Get ready for the long-debated showdown between Lafayette College two Buffet-style Dining Halls. Marquis Café and Upper Farinon. Although all the dining options at Lafayette have excellent quality food, especially for a college, dinner can be a disappointment if you choose the wrong location. Meal swipes are limited, so put them to use and be more informed when you’re making your next dining decision.

The Salad and Sandwich Bars 

Jodi Graf

If none of the special menu items are appealing, make your own salads and sandwiches are always available at both dining locations. The salad and sandwiches at both places have generally the same ingredients to pick from, but there are slight differnces. If you are looking for consistency, as well as number of options, Marquis is your place. It generally always has the same toppings every day and unlike upper has ceasar dressing. Upper’s salad bar, on the other hand, is a hit or miss, but it takes the prize for sandwiches. They have more variety of breads and fully press your sandwich to perfect temperature if you are willing to wait a little extra longer.

Marquis Brick Oven Vs. Upper Ilforno

dough, bread
Jodi Graf

These are the crowd-favorites of the dining halls, the carbo-load stations. That means all the cheesy and bready goodness you can eat. Although you can’t go wrong with pizza, if you are looking for the best quality pizza, Upper’s your place. The only explanation I can offer you, is that it is just more satisfying to the taste buds. In terms of pasta, both dining halls are pretty equal, usually serving plain pasta with tomato sauce and a specialty pasta. If you don’t believe me about the pizza, and you need another tie breaker, garlic knots at Marquis might make your decisions a little easier. They are hot, buttery, and always delicious.

Marquis’s Creperie v. Upper’s Taquería

cream, cake, sweet, pastry, dairy product, pie, milk
Jodi Graf

There is really no competition here. Marquis’s Crepes are arguably the best thing served at Lafayette. There are not only crepes for those of you like me who have a sweet tooth, but there are also equally good savory crepes. No matter what the crepe of the day is, I can promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Pure Station

Jodi Graf

For those Vegetarians and Vegans out there, this is one is for you. Despite the vegan food reputation, many of these foods are actually very tasty. Upper usually has a type of salad along with some vegetables while Marquis ends to have more variety from day to day. Marquis serves anything from veggie burgers to vegetable lasagna. In this case, it’s really a matter of preference, and I admit I do like my meat.

Marquis’s Evo Grill V. Upper’s Flame

chicken, lobster
Jodi Graf

These are the two grilling stations where you really see a fluctuation in daily menus. At Upper, you will most likely find a pork or turkey option, which generally is an average dish. Marquis, however, has very interesting dishes at its Evo Grill. Here you will see specialty salads, sandwiches, gyros, risotto, jambalaya, stir fry, etc. My personal favorite is the make your own pitas. The chicken is cooked just right, and the topping are full of flavor. Here’s a quick tip: If you want more topping for your pita, check the salad bar! The quality of these stations really do change from day to day, but Marquis generally has more exciting and tasty options.

Marquis’s Chef’s Table V. Upper’s Comfort Food

Jodi Graf

These stations are truly a hit or miss at both places and are really a matter of personal preference so it is hard to pick a winner. Marquis serves quesadilla, pasta, tilapia, chicken, pot pie, and various other dishes while upper chicken parmesan, pot roast, pasta, tilapia, etc. Moral of the story: Check the menu.


chocolate, cookie, chips
Jodi Graf

I have a major sweet tooth so this is my personal favorite part of dinner. I highly recommend Upper’s soft-serve frozen yogurt. It’s creamy and delicious, plus it’s a little healthier than Marquis’s ice cream. Marquis, however, does have more ice cream flavors, as well as toppings. While Upper’s froyo is delicious, its other desserts are subpar and tend to look factory-made. Marquis occasionally has delicious hot items, such as berry crumble and bread pudding. Marquis also always has cookies, and Lafayette’s cookies never fail to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Winner: Marquis Café

Sorry Upper lovers, but the truth cannot be denied! If you want to make that meal swipe count, head over to Marquis for your next dinner. Marquis has all-around more food options that can satisfy any palette, but Upper is also known to serve some great dinner options. Did you know that Lafayette was ranked #10 in Spoon University’s Official College Dining Guide? Well, now you know!