Dining Options

At Dordt, our goal is to provide the best possible dining experience. We're serving up delicious, nutritious food that's as exciting to your palate as it is good for your body. We take pride in our mission to provide friendly, creative, and attentive service to everyone who dines with us. At Dordt Dining Services, we aim to exceed your expectations in every way.

A women in a purple jacket smiles at her friend over lunch

Meal Plans

Dordt Dining Services' goal is to provide the best possible dining experience. That starts by selecting the meal plan that best suits you.

Meal plans allow you to enjoy the convenience of on-campus dining and great benefits:

  • Guaranteed all-you-care-to-eat meals and the flexibility of grab-n-go items at the Defender Grille.
  • No worries about carrying cash.
  • You're only ever minutes from great tasting, healthy food, and comfortable locations.
  • A great place to meet your friends or make new ones.

Dining Plans


Students in residence halls (North Hall, East Hall, West Hall, and Covenant Hall) are required to purchase a meal plan from the college. Each student is automatically assigned the Value Meal Plan, which includes 21 meals per week plus 100 Defender Dollars. Students may opt out of that plan and instead choose the Reduced Meal Plan, which includes 15 meals per week plus 100 Defender Dollars.


Juniors and Seniors will automatically receive 5 meals per week and 200 Defender Dollars. Juniors & Seniors may elect to purchase a Value Meal Plan (21 meals per week) or Reduced Meal Plan (15 meals per week).


Commuters may purchase Defender Dollars (minimum to start $100) at the Business Office.

If you have a meal plan you will have Defender Dollars on your ID card that works as a debit card system. Defender Dollars cannot be exchanged for cash and do not carry over to the following semester. You can add more to your card by stopping by the Business Office to have money added (cash or check only). Defender dollars are accepted at all on campus dining locations.

The Meal Plan Adjustment form will allow you to change meal plans. Meal plan changes in the fall can only be made seven business days in to the semester. Meal plan changes for the spring semester must be done prior to the beginning of the semester.

We know that students are busy and often must eat on the run. This need makes to-go dining very popular on our campus but also generates massive amounts of waste. Much of this waste is diverted from landfills by utilizing recyclable and compostable packaging but Eco-Ware aims to avoid the use of this packaging altogether by shifting from single-use to reusable containers.

How does eco-ware work in the Commons?

  • Let the cashier know that you would like to take food to go and present them with your wood token, empty container, or purchase a container for $5. The cashier will give you a clean Eco-Ware container and a to-go hot or cold beverage cup when they swipe you into the dining hall.
  • Now fill the container with whatever you would like, from any station. Keep in mind that the container must close, but you can still choose to take a piece of hand fruit as well.
  • No need to stop back at the cashier stand, just exit and enjoy your meal.
  • When you're finished, empty the container and return it to the cashier or greeter at the Commons. They will take your dirty container and give you a cow tag.
  • Now the cycle repeats and you will reduce your environmental footprint by using your container again and again!

This program is available every day of the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Please note that you must leave with your meal.

The food line at the commons

Nutrition and Allergens

Dordt Dining Services is committed to providing healthy, nutritious food. Our menus emphasize lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetarian and vegan options, hormone-free dairy products, sustainable seafood, whole grains, and ZERO trans fat.


There are nine food items that account for almost 90 percent of food allergic reactions: milk, eggs, nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.

We work hard to identify all dishes that are prepared with these select items and in addition we advise diners with allergies to do following:

  • Pay attention to entrée name. Dishes made with common allergens often have that allergen mentioned in the entrée name.
  • Establish a relationship with the chef. Simple conversations with the chef in your daily visit to the dining halls can make your dining experience a lot easier. The chef can go over ingredients used in recipes and how the meal was prepared.
  • Read labels! Our chefs will be happy to tour the kitchen with you so you may view labels of the foods you will be eating.
  • When in doubt... If there is ever a question about an entrée, we recommend you avoid consuming it.

Locations & Hours

Campus dining is a big part of the college experience. Commons Dining Hall offers all-you-care-to-eat dining venue with a diverse menu featuring options for the most adventurous or selective eaters. Daily standards at the grill and soup and salad bar are accompanied by items at our concept stations that rotate with every meal.

New concepts coming soon!



Breakfast: 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00-7:00 p.m.


Continental breakfast: 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dinner: 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

* On the first Monday of the month, The Commons will open at the conclusion of the First Monday speaker's address.

** On Wednesday, The Commons will be open at the conclusion of chapel.


Meal Plans, Defender Dollars, Department Charges, and Cash.

The Defender Grille is a great place for grabbing something on-the-run, meeting friends, or studying in the Campus Center. Choose from made-to-order sandwiches, or a selection of hot items. With plenty of grab-and-go options like parfaits, sweet and salty snacks, beverages, and entrées, you're bound to find something to enjoy.


Daily Hours
Day: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Meal Exchange

Grab-n-Go: 11:00 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Hot Food: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday


* On the first Monday of the month, Defender Grille will open at the conclusion of the First Mondays speaker's address.

** On Wednesday, Defender Grille will be open at the conclusion of chapel.


Meal Plans, Defender Dollars, Credit Cards, and Cash.

A variety of food spread out on a table


Providing great food and service is our passion, and we are dedicated to making sure your event is perfect in every way. Inspired by fresh, high-quality ingredients and committed to community and sustainability, our culinary team creates cuisine ranging from simple to elegant. Light-hearted to classical. Cross-cultural to regional American. We invite you to discover all Dordt University Dining catering has to offer.


Department charge, cash, or check.


  • Menu Planning
  • Service Personnel
  • Event Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

Your meal plan allows you a set number of meals per week-5, 15, or 21 meals/week. Your weekly meal allowance gives you the opportunity to enjoy all-you-care-to-eat dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Commons Dining Hall. Each time you eat in Commons Dining Hall, one meal is subtracted from your weekly meal allowance. You may also elect to eat at the Defender Grille by exchanging your meal for select meal options that are available. The meal exchange option is available between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for Lunch and between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. for Dinner - Monday through Friday.

These are supplements to the weekly meal allowance and work like a bank debit card. Each time you make a purchase the total is subtracted from the balance in your account; you just need to specify Defender Dollars when paying.

You are the only person allowed to use your "meals" and you can only use one meal per meal period.

If you would like to treat a friend, you may pay for their meal using your Defender Dollars.

Contact us

Have questions? Give us a call!

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