There’s something different in the air this fall at Stanford. Students walk onto a campus that feels much closer to its pre-pandemic self but with improvements learned from post-pandemic lessons. The changes to Stanford Dining – from opening hours to new experiences and locations – are no exception to this trend.
First, students can look forward to extended dining hall hours for dinner — most locations will now offer dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. previously. Exceptions to this include smaller locations such as Branner, Suites, Yost, Murray, EAST and self-ops on the row, which still close at 7 p.m. Late-eaters and students with evening classes can continue going to Arrillaga and Lakeside for “continuous dining” options for breakfast (7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m), lunch (11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.).
Students hoping to explore a unique on-campus fine dining experience can sign up for weekly Wednesday Chef’s Tables starting October 12. Open to all students without additional charge, Chef’s Tables allow Stanford community members to enjoy small-group dinners in a restaurant-style setting in their very own dining halls. In the past, Stanford’s Executive Chefs have designed menus ranging from contemporary takes on vegan, Korean temple cuisine (inspired by Jeong Kwan Seunim’s visiting culinary demonstration) to casual, new-American fare. Chef’s Tables offer an opportunity for students to get to know the dining team better and celebrate the talent in the kitchen.
Students also have the option to use meal plan dollars at Stanford R&DE’s auxiliary locations. Perhaps the most exciting news is the re-opening of the storied Olives cafe in the basement of Wallenberg (Building 160) in Main Quad. The cafe, beloved by past students for its hot sandwiches and convenient location, is open weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cafe serves sandwiches and hot entrées — from simple classics like grilled cheese and tomato soup to more elaborate monthly specials like an Oktoberfest beer pretzel. On-the-go breakfast and lunches at Olives go upwards of $10, with vegan options available.
Another location that recently reopened in spring 2022 is Decadence — a gelato and smoothie-bowl bar at Tresidder Union open every Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Though no longer serving the decadent slices of chocolate cake and freshly baked cookies it did back in the day, “Stanford’s Sweet Spot” continues to live up to its namesake with the various confectionary ice-cream toppings they offer.
For late-night options, Stanford R&DE has students from all corners of campus covered. West campus residents need not look further than their own dining hall: Lakeside’s famed “Late night” is open from Sunday to Thursday between 9:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. Additionally, just across from Tresidder, the Axe and Palm (TAP) — cult-favorite among hungry, sleep-deprived students — will now serve its $5 fries and $10 burgers every day between 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. While this is a welcome return to TAP being open over the weekend, these new hours also mean that students can no longer look to TAP as a lunchtime option. Furthermore, veteran TAP-goers will notice a more limited menu missing non-red-meat specialties like The Fountain Hopper, a salmon burger, and The Billy Erb, an all-white turkey burger. The items that remain on the menu have also increased in price since last year. Meanwhile, students on the east side of campus can steer their bikes toward closer havens like EVGR Pub & Beer Garden (open Wednesday to Sunday 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.) for similar late-night fare.
Many undergraduates have yet to experience a normal year of Stanford in full swing; however the start of this academic year promises a gradual return to the campus past students knew and loved. From bougie to basic, students and Stanford affiliates can look forward to a bounty of dining options to satisfy their cravings.