GWU Dining – All of Your Questions Answered

Knowing where to grab your next meal isn’t a usual concern for most incoming college students, but it quickly becomes one while adjusting to life at college.

While most first or second-year students opt for an on-campus meal plan to help with the transition to college, even some third and fourth-year students find that meal plans are a convenient, cost-effective way to plan meals while avoiding the hassle and expense of grocery shopping and cooking. To help students know what to expect from the meal plan offerings at George Washington University, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about dining options at GWU. 

What are the meal plan options at George Washington University?

There are seven different meal plans offered at George Washington University. The selections for an individual student vary by year in school and the type of housing selected for the school year. Most meal plans include a mix of allocated meals in the dining halls plus a debit account balance that can be used for food purchases at other on-campus restaurants and retailers. 

Here’s an overview of the terminology found within the meal plans at GWU:

  • Meal Swipes
    • Unlimited per-meal swipe in one of the dining halls on-campus
    • Valid for meals in one of the dining halls and limited on-campus restaurants
  • Dining Dollars
    • Functions like a prepaid debit account with withdraws for each meal purchase
    • An account can be reloaded anytime, but most plans include a starting balance.
  • Block Plans
    • Allow for a set number of meals (120-175) per semester in the dining hall
    • Flexible option for students who don’t plan to eat all of their meals on-campus
    • Requires tracking for meal planning throughout the semester
    • Usually has a $1 cash to $1 Dining Dollar ratio

How much are meal plans at GWU?

Meal plans with unlimited swipes in the dining halls range from $2,700 – $3,100 per semester for the upcoming spring 2023 session. These are the most popular plans for students living in the residence halls who plan to take all their meals in the dining halls with some funds available for restaurants that accept Dining Dollars. Students who are further along in college tend to opt for Block Plans, where some meals are taken in the dining halls but supplemented with cooking or eating off-campus. 

The meals plans available for the upcoming Spring 2023 semester and the related costs of each plan are as follows:

1st – 4th Year Residential Meal Plans

  • Unlimited + $100
    • $2,700 per semester
    • Unlimited dining hall meals
    • $100 Dining Dollars
  • Unlimited + $250
    • $2,830 per semester
    • Unlimited dining hall meals
    • $250 Dining Dollars
  • Unlimited + $500
    • $3,100 per semester
    • Unlimited dining hall meals
    • $500 Dining Dollars

2nd – 4th Year and Graduate Meal Plans

  • Block 120
    • $2,000 per semester
    • 120 meal swipes per semester
    • $600 Dining Dollars
  • Block 150
    • $2,100 per semester
    • 150 meal swipes per semester
    • $500 Dining Dollars
  • Block 175
    • $2,200 per semester
    • 175 meal swipes per semester
    • $400 Dining Dollars

3rd – 4th Years in Residence Halls and Commuters

  • Legacy Base Plan
    • $1,670 per semester
    • $1,670 Dining Dollars

There are four dining halls at George Washington University for cafeteria-style dining with meal plan swipes.

Can you change your meal plan during the semester at GWU?

All GWU undergraduate students living in residence halls must have a meal plan as part of their housing agreement with the university. While changes are allowed, GWU only allows a small window of time for students to change a meal plan once selected. Since GWU Dining is changing meal plans and dining options, students only had until September 9th to change their meal plans for the 2022-2023 school year. This window may change in the years ahead as the university defines its new dining program. 

Where are the dining halls at George Washington University?

There are four dining halls at George Washington University for cafeteria-style dining with meal plan swipes. Three dining halls are located on the Foggy Bottom campus, and one is on the Mount Vernon campus. Students can use Dining Dollars at these locations if they have a Block or Legacy Plan without unlimited meal swipes. 

The dining halls available for the 2022-2023 school year are:

  1. Thurston
    • Foggy Bottom campus
    • 1900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20052
    • The cafeteria-style all-you-care-to-eat dining hall
  2. Shenkman
    • Foggy Bottom campus
    • 616 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20052
    • The cafeteria-style all-you-care-to-eat dining hall
  3. District House
    • Foggy Bottom campus
    • 2121 H St NW, Washington, DC 20052
    • Concept dining hall with five different food concepts to choose from
  4. Pelham Commons
    • Mount Vernon campus
    • 2100 Foxhall Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007
    • The cafeteria-style all-you-care-to-eat dining hall

Are off-campus restaurants included in the GWU meal plan?

George Washington University Dining manages a GWorld Dining Partnerships program that allows students to use their Dining Dollars at more than 80 nearby restaurants and quick-service food shops near campus. The list of available GWorld partners is extensive, and students are advised to check the updated map on the GW Dining website for the most up-to-date list of restaurants and shops. The list includes mainstays like Roti, Sweetgreen, Starbucks, Chipotle, and Baja Fresh, as well as markets like Duke’s Grocery and convenience stores like 7-11, CVS, and Wawa. 

What are the closest grocery stores to GWU?

The closest full-service grocery stores to the GWU campus in Foggy Bottom are the Market at Columbia Plaza and Whole Foods Market. The Market at Columbia Plaza is located at 516 23rd St NW near Virginia Ave and 23rd. Whole Foods Market is located at 2201 I St NW, just a block from the Foggy Bottom Metro station at I Street and 22nd. 

Find your next home at George Washington University

With the start of 2023 right around the corner, now’s the time to secure your off-campus housing for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. For those looking for a convenient off-campus option close to the GWU campus, there’s no better choice than Varsity on K. 

Varsity on K offers quick access to the George Washington University campus and is a prime destination for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students looking for off-campus housing. Located at 950 24th St NW, Varsity on K is just three blocks from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station and the north side of the George Washington University campus. It is within walking distance of most academic buildings. 

Varsity on K offers modern studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments in a historic building that reflects the charm of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. All leases at Varsity on K are joint-and-several, so all unit residents will be on the same lease agreement with terms that align with the start date for the fall semester. For information about pricing and availability, contact the Varsity on K team at (866) 656-3764.