Dig in with Dining on Campus!

A look into the dining and meal plan options at Kean

Campus Life > Dig in with Dining on Campus!
Dig in with Dining on Campus!
The Cougar's Den is a dining option exclusive to Kean which offers ample seating and T.V. screen options.
Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer

With the multitude of dining options on campus, students, faculty and visitors alike never have to stress about finding a food option to fit their needs. From quick snacks between classes to full meals, as well as flexible hours and locations, there is sure to be an option here at Kean to fit everyone's needs.

Kean offers meal plans for students to utilize to make the process of eating on campus even more simple. There are different options for students to choose from depending on the amount of credits one has completed. Credit requirements for each class level are as follows:

  • Freshmen: Maximum of 28.5 credits
  • Sophomore: 29-55.5 credits
  • Junior: 56-89.5 credits
  • Senior: 90+ credits

The Unlimited Meal Plan is automatically assigned to all freshmen residents but is also available to all students. This plan includes unlimited meal swipes to the Residence Dining Hall as well as 100 in Cougar Cash and 100 in Cougar Dollars. The cost of the Unlimited Meal Plan is $2,021.

The Block Meal Plan costs $1,447.00 and is the default meal plan for juniors and seniors, however it is also offered to sophomores and commuter students. It includes 96 meal swipes, 100 in Cougar Cash and 200 in Cougar Dollars.

Lastly, is the Declining Balance Meal Plan. This meal plan costs $1,530 as it includes 500 in Cougar Cash and 1,000 in Cougar Dollars, as well as a $30 service fee. This meal plan is offered to juniors, seniors and commuter students.

As mentioned, there are several campus currencies that are utilized here at Kean, depending on the meal plan that one chooses. They are as follows:

  • Cougar Cash: This currency is only issued through the meal plans and is nonrefundable. When it is used through the Unlimited or Block Meal Plans the leftover funds from the Fall semester will transfer to the Spring semester, however at the end of the Spring semester the funds will be forfeited. Cougar Cash may only be used for on campus eateries.
  • Cougar Dollars: Similar to Cougar Cash, this currency is only issued through the meal plans and are nonrefundable. Leftover funds from the Fall semester will transfer over to the Spring semester, however they will expire at the conclusion of the Spring semester. Cougar Dollars may be used for both on and select off campus eateries which include Ursino Steakhouse and Tavern, Applebee's, Bonchon Chicken, Koki Buffet, Rock'N Joe Coffee Bar and Tropicana Diner.
  • Flex Dollars: Unlike Cougar Cash and Cougar Dollars, these can be purchased at any time in any amount. This can be used to purchase food, books and more. Flex Dollars roll over into the semesters, and unused funds can be refunded.
  • Kean Bucks: The University uses this as an incentive for students to take Friday night and weekend classes. They can also be used to purchase food, books and more. They expire one year after the date that they are issued.

To be eligible to receive Kean Bucks, there are a few qualifications. Firstly, one must be signed up for a course that is at least three credits and located on campus. The student must be in attendance of the class to receive the incentive. Those taking Friday classes after 3:30 p.m. and weekend classes before noon will be granted 50 in Kean Bucks per credit. Those taking weekend classes after noon will receive 100 in Kean Bucks per credit. It should be noted that classes that meet twice a week with one class on the weekend are not eligible. Also, students with a tuition waiver or other tuition subsidy are not eligible for Kean Bucks.

The various dining options on campus accept different forms of campus currency, as well as cash and cards. The following locations accept Cougar Dollars, Cougar Cash, Flex Dollars and Kean Bucks:

  • Miron Student Center Food Court: This location has many options for students to choose from including a Jersey Mike's Subs, Pasta Plus, Tex Mex food, Brick Oven Pizza, Entree Buffet, Salad Bar, Grill, Grab & Go, Breakfast & Bakery, Noodle Bar & Hot Sandwich Shoppe and Deli Delicious. Their hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Jersey Mike's Subs only.
  • The Cougar's Den: This eatery is exclusive to Kean's Union Campus and it offers both sit in and to-go options. They have a diverse menu including sandwiches, pasta, pizza, asian cuisine, soups, smoothies and more. They are open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Cougar's Den is located in the Miron Student Center.
  • Smashburger: For those looking to grab a meal on the go, consider this option. Their menu includes various sandwiches and burgers as well as their signature fries. This is located in the Miron Student Center, and is open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Outtakes Market: This is a store located in the Miron Student Center that sells a variety of products ranging from food, school supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies and more. Located in a central location, students can stop in between class to get anything they may need. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Auntie Anne's: The famous pretzel chain is also located here at Kean in the Miron Student Center. Stop by in between class to grab a sweet treat on the go. They are open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Residence Dining Hall: Located in the New Upper Residence Hall, this is where students can utilize their meal swipes as well as the other campus currencies. They have an all you can eat buffet that changes three times a day according to the meal, as well as a salad bar and other stations. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Starbucks: One of the most popular coffee and cafe chains also has several locations here at Kean. Students can utilize these locations for a quick snack or an extra burst of energy. The main location, which features plenty of seating for students to study, is located in the Nancy Thompson Library Learning Commons. They are open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.- 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 8 p.m. Another Starbucks location is located at a kiosk in the Center for Academic Success on the third floor. This is a great place for students to grab a coffee on their way to class. They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lastly, there is another kiosk located in the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics, which is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Students can stop into the multiple Starbucks locations on campus to grab a refreshing drink or quick snack on the go.

The following campus eateries accept Cougar Cash and Flex Dollars:

  • Au Bon Pain: Located in the North Avenue Academic Building, this eatery is known for their soups, salads and bakery items. Here, students can grab a nutritious meal between classes. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Barnes and Noble Cafe: Attached to the Kean University Bookstore, this eatery has a variety of options to fit everyone's needs. In addition, they also serve Starbucks coffee, and have ample seating for students to study on their own or collaborate with their peers. They are open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Northside Cafe: This dining option may be considered a hidden gem to many as it is located on East Campus, however they offer a variety of foods for guests to enjoy. They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to the multitude of eateries that are located on campus, there are also several location off campus in the surrounding area that accept some of the campus currencies. The following restaurants accept Cougar Cash and Flex Dollars.

  • Bonchon: This is a Korean chain that is known for their fried chicken as well as other traditional Korean meals. It is located at 1045 C Stuyvesant Avenue in Union, and is open Sunday through Monday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Tropicana Diner: Only located a few blocks away at 537-545 Morris Ave, this diner is open 24/7, therefore it is a great option for students to utilize throughout the day.
  • Applebee's: This popular chain accepts Cougar Cash and Flex Dollars at the 1721 Morris Avenue location. Students can indulge in appetizers, meals and sweet treats. Their hours of operations are Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 1:45 a.m.
  • Koki Buffet: Located at 1350 Galloping Hill road in Union, this is a buffet that offers Pan-Asian options. They have a variety of Chinese food options, sushi, salad and more. They are open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Rock 'N' Joe Coffee Bar: This is another coffee options for students to utilize. This is located extremely close to campus at 900 Green lane, which is also right next to the Union Train Station. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information on the campus eateries and dining option, be sure to check out the Kean Dining web page.


about the author

Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer
sheehsha@kean.edu

Shannon Sheeehan is a Junior Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. She joined The Cougar's Byte staff in Spring 2018. After her time at Kean, Shannon hopes to start her professional career in Public Relations and/or Social Media.