Dining at Gustavus

Food at Gustavus: Let’s Eat!

We love our food up here on the Hill. If you're going to be somewhere for four years, you definitely want to like the food! At Gustavus, this won’t be an issue.

Gustavus is proud to be ranked in the top 100 in the nation for college food. We own and operate our own Dining Service, meaning it is not managed by an outside contractor. This matters for students and impacts the food on campus! We are able to listen to student feedback and have the power to shift our purchasing decisions based on student preferences, cost, and the sustainability of the food sources.

At Gustavus, we know that food is about more than sustenance. It’s also about making memories with new classmates, fueling properly for the big game, trying new things, and being excited to eat at your home away from home, and so much more.

We are committed to using cage-free, locally sourced, equal exchange, grass-fed, wild-caught, and rBST-free ingredients. In fact, around 1,500 pounds of seasonal produce is grown right on campus by student workers at Big Hill Farm. Talk about a farm-to-table experience!

Students play an important role in determining the menu. Missing your mom’s “world famous” hot dish or your grandma’s decadent cookies? Let us know! Certain items continue to be offered in the cafeteria due to students bringing their own ideas to our chef. To keep the food options fresh and respond to student suggestions, Gustavus assembled the Kitchen Cabinet, a group of faculty, staff, administrators, and students who work together to continually improve the dining experience for students. 

What does a la carte mean?

An a la carte meal plan means you only pay for what you put on your tray. This system has many advantages for students:

  • Higher quality options available. Students are in the driver’s seat and get to choose if they want premium items (steak, salmon, Dove bars) and pay the higher price for them.
  • Grab-and-go options available as part of your meal plan. College students are busy!
  • No designated meal times. Eat anytime and as many times as you want when open.
  • Less waste. Decreased post consumer waste left on plates.
  • Lower cost meal plans. We consistently offer the most affordable meal plan as compared to other private colleges in Minnesota. 

Meal Plans

Students enroll in one of three meal plans. Meal plans are broken down by month and students are allocated a certain dollar amount based on the number of days each month. It is a declining balance, so you see how much money you have left in your account each time you swipe your Three Crowns card. If you have money left at the end of the month, you can ‘roll over’ $20 to the next month.

Registered Dietitian

Do you have any dietary concerns you’d like to discuss with an expert? We have a Registered Dietitian available to students for free consultations. The Registered Dietitian also helps students (including those with food allergies and intolerances) make healthy food choices.

Where do Gusties eat?

The magic of an a la carte meal plan is that there are no flex dollars! You’re free to swipe your Three Crowns Cards at any of our dining options on campus.

  • The MarketPlace Cafeteria, affectionately called “the caf,” is the main dining option located in the Campus Center. There are a variety of stations in the marketplace where students can choose from options ranging from salad bar, pizza, rotisserie, burrito bar, vegetarian and vegan, national and international recipes, and many more. Entrees rotate each meal period and you can view the menu. You can drop in anytime to grab a quick snack or meet friends for dinner after rehearsal or practice.
  • The Courtyard Cafe is one of two coffee shops on campus located in the lower level of the Campus Center. Here you grab your favorite fancy coffee order, pastries, granola bars, pre-packaged sandwiches, and other to-go options.
  • The STEAMery Cafe is our second coffee shop located in the Nobel Hall of Science. In addition to great beverages, students love their breakfast sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.

What do Gusties eat?

Here are some of our tour guides’ favorite meals: 

  • Nina Nordstrom - “My favorite meal in the caf would have to be the burrito bowls; they have a great selection to have at any time of day. 10 out of 10, would recommend.”
  • Alex Buresh- “You can't go wrong with caf chicken, it's always good.”
  • Benji Huff - “I love the pasta bowl made to order. It's nice to be able to decide exactly what I want in my lunch and I love watching the chefs toss it in a skillet in front of me.”
  • Betsy Holmes - “I love the Balsamic chicken and pasta.”

I love the veggie curry because it's cooked perfectly every time and the flavors are so well balanced. It's nice to have such high-quality vegetarian options.

Sophie Norman ’24, Communication Studies and Music double major