Freshman Guide To Mason: Food

Hello! Welcome back or welcome if you’re new. For those of you who don’t know my name is Janell. I am a sophomore Events Management major. I am a Peer Advisor (Off Campus & Engineering Sections), Resident Advisor (I’m in the Park!), and the Director of Programming for the Black Student Alliance (BSA). 

This next section of the guide will be focused on food because it’s very important. 
George Mason has three dining halls; Ike’s, Southside and The Globe. We also have a lot of other dining options like Panera and Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ll go over the options we have on campus and pros/cons of each along with some feedback from other Mason students. 


If you are living in President’s Park then you will be closest to this dining hall. It’s open 24 hours. It’s great to come here after parties to grab a bite before you go to sleep. 

Q: Pros of Ike’s:

“Late night is good.”

“My friends and I usually go after we come from parties because it’s always open.” 

Q: Cons of Ike’s:

“It’s always packed.” 


If you are living in the Commons then you will be closest to this dining hall. It closes at 2am. Late night at Southside can be really good but it all depends on the night. Don’t go between 12-2pm because it will be packed. 

Q: Pros of Southside:
“It’s close to some of the freshman dorms.”

“Late night is usually pretty decent. You just gotta be on the lookout for it.”

Q: Cons of Southside: 

“Don’t do it.”

“It gives you the shits.”

The Globe

The Globe isn’t close to any freshman housing unless you’re an international student. The Globe used to be a hotel but it’s since been transformed into housing and a dining hall. It’s very nice but it’s not a short walk.

Q: Pros of The Globe: 

“It’s good sometimes.” 

“They have better food than the other two dining halls.” 

“If you go with a large group of friends it can be really fun.” 

Q: Cons of The Globe: 

“That walk is mad long.” 

Mason Bonus 

When you select your meal plan you will also have to select a bonus amount. This is used for places other than the three main dining halls like Taco Bell or Starbucks. This year (which is new) the bonus money will roll over into the next semester. Previously, if you picked $300 for your bonus you had to spend all of it before the end of the semester. If you only spent $200, that extra $100 would not roll over into your spring semester. So, a lot of people would sit and blow it all at the end because if not it was just lost money. They are finally changing that which is great! 

Q: How much Mason bonus should Freshman get?


“Lmao, $200 because dining hall food sucks.”

“$300 to start. It’ll go by quickly.” 

“At least $200 because it’s going to go by quickly and they’ll get tired of the dining hall food.” 

Mason Money

Mason Money is actual money but it just has Mason thrown in front of it. The best way to explain it is to give an example. When I wanted to go to Kings Dominion the office would only take Mason Money. I had to take money out of my bank account and switch it over to Mason Money in order to buy my ticket. When you go to Starbucks or any other food place they will ask you “Mason Money or bonus?”. Most of the time you will say bonus until it you run out of it. Think of Mason bonus as ‘bonus for food’ and think of Mason Money as ‘money’. You’ll figure it out once you get on campus. *You can use Mason Money for anything but you can only use Mason bonus for food related purchases. 

University Mall 

University Mall is across the street from Mason. You can walk there but most people just take the shuttle. The Mall has a lot of offer. Just to name a few:

•University Mall Movie Theater 

-It’s one of those theaters that only has a few movies showing and is really cheap. It’s something really simple to do on a boring night. You can get a combo for $20 that includes two movie tickets, two medium sodas and one large popcorn. That’s so cheap! If y’all need a date idea then here you go. (Inserts wink emoji)

The link:

•McDonald’s [Burgers & Fries] 

•Sunoco Gas Station 

•Tropical Smoothie [Smoothies & Healthy Meals]

•Giant [Grocery Store] 

-It’s only a few months old and it’s very nice. Mason students also get a discount! 

•Brion’s Grille [Burgers & Beer]

•Dunkin’ Donuts [Donuts & Coffee] 

•*Gathering Grounds Cafe

-A new business right at University Mall! “The biggest thing about our cafe is the organic specialty coffee that we serve and sell. It comes from a company named Cafe Kreyol. Breakfast is served all day, all pastries and sandwiches are fresh and baked the day of purchase. They are beginning to sell gelato in the coming week and they also serve nitro, mimosas, beer locally brewed in DC and we will have live music on the outdoor patio in the near future.” – The Gathering Grounds Cafe Twitter Team 

Places To Eat On Campus 

Located in the Johnson Center
•Express [Convenience Store]

•Freshens [Smoothies & Healthy Snacks]

•IndAroma [Authentic Indian Food]

•Red, Hot & Blue BBQ Grill [BBQ, Chicken & Sides]

•Starbucks [Coffee & Pastries]

•Panera Bread [Sandwiches, Drinks, Soups] 

•Blaze Pizza (NEW FALL 2017) [Pizza]

•Steak & Shake (NEW FALL 2017) [Steak burgers & milkshakes]

•Garbanzo (NEW FALL 2017) [Mediterranean Food] 

•Star Ginger (NEW FALL 2017) [Asian Food] 

Located below Blue Ridge:

•One Stop Patriot Shop [Convenient Store]

Located below Tidewater

•Dunkin’ Donuts [Donuts & Coffee] 

Located in the HUB

•Wing Zone [Wings, Wedges, Coleslaw] 

Located in the Engineering Building:

•Einstein Bros Bagels [Bagels & Coffee]

Located in Innovation Hall:

•Peet’s Coffee [Coffee & Pastries]

Located beside Merten Hall:

•Einstein Bros Bagels [Bagels & Coffee]

•Manhattan Pizza [Pizza] 

•Panda Express [Chinese Food] 

Located in Northern Neck:

•Starbucks [Coffee & Pastries]  

Located in the RAC (Recreational Athletic Center):

•Freshens [Smoothies & Healthy Snacks]

Located below Rogers Hall:

•Subway [Subs]

•Second Stop Patriot Shop [Convenience Store]

Located in SUB 1 (Student Union Building):

•Chick-Fil-A [Chicken & Lemonade]

•Rathskeller [Restaurant/Sports Bar]

•Simply To Go [Sandwiches] 

-Instead of going to the dining hall you can go here and get a meal which includes: a sandwich or salad, a side or chips, drink and a dessert. You can only use a meal swipe here once per day but it’s nice to have this option instead of going to Ike’s for all three meals. It’s only open from 10:30am-3pm but it’s a great healthy option! 

•Taco Bell [Tacos & Baja Blasts]

Located inside Fenwick Library:

•Argo Tea [Signature Teas and Beverages]

To learn more about these dining options go here:

Q: What’s your favorite non-dining hall place to eat on campus?
“On campus my favorite thing to eat is sleep.”


“Panera. I rarely went to Panera back home but I go all the time at school.”


“Blaze Pizza. We have one in my area and I’m ready for it to come on campus. It’s really good.” 

Mason dining is hiring for the new fall 2017 locations! If you want to work during the semester then I suggest trying to find a job quickly. Here’s one of many. 

I hope this post helped answer any questions about the food options we have on campus. You’re going to get tired of the dining halls very quickly but that’s why we have so many other food options. They will be your best friends. Be on the lookout for the next section! If you have any thoughts on what the next post should be on find me on my social media and tell me or if you have any general questions! 

Follow my Social Media

•Twitter – Janell_00

•Instagram – sweet_tooth00

•Snapchat – sweettooth00

Follow Mason Dining

•Facebook – /masondining

•Twitter – @mason_dining

•Instagram – mason_dining 

•Snapchat – mason_dining

Follow University Mall

•Facebook – @worldsbestpopcorn 

Follow Gathering Grounds Cafe 

•Twitter – ggcfairfax 

•Website –


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