Dorms Declassified: Food!

Myself and my dear friend, Rosette, in the Ratty.

Hello! My name is Alejandra (Ali) Gatas Johnson and I am your Dorms Declassified: Brown Survival Guide blogger. Living in a dorm with a roommate was one of the things that I was most excited but also nervous about for college. This blog is to help ease the concern and provide insight on residential life at Brown.

If you are anything like me, you are a huge foodie. Sometimes I love food more than people. Unfortunately, I have been cursed the incredible talent of ruining any dish I cook. I come from a long line of non-cookers (no lie my mom can’t cook, my dad can’t cook, my grandparents can’t cook…) As such, I am extremely dependent on pre-prepared foods and dining locations.

On campus, there are two main dining halls and 4 eateries. As a first year you are required to be on meal plan, but after the first year, it is students’ choice to be one meal plan or not. Of course, me being the food dependent person that I stayed on meal plan and I am super glad I did.

My first year at Brown, I lived in Andrews Hall (aka Hotel Andrews). Beyond the joys of having a sink in your room and having absurdly large rooms with walk in closets, Andrews Hall provides the blessing of being located above Andrews Commons (one of the eateries). Andrews Commons has pizza, pho, sandwiches, paninis, pasta, and more. It is open every day and it saved me from having to leave the warm building on multiple occasions last year. Whenever I was hungry, I just had to go downstairs to use a meal credit and fuel up.

After freshman year, I thought that I would have to adjust to the reality of trecking through the elements to get food for myself. Thankfully I was wrong! I ended up living in Sears House, which is on Wriston Quad and right next to the Ratty (the main cafeteria)! Now, I only have about 15 feet that I have to walk outside to go from my dorm to food. I often pick up a to go box from the Ratty and bring it with me back to my dorm to eat with friends in the lounge or in my room. Not everyone is this close to cafeterias/eateries, but there are enough food locations spread around campus to allow all students to be within around 5 minutes from food. (Which I personally really appreciate!)

I have the habit of being a grazer rather than a meal eater. On top of that, I have the habit of getting really focused on my work that I forget to eat full meals. As such, I love my snacks! I even have an entire drawer in my desk devoted to solely snacks. One of my best friends even refers to my snack drawer as a supermarket! There is a Walmart around 20 minutes away by bus (the RIPTA bus service is free to all Brown students) and I often make trips there to restock my snack drawer. I also often use take out boxes from the cafeterias to stock up on fruit, cereal, peanut butter, and other snack necessities.

To all you foodies out there, don’t fret! Food will always be nearby at Brown!

If you have comments or questions about this column or anything related to Brown, please email me at


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