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Dining FAQs

General Dining Questions

Meal Plan & Cardinal Dollars FAQs

Food, Nutrition & Special Dietary Need FAQs

Media FAQs

Other Dining FAQs


General Dining Questions

How does the meal program support the development of communities within residences and across the campus?
The new meal program allows students the flexibility to eat across the campus to develop friendships within the community. Stanford strongly believes in community building over meals and this new program allows students the ease and flexibility to have these important connections and discussions over meals. It is clear in hearing from students, and looking at peer institutions, that conversations over meals form the center of our communities. Students break bread together, engage in intellectual and lively discussions over their meals with each other, faculty, and members of the Stanford community. This is an essential part of the Stanford residential education experience.

How do the meal plans align with the core principles of ResX?
These meal plans are aligned with the core principles of ResX to advance diversity, equity & inclusion; to promote opportunities for community & belonging; and to support student health and well-being. The enhanced flexibility of the new Row and Suites meal plan provides better access to meals and addresses concerns of food insecurity for students especially during academic breaks and weekends. The new meal plans also ensure equity of meal plan cost for students living in all undergraduate residences.

Can I eat at dining halls outside my residency?
Yes! Your meal plan will work in any dining hall.


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General Meal Plan FAQs

What types of meal plans are available?
Students on a Dining Hall Meal Plan can select from the following meal plan options:

  • 19 Meals per Week
  • 15 Meal per Week + 300 Meal Plan Dollars per year
  • 12 Meals per Week + 575 Meal Plan Dollars per year (available to upper-class students only)

Undergraduate students on a dining hall meal plan will be automatically assigned the 15 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars plan. 

For more information, about dining hall meal plans and rates, please visit our Dining Hall Meal Plan page.

Students on a Row, Suites, or Yost/Murray/East Meal Plan enjoy continental breakfast and chef-prepared lunches and dinners served in their residence Monday-Friday. Each student also receives 5 meal swipes per week and 5 guest meals per quarter to use in any campus dining hall (to include weekend meals). For more information on the Row, Suites, and Yost/Murray/East Meal Plan visit our meal plan webpage

Students on a Co-Op Meal Plan prepare dinners for their house Monday-Friday. Open kitchens are available 7 days a week. Each student also receives 5 meal swipes per week and 5 guest meals per quarter to use in any campus Dining Hall. For more information on the Co-Op meal plan visit our meal plan webpage.

How do I change my Dining Hall Meal Plan?
Students on a dining hall meal plan may switch between the 19, 15, or 12 (upperclass students only) meal per week plans online the first three weeks of the quarter. Students can switch their Dining Hall Meal Plan in their Axess account online or using the My Account feature.

Students living in the Row, Suites, Yost/Murray/East, or Co-Ops are required to be on the designated meal plan for their residence. Students who have exceptional circumstances that prevent them from utilizing their assigned meal plan are encouraged to work with their dining staff to accommodate their needs. See the meal plan transfers section for more information.

For questions, please contact the Meal Plan Customer Service Office by email at (include your name and SUID number) 

What happens to my meals and my Meal Plan Dollars when I switch between Dining Hall Meal Plans?
You may change your Dining Hall Meal Plan online the first three weeks of the quarter. When you change your Dining Hall Meal Plan, the entire cost of the original meal plan is reversed with a prorated charge put in its place, for however many days the original meal plan was active. You will then see a second charge for the prorated amount for the new meal plan, based on how many days are left in the quarter. This happens every time you switch meal plans.

Meal plan dollars are prorated based on how many days are in each quarter. After switching between Dining Hall Meal Plans, meal plan dollars may be added or removed, depending on the meal plan selected. For further clarification please contact the Meal Plan Customer Service Office by email at (include your name and SUID number)

There is no administrative fee for switching between Dining Hall Meal Plans. You are required to pay for the meal plan for which you are billed, within the specified time, even if you later change your meal plan. Separate charges or credits resulting from such changes will appear on your statement after each change.

Can I transfer my Suites/Row/Yost/Murray/EAST meal plan to a dining hall meal plan?
Making connections over meals is a critically important part of building community and it creates a strong sense of belonging as part of the Stanford residential education experience. This is especially important for the smaller, more intimate communities as the presence of each student has a greater impact on the house community building experiences. Students with concerns regarding their meal plan must first speak with their local Row (Self-Op) or Suites dining staff for resolving their needs/requests. If the student’s concerns are related to special dietary needs or OAE accommodations, students should contact the Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries nutritionists to determine whether their needs can be accommodated on their current meal plan. If these steps do not resolve the issue, students can next petition to transfer to a 19 meal per week dining hall meal plan using this form, within the first three weeks of the meal plan start date. Meal plan transfers requests are reviewed on a weekly basis and are good for one quarter (fall, winter or spring). Students must submit a new form for consideration each quarter. Once the form is received it may take up to seven business days to review and respond to the request.

Are meal plans transferable?
Meal plans and meal blocks may not be resold under any circumstances. Your plan, card and privileges are nontransferable meaning you cannot use your plan to obtain food or drink for others.

What day does my meal plan cycle start and end each week?
The weekly cycle starts with Sunday brunch and ends with Saturday dinner each week. Your meal plan weekly meal balances are reset on Saturday after dinner.

Can I use more than one meal swipe per meal period?
You may only use one meal swipe per meal period.  

Meal Plan Dollars and Cardinal Dollars: What’s the difference?
Meal Plan Dollars 
Purchased ONLY within the context of the Cardinal Select or Cardinal Light meal plans, all Meal Plan Dollars can be used in residential dining halls as well as select R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries cafés. Click here for the complete list where Meal Plan Dollars may be used. All Meal Plan Dollars expire at the end of the current academic year.

Cardinal Dollars 
Cardinal Dollars allow you to increase dining flexibility within meal plans by providing dining facility choices outside of your residence. Adding Cardinal Dollars to your Stanford ID card eliminates the need to carry cash and provides you with the security and convenience of one card. One Cardinal Dollar is equal to $1.00. 

Click here for the complete list where Cardinal Dollars may be used. Enrolled students can purchase Cardinal Dollars by logging in to their account using the Manage Your Account option on this website. On-line orders are charged to your University bill. Students can also submit an order via email. Send the email from your SUNet account to Be sure to include your SUID number and how much you wish to purchase. Email orders are billed to your University bill. 

Stanford Affiliates and family members of affiliates/students, who do not have a login, may purchase Cardinal Dollars with a credit card here. For further clarification please email (include your name and SUID number).

Can I buy gift cards with my Meal Plan Dollars?
No, Meal Plan Dollars can only be used at residential dining halls and select R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliary Cafes.


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Food, Nutrition & Special Dietary Need FAQs

I have a food allergy. How does R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries (SDHA) support students with special dietary needs?
R&DE SDHA prides itself on providing high-quality and nutritious cuisine to meet the wide variety of dietary needs within our diverse Stanford community. We offer support for students with food allergies and specialized dietary requirements through the Food Allergies @Stanford program. Students with highly specific or complex needs should consult with a SDHA nutritionist as soon as possible to learn more about what accommodations are currently available, and whether these will meet their needs. Students can email or schedule a virtual consultation online.

For more information about Food Allergies @Stanford, visit the Eat Well @Stanford webpage.

Does R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries offer Kosher meals?
Kosher meals for lunch and dinner are available for pick-up 7 days a week at Florence Moore Dining Hall except for Shabbat dinner which is served at Hillel on Friday evenings. For more information on Kosher Dining, please visit

Does R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries offer Halal options?
All chicken served in the dining halls is certified halal and halal beef is also available on a rotating basis. We do not cook with alcohol in any of our recipes and we are conscious to avoid cross-contact of pork products during food production. For more information on Halal Dining, please visit

How do I get a meal plan exemption?
You may request an exemption if there are concerns about meeting medical or religious dietary requirements. Exemptions are granted only for serious medical issues/disabilities or religious reasons.

  • Exemption requests for serious medical issues/disabilities are submitted through the Office of Accessible Education
  • Exemption requests for religious reasons are submitted through the Stanford Office for Religious & Spiritual Life

The Office of Accessible Education or Office for Religious Life will submit an exemption request on your behalf to Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries for approval. Please verify your eligibility for an exemption prior to applying for a residence. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Office of Accessible Education (for medical exemptions) or Office for Religious & Spiritual Life (for religious exemptions).


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Media FAQs

Is filming or photography allowed in the dining halls?
No audio or visual recordings, photographs, film or videos are permitted in the dining halls.

Can I interview Stanford Dining, Hospitality or Auxiliaries staff for a news publication or class project?
Staff cannot be disrupted from performing their duties to comment or respond to interview questions. Any interview questions or request for comment must be submitted in writing and approved by R&DE Strategic Communications in accordance with R&DE policy. All media requests can be directed to Jocelyn Breeland, Chief Officer for Strategic Communications and Marketing for R&DE .

Can I post a flyer/poster, eblast, etc. with the R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries' (SDHA) name or logo on it?
We do not allow flyers, posters, etc. to be posted or distributed with the R&DE SDHA name, logo or use of the name of any Dining Hall without the prior written consent by the Assistant Vice Provost of R&DE SDHA. Any fliers, posters, marketing materials, etc. that are found to contain this information will be removed without prior notice.


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Other Dining FAQs

What is the alcohol policy in the dining halls?
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited and cannot be possessed or consumed in R&DE dining halls, outside seating areas, or patios. R&DE staff can deny admission, access or meal service to anyone who is deemed to be overly intoxicated by the Dining management staff.

What is the process for requesting approval for working on a class project?
Stanford students working on Stanford University approved class assignments or class projects and that are related to residential dining hall operations are reviewed for approval and must gain the express written approval by the Assistant Vice Provost of R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality or Auxiliaries before proceeding. Under no circumstances can the audio or visual recording, interview, photograph, film or video, or any information provided by R&DE staff or gained through additional access in the residential dining halls in the course of working on an approved class project, be used for commercial or other purposes. Students can request this approval by filling out this form and submitting to Please allow 3-5 business days for review and response to the initial submission as there may be multiple student requests for information.

Is it possible to host political or religious events in a R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries' (SDHA) Dining Hall?
R&DE SDHA does not take political nor religious positions and does not co-sponsor nor advertise these types of events. Political or religious events are not permitted to be held in the dining halls.

Can students or student groups post information on the student community boards?
Stanford community informational fliers and other Stanford student information are allowed for posing on community bulletin boards in the dining halls, if they also contain the name of the sponsoring Stanford organization. We may monitor and remove inappropriate, offensive or any other postings at any time without notice. Poster or fliers are not permitted to be posted anywhere else in the dining halls.

Will R&DE Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries (SDHA) sponsor our group's event fundraiser for a good cause?
With over 600 student groups on campus, R&DE SDHA could not possibly support all of the important and worthy student initiatives on campus. Our funding only comes from students' meal plans and we need to be fiscally responsible to maintain the integrity of the dining hall meal program. Since the student meal plan is the only source of revenue for R&DE SDHA to offset the operating expenses of running the dining halls, it is used to support dining hall activities and programs. We are unable to allow meal plan dollars to be used for purposes other than the direct relationship to the function of the dining halls.

Can I take meals out of the dining halls? Can I bring in a container and takeout food?
No, the dining hall meal plans are designed for unlimited dining within the premises and do not accommodate takeout meals. Bringing containers or Ziplock bags for takeout food is not allowed. The meal plans are structured for optimal value and adhere to health department regulations.

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