An Objective Ranking of Yale’s 16 Dining Halls

March 16, 2023 (1y ago)

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One day last week I woke up and thought, I sure have a lot of work I need to do today. So naturally instead I wrote a blog post ranking all of Yale’s 16 dining halls.

What follows is my meticulous, thoughtful, not-sarcastic-at-all, extraordinarily unbiased list of places where one can fill their stomach with items including “French Toast Casserole”, “New England Clam Chowder”, and the classic “Hand Pressed Grass-Fed Beef Patty with Melted Cabot Cheddar Cheese on a Toasted Potato Bun.”

The Bow Wow, The Elm, Ivy, The Refectory, McNay, Widdy's, Charley's, and the Steep Café are not on this list. I'd bet you didn't know at least a few of those even existed anyway.

C Tier

Morse

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I’ve tried but cannot confirm if Morse actually exists. I go there and somehow always end up in Stiles…

Johnathon Edwards

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JE is considered by many students to be one of the best dining halls for a date because you’ll never see anyone you know. There’s a reason for that.

Pierson

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The best night at Pierson is during Halloweekend for the Pierson Inferno. During the Inferno they're not serving food.

Branford

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Gilmore Girls doesn’t make up for this dhall’s poor seating options. Gorgeous architecture, great. Making three people get up so you can slide into the middle of a booth, no thanks.

B Tier

Trumbull

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Trumbull is like the Bass Library of dining halls.

Berkeley

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Berkeley always has such a long wait there’s literally a Disney fast-pass line. The line is caused by easily the worst kitchen layout of any dining hall, but made up for by the second floor seating and freshman energy.

Grace Hopper

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Hopper goes hard on the holidays – some of the best meals I’ve had at Yale have been special occasions at Hopper. It’s a bit small and doesn’t have hot breakfast but otherwise a frankly underrated dining experience. If only they'd make the courtyard entrance scan my ID.

A Tier

Benjamin Franklin

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One of the two new colleges, Franklin has great food, including options the other dining halls often don’t offer. Some argue their pizza is better than at Stiles (and I find this is true only in practice). However, it gets knocked down a peg because like McDonalds, the ice cream machine is always broken.

Davenport

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Davenport is actually the best dining hall to choose for a date because it has a bunch of small tables next to large windows looking out into the courtyard. Also for non-dates – a recurring dinner of mine meets there and I look forward to it every week.

Commons

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The Hogwarts of dining halls, only if the long tables were chopped into circles and Peeves was on aux. Cookies are sometimes stale but every dining option is noticeably high quality. Just try to get there before the 2:15 Econ rush.

Slifka (on Fridays)

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Slifka (the Kosher dining hall) was recently renovated and is now the location of choice on Friday night for the third of Yale’s campus that is Jewish and the other two-thirds that pull up because there’s free wine. In theory they also serve food the other six days of the week, but no one knows for sure.

Saybrook

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Conveniently located like Berkeley, hot breakfast like Franklin, quality food, many different sizes of tables – the only thing not to love about Saybrook is that they never have bananas for my oatmeal.

S Tier

Pauli Murray

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While Murray is considered by many to be strictly worse than its sister college Benjamin Franklin because it doesn’t serve hot breakfast, this is in fact an incorrect opinion because one time last semester Murray had fresh fruit. Truly deliciovs, delovely, and delightfvl.

Timothy Dwight

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TD has great food, a gorgeous interior, and different-sized seating options. It’s a bit of a trek to get there but that also means there’s rarely a crowd. Plus, whoever is on aux is always amazing.

Silliman

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Silliman, like Morse, has gorgeous ceiling-high windows that let in lots of natural light. Unlike Morse and the new colleges, it’s also incredibly conveniently located right across from Commons. LOTS of seating, and a generally great dining experience.

Ezra Stiles (before 6:15)

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I promise I’m not biased at all. Food is excellent, there are several spacious seating options, and lots of natural light. The granola-bar walls, interestingly-shaped lamps, and moose decor add to the ambience. Plus, Stiles pizza >>> Pepe’s.

If it wasn’t clear, this post is (mostly) parody. Except for the final ranking – Stiles is inarguably the best dining hall.

Thanks for reading :)