It is essential that you have a meal plan when going into the dorms. Yes, there is a communal kitchen located in each building; however, I guarantee you that it will not replace the dining commons.
Here are the places that accept meal points at UC Berkeley:
- Crossroads Dining Common: I would say this is like the heart of the dining commons. It is very convenient for Units 1, 2, and 3 and is very close to campus. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the very popular Late Night. After 10pm, you can go to Cross Roads to grab a bite to eat after a long study session with friends or a fun night out.
- Cafe 3: This dining common is located inside Unit 3 and is located next to the Bear Market. It is a lot smaller than Cross Roads; however, it has very similar foods. This also has a very nice relaxed environment due to the comfy seats and colorful sofas.
- Bear Market: This was my life saver during my freshman year of college. It is located in Unit 3 and is a mini food mart full of ramen, drinks from water to coffees to sodas, chips, candies, etc. It also sells my favorite: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
- The Den/Peet’s Coffee (located next to Cross Roads): I went here every morning for my morning pick-me- up! They also sell pastries, sandwiches, and smoothies.
- Golden Bear Cafe: Located next to Sather Gate on campus. Very popular spot for everything from smoothies to wraps and salads, etc. It is like a bigger Bear Market. You cannot miss it.
- Foothill Dining Common: As the name suggests, this is the dining commons located near Foothill dorms. This place also has late night: famous for its gigantic steaks.
- Clark Kerr Cafeteria: This is Clark Kerr’s Dining Common. If you are from Units 1-3, it might be fun to to take your friends here if you are getting tired of always eating at Cross Roads. Very delicious food if you are willing to walk the distance for it.
- Pat Brown’s: Great spot located on the north side of campus. Has a great selection of breakfasts and has my favorite, Peet’s Coffee. If you have 8:00ams like I did, I highly recommend grabbing a bite here before/after class. It is always important to eat breakfast in the morning!
- Qualcomm Cyber Cafe: This place has awesome wraps and Peet’s Coffee!
- Common Grounds: Located on Floor F of Dwinelle, Common Grounds offers Cal Students Peet’s Coffee and a wide selection of teas! It is a great, secret location to grab your morning pick-me-up.
- Terrace Cafe: You can get great grab-and-go sandwiches, sushi, and coffee here! I have yet to try this place; however, this will definitely be a must for next year.
- Ramona’s: This place is located near Bancroft and College. It has a decent selection of drinks and snacks along with dim sum and sandwiches if you are looking to spice things up a bit in your meals. It has a nice area outside where you can eat too!
- The View Cafe: This place is quite far; however, if you are just in the area or are looking for something to do and don’t want to spend any money, I recommend going here. The View Cafe is located near Lawrence Hall of Science. It offers a nice selection for lunch and a great view of the bay! I definitely recommend checking out the view during your time at Berkeley.
- The Pro Shop at RSF: Before or after your workout, you can get a light snack and/or drink here. I always get my supply of energy bars here after a nice workout with friends.
I hope this extensive list of all the dining commons at UC Berkeley helps. As I said, everyone should have a meal plan. It is convenient for all students. I still have a meal plan and I do not live in the dorms anymore, and I love it! I find myself practically living on campus with my 8am classes and 6pm labs. The last thing I want to worry about is cooking when I get home, so it is nice to have the option of meals offered by Cal Dining Commons. Finally, I find a decent number of my friends also have meal plans, so, when I want to catch up with someone, I always find myself at one of the dining commons listed above. It does not require any money and, as I have said multiple times, it is convenient! Everyone’s got to eat and who wants to spend even more money?
Hope this helps! Lauren