At Davidson College, we’re committed to making the dining experience of our customers, including those with food allergies, special dietary needs, or food preferences, a great one! 

We will provide students with the tools and information needed to make good nutritional choices. Students will actively participate in the management of their diet and food needs.

Our Registered Dietitian

Students needing any type of dietary guidance are welcome to schedule a private consultation with our Registered Dietitian. Private consultations may include a tour of the dining locations to identify which foods are safe and a meeting with the chefs or any necessary managers so that you know who to contact with questions. 

Getting Started

Notify Davidson College of your food allergies or dietary needs. 

  • First-year and transfer students, please indicate your food allergies or dietary needs on your  incoming health form
  • Current students, please contact our Registered Dietitian, Elizabeth Allred at or 704-894-3071. 

Things to Know

  • The dining facilities are commercial kitchens where ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, and cross-contact with allergens are possible. It cannot be guaranteed that any food item will be completely free of allergens. 
  • At Vail Commons, ingredient lists are available online and at all serving stations. In order to determine if a food is safe for your consumption, students should refer to the available ingredient lists. 
  • At other Davidson Dining campus locations, ingredient lists are available on request. 
  • Students are welcome to request staff to change gloves and/or utensils. 
  • Canola oil is used to fry foods. All fried foods on campus are susceptible to cross-contamination. If you have severe food allergies or are concerned about cross-contamination, you are advised to avoid fried foods. 
  • The Commons Market, our on-campus convenience store, offers many products that are allergy-friendly. 
  • Vail Commons features our Power Plant station with vegan menu options, a full salad bar, vegetarian entrees and milk alternatives. The Commons Market, Davis Café and Wildcat Den also offer vegan and vegetarian options. 
  • We encourage you to talk to the chefs or managers at any time. They can help you with food and recipe questions.  
  • In certain situations, menu items may need to be prepared exclusively to meet students’ dietary needs. Please contact our Registered Dietitian to review your diet prescription and discuss the procedure for individual, specially prepared meals at Vail Commons. 
  • We train our staff on the importance of safety regarding food allergies.  
  • Students are encouraged to carry any necessary medications with them at all times. Consider informing the friends that you normally dine with about your medical needs and the location of your medications. 

Food Allergens and Intolerances 

Peanut and Tree Nut     

Davidson College is not a nut-free campus. Vail Commons, Davis Café, Wildcat Den, and Much Ado Catering do not use nut ingredients in any cooking production. However, it is possible that ingredients may have trace amounts of nuts due to being processed in facilities that contain nuts. Prepackaged items containing nuts such as sealed peanut butter cups, prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, snack bars, candy, nut mixes and almond milk are found on campus, and students are encouraged to read food labels. We offer Sunbutter as a nut butter alternative. 

Milk and Dairy   

Students are encouraged to refer to ingredient lists to identify dairy in recipes. We offer soy, almond, oat and lactose-free milks on campus.  We also offer a Power Plant station in Vail Commons that is 100% plant-based and thus free of dairy. 

Wheat and Gluten  

While Vail Commons is not a gluten-free facility, it is our largest dining facility on campus and can best accommodate wheat/gluten allergies or intolerances. We have a station at Vail Commons dedicated to serving a menu that is prepared without gluten. Gluten-free breads and cereals are also available. The Davis Café and Wildcat Den offer a select number of menu items free of gluten as well.


Shellfish is found occasionally on a menu, usually in the form of shrimp, and will always be identified on the ingredient list.


Fish is found on menus as a main ingredient, as well as in sushi. Fish is occasionally fried. Because fried foods on campus are susceptible to cross-contamination, you are advised to avoid fried foods if you have a severe fish allergy.  


Eggs are used in some cooking production. Students are encouraged to check the menu and ingredient lists. Our Power Plant station is free of eggs, and we always offer at least one vegan dessert at Vail Commons. 


We use canola oil to fry food and olive or canola in recipe production. Tofu, tempeh and edamame are found on menus. Students with soy allergies are encouraged to check recipe ingredient lists and food labels of processed foods. 

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