Another amazing lunch at TAB.After a meal or two on campus you’ll begin to understand why COA tops the “best college food” lists again and again. We make all of our meals from scratch using local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Vegetarian and vegan options abound, and the meat and seafood we serve is humanely raised and sustainably sourced. Cookies and treats are baked fresh each morning, and flavors from around the world are on a steady rotation through the menu. Spoiler alert: on savory tofu/mac & cheese night, the dinner line is out the door (and it’s worth the short wait).

“Tamarind eggplant just made one of my most stressful days feel way better! I was staring at a blank document for the longest time and when I took a bite, suddenly all the words came out and I wrote my final paper!”

- from TAB comment book






Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served Monday through Friday in the Blair Dining Hall (affectionately nicknamed “Take-A-Break” or “TAB” for short). With booths and round tables, TAB is the perfect place to meet, study, and eat.

Sea Urchin Café

For additional lunchtime dining, stop in at the Sea Urchin Café in Deering Common. It offers a selection of sandwiches, soups, individual pizzas, and smoothies. The café also boasts a fresh food 24-hour vending machine with sandwiches, soup, cookies, yogurt, fruit, and other goodies to satisfy your cravings.

Meal plans

As a first-year student living on campus, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the college’s 15 meal/week plan. For all other students, meal plans include 5, 10, or 15 meals per week or a $110 declining balance card for use during the term. Additional declining balance cards are available for purchase in the business office.

Weekend nourishment

Wait, what happens when the dining hall closes for the weekend?
Don’t fret! Each residence includes a full kitchen equipped with cookware and a dining space. The nearest natural food store and supermarket are a 15-minute walk down the street, so it’s easy to find both fresh produce and prepared meals when planning your next dinner, potluck, or birthday party. Whether you’re new to cooking for yourself or have already developed an exquisite award-winning Maine blueberry pie, there will be plenty of opportunities to try new foods and cooking techniques. On Sunday evenings it’s common for students to prepare community meals together in their residences. And if you’re not so adept in the kitchen, you’re sure to find friends and housemates who are culinarily inclined.

Food access resources

Please visit each organization’s website for the most up-to-date hours and schedules.

COA Community Fridge: Located in the Kaelber Hall basement, next to the Free Box. Take what you need, give what you can! You may regularly find fresh farm eggs, TAB leftovers, and pantry items. If you wish to donate food, make sure to follow the donation and labeling guidelines.

Bar Harbor Food Pantry: Nonprofit organization focused on ensuring everyone has access to food. There are no requirements or documents needed to shop here, and it is free. The pantry has six sections: produce, dairy and prepared foods, bakery, frozen, packaged dry goods, and bulk repackaged dry goods. They are located on 36 Mount Desert St. (behind the YWCA). Visit to complete the order form

Open Table MDI: Food security organization that provides the community with a free weekly vegetarian meal, typically Tuesdays 4-7 p.m. Open Table MDI is located at 116 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor.

The Good Food Box: Part of the MDI Food Access Project. Participants provided a weekly food box that contains fresh produce from COA Beech Hill Farm and Healthy Acadia, pantry items from the Bar Harbor Food Pantry, and prepared meals from Open Table MDI. Food boxes are available for weekly pickup in Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Southwest Harbor. Delivery is available for those who qualify. To be part of the program, you have to complete a short registration form and be a Hancock County resident.

Eden Farmers’ Market: Mount Desert Island’s largest Farmers’ Market is held on Sundays from mid-May through October in the Bar Harbor YMCA parking lot, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Several farms sell vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, meats, prepared beverages and foods, and other products. This market participates in Share the Harvest, SNAP, WIC, and the Downeast Gleaning Initiative to make produce more accessible to our community.

Northeast Harbor Farmers’ Market: Northeast Harbor Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from mid-June through August at the marina in Northeast Harbor, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Several farms sell vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, meats, prepared beverages and foods, and other products.