Claire Li/Sun Staff Photographer

Since its official opening on Jan. 18, Morrison Dining Hall has offered a variety of food options to hungry Cornellians.

January 30, 2022

Morrison Dining Sets a New Standard for Cornell Student Dining Experience

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The newest addition to Cornell Dining can accommodate approximately 1,000 students. Featuring 11 food platforms, four hydration stations and The Discovery Kitchen, Morrison Dining Hall brings something new to the table.

Officially opening to hungry students on Jan. 18, Morrison Dining is currently only offering takeout, along with all other University dining halls, due to the campus’s COVID-19 safety measures

Still, it features eleven food platforms that are divided into different sections, including a salad bar and Kosher, Halal, grill, pasta, pizza and dessert stations. Each site offers a variety of food options and unique, thematic decor. 

Each of its hydration stations are equipped with top-of-the-line water dispensers, which cost $3,250 each.

Many students voiced positive experiences from dining at Morrison. Students cited high-quality food options and modern design as their favorite aspects of the newly-furnished dining hall.

“In general, the food is really good,” said Shaylyn Nair ’25. “The food definitely tastes noticeably fresh and high quality.”

Students also expressed satisfaction with the variety of vegetarian options available at Morrison Dining Hall. In addition to traditional salads, the salad corner offers vegetable blends inspired by Asian, American and Mediterranean cuisines. 

Rushil Choudhary ’25 keeps a strict vegetarian diet for religious reasons. Choudhary told The Sun that he appreciates the fresh vegetarian options available at Morrison.

“The new salad station is amazing,” Chodhary said. “It’s fresh and healthy because they make it right in front of you right after you order. It’s healthy and much more delicious than pre-made meals.”

In addition to the dining hall’s diverse and elaborate food options, Alex Hallstrom ’25 told the Sun that he was astonished by the exterior and interior design of Morrison.

“When I first saw Morrison Dining, I was like ‘wow, this is really fancy,’” Hallstrom said. “The environment, from floor-to-ceiling windows that let in warm Ithaca sunlight to creative sitting arrangements, makes the dining experience much better.”

Morrison also comes furnished with Dining’s Discovery Kitchen, which includes 24 cooking stations. It is meant to provide a workspace for Nutritional Science 2470: Food for Contemporary Living, a required class for Dietetics students that used to be offered in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall. 

Other courses like Nutritional Science 6250: Community Nutrition in Action and Nutritional Science 4880: Applied Dietetics and Food Service Systems may also be offered in this collaborative teaching kitchen. 

Despite the general positivity voiced by students about Morrison’s new features, the dining hall fell slightly short of students’ expectations in some regards, including accommodations to some dietary restrictions and limited menu rotations.

Jimmy Cawley ’25 has celiac disease, and he expressed some frustration due to  Morrison’s few gluten-free options. Cawley shared that staff at multiple stations of the facility told him that there were no gluten-free options available.

“I asked staff members of one of the stations if they had a gluten-free option,” said Cawley. “Although they were very helpful and accommodating, they told me that there is nothing they can do to help because they don’t have gluten-free ingredients.”

Despite his disappointment, Cawley said that he was impressed with the overall quality of the food that Morrison serves.

“The experience at Morrison can be described as a restaurant in the city. You have the pizza in the back, Asian food, grill, salad bar and fruit bar,” said Cawley. “You can really shop around and get what you want instead of waiting in one big line like in other dining halls, making it much more manageable.” 

Morrison is accessible with any of the four student meal plans on campus. It is currently open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

For anyone who does not have a meal plan, a pay-by-visit guest swipe is available for entry. The regular rate is $9.51 for breakfast, $13.19 for lunch and $16.3 for dinner.