Residence Meal Plan

Required Meal Plan for UBC Vancouver Residents in Totem Park, Place Vanier and Orchard Commons

Lighten Your Load

No need to plan, shop, prepare and clean up after meals.

Fresh Healthy Ingredients

Easily access high-quality wholesome ingredients guided by our Food Values.

Over 40 Locations

Restaurants, cafés, food trucks, eateries, dining rooms and more.

Time & Energy

Focus on studying, making friends and getting involved in a new community.

So Many Food Options

Hundreds of safe, nutritious and delicious house-made menu options.

Nutritional & Dietary Support

Healthy eating tips, dietary preference and allergen support.

How It Works

The Residence Meal Plan is a declining balance plan. Like a debit account, Dining Dollars in your meal plan account are deducted when you make food purchases. Your UBCcard is your meal card.

To make a purchase, swipe your UBCcard at a cash register. Every food item has an individual price. In the residence dining rooms, your order total and discount will be displayed on a transaction screen at the cash register. Dining is not “all you care to eat” and there are no pre-set numbers of meals allotted to each student.

You must have your UBCcard with you when you make food purchases from your meal plan. If you don’t have it you will be asked to pay cash, credit or debit and will not receive a discount. Meal Plans are non-transferable.

What’s Included?

Residence Meal Plans are composed of two types of Dining Dollars: Residence Dollars and Flex Dollars.

Residence Dollars

Used for the majority of meal plan food purchases. Accepted only in our three residence dining rooms. Purchases are tax exempt (5%) and discounted by 25% at the time of transaction.

Flex Dollars

Used at 30+ Food Services locations (5% discount), 16+ Campus Partners, campus vending machines and pay-for-print. Gives students access to convenient locations outside of their residence dining rooms.

Here is a summary of 2017-2018 meal plan fees. For more detailed information about payment amounts and the payment schedule, visit the Fees & Payments page and click on the page for your residence.

Term 1 Term 2 Total
Residence Dollars $1,483.90 $1,537.86 $3,021.76
Flex Dollars $548.90 $568.86 $1,117.76
Overhead* $493.90 $511.86 $1,005.76
Capital Improvement Fund (CIF)** $175.00 $175.00 $350.00

* Overhead: Non-refundable but recovered when all Residence Dollars are spent (offset by 25% discount at time of each transaction). Covers a portion of fixed operating expenses.

** Capital Improvement Fund (CIF): Non-refundable fee used for capital investments that directly enhance environments, facilities and equipment within each residence dining room.

45+ Places to Eat

Residence Dining Rooms

Neapolitan-style zucchini pizza from Mercante at UBC.

Open Kitchen | Orchard Commons

From international comfort foods to custom stir-fries, vegetarian entrees and more, Open Kitchen represents the best of Vancouver’s diverse culinary scene. Keep an eye out for house made seafood paella, custom burritos and our beloved vegetarian southwest bowl.

Neapolitan-style zucchini pizza from Mercante at UBC.

Gather | Place Vanier

Globally inspired, locally sourced. Our newly renovated space in Place Vanier serves up fresh & healthy West Coast contemporary cuisine including Indian food from renowned restaurateur Vikram Vij, sushi burritos, Latin American street food, a deluxe salad bar and more.

Neapolitan-style zucchini pizza from Mercante at UBC.

Totem Dining Room | Totem Park

Totem Park offers fresh, delicious and wholesome foods from around the world. Dig into west coast crab cakes, Vietnamese spicy prawn hot pot, Buddha bowls and custom quesadillas.

UBC Food Services

Neapolitan-style zucchini pizza from Mercante at UBC.

Use your Flex Dollars at 30+ eateries, cafés, restaurants and food trucks with a 5% discount on most items.

Enjoy authentic Neapolitan-style pizza at Mercante, comfort food classics at The Hungry Nomad, fresh pasta, flatbreads and panini at Perugia, full-service restaurant meals at The Point Grill, extra fancy lunches at Sage, and your favourite franchises like Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Triple O’s. View the complete list here.

Campus Partners

Use your Flex Dollars at 14+ locations on and near the UBC campus, including The Nest (UBC student union building), Booster Juice, Domino’s Pizza, Mahony & Sons, Vera’s Burgers, The Pita Pit and more.

See the full list here by selecting the Campus Partner tab. No discounts apply.

Other Locations

Stacks burgers with yam fries at UBC's Open Kitchen.

Use your Flex Dollars at Hero Coffee + Market (Orchard Commons), Hubbard’s (Place Vanier), Magda’s (Totem Park) and Gage Minimart (Walter Gage). These locations offer extended hours and grocery staples.

Flex dollars can also be used at many campus vending machines and to pay for printing in UBC libraries and study areas. No discounts apply.

Managing Your Budget

The Residence Meal Plan is designed to supply the majority of students with enough Dining Dollars to eat well for the duration of their contract. Most students still need to track their spending to ensure they stay on track.

Budget Tracking Tools

Every resident has different eating habits. Estimate your spend per day and per meal to stay on track.

Calculate Your Spend

Sample Menu Plans

At UBC Food Services, we do our utmost to communicate information about allergens to our customers.
Coming Soon!

Budget-Friendly Eating Tips

Eating made easy! Tips to help you stay healthy and on-budget all year long.
Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions



Budget Planning

The Residence Meal Plan is designed to feed the majority of residents for their full contract term. However, as every student has different eating habits and tastes, it is important to track spending to ensure a healthy diet all term long.

Your meal plan contract runs for 227 days, but we know you won’t eat every meal with us. You may leave for a few long weekends, take a vacation during reading week, or leave campus before the last scheduled day of exams. Plus, you may eat fewer meals some days, snack in your room sometimes, and eat occasional meals off campus.

Below is a sample schedule for a student who leaves campus occasionally on weekends and holidays. Another resource is our handy budget calculator, which can give you a rough idea how much you can spend each day with Residence Dollars.

Taylor’s Average Weekly Meal Schedule

Taylor plans to go home for Thanksgiving and Easter, go on a few weekend ski trips with friends, and take a holiday over Reading Week. Taylor will also stay on campus until the very last day of exams both terms.

During an average week, Taylor will eat brunch on Saturdays (instead of both breakfast and lunch) and eat a few meals outside of their meal plan. Per week, this works out to:

  • 14 meals in Residence Dining Rooms
  • 4.5 meals at UBC Food Services and Campus Partners
  • 1.5 meals outside of Meal Plan

Out of the 227-day contract, Taylor will be away:

  • 6 days for Thanksgiving and Easter
  • 6 days for three weekend ski trips
  • 8 days for Reading Week

Total Days Taylor dines on campus: 207 days (29.6 weeks)

Taylor’s Dining Dollars Budget:

Weekly Meals Budget Per Week Budget Per Meal
Residence Dollars 14 $102.20 $7.30*
Flex Dollars 4.5 $37.80 $8.40**
Total 18.5 $140  —

* Includes 25% savings for purchases in residence dining rooms (therefore $9.70 total retail price per meal).
** Does not include 5% savings for purchases made at most UBC Food Services locations.

Dietary and Nutrition Support

Melissa Baker, Nutrition and Wellness Manager and Registered Dietitian, is available to discuss food and health concerns with students in residence. Topics can range from vegan and vegetarian diets, to healthy eating on a budget, to managing food allergies or health conditions.

Melissa is a champion of healthy choices and helps students learn more about the importance of nutrition through events, nutritional campaigns, group chats, and one-on-one meetings. Visit the nutrition page to learn more.

Budget-Friendly (and Healthy) Eating Tips

Tips for staying healthy and on budget:

  • Figure out your daily spend or spend per meal and track your spending online.
  • Eat in residence dining rooms to access the healthiest options at the lowest prices. Use your Flex Dollars sparingly.
  • Avoid all bottled beverages. Stick with water – it’s free and better for you.
  • Choose affordable and sustainable plant-based proteins like beans and tofu.
  • Eat whole fruits for fibre, vitamins and long-term energy.
  • Eat legumes and non-cream based soups, stews, and chilies.
  • Choose whole grain options to get more fibre, iron and b-vitamins.
  • Reduce salt by avoiding soy sauce and requesting minimal sauce or sauces on the side.
  • Skip the mayo at the sandwich station. Opt for guacamole, tzatziki or hummus instead.
  • Grab a hardboiled egg or two at breakfast for an inexpensive protein. Skip the muffins and loaves.
  • Harvest has some great healthy options for grab and go – blueberry chia pudding, veggie cups with housemade yogurt dip, whole wheat sandwiches and salads.
  • In a rush? Grab a smoothie to go from the dining room or Hero. They are made with whole food ingredients and have no added sugar.
  • Get lunch to go from the dining room to stretch your dining dollars.
  • Add an avocado to your meal to add heathy fats and fibre instead of a more expensive side dish.
  • Save money on dessert and opt for a healthy snack like fruit and nuts instead!

For more resources and information about eating well on campus, visit Melissa’s Kitchen Corner blog.

Sample Menu Plans
Coming soon!
Lost or Stolen UBCcard

Lost or stolen UBCcards must be deactivated and reported immediately.

  1. Freeze your Residence Meal Plan by deactivating it through the SHHS Online Service Centre.
  2. Report your lost/stolen UBCcard through the UBC Carding Office.
  3. Get a replacement card from the UBC Carding Office.
  4. Visit a UBC Food Services location on campus and ask the cashier to swipe your new card—this puts your new UBC Card information on the system.
  5. Reactivate your Residence Meal Plan through the SHHS Online Service Centre.

UBC Food Services assumes no responsibility for fraudulent use of your UBCcard before your account is deactivated and your lost/stolen card is reported to the UBC Carding Office.

Adding more Dining Dollars

Running low on Meal Plan Dollars? Top up easily through the SHHS Online Service Centre or visit the SHHS Main Office.

Only Flex Dollars can be topped up. If you run out of Residence Dollars, your Flex Dollars will be used as Residence Dollars when you purchase items in the residence dining rooms, and you will continue to receive a 25% discount.

Refunds, Transfers & Cancellations

Please refer to your Residence Contract for full information. For the 2016-2017 refund forms, please click here.

Residence Dollars

Unused Residence Dollars are automatically transferred to a Carryover Plan in early May, at no charge. Students may request unused Residence Dollars be transferred to a UBC Food Services Gift card, at no charge, by submitting the form by the deadline provided.

Flex Dollars

Unused Flex Dollars are automatically transferred to a UBCcard Plan in early May, at no charge. Students may request a refund of Flex Dollars by submitting the form by the deadline provided. For refunds, a $25 adminstration fee will be deducted from the balance.

Residence Meal Plan Cancellation

Cancellation of the Residence Contract is also a cancellation of the Residence Meal Plan. Residents cannot cancel or opt out of the Residence Meal Plan alone. Policies and procedures are explained in your Residence Contract.

UBC Food Services Cost Breakdown


UBC Food Services Financial Breakdown: 2016/2017

*General operating expenses include kitchen, serving supplies and small equipment, cleaning and office supplies, licenses, insurance, IT, POS systems, bank charges, customs/freight, and more.