At one point in my dreams, Middlebury was a culinary academy. No really, it’s important to get a handle on where and what to eat on campus. Overall, Midd has some excellent choices…
NEW: Check out this Foursquare map of tips for where to eat on campus.
Proctor (all meals) – As Middlebury most recently renovated dining hall, it also is the greatest in capacity. It’s a bit too slick like Starbucks, but nevertheless this is a first class dining hall. Proctor specializes in its Panini presses and stir-fry Woks for dinner. The Proctor salad bar is also always a hit, offering the most salad options of the dining halls. If you hear students lament the loss of the grandma curtains and hanging plants, just know that the old Proctor could have been a old-folks home in the most charming of ways. If you’re looking for stereotypes, look for Midd’s crunchy granola students dining here. The Terrace (notice the capital T) is expansive and now comes complete with tables, chairs, and patio umbrellas. Yes, Middlebury blue patio umbrellas. Take that. And speaking of slick, Woodstove lounge is just classy enough to bring your box of cubans along. The booth room is also an excellent spot for dinner, and tends to be dominated by Febs and/or upperclassmen.
Proctor Redfield (language tables) – Language tables are be offered here Monday through Friday. Generally, students in intro and secondary language classes are required to attend language tables for class, but students can also just show up and get a spot. Be ready for an hour entirely in another language though! This is located above regular Proctor but will be served by student waiters, so no getting in the lunchline rush.
Ross (all meals) – Ross is an expansive-looking dining hall. The rows of chairs upon chairs make this sometimes more intimidating than homey. Lines can often get overwhelming and long, so plan ahead. For Ross and generally all dining halls, feeling out the ebbs and flows is generally a good practice; showing up at 12:15 on a Tuesday is a recipe for disaster. Ross specializes in Pizza and Mongolian Grille items as well as Sunday brunch omelettes and waffles. You’ll probably get more meat and fried food here than other places. If you snag backside outdoor seating in good weather, good for you. The Fireplace Lounge is a nice quiet spot, but often the dining hall is quite loud regardless. Ross-goers are stereotypically sports kids and people who live in Ross and are too lazy to leave. (P.S. save yourself embarrassment with the waffle-makers and use the spray.)
Atwater (cold breakfast and lunch) –It’s like the story of how Atwater got its groove back or at least some acoustic dampening. Cold breakfast (cereal, bagels) will be served here in the morning until 9:30AM, sometimes a few mins after. Atwater also serves DELICIOUS lunches, often above and beyond anything Proctor or Ross make (I’m clearly biased here); however, the lines can get massive and seating is often a problem. With only round tables, sitting alone or with one friend is awkward and difficult to manage. Did I mention how good the food is though? For dinners, Atwater operates on an as-needed basis for special dinners and events. Often MCAB theme dinners, cultural dinners, and senior committee dinners will occur here.
The Grille – This is upstairs in McCullough. Unlike the dining halls, this is a restaurant so uou pay your own way here. Beware, it’s easy to blow late-night cash here after a night out. Love Me Tenders and Dr. Feelgoods are fan favorites, but the food in general is pretty good, if not a little greasy. Grille hours change frequently, but expect it to be open for lunch and weekend late nights until 2 AM.
Cross-Roads Cafe – Opened in Spring of 2011 in the downstairs of Mcculough. The Cross-Roads Café is a delicious student-run café that serves healthy, high energy food. Great place for smoothies, yogurt bar, and whole-wheat waffles. This gem is absolutely something you should take advantage of, and once again, is a restaurant where students pay out of their own pocket.
Wilson Cafe – This could be your lifesaver when the Library is just too much to handle. Take a sharp right going into the Library and you’ll find it there. It sometimes has some odd hours but it has a perfect snack/coffee for your study needs. Profs, peer writing tutors, and other academics like to meet here.
The Gamut Room – A lot of people forget this exists in the basement of Gifford Hall. But the student-run space can be a great alternative on a weekday night. Cheap food, homey atmosphere, and some creative murals, performances, etc. It’s a worth a visit to determine if it’s your scene. Yes, it’s pay your own way here too but you’d be surprised how much cheaper it is than the Grille.
51 Main – Located downtown, this is a popular late-night option with music and everything. Food is reasonable if you make it a “night out,” but it is more expensive than other options listed here. Totally fine for under 21 as well — that’s what makes it great. Many students go for drinks and the particularly good dessert options. Check out their new website! Oh an music, music, music. Finally, a space that regularly programs music.
Dolci – This is a student organization that runs a professional restaurant-style dinner most weeks on Fridays. They take place in Atwater. This is quite popular so be sure to be on the lookout for how they distribute tickets each week (usually via link in an email from firstname.lastname@example.org). Free and delicious. So So So So delicious. Yes, it’s okay to bring a date here.
Snowbowl Lodge – I don’t know too many folks that rely on the snowbowl food when going skiing but when you’re up there waiting for a bus back to campus, sometimes a hot chocolate really is worth it. Stay away from their chili, it’s made once a year.
Middkid.com has got you covered for local restaurants off-campus.