Campus Dining

Fairfax, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$27,764 ($9,620)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: GMU students complain so much about our on campus dining but we really have a lot of good options. There are fast food options and many healthy options. Many of my friends from other schools who come visit GMU love our food. There are also like two dining options that are open until 4am (good for after a night of partying).

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: I have not had much experience eating on campus. What I've had, has been good!

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: They have a variety of food, though they could have a few more healthy options. They have an on campus bar which is great!

1 College Junior

Campus Dining: Honestly, it is over priced and definitely not good. It's not even healthy. If it was unhealthy, but good I would be okay, but it's not even good.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Many people use meal plan cards but not all restaurants on campus accept them.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 21st
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 66th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 173rd
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 214th
    Best Quality Food
  • 363rd
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Sharrer
Harrisonburg, Va.
View all previous student authors

The best thing about food at George Mason University is definitely the variety. From fast food giants like Taco Bell and Burger King to Mason’s own bar and restaurant, the Mason Rathskeller, there is no shortage of options. La Patisserie, or "La Pat," which features sandwiches and bagels, is a student favorite, and it's crowded during all three meals of the day. In all, Mason offers 27 dining locations in different buildings around campus, including a brand new dining hall, Southside. This all-you-can-eat, buffet-style dining hall is a campus favorite for students with meal plans. While there are lots of options, students say they quickly get bored of the Johnson Center Food Court and opt to go to Southside, which houses six different specialty food vendors under one roof. Without meal plans, eating on campus can get pretty pricey, so the best option for students living in an apartment with a kitchen is to cook their own meals. There are two on-campus convenience stores, which serve as mini grocery stores for students who opt to cook their own meals.

In addition to the Johnson Center Food Court and Southside, Mason has a Starbucks, which is open 24-hours every day of the week except Friday and Saturday, as well as a hot dog cart and cafes centrally located throughout campus—convenient for grabbing a quick bite on the way to class. Ike’s, located in Presidents Park, is a popularly destination for freshmen. The diner is open every night from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and features a full menu, including student-favorite late-night snack, oreo pie.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$3740 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Freshman must select either a block or traditional meal plan Semester Price 10 Meals - Weekly No Bonus Dollars $1,325 10 Meals - Weekly 100 $1,425 15 Meals - Weekly 100 $1,610 19 Meals - Weekly 100 $1,750 Ultimate* 100 $1,800 Block Plans Bonus Dollars Semester Price Flex 130 - Semester 100 $1,350 Flex 150 - Semester 100 $1,400 Flex 175 - Semester 100 $1,460 Flex 200 - Semester 100 $1,520 Flex 230 - Semester 100 $1,600 Flex 100 - Semester 400 $1,600
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • Freshens
  • La Patisserie
  • Starbucks
  • Sub Connection
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Bagels from La Pat
  • Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit
  • Hash browns from Burger King
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • La Patisserie sandwiches
  • Pasta from Southside
  • Sandwiches from The Rathskeller
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Oreo Pie from Ike's
  • Starbucks pastries
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • Bernie's Delicatessen & Gourmet Market
  • Chili's (11219 Lee Highway)
  • Chipotle (11062 Lee Highway & 5747C Burke Centre Parkway)
  • Cinema Arts Theatres
  • CVS Pharmacy (10390 Willard Way)
  • McDonald's (10645 Braddock Rd.)
  • Noodles & Company
  • Pizza Hut (10378 Willard Way)
  • Saxby's Coffee (10637 Braddock Rd.)
  • Subway (10407 Main St.)
  • University Mall Theatres
Special Options
Even the pickiest eaters should have no trouble finding foods they like on Mason's long list of options. Sangam, in the Johnson Center food court, serves up halal meat and other Indian cuisine, convenient for Muslim students, and Cafe a la Cart, an outside hot-dog stand is perfect for students who need to grab a bite to eat on the way to class. There are unlimited options for vegetarians, who can pick from entrees like veggie chili and grilled vegetable burritos at Southside, or even veggie burgers from Burger King.
Did You Know?
Damon's Grill, a popular franchise that used to be housed in the bottom of Student Union Building I, is now the Mason Rathskeller, or as it is fondly known by students, "The Rat." This popular sports bar and restaurant originally appeared on campus in 1988, but was replaced with the Corner Pocket game room following the opening and popularity of the Johnson Center eateries in 1996. After its reinstatement, the restaurant reclaimed its popularity with sports fans, who can be seen on game nights perched in front of one The Rat's big screens, sipping on the restaurant's on-tap beers.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Burger King
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Fast food, burgers
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Burrito Del Rey
Location: Student Union Building I
Food: Mexican
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Cafe a la Cart
Location: Enterprise Hall
Food: Grab and go snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Location: Student Union Building I
Food: Fast food, chicken sandwiches, fries
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Express General Store
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Staruday-Sunday 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Freshens Smoothie Company
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Smoothies, yogurt
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: President's Park
Food: '50s-style diner
Hours: Daily 9 p.m.-4 a.m.
Jazzman's Cafe
Location: Student Union Building I
Food: Coffee, salads
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
La Patisserie
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Pastries, bagels, sandwiches, salads, coffee
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
La Vincita
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Italian, pizza, pasta
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Mason Rathskeller
Location: Student Union Building I
Food: Sports bar, restaurant
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 3 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.-9 p.m.
Mein Bowl
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Pan-Asian, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
One Stop Patriot Shop
Location: Blue Ridge Building
Food: Convenience store
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
Peet's Coffee & Tea
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Coffee, tea
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Northern Neck
Food: All-you-can-eat buffet-style dining. You name it, Southside probably has it.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Starbucks Coffee
Location: Northern Neck
Food: Coffee, snacks
Hours: Sunday 10 a.m.-Friday 1 a.m. (24 hours), Saturday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
Sub Connection
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Subs
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Taco Bell Express
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Fast food, Mexican
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
World of Greens
Location: Johnson Center Food Court
Food: Mediterranean, vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Student Polls

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 20 responses

  • 16% The Rathskellar
  • 14% Chick fil a
  • 10% Hot Pot (as rumors stated)
  • 10% Einsteins
  • 10% La pat
  • 8% Red, Hot, and Blue
  • 6% Taco Bell
  • 6% Subway
  • 4% Sprouts
  • 4% Southside
  • 4% Panda Express
  • 2% Burger King
  • 2% Gold Rush
  • 2% Manhattan's Pizza
  • 2% Should have a Chipotle!
  • 2% IndAroma

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 160 responses

Very poor
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 16 responses

  • 32% If you don't use all the money then it is wasted.
  • 25% Getting up to go to the dining hall to eat.
  • 14% The hours
  • 11% The selection
  • 11% There are not very many healthy options.
  • 7% Lots of variety, but it can get old.

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 14 responses

  • 30% The Variety!
  • 30% You know how much money you have available.
  • 30% Convenient
  • 9% Nothing

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 16 responses

  • 31% Mein Bowl
  • 27% Indie-Aroma
  • 23% Southside
  • 19% Sub Connection
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