Exploring the Flex Meal Plan- Quick Late-Night Bites at the Ivy


The Ivy is often an overlooked and forgotten area in The Underground. While many students like to work in The Underground during the afternoon, in between classes, or stop by to order a coffee in The Elm, many don’t realize that The Underground is also home to The Ivy. The Ivy is an offshoot of The Elm and provides late-night snacks. Like The Elm, students can only purchase items in The Ivy with credit cards, Eli bucks, and dining points. Fortunately, with the Flex meal plan, I can use my dining points to satisfy my late-night cravings.

At 5 pm, The Ivy opens and begins to whip up delicious savory bites for students to share. Even though The Underground slowly empties around dinnertime as students tend to get dinners in Yale’s dining halls, some students go to The Ivy instead of grabbing dinner in the dining halls due to convenience and time constraints. In my opinion, The Underground is a great study spot at night since I have easy access to food for my study sessions and can talk freely with my friends. After many nights working on problem sets and studying for exams with friends, I’ve slowly made my way through The Ivy’s menu.

Since carbs are the best type of late-night snack, I had to start my review with fries. At The Ivy, students can order either plain fries, loaded Greek fries, or chili fries. While the ratings depend on your preferences, all the fries are fried to perfection and are a perfect conduit to the toppings or just ketchup and ranch.

chili firesgreek fries
chili fries (left) and greek fries (right)

Going along with the theme of fried foods, another of my favorite items in The Ivy is chicken bites. Even though they are deep-fried as well, I tell myself they are healthy simply because chickens are a great source of protein. Like the fries, students can opt for either plain crispy chicken bites or order different flavors, such as honey, Thai peanut, and gochujang.

thai peanut chickenhoney chicken
thai peanut (left) and honey (right) chicken bites

When I am not craving fried food (shocker), I love ordering the whipped ricotta at The Ivy. Even though it is one of the simpler foods offered at The Ivy, the flavor profile of the whipped ricotta is surprisingly complex. Besides a creamy base of ricotta cheese, the dish is topped with honey, olive oil, pistachios, and pepper flakes. Paired with slices of perfectly toasted bread, it is no wonder why the whipped ricotta is my most frequently ordered item at The Ivy.

whipped ricotta
a moment for the whipped ricotta

Even though I do not regularly crave tacos or sliders, I must admit that the chicken tacos and beef sliders are also quite good. With a side of fries, these make for a perfect dinner whenever I am short on time or do not feel like getting dinner in the dining hall. Although I have not tried all of the items at The Ivy, considering how delicious the food in The Ivy has been, I am confident that I’ll enjoy the rest of the menu items just as much as the ones I’ve tried.