A big worry of mine before starting my freshman year was the variety of food available at RIT. I’m quite picky, and vegetarian, so the term “dining hall” scared me a bit. Rest assured, within the first few days I began to realize that there are plenty of options, even for me. Here’s a rundown of RIT’s dining locations:
If you know of one dining hall, it's probably Gracie’s. Located near the residence halls, in Grace Watson, Gracie’s is the largest dining location with a great assortment of food choices. It ranges from burgers to brick oven pizza to sandwiches, wraps, grainbowls, sundaes and more. Visiting chefs from local restaurants serving international cuisine such as Dominican, Indian, and Pakistani are very popular meals. The breakfast menu includes omelets, oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast plates, and cereal. Plenty of students grab bagels to go if breakfast isn’t their strong suit. For any meal, there are plenty of meat and meatless options. If you struggle with food allergies, the facility is free from peanuts and tree-nuts (excluding coconut). The Grain Bowl station eliminates eight other allergens (crustacean shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, sesame seeds, tree nuts, and wheat) and offers several vegan and gluten free menu items. Gracie’s has a lot of great options in an especially convenient location for first year students.
My most visited dining hall my first year was definitely The Commons. I lived in Gibson, so the walk to Commons compared to Gracie’s was much shorter, and I liked the food a bit better. On the second floor of the Center for Student Development, The Commons offers stone oven pizza, subs, salads, grill items, and a rotating chef’s entree station. The chef entree station often has the longest line because it provides a new menu item compared to other dining locations. Sometimes it's a visiting chef, an omelet station, or my personal favorite, a stir fry station, all made to order. This is especially helpful if you’re a picky eater — you choose exactly what goes into your order at each step. I was a big fan of the salad station as well because of the variation in ingredients and dressings they offer.
Though one of the farthest dining locations from the residence halls, Crossroads is always a good choice. The pizza here is by far the best pizza on campus, and they also offer packaged fresh fruit for a balanced side option. There are a couple unique vegan options here too, like the vegan Philly cheese steak. Crossroads additionally has a new chef’s creation station with daily specials. If none of these sound good to you, there are grill and deli options, an Asian bar, and hand rolled sushi from Hissho Sushi. I would frequently pick up dinners on my walk home from classes, or even for my friends, so I didn’t have to trek from the residence halls to Global Village after a long day.
Brick City Cafe
Brick City Cafe is near the end of the quarter mile in the Student Alumni Union (SAU). It tends to be packed mid-day, filled with students grabbing lunch in between their classes. Though I’ve never woken up early enough to actually experience their breakfast, word on the street is that it's the best around campus, with french toast sticks and pancakes coming in as top favorites. Brick City always offers a daily special, which I usually choose for lunch. It tends to be something that isn’t offered anywhere else on campus, so if you’re in the mood to try something new, this is your best bet. An additional Tikka Bar is being added this year serving Indian food. Sadly, it closes at 2:00 p.m.; don’t plan on eating dinner here.
RITz Sports Zone
RITz is a definite favorite among students. The sports grill is located in the downstairs (A-level ) portion of the Student Alumni Union. It's most memorable for its pasta bake: the perfect, warm meal you need on a cold Rochester night. Open Monday-Friday, RITz is a great option for a to-go meal on your walk from academic to residence side, especially considering its conveniently open until 7:30 p.m. for your evening classes.
Sol’s Underground deserves an honorable mention due its location to the residence halls. It’s placed in the tunnels (you guessed it, yes, underneath Sol Heumann Hall) and serves prepared food. Sol’s isn’t a super popular spot for dinner, but it's very convenient if you’re spending a late night studying and don’t want to worry about being held up at a packed dining location. They serve pizzas, paninis, quesadillas, and various flavors of ice cream if you want to skip straight to dessert.
The great thing about all of these locations is that you can check exactly what's on the menu that day, and even that week, before stepping out of your dorm room. This can help you plan ahead on those busy days, and take the stress out of finding something you want to eat. Since COVID, all RIT Dining locations offer online ordering to make your dining experience even more convenient