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Big Green Food

Finding food on campus is never hard to do. As mentioned earlier, beginning the first week you arrive, free food will accompany almost every orientation activity. This is quite a treat, considering that DOC provides you with a tasty, but limited, selection of goodies for your first year trip.

Once classes start, your meal plans will kick in and will be responsible for satiating your hunger. Using the meal swipes and DBA (declining balance account) funds attached to your ID, food can be easily acquired all around campus.

Of course, students often stray from the dining halls in an attempt to add variety and atmosphere to their appetite. Main Street, which runs directly through Dartmouth, has its own host of restaurants, which boast moderately priced, mouth-watering foods (sorry, but these places will not accept DBA). Certain restaurants will also deliver directly to your room. This is recommended for those who are too lazy to walk or who want to avoid the piercing cold of a Hanover winter.

A Guide to Eating On-Campus

Places to Eat

1953 Commons

Known colloquially as “FoCo” (short for "food court," this is the biggest dining hall on campus. It has the widest selection of food, including vegetarian, meat, grilled food, kosher, pizza, and other stations. It also has great desserts. Most people on the “20 meal plan” go here. Athletes love FoCo, as it is one swipe and all you can eat, unlike the other dining locations on campus. In summary, 1953 Commons is the main dining hall with the largest plethora of options.


Known for its stir fry and pasta stations, considered by some as a “healthy” alternative. However, due to the recent renovations of FoCo, this might no longer be the case. Also have late night until 12:30. Good baked goods and to-go breakfasts.

Courtyard Café

Located in the Hopkins Center (“The Hop”), this serves greasy, good-grubbing food. The best things are not on the menu, so customization is the name of the game at the Hop. Just order the Breakfast Bomb (trust us). It also has a sub station, soups, and a salad bar.

Novak Café

The older café in the library, this has a basic selection of snacks and coffee. Certainly not the highest quality food, but hey, a coffee is a coffee.

King Arthur Café

The upscale café in the library, King Arthur is the most recent addition to the library’s study break options. King Arthur offers great coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, making it a favorite of students on the five meal plan who have lots of DBA (see our other section on meal plans!). However, for those students who have the 14 or 20 meal plan, watch out—the prices will draw from your DBA faster than you can say “Chicken Caesar Salad.”


Dartmouth’s own convenience store in Collis. It offers a full line of quality grocery items, health and beauty aids, and school supplies. Topside boasts a fully stocked Ben and Jerry’s Freezer, a complete spectrum of beverages, ranging from an expansive selection of sodas to juices to energy drinks. Hummus, Annie’s Mac and Cheese and organic eggs are among the many treats that can be found in Topside. Also, it’s student-run!

Meal Plans

Dartmouth Dining Services offers four different meal plans:
    SmartChoice 20
      · Cost per term: $1,658
      · 20 meals per week
      · Flex DBA: $75
    SmartChoice 14
      · Cost per term: $1,575
      · 14 meals per week
      · Flex DBA: $125
    SmartChoice 5
      · Cost per term: $1,440
      · 5 meals per week
      · Flex DBA: $875
    SmartChoice OC
      · Only available to those living off-campus
      · Cost per term: $875
      · 0 meal swipes per week
      · Flex DBA: $875
For your first term as a freshman, you are automatically put on SmartChoice 20 and cannot change until winter term. After that, you can change your meal plan for any term. There IS a meal plan that fits your eating style!


DBA (Declining Balance Account) is the money used for Dartmouth's meal plan. Every time you buy some food, the price of the items gets deducted from your account. It's an a la carte system.

DASH is money used around campus for non-dining purposes. It's the only form of Dartmouth card money accepted outside of the dining system, so it is used for washers and dryers, vending machines, tickets to Hop performances, grilled cheese on Webster Ave., purchases at Topside, and a multitude of random uses.

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