Food-loving friends, read on!

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to talk about everyone’s favorite thing: food! As ambassadors, we get a lot of questions about how the food is at the Claremont Colleges, so I’m going to lay it all out for you.

Students leave their skateboard and scooters outside while they get food at Scripps.

1. Dining Halls

There are 7 dining halls across the 5Cs. Each school has one, and then Pomona has three (one is mainly language tables, so it’s smaller and less frequented). Scripps’ dining hall is Malott Commons, located at the main entrance of Scripps. Like most of the dining halls, Malott is open breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends. It is not open all day, so I admit being at Scripps has made me an earlier diner than at home. The doors close at 6:30 pm for dinner on weekends! All 5C students have access to all the dining halls with their meal plan, which leads to number 2…

2. The Meal Plan

At Claremont, the meal plan is based on a weekly cycle that starts Sunday morning and ends Saturday night. At Scripps, there currently are 16-, 12-, and 5-meal plans. The 16-meal plan is common for students when they first start. There is a total of 19 meals served at Malott each week, so a 16-meal plan means that you would miss 3 meals. For me this usually works out as sleeping in when I don’t have morning classes and having oatmeal, fruit I took from Malott, or something else I can make in my dorm. Events at lunchtime sometimes have food included and some classes may have dinner events, which are other ways students get meals outside their plan.

The 12-meal plan is for students who are fine with having more independence in their meals. There are many students who will regularly make dinner or lunch with friends with food they’ve bought. Each Scripps dorm has a shared kitchen with all the appliances, so it’s pretty easy! There are also many restaurants around Claremont and the surrounding towns. Typically, as students get older they are more interested in having more meal independence.

The 5-meal plan is generally used by students who live off-campus. For these students, it often makes sense to eat at home except for maybe lunches or meals when they are already on campus for class or other activities.

I love grabbing an ice cream on hot days- or any day really!

3. Flex Dollars

With your meal plan, you get a certain amount of Flex dollars, or “board plus dollars.” The 16-meal plan is $160, the 12-meal plan $120, and the 5 is $50. This is per semester and does not roll over. These dollars can be used at any campus eatery and some in the Claremont Village.

4. Campus Cafes

In addition to dining halls, each campus has some sort of eatery. Scripps has the Motley Coffeehouse that serves fresh bagels and baked goods, as well as coffee, tea, and other drinks. CMC has The Hub which has a little store and a whole grill for freshly made food, Harvey Mudd has Jay’s Place which is open late and serves Starbucks and pizza, and the other schools have their places (I’ll admit I’m not as familiar with the other ones…). These places accept Flex or money, and they also conveniently can tell you how much Flex you have left. I made the mistake my first semester of getting a ton of drinks at the Motley, freaking out over running out of Flex before the semester was over, stopping entirely, and then having $100 Flex left at Thanksgiving. I bought a bunch of snacks during finals and basically went to the Motley every day for a drink to use up my Flex. I did it, but then that created another whole habit that I had to break the next semester. It’s a tricky balance, my friends.

At the Motley, I often get some morning tea, and on this occasion I got a bagel too!

5. Opinions

Okay, so now that all that’s been said, here’s the real question: how’s the food? I would say, fantastic! I love our food. Our staff is so friendly and works so hard making and serving delicious meals. There’s a weekly schedule that cycles, so each day there are typically several specials accompanied by a salad bar and pizza/hamburgers. Sunday night would have chicken wings, Friday dinner was make-your-own pizza, Friday lunch was sushi and fish tacos (I love Fridays), Thursday lunch was teriyaki chicken, Wednesday dinner has pho, and so on. And if that’s not enough, you also get the specials from all the other dining halls! Pitzer has a Pad Thai night, CMC has Mongolian stir fry, and Mudd has a wet burrito bar (as well as delicious tortellini and quesadillas). You rarely get bored! I personally think Scripps has the best food, but that’s a hotly debated topic on campus.

Each dining hall also has options for any dietary restrictions. Some schools are better than others, as students who seek out these options will tell you, but every dining hall will have options. Scripps’ kitchen is peanut free, and our Simple Servings station has food free from common allergens. This year, Scripps also opened a plant-based station with delicious and creative vegan recipes. I particularly like their tostadas!

Scripps has a delicious chef salad at lunch and dinner. One of my favorites is this caprese salad!

So that’s the run down on food at the 5Cs. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty hungry right now…

See you next time!