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A guide to Cornell Dining for Spring 2023

The Cornell Dining team has assembled some information to help you navigate a dining program of which we're extremely proud, explaining some of what's new as well as the basics. Most of our eateries will be open during move-in days, and meal plans begin with lunch on January 17th. Families and guests are welcome, too.

Bookmark Cornell Dining Now at to see what's open when.

Undergraduate Meal Plans

A vital part of the living-learning experience at Cornell, and key to our residential community mission, is the Cornell Dining environment. Our dining facilities provide students, staff, and faculty not just a meal, but a rich dining experience that celebrates the diversity of our campus population while fueling the educational process. Good health and nutrition are critical to academic excellence for all students but we also know food security continues to be an issue affecting our population. Cornell has made it a priority to eliminate a student’s uncertainty about where their next meal will come from, and the dilemma of whether to spend money on food or for other basic necessities.

To that end, new residential students are automatically enrolled in Cornell Dining's new Unlimited Meal Plan. Priced at what had been only a 14-meal-per-week meal plan level, the Unlimited Meal Plan is fully covered by financial aid for eligible students, and is a great value for everyone, including upper level students living off campus. In addition to unlimited visits to our residential dining rooms, the plan includes a supply of Big Red Bucks (BRBs) for use at the Cornell Dairy Bar and in our cafés, grills, and convenience stores.

Cornell’s array of dining options includes Risley Dining Room, our facility that's certified gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut-free by Kitchens with Confidence, and we’re expanding hours at many of our residential dining rooms to better meet the diverse scheduling needs of our student population, as well as their expectations of dining flexibility. 

Students choosing to live in the West Campus House System (WCHS)*, are required to have the House Meal Plan designated specifically for WCHS residents and will be automatically enrolled. The House Meal Plan, too, is priced at what had been our 14-meal-per-week meal plan level but offers unlimited meals in all of our residential dining rooms. As with the Unlimited Meal Plan, the House Meal Plan offers a supply of BRBs for use elsewhere on campus.

*WCHS includes Alice Cook House (Boldt Tower, Boldt Hall, North Baker Hall/Language House, Baker Tower, Cook House, Carl Becker House, Hans Bethe House (Bethe House and McFaddin Hall), William Keeton House, and Flora Rose House (Founders Hall, Lyon Hall, Mennen Hall, South Baker Hall, Rose House).

Sophomores and transfer students living on campus are required to have a meal plan, but may participate in either the Unlimited Meal Plan or the Bear Traditional Meal Plan. Students living in 112 Edgemoor, Cascadilla Hall, Schuyler House, and Sheldon Court may opt for the South Campus Meal Plan, and members of Cornell-recognized Sorority & Fraternity Life (SFL) chapters may opt for the SFL Supplemental meal plan. Debit meal plans are limited to students who do not live in on-campus housing.

Food allergies & special diets

Cornell Dining takes food allergies and other dietary restrictions very seriously. Cornell Dining's culinary team and management are trained yearly with the AllerTrain food allergy training to increase awareness of ingredient labeling, cross-contamination, and other concerns. 

If you have a food allergy or intolerance, it is important to learn about all the options available to you. Please work with us to review your options. Many students are easily accommodated by foods served each day in the many dining locations. We'll assist with managing dietary conditions within the dining rooms. A detailed plan is developed for dining on campus safely. If the options are so limited that they will not afford a healthy nutritional diet, chefs in the dining room are asked to make meals to meet the individual needs.

Takeout and Sustainability

Takeout is available at our dining rooms with your Reusable Takeout Container. All students on a meal plan with meal swipes will be given a reusable takeout container at no charge. (We are no longer offering disposable takeout containers, as part of our effort to be as sustainable as possible.) If you'd like to take your meal to go due to limited time or preference to dine solo, we'll still be offering takeout.

Please rinse your reusable takeout container after each use, and bring it back to dining rooms for each takeout meal, to swap for a freshly sanitized one! If you turned your reusable takeout container in last semester, or haven't received one yet, you can pick one up at any of our residential dining rooms. The first one is free of charge to all students on a meal plan that includes meal swipes.

Reusable takeout containers are not available at and should not be brought to Risley Dining Room (which is certified gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut-free) or 104West! (which is certified kosher) due to cross-contamination concerns.

Our Reusable Mug Program offers 10% on all self-serve hot or iced coffee, tea, and fountain beverages with your clean reusable cup, mug, or tumbler at select Cornell Dining cafés and retail units:

  • Amit Bhatia Libe Cafe
  • Atrium Café
  • Bear Necessities
  • Big Red Barn
  • Bus Stop Bagels
  • Café Jennie
  • Dairy Bar
  • Goldie's Cafe
  • Green Dragon
  • Jansen’s Market
  • Mann Café
  • Martha’s Café
  • Mattin’s
  • Novick's Café
  • Rusty’s
  • Straight from the Market
  • Trillium

Bring your own clean reusable utensils, such as the bamboo set sold at some of our retail locations, to any of our cafés or dining rooms (except Risley and 104West!) to reduce the use of disposable flatware. Wash them after use, and bring them with you to use at every meal.

Mobile ordering

Several of our cafés and our grills are available on GET Order, our mobile ordering service, to speed up your visits to our eateries. Order in advance to reduce your contact and interaction with staff at our cafés, and be more efficient with your time. You can place your order hours ahead if you're sure of your schedule, or simply before walking over. Just skip the line and grab your meal from the pickup station. 

If you don't have a smartphone, just use a web browser on any computer or mobile device to place your order before heading to the eatery to pick it up. There is no fee for using GET Order to place your order.

Contactless payment

Cornell Dining's eateries are cashless for safety and sanitation! We're using contactless payment methods, and instead of handing your Cornell ID card to a door-checker or cashier in our eateries, you'll use the GET My Card feature of the GET app to show a unique bar code representing your Cornell ID for both meal swipes and BRBs. We also have self-serve payment terminals for credit and debit cards, supporting Apple Pay and Google Wallet as well as chip cards.  

Jobs with Cornell Dining

We provide students with meaningful work opportunities and leadership positions! Whether you want to work in one of our residential dining locations or our coffee shops or cafés, whether you want to hone your culinary skills by working closely with a chef, we have a position for you. If you're looking to take on more of a leadership role, we have supervisor and student manager positions that can fit. Cornell Dining hires many full-time and part-time staff members for a wide range of positions and roles on campus, as well as a robust student staff team.

About Cornell Dining

Cornell Dining is consistently ranked in the Princeton Review's top ten for best campus food among all colleges and universities in the country! That high rating comes from customer surveys, and reflects Cornell Dining's commitment to serving high-quality foods that are healthy and creatively prepared with genuine care for a diverse community. Cornell Dining operates about 30 on-campus eateries -- which include residential dining rooms, cafés, coffeehouses, food courts, and convenience stores -- and serves about 23,000 meals a day to members of the Cornell community. For more information, visit