In this post, I will talk about Caltech's dining plan and special themed dinners - specifically Caltech's Chinese New Year themed dinner. I will share some of my family's Chinese New Year traditions and celebrations in a separate post.
If you live in the houses, you're required to be on Caltech's meal plan. All the houses have their own dining halls connected to a kitchen. From 7am-11am, open kitchen is stocked with fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, toast, bagels, spreads, and other breakfast items. There is no need to swipe your ID card - you just grab whatever food you want and go. Open kitchen opens again from 3pm until dinner time. In the afternoon, open kitchen has many of the breakfast items, a salad bar, a sandwich bar, and a pasta bar. Again, you don't need to swipe. Caltech students get a set amount of declining balance a term to spend on lunch at Chandler/Broad (two eateries on campus), the convenience store, Red Door (the coffee shop), and Chouse (the student run coffee shop at night). Finally, dinner is held in the house dining halls. Food is laid out family style and there are student waiters as well. There are also more options in the kitchens if you don't like the food set out on the table.
Caltech Dining also holds themed dinners in Chandler a couple of times a term. Chandler dinners are fun because the whole school gets together (you usually just eat with your house). Past dinners have included Cinco de Mayo, Cheese, and Holiday dinners. The most recent was a Chinese New Year dinner - pictures of the food and decorations are below.