From international comfort foods to custom stir fries, vegetarian entrees and more, Open Kitchen represents the best of Vancouver’s diverse culinary scene. Fresh seafood is Ocean Wise™ certified, we serve local and/or organic fruits and vegetables, and our beef burgers and fresh chicken is halal. Our dietitian supports all students with Residence Meal Plans.
Open Kitchen seats 316 guests and nourishes 1047 first-year students living in Orchard Commons, as well as the campus at large. Looking for more information? Visit our FAQs and access high-resolution images.
Open Kitchen in Action
Open Kitchen serves up to 3,000 meals every day to hungry UBC students, staff and campus visitors.
What’s cooking at Open Kitchen
Ramen? Salad? Banh Mi? Burger? If you’re craving it, we’ve probably got it on the menu. Enjoy seven hot food stations plus all-day salad, fruit and pasta bars, daily soups and congee, baked goods and sweet treats. Come explore for yourself!
Your hearty and healthy custom stir-fry awaits! Pick a meat or vegetarian protein, load up with vegetables like baby bok choi, daikon, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and bean sprouts, select a sauce and noodles or rice, and watch as your meal is prepared in front of you. Top it off with a drizzle of Kiok’s homemade gochujang and a sprinkle of cilantro.
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Weekdays
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Weekdays
Vegetarian Kitchen celebrates the plant-based diet with satisfying, energizing and deeply crave-able dishes made daily in house. Start your day with a Strawberry Smoothie Bowl with banana, artisan granola, chia seeds, hemp seeps, ground flax seeds and coconut ribbons. Energize yourself with an Incredi-bowl for lunch, loaded with yams, beets, beans and seeds. Ease into the evening with a Southwest Bowl or a Botanical Garden Burger. They’re all delicious and packed with fresh, healthy and minimally processed ingredients!
7:00 AM – 10:30 AM Daily
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Daily
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Daily
Square Meal Kitchen
Our favourite comfort foods from around the world. A few highlights of the current menu: Chicken Souvlaki, Horiatiki Salad, Lemon Garlic Potatoes and Tzatziki on Mondays; Al Pastor, Pulled Beef and Refried Bean Tacos on Tuesdays; Butter Chicken and Spicy Dahl on Wednesdays; BBQ Pork Belly Bao on Thursdays; Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese on Fridays; Pork Schnitzel on Saturdays; and Japanese Curry Beef and Vegetable on Sundays.
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Daily
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Daily
Start your day with a Free-Range Egg and Avocado Quesadilla, UBC Cinnamon Bun French Toast, or another breakfast favourite hot off the grill. Later, indulge in our famous Bacon & Kimchi Burger with a beef patty, fried egg, seared scallions and spicy mayo or our California Burger with grilled chicken breast, havarti, pancetta and guacamole. All of our burgers are served on soft brioche buns. Jalapeño Cilantro Slaw, French Fries, Onion Rings, Yam Fries, and Signature Greens are available as sides. Warning: You will fall in love with our housemade Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce!
7:00 AM – 10:30 AM Daily
11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Weekdays
2:00 PM – 10:00 PM Weekends
Al Forno Kitchen
Thin crust personal pizzas made from scratch in house and finished with a handful of fresh arugula. Ham, Classic Margherita, and did someone say Pear & Gorgonzola?!
11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Daily
Global Bowl Kitchen
Delicious and comforting bowls and soup from around the world. Menus change seasonally, but keep an eye out for authentic phở, ramen, curries, and more. On the menu right now: Phillipine Chicken Adobo, Cajun Jambalaya, Korean Beef Bulgogi and steaming hot Nitobe Ramen with pork belly, shimiji mushrooms, nori and corn.
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Weekdays
5:00 PM – 8:00PM Daily
Custom sandwiches for every craving. Build your own from a selection of fresh vegetables, housemade spreads, meat- and plant-based proteins, and organic local bread from A Bread Affair.
10:30 AM – 8:00 PM Daily
Grab ‘n Go
Prepared meals and snacks ready to go. Choose from a selection of sushi, sandwiches, salads, pastries, beverages, desserts and a whole lot more. In a rush? How about a smashed chickpea sandwich. Feeling fancy? The Harvest Niçoise is packed with candied salmon, olives and other goodness. Looking for a late night treat? Try a salted caramel brownie cup.
7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Daily
Have a question about dietary restrictions or allergies? Want to eat healthier but need some help? Our Registered Dietitian, Melissa Baker, can help all students on the Residence Meal Plan.
Our Food Values
We provide sustainable, diverse and memorable dining experiences. We believe wholesome, healthy food is a priority because our guests, our food, and our wellbeing matters.
Celebrating a birthday, holiday or special event? Looking for a custom cake, baked goods, or a get-well package to send to someone special?
Meet Our Open Kitchen Leaders!
Manager, Open Kitchen and Hero Coffee + Market
Lynn brings over two decades of hospitality management experience in fine and casual dining. A graduate of Vancouver Community College and an entrepreneur, she is a passionate foodie and is committed to food-literacy and promoting healthy choices.
Executive Sous Chef, Residence Dining
Daniel is an award-winning chef with over 20 years of experience climbing the ranks at Vancouver Hyatt and Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. A graduate from the Vancouver Community College culinary program, he believes food should be sophisticated, yet not complicated.
Sous Chef, Open Kitchen Commissary
Chris worked in marketing and advertising for five years before training as a chef at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. His diverse experience in bistros, fine dining and the Calgary Flames food services team inspires his work at Open Kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the vision behind Open Kitchen?
Open Kitchen is UBC’s newest residential dining room. It opened in August 2016 in Orchard Commons, a LEED Gold certified student residence and home to UBC’s Vantage College. Brimming with dynamic chefs, decadent aromas, and a smorgasbord of unique and delicious menu items, it redefines food-forward student-focused restaurant design with its contemporary and vibrant design. It seats 316 guests and nourishes 1047 first-year students living in Orchard Commons, as well as the campus at large. This bright, modern, and innovative establishment sets a bold new standard for North American campus dining, reflecting culinary trends and best-practices with respect to selection, food preparation, service, atmosphere, and overall customer experience. Open Kitchen is our highest volume residence dining room and, we believe, truly one of Canada’s most inspired and interesting large-scale campus restaurants! On busy days it serves more than 3,000 meals.
What makes Open Kitchen different from other university dining operations?
Our menu represents a bold departure from the institutional dining mindset. We did not adapt the typical 21-day rotational menu cycle used at our other two residence dining facilities and most other residence dining facilities; instead, about 70% of our menu is now static with daily and weekly features. This innovative move gave Chef Chris Grosse the opportunity to focus on perfecting a range of unique and delectable signature dishes. Examples include authentic Phở and Ramen, a Bacon & Kimchi Burger, and Southern BBQ Ribs with Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce topped off with a Bourbon Pecan Tart.
What are some unique features on the Open Kitchen menu?
We emphasize delectable plant-based vegetarian and vegan menu items to promote healthy eating and deliver a lighter carbon footprint. Favourites from our large center-stage vegetarian station include the Open Kitchen Incredi-Bowl, Banh Mi Bowl, Botanical Garden Burger, Tempeh Tacos, and, for breakfast, our hot Tuscan Bowl. Other unique features include:
- Extensive salad bar featuring specialty daily salads and deluxe toppings (hemp hearts, assorted seeds, etc.)
- Abundant vegan and vegetarian offerings
- Healthy stir fries made to order
- Gourmet burgers
- Housemade soups
- Authentic ramen, phở, congee and dim sum
- Nutrient-dense foods such as quinoa, kale, lentils, and other grains and produce
Where can I find nutritional information and allergens?
Each menu item has a nutritional tag that includes allergens, ingredients, and a nutritional breakdown, because we know customers are more interested in this information than ever before, and clearly displaying allergens is essential. These tags exist right at the place of purchase instead of buried online, so students will take more notice of them, learn more about nutrition and basic food literacy, and can easily accommodate dietary restrictions.
What are some of the most popular menu items?
Our biggest crowd pleasers so far include:
- Incredi-bowl — Roasted yams, beets, shredded carrots, edamame beans, spinach, fresh herbs, sesame seeds, lemon tahini dressing, plus choice of quinoa or brown rice.
- Shacks Burger — Chipotle cherry BBQ glaze, grilled onions, housemade candied whisky bacon, crispy onion ring, aged cheddar, with citrus-scented arugula.
- Custom Kitchen — Custom stir fry made on a Mongolian-style round grill.
- Southwest Bowl — Sweet potato, avocado, tomatillo salsa and crispy tortilla strips on your choice of brown rice or quinoa.
- Nitobe Ramen — Pork belly, marinated egg, green onion, shimiji mushrooms, nori and corn.
- Southwest BBQ — Choice of beef brisket or baby back ribs served with chipotle cherry BBQ sauce.
How is breakfast and dessert different from other dining halls?
Our breakfast menu is truly unique and innovative. Hopefully it will adjust the way people think about this meal! Along with traditional breakfast items we offer a variety of vegetarian breakfasts including a Vegan Smoothie Bowl, Tuscan Hot Bowl, and Sweet Potato and Black Bean Bowl. Congee is available every morning and authentic dim sum is offered on weekends.
Along with common desserts, Open Kitchen offers healthy options including a yogurt parfait bar, an abundance of whole fruits, and healthy parfaits such as our Blackberry Quinoa Parfait.
What other food and/or beverage locations are near Open Kitchen?
How did we reach our goals for Open Kitchen from a building and branding perspective?
We briefed our architecture firm (Perkins+Will), branding firm (Glasfurd & Walker) and facility designer Stephen Tyler Consulting LTD with the following core directives: Focus on food; create a crisp-yet-cozy integrated brand experience; make it modern, engaging, and fun; do something special; and keep it simple.
The eight stations at Open Kitchen are strategically designed to feature food and food preparation. Culinary expertise is celebrated as chefs theatrically prepare meals with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Neutral tones are used throughout, including plenty of natural wood and cheerful chartreuse accents. A skylight provides natural light. Subtle textural variations of white tiles are used to distinguish the eight dining stations. We steered clear from digital signage and distinct station brands to keep the focus on the food and provide an elegant, integrated space for our guests. The branding firm also came up with a simple universal menu and signage system, using primarily 11×17 paper insert sheets.
The name Open Kitchen evokes accessibility, simplicity, transparency, and the cherished experience of receiving a home-cooked meal. The name was deliberately disconnected from the name of Orchard Commons as a means to attract varied customers and give it a stand-alone identity. The Open Kitchen visual identity system includes a custom hand-crafted font and a suite of icons that have been extended to uniforms, station signs and even the wood-grain food trays.
Have questions about your Residence Meal Plan? We’ve got answers.
Select Open Kitchen Purveyors
We are proud to be sourcing ingredients from our valued partners below.
Our chefs take great delight in making use of super fresh, organic and extremely local produce from our very own UBC Farm whenever possible. UBC Farm ingredients include seasonal herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Ethical Bean Coffee
Fair Trade, certified organic, locally roasted, bird-friendly, and shade-grown. From field to cup, Ethical Bean is committed to providing farmers a fair price while minimizing environmental impact.
Wendel’s True Foods
A family company located in Fort Langley, B.C., Wendel’s makes certified gluten-free bakery products with quality natural and organic ingredients.
Started by two Vancouver boys with big dreams and a big blender, Happy Planet is one of Canada’s leading natural juice and smoothie companies.
Based in Maple Ridge, BC, Hardbite Chips are hand-cooked in small batches from local Fraser Valley potatoes. They are non-GMO, gluten-free and have no trans fat or cholesterol.
Windset Farms Tomatoes
Headquartered in the fertile Fraser Valley in B.C., Windset Farms has been delivering fresh, beautiful produce for over a decade, using state-of-the-art technology, responsible growing practices and a gentle hand.
Hand-crafted sushi made fresh each day in Richmond and delivered to residence each morning. Bento Sushi is the largest Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified restaurant chain in Canada. It is also a partner of Seachoice, Canada’s most comprehensive sustainable seafood program.
Started in 1963 out of the back of a pick-up truck, Albion now employs 300 people in Western Canada. All fresh seafood provided is Ocean Wise™ certified.