Simren Khan ’26 and Abby Gustafson ’26
Like many other students at the Claremont Colleges, we take brunch very seriously. After assessing the options at many different campuses’ dining halls, we have reached our conclusions on where students should dine on the weekends. Additionally, we created a cheat-sheet to brunch at the 5Cs. Our rankings are separated into five categories: seating situation, variety of each menu, general taste, wait time, and ambiance.
Collins: Fortunately, one of the greatest things about Collins was that it had essentially no wait time, even for the omelet bar, which at other dining halls take quite a long time. Unfortunately, this was where the good things about Collins ended. The ambiance of Collins alone made us never want to return. While there is a good amount of variety in the food options at Collins, many seem to be very basic, and nothing stands out. Aside from the banana pancakes, many options could be found at neighboring dining halls. Our favorites at Collins were the banana pancakes and omelets, but the smoothies, hashbrowns, and eggs were lacking. Our final ranking left Collins at a 6/10.
McConnell: While the classic Pitzer orange adorning the walls of McConnell can be hard to look at, we found McConnell to exceed our expectations. Not only is there a large variety of breakfast options, but the food itself is truly delicious. The omelet bar, pastry selection, and general hot section were the major highlights. However, the M&M pancakes stole the show! They have the perfect ratio of M&M to pancake, making them truly delicious. We also enjoyed the juice bar because of the variety of fresh juices and smoothies available. The seating in McConnell can sometimes be stressful because of how busy it gets, but for the most part, finding seating isn’t too difficult. One of the most important factors for our ratings was waiting time, so being able to get all of our food under 10 minutes was a big plus. McConnell is the place to go if you’re looking for some staple breakfast options. For these reasons, we think McConnell deserves a 9/10 in our ranking.
Malott: Malott exceeded all expectations regarding taste, variety, seating, and ambiance. The acai bowls on Saturdays attract many students across all campuses, making wait times and lines exceptionally long. There are plenty of traditional breakfast options as well as vegetarian options, such as tofu scramble and meatless chicken. We noticed that pancakes and waffles are a staple at all of the dining halls, but the berries, whipped cream, and other delicious toppings make Malott stand out. Malott also provides ample seating, both indoor and outdoor. Our favorite spot to sit is in Seal Court, where there are always friends to sit with and beautiful scenery around us. We may have been biased toward Malott as Scrippsies, but the 8/10 ranking speaks for itself.
Hoch: The Hoch gave us a great start to our Saturday. We appreciated more than just the food. Like many other dining halls, they have an omelet bar with a wide variety of toppings. The omelets are not where the variety stops — they also boast a large selection of pastries and donuts. The layout of the Hoch provides students with a lot of open space, meaning there were short lines and areas were not congested. You will never be searching for an open seat at Hoch in the morning, and when you sit down, the warm sun from the large windows will set the perfect aesthetic for your brunch. If you are a coffee person, you will have many options to choose from with the coffee machine which makes lattes, mochas, espresso, and more. The pancakes, waffles, hash browns, and donuts were the table’s favorites, although there truly is something for everyone at the Hoch, awarding it a ranking of 8.5/10.
Frank: Frank only being open on Sundays may be why we had to fight to get a table. While the food was scrumptious, the struggle to find a table was not. We loved the bagels with fresh locks and the plentiful sushi options. The outdoor omelet bar was a nice surprise, creating a fun environment and we loved eating outside in the sun. Another plus was that the wait times weren’t as bad as some of the other dining halls. Overall, Frank is a great option for a Sunday brunch! For these reasons, it ranked at 7.5/10.
Frary: Frary, on the other hand, had a different atmosphere entirely. While the building was beautiful, we found it difficult to find a spot among the long tables, which was not a challenge we wanted to take up on a weekend morning. The star of the morning were the different types of pancakes and french toast options, along with the typical omelet bar. There were plenty of vegetarian options amongst the mainline breakfast, and our only complaint for Frary was the breakfast hours, as we needed to prepare to make it there before it closed at 10 am. Therefore, Frary deserved the ranking of 6/10.
While we may face some backlash from our ratings, we see this to be our civic duty for The Claremont Colleges, and to lie in our ratings would be a disservice to our community. We were incredibly pleased with the variety of options at every dining hall and the workers’ kindness at each college. Our numerical rankings are listed below, and each category represents a factor that we thought influenced our brunch experience. Each category represents 2 points out of 10.
Ranking per section:
Malott: Great 2/2
Image Source: Aanji Sin ’24