UNH Dairy Bar

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Durham Train Station


Green Story

The UNH Dairy Bar has always been a Durham staple. Whether you’ve stopped in on a hot summer day for an always overflowing cone of delicious ice cream, or if you’ve enjoyed one of their super fast, super filling, and super cheap meals, anyone who has frequented the campus can probably tout a yummy memory of the little brick building on the railroad tracks.

But when UNH Dining Services took over the Dairy Bar in 2008, they wanted to do something to shine a brighter light on the stalwart community landmark. Among other things, they chose to use sustainability as a key focus of how they built the framework for the new-and-improved campus eatery.

So far the road to green has been nothing if not a team effort: Rick MacDonald, Assistant Director of University Hospitality Services, along with Director of Dining Jon Plodzik, and Director of Culinary Services Ralph Coughenour, have focused their efforts on the success of UNH Dining's Local Harvest Initiave, which brings local food into three student-dining halls and retail locations. As a result, the Dairy Bar now sources all of their chicken from Legacy Farms in Barrington, NH; gets their cage and hormone-free eggs from Pete and Gerry's in Monroe; their fair trade and organic coffee from NH Coffee Roasters in Dover; organic granola from Grandy Oats from Brownfield, Maine; Organic and natural yogurt from Stoneyfield Farms in Londonderry; and, last but not least, their famous ice cream comes from Gifford's in Maine.

According to Rick MacDonald, this makes the UNH Dairy Bar one of the most local-intensive eateries anywhere in the state. "Seventy-five percent of our food comes from local sources and that is one of the chief ways that we’re lessening our carbon footprint,” says MacDonald.

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Report Card Score

What makes us green?

  • 75% of food is sourced locally
  • Energy Star rated appliances
  • Organic Cotton Uniforms
  • 90% of waste is composted and recycled
  • Uses a solar powered compacter to cut down on fuel consumption
  • Uses all compostable take-out silverware and containers
  • Counter tops are made from recycled glass
  • Uses bicycles and electric car to get around campus
  • Mug Club program encourages students to reuse instead of dispose
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