PULSE'S Declassified Dining Hall Guide

WHETHER YOU'RE NEW to Stanford or just need to get out of your Arillaga fruited-quinoa rut, check out some of your dining options, using these profiles as your guide, the next time you need to snag a bite. Listed in no particular order, we've got you covered for any craving, or food adventure that you want to embark on.

We can't promise the food will be as yummy as it is during parent's weekend, or even look like this...


(in GovCo. If you haven’t found it, bike some more)

            A lovely dining halls and often considered the best on campus, Ricker’s a bit of a trek and might not be the most lively, but it offers a juice bar and DEATH BY CHOCOLATE every Tuesday at lunch and Thursday for dinner. Their roasted chicken, with different marinades and flavors each day, is almost always amazing.

It can definitely be a hit-or-miss because it’s so small, but when it’s a hit, it really is yummy, and you can always grab some dope grilled chicken in the event of a miss.

Note: closed Fridays and Saturdays!!



If you’re in need of a quinoa burger or something relatively uninspired when every other dining hall is closed, hit up Arrillaga. They’re never out of food and you can put together a balanced plate with veggies and a protein since they plan coordinated meals for you (think cilantro chicken and cheesy polenta).

Try making yourself some Cholula mayo (mayo+the best hot sauce) for a plate of fries if the week has been tough, though their salads are also yummy and might leave you feeling a bit lighter.



With great veggie offerings and egg burgers often popping up at the burger bar, Manz is echoed by its twin, Branner Dining. Along the same lines as Ricker, Manz often makes up for lack of selection with fresh and pretty decent mains along with FRESH SOUPS every day. 

Often touted as one of the veg-friendly dining halls on campus, Manz has a bit of everything.

Note: closed weekends!!


 Famous for Indian on Sunday nights, also known as FLOMINDIAN, FloMo great for the basics and/or if you’re a fan of beets. Dependably good, its brunches are lovely and you can always make yourself a sandwich if you’re on the run.

 If you’re in the mood to join the hordes for masala, the food really is delicious and if you’re just tagging along but aren’t feeling it, you can throw together a salad or scoop some real ICE CREAM.

Note: closed Fridays and Saturdays!!




(it’s not a trick)

Best known for a rotating Latin American bar, you can usually count on some damn good bean-rice protein offerings and an eclectic selection of salad toppings. The grill is always on and classics like hotdogs and burgers are churned out to keep up with the freshmen, so you’ll be solid, regardless.

One of the perks of the Latin American theme is their CHURROS and HORCHATA offerings though, when they pop up, they’re snapped up quickly.

Arguably THE BEST CEREAL on campus due to its reliable freshness, check Stern for things like Special K Berries.


(the Wilbur hub, you’ll know it when you see it)

With a relatively sub-par pho bar, Wilbur isn’t always Stanford’s favorite dining hall, but it can be delicious if your luck isn’t terrible. Try a GRILLED SANDWICH for lunch, though their brunches are probably their main attraction. On the weekends you can brave the crowds and grab a SMOOTHIE (pop some greens into it if you’re feeling like pretending to be healthy) or take away a toasty PANINI for BRUNCH.  

Note: Open every day, Wilbur is also a nice option for those left hungry by a Manz/Branner weekend closure.


(History Corner’s sunny lunch option)

With the nicest staff in campus, Olives can churn out CHICKEN KEBABS and SALMON within minutes, even during the lunch rush. It’s halfway under the History Corner, but their little terrace and the rest of the outdoor seating is great on a sunny day.

Note: You can use your meal plan dollars, which is great since there are times when chicken fingers and waffle fries won’t cut it.



The Axe and Palm

You probably know where this is, but if you don’t, just look into the first floor of Old Union. Axe and Palm has incredible WAFFLE FRIES and, ok food. This, however, is definitely arguable and some people swear by TAP BURGERS AND SHAKES. Give it a try and you might end up hooked. If not, Decadence moved in recently, so you can always pick up a cake or something.

Another great place for meal plan dollars, TAP is open late for when you need to rally but can’t be bothered to use your hard-earned cash.

Note: If the Starbucks line is too long, or you just be bothered to hop over to Tresidder, order a latte from TAP since they serve Starbucks coffee and serve lattes all day.



Thai Café
(near the Math Corner, in the courtyard of the Jordan Hall basement)

Yak-famous and pretty scary, the Thai Café Lady keeps the line moving, so don’t stress when the queue is dozens deep. A cash-only operation, this food window is reliably wonderful and offers a filling meal for $6. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the special is VEGGIE CURRY, and CHICKEN SATAY is another option, though there are always different NOODLE SALADS and SOUPS to wake you up. Many are fans of the Thai iced tea, a buck extra along with several Kern’s options and water/soda/apple juice.

Note: be prepared with your cash and know what you want since, when you get to the front of the line, nobody seems to have any patience.   

(in Tresidder, to the left of Panda)


We’re not going to make a ‘tossing salad’ joke, but if you do have questions, just ask the homies behind the Heirlooms counter. Great for a bright lunch, they can whip a salad up for you in no time, with all the fixings.

AVOCADO is always an option, as is chicken and then diced salmon, though all are extra.

Note: The great thing is, you can use your meal plan dollars, so throw everything on.


(occupies Tresidder’s far-right corner)

After its re-opening late last year, Fraîche now carried different food options along with its frozen yogurt. Try the AVOCADO TOAST for a quick breakfast, though you’ll have to drop some cash since it’s not an option for the meal plan dollar crowd. Revamped, we’ve given it good reviews overall!!

Even though it's #basic, it sure is damn delicious.


Forbes Family Café
(where Ike’s used to be, so don’t cry)

Next to Coupa in the Engineering Quad, the Forbes Family Café is pretty solid, though Ike’s shoes probably haven’t been filled. You can help yourself to a Whole Foods-style SALAD AND FOOD BAR, sold by volume and not weight, so stuff some spinach into a bowl and weigh it down with whatever else you’d like. Always fresh, the food is good and you have the option of adding steak and/or chicken to a bowl, as well.

Note: Meal plan dollars make this café easy, the dream of R&DE, so it’s definitely worth a try if you haven’t popped over yet.

Bytes is just down the street if you’re less than impressed, though


Arbuckle Dining Pavilion
(in the GSB, so expect lots of suits and pencil skirts)

A staff favorite and an option if you’re stranded across campus, the GSB has delicious food, though you’ll have to pay in cash. With indoor and outdoor seating, sunny days make the dining areas gorgeous, and it’s fun to watch the GSB students in their business casual. You can get anything from FRESHLY MADE SUSHI, to homemade PIZZA, and PASTA. You can even try out their SALAD BAR, and it that's boring then check out their CANDY BAR as well. 

Their daily special are always interesting and everything’s pretty quick, even if it can get swamped around noon. 

By: Eleni Spanos