At Sidney you can decide on a daily basis whether to visit Hall for a tasty meal, or cook for yourself.

Whether it's to enjoy breakfast, lunch, supper - or all three! - many of our students come along to Hall to eat on a daily basis.

Sidney's award-winning Catering Department is renowned for their excellent standards of catering with varied seasonal menus, locally-sourced produce, and value for money. You'll always find options for healthy eating, a grab and go meal, or great home comfort foods like lasagne, toad in the hole, or a hearty Sunday roast.

Sidney will soon be opening a brand new cafeteria facility in College for our community to enjoy.

A key element of the collegial experience is being together, especially through dining, and students are encouraged to come into College to do so as often as possible to participate in College life through communal eating.

Many Cambridge Colleges enjoy a traditional and popular part of College life known as Formal Hall. Formal Hall dining takes place three times a week at Sidney, and students can bring guests along and enjoy a three-course meal served in our beautiful rococo Dining Hall.

Our Buttery Cafeteria serves a variety of hot and cold options for breakfast, lunch, and supper throughout the week.

Take a look at our typical opening times below, along with some other useful information about eating in Sidney.

During term-time
Meal type Days available Times available
Breakfast Monday to Friday 8.00am - 9.00am
Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11.00am - 1.30pm
Lunch Monday to Friday 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Supper Monday to Sunday 5.45pm - 6.30pm

Formal Hall is held throughout the Term on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evenings. Those not attending can enjoy cafeteria supper between 5.45pm - 6.30pm. In the event that Formal Hall is not running, supper will be available at the usual time.

Outside term-time

Supper is not usually available during the vacation period, although breakfast and lunch is normally served Monday to Friday where possible.


Meals can be purchased using your College card, and the College Bill (sent to students at the beginning of each term) will include any food purchased during the previous term.

You can expect an average main meal in Sidney to cost the following:

Breakfast – £2.50

Lunch – £3.50

Dinner – £3.50

Catering charge

Catering charges underline the principles upon which the Collegiate University is based. A key element of the collegial experience is being together, especially through dining, and students are encouraged to participate in College life through communal eating.

The College objective on catering charges is both to encourage students to participate in College life by communal eating, and to ensure that it remains viable for the College to provide breakfasts, lunches, suppers and dinners.

The College's Minimum Meal Charge (MMC) is a termly pre-paid catering charge that encourages the use of the College’s shared catering facilities. Students will receive a termly dining credit which students may use at any stage during the academic year. Any unspent credit will be carried over to the next term, but students are encouraged to use this before the end of the academic year as any unspent credit at this stage will be removed.

Up-to-date charges for undergraduates can be found on our Finance and funding page. Postgraduates can access this information in the Postgraduate Handbook. It is worth noting that there are a number of meals that students do not pay for directly over their time in College (eg Matriculation, Freshers’ Buffet, Graduation, Sidney Greats lectures and more).

Special dietary requirements

Particular dietary needs can usually always be accommodated for on request.

The College cannot take responsibility for food choices made by students or guests suffering from severe allergies, or who have restricted dietary needs, if the catering staff are not informed in advance.

Our friendly Catering team are always very happy to answer any questions you might have about the food at Sidney.