Dining Options

Three students with a plate of food in the dining hall

Residence Hall Dining

At Stanford, students find that many of their most memorable conversations and social activities take place at their dining hall. Eating with housemates is an essential part of Stanford's Residential Education program; eating together helps to build a sense of community among residents, faculty, and guests within a house. Many residential academic programs, such as faculty night and dinner lectures, are focused around meal time. 

All students assigned to undergraduate Student Housing locations on campus, with the exception of those in apartments, are required to purchase a meal plan. Depending on your assignment, this will take the form of a Stanford Dining meal plan, a house-managed board plan or a Dining Society meal plan. Graduate students living in apartment residences are not required to carry a meal plan but may purchase one.

Residence Halls with Dining Facilities

Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) offers students a range of all-you-care-to-eat meal plans through its Stanford Dining division. Stanford Dining is one of the most celebrated programs in the country; it is the first certified Green Business university food-service program in the nation and has earned both regional and national recognition for outstanding chefs, nutrition and sustainability programs, and food allergy accommodations.

Under Stanford Dining plans, students may choose from a variety of fresh, nutritious menu options that include organic produce, hormone-free meats, vegan, and vegetarian foods. Stanford Dining plans give students all-you-care-to-eat access in any of the dining halls on campus.

Stanford Dining Meal Plans

Meal plans provide nutritious, high quality meals, maximum flexibility of eating locations across campus, and are designed to meet a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.  Besides the required meal plans enjoyed by students living in the residence halls, there is a special apartment meal plan for graduate students and undergraduate students living in apartment style housing. Please visit Stanford Dining’s page for details on dining plan options.

Special Dietary Needs & Religious Food Practices

Stanford Dining values the cultural and religious diversity that is intrinsic to the Stanford community and offers a number of programs and dining accommodations for those with medical or religious dietary needs. Students are strongly encouraged to learn more about what dining accommodations may be available in their residence prior to requesting a meal plan exemption. Students can also meet with an R&DE nutritionist to determine the dining strategy that best meets their dietary needs.

Food Allergies @ Stanford

R&DE Stanford Dining offers a variety of accommodations for students with food allergies and specialized dietary requirements through the Food Allergies @Stanford program. We have a dedicated Food Allergy Program Nutritionist to support hundreds of Stanford students, staff and guests with food allergies and special dietary needs. As the prevalence of food allergies and other dietary needs continues to grow on campus, our nutritionists work closely with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to ensure that the university is adequately accommodating students with medically documented dietary needs as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information about the accommodations available and how to get support with your food allergy or special dietary need, read our Food Allergies @Stanford brochure or reach out to nutritionist@stanford.edu.

Kosher Meals

In partnership with Hillel at Stanford and Residential Education, Stanford Dining offers a kosher lunch and dinner program in Florence Moore Dining Hall during the academic year. These meals help students who maintain a strict kosher diet, while also making the program manageable for the other students who keep a more relaxed form of kosher diet. More information on the Kosher Dining program can be found here.

On Friday nights, students come together at Hillel's home, the Ziff Center for Jewish Life, for free Kosher catered meals. Information on any specific Friday night is available at https://stanford.hillel.org. Most weeks, Saturday lunch is available as well. In addition, Chabad at Stanford serves meals on Shabbat. More information is available at https://chabadstanford.org.

Halal Dining

R&DE Stanford Dining offers a variety of dining options to accommodate the dietary needs of Stanford’s Muslim community. 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 in our dining halls. During Ramadan we provide Suhoor to-go boxes and Iftar meals in the dining halls to keep students well nourished while fasting. More information on Ramadan accommodations can be found here.

Meal Plan Exemption Requests

If you live in a residence with a required meal plan, 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 https://oae.stanford.edu/

Exemption requests for religious reasons are submitted through the Stanford Office for Religious Life https://religiouslife.stanford.edu/.

Depending on where you live, the Office of Accessible Education or Office for Religious Life will submit an exemption request on your behalf to Stanford Dining, a Dining Society manager, or the house staff in Row houses for approval. There may be a fee associated with such an exemption. 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 oae-contactus@stanford.edu (for medical exemptions) Office for Religious Life religious-life@stanford.edu (for religious exemptions) or Stanford Dining diningplans@stanford.edu.

Housing Accommodation Requests

Housing Accommodation Requests for serious medical issues/disabilities must be submitted through the Office of Accessible Education https://oae.stanford.edu/. If the housing accommodation request is based on food restriction/access needs, OAE may refer students to work with a Stanford Dining nutritionist in order to determine whether the dietary need can be met through the available dining accommodations.

Three students in the dining hall

Campus Cafés

Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries, a division of Residential & Dining Enterprises, operates unique cafés and restaurants across campus. See Cafés and Retail Locations for a list.

Dining Societies

Undergraduate students living in the Suites are required to join one of four Dining Societies. (There are no exceptions to this requirement.)

The Dining Societies are student-run organizations that offer a variety of eating plans and sponsor social activities as well.  Students are billed quarterly for their dining society meal plan on their university bill.

For more information contact the Dining Societies (near the Governor's Corner Suites), (650) 497-7731.

Self-Ops and Fraternities/Sororities

Self-ops and fraternities/sororities are undergraduate houses in which student residents and non-resident eating associates hire a house cook and manage the operation of the house's meal service.

Self-ops include: 680 Lomita, 717 Dolores, BOB, Durand, Grove, Haus Mitteleuropa Jerry, La Casa Italiana, La Maison Francaise, MARS, Muwekma-Tah-Ruk, Narnia, Phi Sig, Roth, Slavianskii Dom, Storey, Xanadu, and ZAP.

Information about eating associate plans may be obtained from a house’s kitchen manager.


Co-ops are undergraduate student residences in which residents and nonresident eating associates, manage the house meal service and prepare all meals themselves. Eating associates at co-ops are required to work two to five hours per week planning, preparing, and serving meals. Because students prepare all meals, co-op board plans cost less than other meal plans at Stanford.

The seven co-ops are: 576 Alvarado, Columbae, Hammarskjöld, Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Kairos, Synergy, and Terra.  

Students interested in becoming an eating associate at a co-op should contact the house’s kitchen manager.


Students living in apartments have private kitchens. Generally, students in apartments cook for themselves or with their roommates. Residents may also:

  1. Take advantage of a specially-priced meal plan through Stanford Dining
  2. Become eating associates in a student-managed house or organization. 

Though meal plans are required in all other residences, students in most houses also have access to a small, communal kitchen. In many student-managed residences, the house kitchen is open to residents at all times.