Frequently Asked Questions

There are a variety of questions that are posed to Yale Dining regularly over the course of a school year. Here are some of the most common ones, along with the answers:

How do I purchase a Meal Plan?

Yale offers a variety of meal plans depending on your campus residence or other status with the university. There are choices for Undergraduate Meal Plans and Graduate Meal options. Meal plans can be purchased and managed online using our secure portal.

How do I buy Eli Bucks?

Eli Bucks can be purchased at any time, in any amount, by any active Student, Staff or Faculty member with a valid Yale University ID. The easiest way is to purchase them with credit card, using our secure payment portal. While there, you can also view your current balance, look up your last 50 transactions or manage your account in other ways.

Remember: as long as your status with the University does not change, your Eli Bucks will not expire, and will carry forward from year to year.

What is Double Swipe? Who can do it and when?

“Double Swiping” is a special privilege for undergraduate meal plan holders during the LUNCH period when students may have limited time off based on class schedules. It is available during lunch and in the college Dining Halls. It allows the holder a second meal swipe at a dining hall locations during lunch if the first swipe was also at one of these locations. Second swipes CANNOT be transferred to anyone else and cannot be used at other retail locations like Durfees or the KBT Café.

Meal Plan Holders are offered the flexibility of transferring a lunch swipe to one of several campus retail Cafés, convenience stores and outlets such as the Divinity Cafe, the KBT Cafe, Cafe Med, Durfee’s, Thain and Health Center Cafe. However, you can only do so provided that this is the first swipe of the lunch meal period, between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

A lunch swipe at a retail location is the only swipe permitted for that meal period, regardless of the meal plan. You may not swipe again at residential dining halls until the dinner period, which starts at 5:00 PM. The cash equivalency for a board meal lunch transfer is $9.00. Purchases over that amount must be supplemented by Eli Bucks or other form of payment. Manage your dining plan here.

When does my weekly meal allotment reset?

Any plans that reset on a weekly basis, reset Monday morning. 

I’m trying to avoid gluten (or have another kind of food allergy or preference). How can I identify foods that common allergens?

Yale Dining goes to considerable lengths to accommodate students with special food needs. You can find all of the information about how we identify food ingredients and about our programs to help you meet your specific diet needs on our website.

How do you define “Locally Produced?”

Generally, products that are found within 100 miles are considered “locally produced.” We use fresh produce from local and regional farms whenever possible.

Do you wash the fruit used in Dining Hall Spa Water?

Absolutely! Yale Dining has a very comprehensive approach to food safety. This of course includes a requirement that all fresh fruit should be washed before it is used as ingredient in any of our foods. The Spa Water is no exception.

How do I buy a Yale College Plate?

The Yale Residential College tradition goes back almost a hundred years, and a student’s four-year experience as part of one of these unique communities is one that he or she shares with thousands of other alumni. An authentic Yale College plate is a meaningful personal purchase and a great gift. It’s a terrific way to remember and celebrate your college experience, and each plate displays the unique, historic college coat of arms and emblem of a specific college residential hall.

To purchase a Historic Yale Plate, please use this link.

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