Power rankings: UC Berkeley dining halls

Mikaela Raphael/File
Mikaela Raphael/File

We all have complex relationships with the campus dining halls. Some of us love the variety and unlimited food they offer, others hate the bland and sometimes unappealing menu options. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, there’s undoubtedly quality food and great experiences to be had at dining halls. We’ll be ranking these enterprises on the following criteria — quality of food, variety of food options, hours open and proximity to campus. Bonus points for Late Night, duh.

Top 2


Quality of Food: 7/10. Lots of variety and certain high-quality foods. We feel as though the quality is a tad inconsistent — the mashed potatoes, particularly, are known for their variability. 

Variety of Food Options: 10/10. The most variety of any other dining hall on this list. From cereal to pizza to the omelette bar, it can satisfy your every want.

Hours Open: 10/10. On average it’s open 14.7 hours a day. Anytime your cravings kick in, Crossroads is likely to be open.

Proximity to Campus: 6/10. It’s a trek from Sather Gate to Crossroads, but it could be worse. You could have to walk to Clark Kerr Campus.

(Bonus points for Late Night +5)

Total: 38/40


Quality of Food:6/10. The food quality here is lacking a little. We were disappointed in the pizza last time we voyaged over. And we at the Clog are never disappointed in pizza.

Variety of Food Options: 7/10. More variety than Clark Kerr, but less than at Crossroads or Cafe 3.

Hours Open: 8/10. On average it’s open approximately 10.8 hours a day. Not too shabby.

Proximity to Campus: 6/10. A hell of a lot closer than Clark Kerr, but far enough to leave us lazy Cloggers wondering whether if we should walk or Uber.

(Bonus points for Late Night +5)

Total: 32/40

(Honorable Mention even though it’s not a dining hall: Qualcomm Cafe)

Contemporary furniture coupled with a wide selection of croissants, donuts and coffee, among other things. Great study/eating spot for in-between classes.

Bottom 2

Cafe 3

Quality of Food: 7/10. The brunch and dinner have consistently good pizza (but then again, when is pizza bad — except at Foothill?), but some of the vegan food can taste a little funky. 

Variety of Food Options: 7/10. Since it’s vegan/vegetarian focused, Cafe 3 doesn’t have meat. It does have a wide variety, from a kosher Mediterranean bar to Indian cuisine to a cheese bar.

Hours Open: 6.5/10. On average, it’s open eight hours daily. Not horrible, but not great either.

Proximity to Campus: 8/10. Just pass across Sather Lane, swipe your Cal 1 Card and you’re there.

Total: 28.5/40

Clark Kerr Campus

Quality of Food: 9/10. The highest-quality dining hall food at UC Berkeley. We can’t quite figure out why, but all we know is that were grateful for it.

Variety of Food Options: 6/10. Not a super wide variety, but the food varies enough from one day to the next that it isn’t much of a problem.

Hours Open: 4/10. Open an average of 5.4 hours a day. Yikes.

Proximity to Campus: 4/10. We at the Clog love Clark Kerr, but it’s notoriously far from campus. If you’re anything like us, you might just be too lazy to make the trek.

Total: 23/40

These have been your dining hall rankings. Now you know were to flock, and were to run away from. Choose your mediocre food wisely.

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].