commons dining hall entrance

Commons Dining Hall

Commons Dining Hall is a traditional, cafeteria-style facility that is open during regular meal-plan hours with six dining areas including an outdoor deck.

Our Chefs are continually creating new and flavorful dishes alongside much-loved staples featuring sustainably sourced products from our local farmers and producers. Meals offer students a wide range of options drawing on cuisines from around the world, and including Vegetarian, Vegan, and Made Without Gluten selections at every meal. 

We work diligently to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions to create a safe dining experience for all in the Dining Hall. Staff members are happy to discuss menu items and ingredients at any time and all menu items are clearly labeled with top allergens including gluten, dairy, and soy. Please email with questions, concerns, or to speak with Chef Steve about navigating the Dining Hall with your specific dietary restrictions.

Missing a favorite meal, side dish, or dessert? Submit your Recipe From Home and we will work to feature it on the menu.


Through our commitment to serving locally sourced and sustainably produced food we have developed relationships with local farmers and producers by the dozens, including Maplebrook Farm (2 mi), Laughing Child Farm (38 mi), Peacock's Pure Maple Syrup (7 mi), Northeast Family Farms, Earth Sky Time Community Farm (18 mi), Vermont Fresh Pasta Company (55 mi), and Bennington College's own Purple Carrot Farm.

In addition we are committed to:

  • Composting all pre and post-consumer food scraps
  • Recycling fryer oil through Buffalo Biodiesel
  • Recycling all cardboard, paper, glass, and plastic waste
  • Purchasing products in non-plastic and recyclable/reusable packaging whenever possible
  • Discontinuing the retail sale of plastic bottled water
  • Tray-less dining to reduce thousands of gallons of water waste and conserve energy
  • Minimizing food waste through a five step food management system
  • Serving cage-free local eggs sourced from Feather Ridge Farm (81 mi)
  • 100% sustainable seafood purchasing following the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines


Meet Your Neighbors

Learn more about the local farmers and producers whose products are used to create your favorite Dining Hall dishes.

Earth Sky Time Community Farm

Earth Sky Time Community Farm and Hearth is a certified organic three generation family farmstead, wood fired bakery, concert venue and community of artists, musicians and friends in Manchester, VT. | facebook | instagram

The Dining Hall features the following products from Earth Sky Time Community Farm

Daily from the Hearth:

  • Sliced Voonder Bread & Whole Wheat Voonder Bread
  • Sesame Semolina
  • Sunflower Levain
  • Pain Rustique

Seasonally from the Farm:

  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Autumn Squash including Delicata, Acorn, and Butternut


Beans bread van

Rhapsody Natural Foods

At the core of Rhapsody Natural Foods, you will find a family deeply rooted in the work of building a sustainable lifestyle.  We, Sjon and Elysha Welters, moved to the US from the Netherlands in 1983 with our 1-year-old daughter in tow. We were in search of a place where our entrepreneurial spirits had space to soar. We dreamed of having a plot of land where we could build a homestead to support our plant-based diet while also creating an income that supports a local agricultural economy. Fourteen years of wandering up and down the East Coast landed us a mile from Cabot village in Central Vermont. This is where we started growing our roots, raising our three children and starting a business.  Even today our three children and their families (7 grandchildren) live on the same property supporting the business in their own unique ways.

We are committed to producing foods that uphold their traditional value in an effort to nourish our bodies and community. We are passionate about fermentation. Fermented foods contain beneficial probiotic bacteria, are full of digestive enzymes that aid in digestion, support immunity and help nutrients and minerals assimilate more easily. Eat something fermented at each meal!  Many of our products are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Our goal is not to only meet the organic standards but to exceed them, as the national standards of organic become less representative of the intention on which it was based.

In the face of the health, the economic and environmental crisis that our community, both local and global, faces today we are committed to our actions contributing to positive change. Our work towards meeting this challenge is in part by sharing our passion for high quality fermented local food! | facebook | instagram

Raphsody is the sole provider of Tempeh to Bennington College Dining

food family boes

Meal Plan Information

Student Meal Plans

Bennington Card

Faculty and Staff Meal Plans

  • Dining Plan Options
  • A valid Bennington Card card with an active meal plan, active department card, single use department card, or cash/credit card payment at door, is required for entry to the Dining Hall

Napkin Notes

The napkin board is a Bennington tradition that has lasted over three decades. Please write, calculate, or sketch your thoughts about your experience in the dining hall on a napkin while you’re here and post them on the board. We really appreciate the feedback. If you find this too restrictive, please feel free to break into song and dance to better convey your thoughts.

new commons napkin notes napkin notes