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Dining Services

Dining Services

The food served at COA is amazing and it is an integral part of our community. Whether you’re a fan of curries or carnitas, a vegan or an omnivore, you will eat well at COA. The kitchen emphasizes the use of local, organic ingredients. Meat is humanely raised and seafood is from sustainable sources. In the fall of 2012, the first chickens raised at the college’s Peggy Rockefeller Farms appeared on the Take-A-Break menu. Baked goods are made from scratch and cuisines from around the world are incorporated into the weekly menu. Special dietary needs are accommodated on an individual basis.


Students living in campus housing are automatically enrolled in the College's 5-day meal plan. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served Monday through Friday in the Blair Dining Hall (affectionately nicknamed "Take-A-Break" or, for short, "TAB"). With booths, round tables, chairs and one oblong table, TAB is the perfect place to meet, study and eat. The space itself is open 24-hours and the east view of Frenchman Bay makes it the best place to watch the sunrise after a long night of studying.

The Sea Urchin

For additional lunchtime dining, COA operates The Sea Urchin Cafe. Offering an appetizing selection of sandwiches and soups, individual pizzas and smoothies, The Sea Urchin in Deering Common offers expanded lunchtime hours. The cafe also boasts a fresh food 24-hour vending machine with sandwiches, soup, cookies, yogurt, fruit and other goodies to satisfy your cravings.

Weekend Nourishment

COA students are passionate about food; they love cooking and eating. That's why each house is equipped with a kitchen and dining area to encourage communal, cooperative dining on the weekends. You can count on not only having fine cuisine from COA's dining hall and café but from your peers as well!

Kitchen FAQ here (pdf)

Recent Take-A-Break Menus

  • Shrimp cakes, grilled portobellos, steamed green beans, cous cous, apple spice cake
  • Roasted vegetable & black bean burritos, avocado soup, brown rice, chocolate chip/cherry cookies
  • Thai green curry with vegetables, Thai red curry with beef, rice, fresh spring rolls, coconut/almond squares
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