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Brown University 101: My Ranking of Each Dining Spot

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

Welcome to the second article in the series: Brown 101. This article is focused on Brown’s dining options. Brown has five full-service dining halls, two cafes, and one grab-and-go, giving students plenty of dining options throughout the week. Here is a definitive rundown of Brown’s dining options:

The Sharpe Refectory aka “The Ratty:” The Ratty is one of two all you can eat dining halls where you can swipe in at the entrance and take as many plates as you want. In my opinion, Ratty is typically more quantity over quality, but some of my friends love it! There are always plenty of options with a nightly entree, kosher kitchen station, allergen aware station, halal station, salad bar, sandwich bar, grill, and pasta and pizza station. The kosher kitchen, allergen aware, and halal stations are new this year, and Brown has done a great job expanding dining options to all students. The Ratty is also the only dining hall open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, it does close dinner service at 7:30. Some of my favorite Ratty specials are breakfast for dinner night (the french toast is amazing), the cook-your-own pasta bar, the kosher kitchen latkes, and the soft-serve machine. 

Ivy Room: Located right below The Ratty, Ivy Room is hands down my favorite dining hall on campus. They have a make-your-own smoothie station, sushi, make-your-own sandwiches and sandwich specials, and nightly dinner specials (grilled cheese night is the best!). In my opinion, Ivy Room has the best healthiest and fresh food—I get sushi and a smoothie for lunch practically every day. The only downside is Ivy is only open on weekdays from 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm and on Sunday for dinner. 

Vernon-Wooley aka “V-Dub:” Even though V-Dub is not my favorite dining hall, I do have a soft spot for it because it was located right below my freshman year dorm last year (great in the cold PVD winters). Like the Ratty, V-Dub is an all-you-can eat dining hall, so you swipe once at the door and can take as much as you want. Similar to the Ratty, V-Dub also has an action station, sides, a grill, and salad bar; however, it is much smaller overall. V-Dub is also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it is closed on weekends. My favorite part of V-Dub is for sure the make-your-own waffle station. 

Andrews: In the opinion of most Bears, Andrews is hands-down the best dining hall. Andrews is open weekdays for lunch and dinner and on weekends for their infamous brunch and dinner. For every weekday meal, Andrews has a wok option with a nightly special, wrap or sandwich station, pizza station, and nightly pasta special. They also have a Coke Freestyle Machine and a great snack selection. For their weekend brunch, they have delicious yogurt bowls and breakfast burritos or bowls (the lines are always crazy). The Andrews wok is typically pretty good, but the lines can get super long and the options can get repetitive. 

Josiah’s aka “Jo’s:” Jo’s is a classic late night dining option for exam-crammers and partiers alike. It is open every night for dinner from 6pm-2am, and they serve up salads, paninis, grilled cheeses, burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks. My go-to order after a night out is a spicy chicken sandwich with fries and onion rings, Jo’s sauce, and a diet coke.

Blue Room/ERC Cafe: Blue Room and ERC Cafe are the two on-campus coffee shops. At these locations, you can use flex points or Bear Bucks, but you can’t use meal swipes. These cafes both have delicious sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. The Blue Room chocolate chip cookie is my favorite! 

Gourmet-To-Go: Brown University also operates a grab-and-go in the basement of the student center. Grab-and-go has a few ready-to-eat dining options like sushi, pastries, and pre-made salads and sandwiches, but it mostly has frozen foods, snacks, and toiletries—think of it as an on campus CVS. I don’t typically grab meals from there, but it’s a great place to grab some snacks for a study sesh or while you sit out on the Main Green.

I am a member of the Brown Class of 2026, and I am planning to concentrate in history and economics. In my free time, I enjoy reading historical fiction novels, baking chocolate chip cookies, and trying new restaurants and cafes in Providence.