Caltech Dining Services (CDS) provides award-winning food service to the Caltech community and its visitors. Currently, during our summer board months, Chandler Café and Red Door Marketplace are open for service, Monday through Friday (excluding Institute holidays). Visit our Where To Eat page for our current dining locations and operating hours.
Beginning in the Fall Term, Board students have the option of selecting a dining plan that meets their individual needs. CDS services 5 student dining halls, 2 café concepts, and a large multi-concept dining location for the greater community. During our normal academic year, Red Door Marketplace converts into a bustling, late night, coffeehouse from 10pm to 2am, 7 days a week (excluding Institute Holidays). Food, drink, and retail items are offered until closing.
During our regular academic calendar year, beginning in the fall, we offer two student-dining plans to meet the varied needs of our students. Undergraduates have the option of choosing between the Anytime Plan and the Flex Plan. All new Caltech undergraduate students entering the Board Plan will automatically be enrolled in the Anytime Plan. View the full details of plan profiles by reading our Board Terms and Conditions below. For students with special dietary needs, please visit our Special Services page.
The Anytime Plan: The Anytime Plan is our most convenient and inclusive meal plan for students on campus for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Anytime Plan includes weekday House Dinners, Weekend Brunch service, Weekday Open Kitchen, Special Dinners, and all food item purchases for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, at Chandler Café, Red Door Marketplace, Broad Café, and Avery Kitchen during normal operating hours. See the Board Terms and Conditions for details and more information.
The Flex Plan: The Flex Plan provides limited meal service with a small declining balance. The Flex Plan includes weekday House Dinners, Weekday Open Kitchen, and any Special Dinners. The declining balance can be use for all additional meals, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and weekend meals, at any of our dining locations during normal operating hours (excluding vending machines). All purchases made that exceed allotted board funds will be charged to the student's Bursar's Account. Any funds unused at the end of each term are forfeited. See the Board Terms and Conditions for details and more information.
A student may convert from plan to plan by notifying CDS by submitting the form on the Board Terms and Conditions page below. The deadlines to switch meal plans must be met prior to the start of any term.
Our goal at CDS is to provide students with exceptional food & service and to offer a Board Program that fits each lifestyle and financial situation. If you have any questions about our meal plans, please contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to feeding you in the upcoming academic year!
Once a term in each house, dress dinners are formal, served dinners arranged by each house with assistance from CDS.
Excluding Avery and Bechtel, houses barbecue their own food every Thursday. The houses are provided with steak, chicken breasts, fish and vegetarian options. CDS provides the scrumptious side dishes that enhance the grill night meal!
Throughout the year, CDS offers surprise, pop-up dinners for a select number of undergraduates. Students are notified of the opportunity through social media, and the fastest to respond get a free, gourmet dinner prepared and presented by one of the CDS Chefs!
Each term, CDS and the Food Committee plan themed dinners. Recent events have included a Mardi Gras celebration, Texas BBQ, Luau, and Beach Party Dinner. CDS also sponsors a formal Senior Dinner for all graduating Seniors, and themed Chandler Dinners for all students throughout the year.
During finals week, CDS provides snake kits to students to help power through intense study sessions and test taking! Kits are offered from 8:00pm to 10:00pm the day before and after Midnight Madness. Snake Kits are a buffet consisting of yummy fried food, hors d'oeuvres, candy, fruit, cookies, chips, and everything else to get students through a hard night of studying!
In addition, CDS offers Midnight Madness one night during finals weeks at the end of the term. On this night, Chandler Café is opened to the students at midnight and provides a delicious late-night meal with entertainment. Midnight Madness is a full-on production where CDS management, cooks, and dishwashers come together to transform Chandler Dining Hall into a complete spectacle. In the past, the president of Caltech has even cooked omelets and served students!
CDS prides itself on customer service. We offer late plates to student-athletes and others who are unable to make house dinners. We offer get-well meals to students who are sick. Kosher and Halal meals are also available. We will work with any student who has other special dietary requirements.
CDS would like to share in your child's special occasions! We are able provide a house-baked cake in most flavor combinations and in consideration of most dietary restrictions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (626) 395-4896 for more information about this service. Kindly allow three business days for orders.
Caltech Dining Services provides Halal and Kosher meals to those observing Muslim or Jewish dietary laws, we provide gluten-free meals to gluten-intolerant students, and we will provide a meal for any special dietary need.
To set up a time to meet with us or to answer questions you may have about the special meals program, feel free to email us!
Students may have to miss a meal due to time constraints or athletic commitments. CDS staff will box food from waited dinners for these students so they can pick up dinner from the Red Door Marketplace on their return to campus.
Caltech Dining Services works closely with students to ensure the board program remains fresh and unique. The Interhouse Food Committee acts as a liaison between students and CDS to provide feedback and offer suggestions.
The Food Committee meets weekly to taste new food items, discuss special meals, and relay any other feedback from the student body. Every year, houses elect one food representative each to convey students' input.
Guests are welcome to dine in the houses throughout the year!
Guest meals may be purchased at the following rates:
- $12.50 for Waited Dinner or Burger Night
- $14.50 for Steak Night
- $17.50 for Dress Dinners