A (slightly biased) Rating of Yale’s Dining Hall Ice Cream

My friends scooping ice cream in TD

Unlike other colleges or universities, Yale has 14 dining halls available for students to eat at during the school year. Although the presence of pizza ovens largely impacts other students’ ranking of the dining halls, to me, the most important factor for dining hall rankings is the available ice cream options.

Overall, the 14 dining halls can be split into three categories based on the number and type of ice cream available: dining halls with two ice cream options, dining halls with four ice cream options, and dining halls with soft-serve or frozen yogurt options.

ice cream at Berkleyice cream at Piersonice cream at TD
Dining halls with 2 ice cream flavors: Berkley, Pierson, Timothy Dwight

ice cream at Davenportice cream at Stilesice cream at Hopperice cream at JE

ice cream at Morseice cream at Sillimanice cream at Trumbull
Dining halls with 4 ice cream flavors: Davenport, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards, Morse, Silliman, Trumbull

soft serve at Branfordsoft serve at Saybrook
Dining halls with oat milk soft serve: Branford and Saybrook

froyo at Ben Frankfroyo at Pauli Murray
Dining halls with frozen yogurt: Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray

A ranking of dining halls based on where I would go for ice cream:

  1. Grace Hopper – close to TD, ice cream is easy to scoop, quiet dining hall
  2. Silliman – ice cream is easy to scoop and consistently has good flavors but can get crowded
  3. Timothy Dwight – sadly has 2 options available but is super convenient :D
  4. Ezra Stiles – kinda far but technically has 8 options available (4 at Morse)
  5. Morse – kinda far but technically has 8 options available (4 at Stiles)
  6. Branford – soft serve machine is next to the desserts, is good if I am craving it
  7. Saybrook – soft serve machine is not as close to the desserts
  8. Trumbull – deceivingly far from TD but I like how it has 4 options
  9. Jonathan Edwards – kinda far for ice cream but my friend Valerie lives here
  10. Benjamin Franklin – frozen yogurt is good but I like oat milk soft serve better
  11. Pauli Murray - frozen yogurt is good but I like oat milk soft serve better
  12. Berkley – overrated in my opinion, too crowded for only 2 ice cream options
  13. Davenport – still too far but at least it has 4 ice cream options
  14. Pierson – way too far for only 2 ice cream options

Although dining halls with two ice cream flavors are not as desirable as dining halls with four ice cream flavors (I even admit this as a TD resident), it is still reassuring to know that there is always ice cream available for me to eat. No matter the dining hall, at least one of the ice cream flavors available will be designated to a non-dairy flavor. Typically, this changes between wild berry sorbet and lemon sorbet. Regardless of the ice cream flavors available or the ease of scooping said ice cream, I will always make room for dessert, especially with the array of toppings available. In fact, across all dining halls, there is always crushed Oreos, graham crackers, sprinkles, and shredded coconut stoked up. You may even find chocolate syrup in your dining hall as well!

Besides serving ice cream in the dining halls, Yale also has soft serve and frozen yogurt options. Although the soft serve and frozen yogurt are not worth the trek from TD, I love having these options available. Whenever I am tired of consuming regular ice cream or just want a change in my routine, I love taking a trek to get some delicious vanilla oat milk soft serve.

Even when there is only chocolate ice cream available in the dining hall, I will always appreciate the abundance of ice cream options available at Yale. Although I have yet to try all the gelato flavors in the Elm, Yale’s café in the Schwarzman Center, I am confident that I’ve consumed all the ice cream flavors that are in rotation in Yale’s dining halls (in the name of science of course).