It is important to know where the best places to eat are located on campus, what the meal plans are, and what kind of food is served where. Every student’s taste interest is slightly different, and obviously it is important to make sure you eat enough while living at school. In this article, I’ll be giving you some useful information about eating on campus at Case Western Reserve University!
Meal plan options vary depending on your year and your housing status. You can choose a meal plan that works by week or by semester. Depending on which meal plan you choose, you will get a number of guest swipes and will be allotted a certain amount of Case Cash.
Meal plans are required for freshmen and sophomores and become optional once you become a junior. I’ll give a basic rundown of the various options by year, but if you want more information regarding prices, you can click on this link here!
Tip #1: Only weekly plans (except for halal/kosher and for the 7 swipes-a-week apartment option for upperclassmen) will have Case Cash included, but you can always add Case Cash to your account.
Tip #2: If you run out of meal swipes, you can’t use a guest swipe to get yourself into the dining hall (trust me, I’ve tried). Guest swipes only work when you have meal swipes remaining on your account. You can monitor how many swipes you have used/have remaining for the week/semester by setting up an eAccount here!
Tip #3: You can also ask a dining staff member how many swipes you have remaining on your account when they swipe you into Leutner or Fribley.
Freshmen Meal Plans (Required)
Freshmen have the choice of choosing a weekly plan that gives you 17 or 19 swipes per week. Case Cash is $150, and $75 respectively. Both of these options will give you 5 guest swipes a semester. The Halal/ Kosher option is 14 swipes a week with 5 guest swipes. The semester option will give you 200 swipes and 7 guest swipes.
Sophomores Meal Plans (Required)
Although I’m putting these under sophomores, the options that I’m about to mention also apply to upperclassmen who decide to live in the residence halls. In addition to the plans offered for freshmen, students that fall under this category can also choose a plan that gives you 10 or 14 meal swipes per week. For these options, Case Cash is $250 and $200 respectively. The 14 meal swipe options will give you 5 guest swipes a semester while the 10 meal swipe option gives you 3. A 10 swipe option is added for the Halal/ Kosher plan with 3 guest swipes.
Juniors + Seniors Meal Plans (*Freedom*)
More options are given to juniors and seniors as they are no longer required to stay on the meal plan and now have the freedom to live in on-campus apartments or, if they so choose, to live off-campus. Students can now choose between the option of having 100 swipes a semester or 7 swipes a week if they live in apartments. The number of guest swipes per semester are 7 and 3 respectively.
Breakfast: Monday-Friday (7:00am-10:30am)
Brunch: Saturday-Sunday (10:30am-3:00pm)
Lunch: Monday-Thursday (10:30am-2:30pm) Friday (10:30am-4:30pm)
Dinner: Monday-Thursday (5:00pm-8:00pm) Friday-Sunday (4:30pm-8:00pm)
Breakfast: Monday-Friday (7:30am-10:30am)
Brunch: Saturday-Sunday (10:30am-4:30pm)
Lunch: Monday-Friday (11:00am-5:00pm)
Dinner: Monday-Thursday (5:00pm-9:00pm) Friday (5:00pm-8:00pm) Saturday (4:30pm-8:00pm) Sunday (4:30pm-9:00pm)
Tip #4: I wouldn’t suggest going to the dining hall during weird transition periods. For example, don’t go to breakfast 10 minutes before it ends because on more than one occasion, I arrived at the dining hall only to find that the breakfast options were being put away and replaced by whatever was on the menu for lunch. I’m not going to lie—eating a sandwich when you were really in the mood for a bagel is pretty disappointing.
Leutner Commons (“Leutner”)
Located in the North Residential Village, Leutner is the most convenient dining hall for those living on Northside and those who happen to be in the area for classes.
Fribley Commons (“Fribley”)
Fribley is located in the South Residential Village, which mainly houses sophomores and many people who are involved in Greek life. This is the most convenient dining hall for those living in the area and for those who will find themselves on the Quad during lunch/dinner time.
Tip #5: I’ve heard that the food served at lunch tends to be better at Fribley, but that Fribley overall has less options.
…….The lack of variety in fruit. Honeydew and cantaloupe are the daily fresh fruit options at breakfasts in Leutner, but they don’t last long, so be sure to get there early if you want some. They usually have apples placed above the dessert table.
Occasionally they will have bananas (also a very small amount) and I can probably count the number of times that they have had grapes. So if you’re someone who really loves different types of fruit, you’ll have to do some grocery shopping.
Another con would be something that is to be expected of college food: it can get pretty boring/repetitive, especially since people tend to find the dishes/foods that they like and stick to them.
How do the meal plans work?
Meal plans start/restart on Sunday morning. This means that if you have a meal plan with 17 swipes per week and are a person that eats 3 meals a day (except on the weekend, since only brunch and dinner are served), you can forget about eating brunch and/or dinner on Saturday.
Which meal plan should I choose?
Most freshmen seem to do well with 17 meal swipes a week, but if you’re like me and tend to eat 3 meals a day, you might find yourself using more Case Cash/eating out more when you run out of meal swipes.
I would also suggest that you keep food in your dorm if you are used to waking up earlier on the weekends because the dining hall doesn’t open until 10:30am. But if you are the type of person who rarely eats breakfast and loves the idea of brunch because eating pancakes at 1pm on Saturday sounds amazing (and you don’t wake up before 10am anyway), then you should be fine.
It’ a common trend to reduce your meal plan once you become a sophomore and to do away with the meal plan altogether once you become a junior/senior.
You more than likely will get tired of the food in the dining hall and will find yourself grabbing food at other places, which brings me to my next point…
Other On-Campus Options
I’ll indicate which places accept a meal swipe or Cash Cash. Although I won’t include them in this list, the various cafes on campus accept Case Cash. Also, it’s important to remember that there is a limit to how many meal swipes that you can use outside of the dining hall and it varies by location.
Tip#6: Meal swipe locations outside of the dining hall have a select menu that you can choose from. To get the full menu, you will have to use Case Cash or real cash.
On North Side
L3 Grill (meal swipes + case cash)
Located below Leutner (and next to The Spot), L3 serves different types of pizza, burgers, smoothies, milkshakes, and fries.
The Den (meal swipes + case cash)
The Den is sort of like a Denny’s, but with a much smaller menu. There’s still a bit of confusion in regards to what the place is actually supposed to be (at once it was called “Denny’s All Nighter” even though it really didn’t stay open all night). It’s usually the go to place for people who get hungry late at night on Fridays and Saturdays since it is the only place on campus that is open.
Dunkin’ Donuts (meal swipe + case cash)
Dunkin’ Donuts came to campus during my second semester as a freshman. Initially, meal swipes were only going to be for a limited period of time, but that time period has long since been surpassed, so hopefully this option will be here to stay. With a meal swipe, you can get a drink, a sandwich, and a donut/pastry.
Located in the Center of Campus
The Jolly Scholar (meal swipes + case cash) *In Thwing*
Once again, typical college food, but the options expand and start to include things like milkshakes, pretzel bites, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, etc. It also hosts “Jolly Night” on Thursdays (karaoke), which can be pretty amusing.
Bag-It (meal swipe) *In Thwing*
This is pretty convenient for lunch because you can pick up something to eat if you are running short on time. A meal swipe will typically get you one entree (or two half-entrees, like a half sandwich with a half salad or cup of soup), three snacks, and a drink. I personally use it to stock up on fruit (bananas, apples, and oranges).
Michelson & Morley (case cash) *In Tink*
This is one of the more expensive places to eat on campus and due to this reason, undergraduate students don’t really eat here on a frequent basis. However, if you’re curious, I would suggest that you add this restaurant to your “places to ask your parents to take you when they visit” list.
Melt University (meal swipe + case cash) *In Tink*
Various types of grilled cheeses, burgers, soups, and salads.
Naan (meal swipe + case cash) *In Tink*
“Indian” food. Meal swipe options include tandoor entrees, sides, and “naan” bread.
Thank you everybody for a great grand opening! Do you have a favorite sandwich yet? Here is one of our original favorites, the Summer Chicken. This sandwich will go perfect with this beautiful weather & all the fun studying you'll be doing! #MeltBarGrilled #MeltBarAndGrilled #MeltUniversity #MeltU #CLE #Cleveland #CaseWestern #CWRU
Pinzas (meal swipe + case cash) *In Tink*
An “Italian” style place with pasta, sandwiches, and personal pan pizzas.
8Twenty6 (meal swipe + case cash) *In Tink*
A salad bar with various vegetables, toppings, and dressings.
On the Quad
Tomlinson Market (meal swipe + case cash)
Serves sandwiches, pizza, soups, and salads
Tomlinson Subway (meal swipe + case cash)
For a meal swipe, you can get a 6-inch sub, a bag of chips, and a drink.
Local Taco Shop (meal swipe + case cash)
Grab- It (meal swipe) *In Sears*
Pretty much the same as Bag-It. The line can get pretty long during prime lunchtime hours.
Rough Rider Room (meal swipe + case cash)
It’s like the L3 grill on Northside.
Places Off- Campus?
If you want to eat somewhere off-campus, there are quite a few options. Some places like Panera Bread, Chipotle, Potbelly’s, Kenko’s, Simply Greek, and Tropical Smoothie Cafe are located right in Uptown. Little Italy is a short walk away (Mama Santa’s Pizzeria is pretty inexpensive). There is also a Buffalo Wild Wings on Southside.
If you want to check out which venues accept meal swipes/cash cash for yourselves, then you can check out this link here!
For more information about movable meal swipe restrictions, you can also check out this link here!