The Claremont Colleges are unlike many colleges across the country. Six dining halls shared among less than 5,000 students at five different colleges make eating on-campus something many students look forward to every day. From panini machines and pretzel rolls to homemade almond butter and one dining hall’s version of animal-style fries, here are 10 food-related things at the Claremont Colleges you'll only understand if you go to any of them.

1. Tailgating Pitzer Brunch is a must if you want an omelet.

cheese, omelet, vegetable, tomato, sauce, pizza, crust, meat
Jocelyn Hsu

Pitzer arguably has the best omelets at the Claremont Colleges, but that comes with waiting in long lines during brunch on the weekends. Showing up to McConnell Dining Hall 10 minutes before the doors open is a sure way to get in the front of the line, or else you’ll end up waiting for at least 30 minutes. A secret for future omelet cravings: Pitzer offers the same custom omelet lines at breakfast during the week.

2. Pitzer Brunch is a cream cheese-lovers dream. 

bagel, cheese, cream cheese, cream, sandwich
Elizabeth Budd

From sweet to savory and even a vegan option made with tofu, the cream cheese assortment at Pitzer brunch offers something for everyone. Plus, it makes a great alternative for when you arrive too late and don't want to stand in the long omelet line. The sun-dried tomato is delicious on a plain bagel, the pesto goes well on their multi-grain toast, while the carrot raisin cinnamon is a delight spread on dates with in-house almond butter and a sprinkle of their homemade granola

3. Lox at Frank Brunch is worth the walk from any campus.

bread, salmon, vegetable, fish, lox, meat, seafood, cheese, parsley
Kayla Sherman

Although Frank is typically filled with Pomona freshmen the first few weeks of school, making the trek on Sunday mornings to the furthest south dining hall on the Claremont Colleges is absolutely worth it for their lox. A delicious bagel sandwich with lox, cream cheese, and a dash of capers makes for a tasty brunch, showing this lox is noteworthy food-related thing at the Claremont Colleges.

4. Ath Tea is an opportunity to eat chocolate-covered strawberries 4 days a week.

Monday through Thursday, from 3 – 4pm, Tea at the Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College showcases gorgeously decorated chocolate-covered strawberries in addition to their famous rise krispie treats and other desserts. Getting there a few minutes before each half hour is crucial – lines start so people stock up on their afternoon sugar fix.

5. Scripps bread pudding is possibly the best dessert at the Claremont Colleges.

Showcased at events like Scripps Freshmen matriculation dinner, or sometimes as an unexpected dessert at lunch, the bread pudding from Malott is one of the richest desserts and most important food-related thing at the Claremont Colleges. Made with leftover breakfast pastries and a mix of dark, semi-sweet, and white chocolate, the bread pudding is a chocolate-lover’s dream.

6. Farm Bowl at Pitzer requires an early Wednesday lunch.

The famous custom-mix salad option at Pitzer is so popular that the line reaches the entire length of the dining hall by noon. If you’re craving fresh mozzarella, ginger miso dressing, or any other farm bowl exclusive ingredient, be prepared to eat lunch before 11:30am so you can beat the lines.

7. The Motley Student Bake-Off is an excuse to get your sweet tooth fix at the beginning of each semester.

Within the first week weeks of school, the Motley Coffeehouse at Scripps holds their semi-annual student bake-off to decide which student baked goods will be sold throughout the semester. Ranging from vegan pumpkin chocolate bread to citrus cookies, quinoa granola to butterscotch oatmeal bars, the products made by students are a range of delicious goodies. You can get samples from each contestant and vote for your favorite one.

8. The Grove House is a great way to spend flex.

A student-run breakfast and lunch spot on Pitzer’s campus is the place to go if you’re looking to spend your flex on a satisfying and amazing meal. Their famous items include the Hal, a bagel breakfast sandwich with pesto cream cheese and a fried egg, or any sandwich at lunch that comes on their homemade bread (Kalamata olive is by far the crowd favorite) and a scrumptious cookie for dessert.

9. Avocados are an everyday offering at Frary Breakfast.

You don’t have to wait in the omelet line at Frary to get an avocado even though omelets come with them if you would like one on the side. Just skip to the front of the line and ask for an avocado. Made your own breakfast creation with a toasted bagel from 42nd Street Bagels, often available as the bagel selection at Frary, avocado, and a fried egg. Only in California is this food-related thing at the Claremont Colleges available every day.

10. The bread and cheese table at Mudd Holiday Dinners is unreal.

platter, Fruit, fruits, cheese, cracker, crackers, display
Amber Holte

Thanksgiving and Holiday Dinners at The Hoch might not have the best mainline options, but their bread and cheese table makes up for it. Warm bread baskets are refilled throughout the night with ciabatta, French bread, and seedy multi-grain loaves. Cheese trays have at least four different types to enjoy with the bread. It’s one of the best features of any holiday dinner at the Claremont Colleges.

Food at the Claremont Colleges is a big perk of the schools. From dining hall specialties to student-run coffee shops, each campus has different fun food offerings that make them attractive to students. After four years at the colleges, it would be hard to believe if anyone hasn’t experienced at least half of these food-related things at the Claremont Colleges.