[Fine] Dining Halls (continued)

I’m here to elaborate a bit more on dining halls from my last post, and also to verify the claims that Cornell University has some of the best food of Universities in the U.S.  Cornell dining halls were ranked as follows:

  • #5 in the country by Princeton Review
  • #6 in the country by Business Insider
  • Top rankings by College Prowler
  • #2 in the county as the most vegan-friendly college, ranked by PETA.

There are 9 all-you-care-to-eat dining halls on campus: 

  1. RPCC (North Campus)
  2. Appel (North Campus)
  3. Risley (North Campus)
  4. Oakenshields (Main Campus)
  5. Cook (West Campus)
  6. Becker (West Campus)
  7. Flora Rose (West Campus)
  8. Hans Bethe (West Campus)
  9. Keeton (West Campus)
The dining halls on West Campus, as is known to many students here, are much better tan the dining halls on North and Main Campuses.  There are fewer dining halls on North and Main Campus, therefore, they make up in size where they lack in quantity.  As a result, they serve many more students on a daily basis than the dining halls on West Campus.  As a result, RPCC, for example, serves about 1200-1600 students at dinner every day! It’s much harder to control food quality when dealing with these numbers.
Therefore, the biggest perk of living on West Campus is the food! Here I’ll explain the differences between each of the 5 dining halls on West:
Cook House: 

The first dining facility opened in the West Campus System.  It hosts members of the language house once/week, where students studying a specific language can sit together and speak with students and faculty in that language for their whole meal! Cook has particularly gOod bread and always has the best ice cream flavors (cookie dough and mint chocolate chip) !

Becker House:

Arguably the most popular among my friends (although my personal least favorite), Becker House always has amazing food!  For this reason, it is usually packed with people and you’ll be lucky to find a seat during peak dinner hours, let alone a clean one.  Every Thursday, they have Italian Trattoria themed dinners with cook-to-order pasta (including gnocchi!), stromboli, creme brulee, and tiramisu-all served with Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble singing to you in the background.  My favorite things to get here are churros (yes, churros!!!) and concord grapes.

Flora Rose:

One of my personal favorite dining halls, Rose is the House on West Campus associated with my dorm building.  Rose is the newest dining hall on West, famous for “Taco Tuesdays” where they serve quesadillas, tortilla bowls, tacos, and tortilla chips-all including the opportunity to load on tons and tons of guacamole!

Hans Bethe:

Each dining hall on West has their own executive chef, and it turns out Bethe’s attended the Culinary Institute of America! I go to Bethe every morning during the week for breakfast, but on the weekends they have a create-your-own crepe station!


The 5th dining hall, and my personal favorite, I think Keeton always has great food, in addition to a quieter, more laid back atmosphere.  I go here at least every Thursday for their pho station and pad thai stations-although I can never decide which to get! Last week, the Hangovers, an a capella group here at Cornell, performed at Keeton while people were eating dinner!

Additional Notes:

  • Living on West Campus requires students to have an unlimited meal plan-so if we go to dinner at one house and don’t feel satisfied, we can easily go to another one.  A few weeks ago, I went with a friend to all 5 dining halls in one night!
  • The Menu Tool allows you to see the menus of all dining halls at any time of the day.  My friends and I use this nearly every day!
  • Every Wednesday, each of the 5 West Campus Houses hosts house dinner.  This dinner is served at 6 p.m. and is “fancier” than normal dinners.  Tables are fitted with tablecloths, preset with utensils, drinks and cloth napkins, and is closed to only residents of that house. Thus, every Wednesday, my friends and I attend house dinners at Flora Rose House.  The house professor also organizes live musicians, often pianists, to perform during house dinner! Early on in the semester I played at house dinner, having taken lessons for about 9 years!

  This weeks dinner and dessert:

and the vegan option at house dinner:

  • Finally, and probably the biggest kept secret from non-Cornell students, is that every house on West Campus also has a pantry, where chefs from the dining halls put extra food at the end of the night.  This eliminates waste and also creates a great opportunity for midnight snacks! I often find cookies, muffins, bread, and fruit in the pantry, and every Tuesday there are quesadillas left over from Taco Tuesdays at Rose!  To prevent chaos, each pantry has a special key code that only house residents know, so only house residents can access their own pantry.

Hope you learned a bit about how awesome the food is here!! Comment with any more questions you have!


8 thoughts on “[Fine] Dining Halls (continued)

  1. Yum! Sounds delicious!

    How does the food in the house dinner compare with what you prepare at the Hotel School?

  2. Thanks Emily! and Bryan-the food on West Campus is a bit different because there are new menu items everyday, so the menu is constantly changing. If you are referring to Taverna Banfi, the food there is a bit more upscale but with a consistent menu that only changes about twice each year. Next semester I’ll be taking Culinary class and will be preparing food in food labs during class. Make sure to check out those posts in the future!

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