muffins, cornbread, perogies, and Southern fried chicken.

Underrated Pick: Pesto ravioli


Environment: With its stunning design, this dining hall is quite the sight, much like RoMa. Mostly long tables and a few booths in the back make up Whitman. One of the nicest private dining rooms for groups, clubs, or language tables is in the dining hall. On certain days, like chicken pot pie day, lunch becomes highly popular, and dinner is always busy. Whitman offers so many choices you will enjoy.

Most Popular Choice: The Whitman lunch, the amazing salad bar, and the specialty bars (ramen, mac & cheese, burritos).

Best Food: Favorite foods include naan bread, sautéed vegetables, orzo pasta salad, pizza, and garlic knots.

Underrated Pick: Spinach and artichoke hummus

Not just their residence’s dining hall, but any residential college is open to students. They can also eat at the on-campus kosher dining hall, which is in the Center for Jewish Life (CJL).

How Much Is the Princeton Meal Plan?

A residential campus, Princeton University is a close-knit community where students live and eat together. You can eat in Procter Hall at the Graduate College and in the dining halls at the Residential Colleges if you select a meal plan. Meal sharing is a significant aspect of the university experience at both locations.

Female student typing in a table.

How much is the Princeton meal plan? The Princeton dining hall meal plans offered for the academic year 2022-2023 are listed below.

Undergraduate Meal Plans

Meal Plans Meal Plan Use Price
Unlimited Plan Unlimited entry to any residential undergraduate dining halls or the graduate college dining hall, plus 10 additional guest meals per semester. Unlimited swipes per meal period. Available to all students. Required for first-year and sophomore students. This plan includes $150 in Dining Points per semester which must be used before the end of the academic year. $7,670
Block 105 105 meals per semester, entry to any residential undergraduate dining halls or the graduate college dining hall. 10 meals may be used for guests. One swipe per meal period. Available to juniors and seniors. Juniors and seniors who purchase a block plan receive the additional equivalent two meals per week in their meal plan. $2,975

Graduate Meal Plans

Meal Plans Meal Plan Use Price (Annual)
Graduate Unlimited Plan Unlimited entry to any residential undergraduate dining halls or the graduate college dining hall, plus 10 additional guest meals per semester. Unlimited swipes per meal period. This plan includes $150 in Dining Points per semester which must be used prior to the end of the academic year. $7,670
Graduate Block 105 105 meals per semester, entry to any residential undergraduate dining halls or the graduate college dining hall. 10 meals may be used for guests. One swipe per meal period. $2,975

Princeton dining halls host events throughout the year. Along with their dedication to sustainability, excellent menus, and health and wellness pop-ups, they will start hosting brief monthly chef’s tables in a few dining halls, for which you can sign up. You will have the opportunity to learn more about their team members at these tables.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, they will also be welcoming a special guest chef. The Princeton Campus Dining team will be holding two open forums and tastings the week of November 14. For both sessions, keep an eye out for dates and enrollment opportunities.

The Princeton dining hall could be one of the factors that pique your interest in attending Princeton. Princeton University is a prestigious university that is one of the eight exclusive Ivy League colleges. Moreover, Princeton is the top-ranked university in the nation as of the 2022 edition of US News and World Report’s list of best colleges. If your goal is to get admitted at Princeton, you will need assistance from college admissions experts like AdmissionSight.

At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of our students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.

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