Here at Reading we farm food, we research food, we teach food, we invent food and we make food. 

We’re food experts and are passionate about everything from farm to fork.

And, when it comes to catering, we’re a country mile ahead of every other university in the UK.

Nutritious and Delicious.

Our extensive menus have been expertly devised to be both nutritious and delicious with a plant based option always available.

It’s proven that a healthy and balanced diet can improve academic achievement. And we ensure our menus never stay the same – to keep eating just as interesting as learning. 

We prepare every meal from fresh ingredients, avoiding frozen. And many of those ingredients are sourced from sustainable producers – which even includes beef and produce from our very own farms. We also shop as locally as possible, to keep our carbon footprint small.

Restaurant Grade Chefs

All of our chefs are professional. 

They understand tastes and fusions and are committed to creating and serving interesting meals in the healthiest ways possible – as well as putting their own spins on classic dishes.

They also care about who they are feeding – all ingredients, calories, allergens and dietary requirements are considered, listed and easily available online for every dish.

What’s more, they all work in “Remarkable kitchens at a remarkable University”, as the BBC described us in a recent documentary. 

Introducing Clever Cuisine

Not only is the food we cook for students revolutionary, but so is the way they can eat and pay for it.

Clever Cuisine is our very own meal plan system and another first for a UK university. 

Students can eat what they want, where they want and when they want. With discounts of up to 75% including free drinks, Clever Cuisine is inclusive for all students living in catered accommodation and available to all other students by either term or year. It’s a flexible way to eat that allows students to concentrate on their studies and enjoy University life to the full. Without the hassle of shopping, cooking and washing up.

90% of students using Clever Cuisine say it makes their life easier and 79% say it has a positive impact on their student experience.  

The Square tables and students dining

Places To Eat

Lectures and events happen all over our two campuses, Clever Cuisine means students can eat wherever University life takes them. It’s available in 13 different eateries and cafes scattered over halls and our Whiteknights and London Road campuses. 

How it Works.

It couldn’t be simpler

Meal swipes and/or cash is automatically added to Campus Cards every Saturday morning and is immediately available to spend.

Meal swipes can be exchanged for a meal at any one of our main eateries – Eat at the Square, Park Eat, Wantage, St Patricks, Park House and the Dairy. Free cash is for use at cafes which are dotted around our campuses.

Clever Cuisine is available in three different plan options:

Silver (entry-level) Plan.

This offers three meal swipes and five hot drinks each week which can be used at any time. This plan operates as a block plan, meaning credits can keep rolling over until the end of the academic year.

Gold Plan.

Popular with self-catered students, this plan is designed to cover the main meal of the day. It consists of seven meal swipes per week, free cash to spend on smaller items all over campus as well as unlimited hot drinks.

Platinum Plan.

This is by far the most popular plan and used by around 65% of our Clever Cuisine students. In addition to all the Gold Plan benefits, this plan consists of three meals a day (21 meal swipes per week) and includes a University cup for the unlimited soft drinks. This plan is inclusive with rooms rented in Dunsden Crescent, Wantage and Windsor Halls.

Amazing Food at Irresistible Prices.

Our plans offer exceptional value for money for the quality and variety of food that we offer. Cooking similar meals or buying them outside of a Clever Cuisine Plan would be vastly more expensive.

Let’s do a few comparisons:

For less than the price of a fruit salad in Pret (£3.95), a main meal will cost on average of £3.66.

The price of a just one Burger with chips at Honest (£13.50) will easily cover three main meals. Our Platinum Plan works out at just £10.97 per day.

This covers three main meals, including up to two ‘all you can eat’ meals and unlimited hot drinks. No supermarket or any café could ever match that.

The table below will give you all the details and costs that you need.

Compare Plans 2022/23 Clever Cuisine Silver Logo
Weekly Cost£15.00£47.07£76.79
Autumn Term Cost (12 weeks)
Saturday 17 September to Friday 9 December inclusive
Spring Term Cost (11 weeks)
Saturday 7 January to Friday 24 March inclusive
Summer Term Cost (8 weeks)
Saturday 15 April to Friday 9 June inclusive
Annual Cost (31 weeks)£465£1,459.17£2,380.49
How many meal swipes do I get?*3721
How much free cash do I get?n/a£4.72£4.76
How many drinks do I get?**5 Hot DrinksUnlimited Hot DrinksUnlimited Hot Drinks
Free Reusable University Cup
Free Reusable Meal Box
Included in your rent with Wantage, Dunsden Crescent and Windsor Hall rooms
Included in your rent with selected St. Patrick’s and St. George’s Hall rooms
Available to add on to your rent in Self-Catered Halls when applying to Halls
Huge savings against advertised prices of up to 75%
Rolling Meal Swipes
Free Birthday Pizza, 15% off hot drinks & 5% off other ready to eat food at participating Cafes with free cash
*Park House and the Dairy operate as pubs and exclusions may apply to menus e.g. Rump Steak. We try our very best to keep these to an absolute minimum but are sometimes needed to keep prices competitive. **hot drinks redeemable at locations with Frank the Barista Coffee Machines with a RFID-enabled reusable University Cup costing £5. Looking for 2023/24? Prices are not currently set but use the following weekly prices as a guide only £15.75 for Silver, £49.43 for Gold and £80.63 for Platinum based on a 5% increase. Prices will be published once set, typically in January.

So there it is.

Amazing nutritious food, cooked by professional chefs, using only the freshest of ingredients and hand made every day. 

And it’s all available for a cost that’s, as you might say, as cheap as chips.

Bon appétit.


Our Clever Cuisine team are available to help, contact us below.