Campus Dining

Tuition (in-state)
$21,302 ($14,240)
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
Branch Campus Of
Penn State
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2 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There is only one restaurant on campus which is Port Sky and I've heard it's not very good. I feel bad for the students that live on-campus because they are forced to get a meal plan which doesn't even get carried over into the next semester so I consider it a huge waste of money. I usually cook at my apartment or go out and get something to eat.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: I work at the dining hall, and after a while of eating the same food, it gets a little dull.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There is one dining hall. It's gets boring after a while and the options get repetitive. The food is okay. They always have penn state creamery ice cream and that's amazing!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The food and dining options are not terrible but they are not excellent either. The same options are available every day, and there is not a big variety. They are also not open late at night which is a good and bad thing. It is bad if you are hungry later on but it is good that it is not open late so that you do not stress eat while studying.

College Sophomore

Campus Dining: I don't exactly know about the food on campus because I live at my house and commute.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 640th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 664th
    Best Quality Food
  • 761st
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 880th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 1012nd
    Best Late-Night Dining Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Bridgetta Parker
Dumfries, Va.
View all previous student authors

Penn State Altoona has only three places to eat on campus. All students who live on campus are required to get a meal plan because there are no amenities in the dorms to cook meals other than microwaves. The places to get food on campus include Port-Sky Café, Coasters Coffee Bar, and Common Grounds Convenience Store. Port-Sky Café is where people can get hot sandwiches, salad bar items, pizza, made-to-order wraps and sandwiches, coffee, milkshakes, and special items featured on that day's menu. This becomes the main place to eat for most students because it is open until 10 p.m., while the other places close earlier. The prices vary from the standard price for a bag of chips to a fairly higher price for made-to-order items.

Coasters Coffee Bar, named after the roller coasters that once occupied the campus in the early 20th century, offers handmade chocolate chip cookies, fresh salads and sandwiches made that day, made-to-order coffees and teas, bottled drinks, hot soups of the day, and pastries. The coffee bar is located in the Hawthorn classroom building, the newest building on campus, and is very convenient for students on the go from class to class. Coasters accepts cash, LionCash, and meal plan dollars. The Common Grounds Convenience Store offers many regular convenience store items such as packaged pastries and boxed lunch items like Lunchables and do-it-yourself pre-portioned pastas, but there are also fresh salads, fruit, parfaits, bagels, and sandwiches. The store is located in the Slep Student Center and is a great amenity for students who would like to snack on something while studying.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$4900 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
However, meal plans are required for anyone who lives on campus. Anyone else can choose to purchase a meal plan or not.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
Port-Sky Café
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Belgian waffles
  • Peach and blueberry yogurt
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Beef and broccoli stir-fry
  • Cheeseburger panini
  • Honey mustard chicken wrap
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
Various vending machines in the dorms
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • Aldo's Italian Restaurant
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • The Commonplace Coffeehouse
  • Denny's
  • Dougie D's Subs, Pizza & More
  • Eat 'n Park
  • Great China Chinese Restaurant
  • Little Caesars Pizza
  • Lychee Gourmet Chinese
  • Mama Randazzo's Pizzeria 'N' Italian Restaurant
  • Martins Food Market
  • McAbee's Super Subs
  • McDonald's
  • McIntyre's Candies
  • Papa John's Pizza
  • Pizza Hut
  • RJ's Convenience & More
  • Sand S Snack Shop
  • Sheetz
  • Subway
  • Tac-o the Town
  • Tom and Joe's Diner
  • Varsity Café
  • Vocelli Pizza
  • Woody's II
Special Options
At the on-campus dining facilities, there are vegetarian options that include meatless sauces and a salad bar at Port-Sky Café. The choices are fairly limited on an overall basis but on certain days, the vegetarian options are much more extensive.
Did You Know?
Common Grounds used to be a simple coffee shop, but once Coasters Coffee Bar opened, students asked for a place that would provide them with simple things so they wouldn't have to leave campus, which is how Common Grounds became a convenience store.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Coasters Coffee Bar
Location: Hawthorn Classroom and Staff Office Building
Food: Coffee, salad, sandwiches, soup, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Common Grounds Convenience Store
Location: Slep Student Center
Food: Baked goods, convenience store items, salads
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
The Dining Car Downtown
Location: Aaron Building, downtown Altoona
Food: Sandwiches, snacks, sweets, drinks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Port-Sky Café
Location: In front of the two freshman dorms
Food: American, pizza, salad, sandwiches, vegetarian, wraps
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:15 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 21 responses

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