where to eat

GW's Dining Plan: An Overview

For academic year 2021-22 at the George Washington University, students have access to our dining partner network consisting of more than 90+ food and grocery locations, easily accessible on- or near-campus. Our off-campus dining partners can be found in the surrounding neighborhoods.

With options ranging from table service to delivery along with food trucks featuring regional cuisines and grocery stores, you have easy access to food that meets your tastes and needs. Designed to accommodate busy schedules, you can eat when and where it's the most convenient. This program offers variety and freedom of choice to meet student's dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, kosher, Halal, gluten-free options and more.

Our students can take advantage of Meal Deals, promotions and specials available at select GWorld dining partner locations. GW's dining plan can also be used to purchase groceries and snacks so you can cook and prepare meals for yourself or with friends.

2021-22 Dining Plan Options

A GW Dining Plan is Required for Undergraduate Students Living On-Campus
Undergraduate students living in GW residence halls will be assigned a Dining Plan based upon the availability of a kitchen in a student's housing assignment. All undergraduate students living in a GW residence hall are required to participate in the Dining Plan.  

2021-22 Academic Year Dining Plan Rates for Residential Students: 

  • Residents Without a Kitchen: $5,038/year Dining Cash or $2,519/per semester 

  • Residents With a Kitchen: $3,234/year Dining Cash or $1,617/per semester 

  • Pelham Plan required for Mount Vernon Residents: $5,200/year or $2,600/per semester.
    • The Pelham plan includes 112 Block of Meals at the Mount Vernon Campus Pelham Commons. Up to 3 meal exchanges per week can be used at Higher Grounds Cafe or Pelham Late night.
    • In addition to the meal swipes, $1,620 Dining Cash will be added onto the student’s GWorld card at the beginning of each semester to be used at any participating GWorld Partner.
    • The Mount Vernon resident Pelham Plan is also a Dining Plan option for Foggy Bottom residential students.

How the Residential Dining Plan Works

GW’s Dining Plan is in the form of Dining Cash. Dining Cash can be used at more than 90 restaurants, fast-casual locations, food trucks and grocery stores.

The GW Dining Plan represents the amount of Dining Cash that an average student typically uses during the academic year. Any unused funds roll over from semester-to- semester and year-to-year. Having a remaining balance does not decrease the amount of the Dining Plan that will be deposited next semester. A student can add Dining Cash to their GWorld card at any point during the semester through the GET App or by visiting the GWorld Office

Students are encouraged to select the higher rate meal plan if they are concerned that they will not have enough dining cash or if they would prefer to dine more outside of their room during the year. Changes to a residential dining plan must be made online by the student through the Campus Living & Residential Education Housing E-Services portal within the first 2 weeks of the semester.

Dining Program Options for Off-Campus Students, Faculty, and Staff
Off-campus students at any level (ie: undergraduate, graduate, law or medical) have the option of participating in the GW dining program. Faculty and staff may participate as well.

Off-campus students have two options.

  1. Enroll in the residential dining plan for residents with or without a kitchen or the Pelham Plan. To enroll, you must visit the GWorld Office in-person to register and pay.  
  2. Off-campus students can add funds at their discretion via the GET App. This enables you to have a pre-loaded amount of money on your GWorld card to use at participating GWorld dining partners on- or-off campus.  

Faculty and staff can add funds at their discretion via the GET App. This enables you to have a pre-loaded amount of money on your GWorld card to use at participating GWorld dining partners on- or-off campus. During AY 2021-22, pre-loaded dining cash can also be used at Pelham Commons on the Mount Vernon Campus. Breakfast is $8, Lunch is $10, Dinner is $12, and Saturday/Sunday Brunch is $12.



Managing Your Dining Plan 

The GW Dining plan is a declining-balance account. Your meal purchases are made with a swipe of your GWorld Card using your Dining Cash. Colonial Cash is a voluntary option and is accepted at all GW Dining Partners, as well as at partner retail stores, vending machines, laundry machines and more. You can manage either your account online or through the dining-dedicated GET app. Use the GET app to find dining locations, check account balances and add Dining or Colonial Cash funds. In addition, on the GW Mobile App under the Dining tab, you can see the budget breakdown of your Dining Cash. The app automatically suggests a daily and weekly spending allowance based on Dining Cash remaining.  

Dining Cash is used as the primary funds for a meal plan. Read below for more details.

  • Requirement: Dining Cash plans are required (per the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement) for all undergraduate resident students and are the primary funds for GW’s dining plan. Dining plans are billed to the Student Account each semester along with housing and tuition charges. 
  • Plan Levels: Dining Plans are assigned based on whether or not the student lives in a residence with or without a kitchen. Students may purchase a dining plan of higher value, but they can not purchase a less expensive plan. All dining plan changes must be made in person at the GWorld Office within the first 2 weeks of each semester.
  • Deposits: Dining Cash plans are deposited in full at the start of fall and spring semester. Dining Cash is a declining balance account that will count down based on each purchase made. Additional deposits can be made any time during the year. 
  • Permitted Purchases: Dining Cash can be used to purchase food at over 90 Dining partners. These partner locations include restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, vending machines and Mount Vernon on campus dining venues. 
  • Restricted Purchases: Dining Cash cannot be used to make purchases at non-dining GWorld merchants such as the GW Bookstore and Colonial Health Center. Students can add Colonial Cash to make purchases at these GWorld service and retail merchants. Colonial Cash and Dining Cash may not be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or gift cards. GWorld funds can not be used to pay your Student Account (tuition bill).
  • Printing & Laundry Purchases: Dining Cash may be used for campus printing and residence hall laundry facility purchases when a student does not have Colonial Cash available. Please visit the Laundry website for more information.
  • Remaining Balances: Any unused funds left over at the end of term roll over from semester to semester and year to year. Having a remaining balance does not decrease the amount of the Dining plan that will be deposited next semester. 
  • Refunds: Dining Cash is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Per the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement, students waive the right to a refund for any unused GWorld funds while they are a student at GW. Students who withdraw from their housing assignments within the first 4 weeks of the semester (check the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement for specific dates) may be eligible for a prorated housing refund and a refund of unused Dining Cash. Any refund amount will not exceed the Dining Cash Plan assigned for the given semester. Students are not eligible for refunds of GWorld monies left over from previous semesters under any circumstances. 
  • Expiration: Colonial Cash and Dining Cash will not expire unless your account remains inactive (no deposits or charges) for a consecutive 36 month period.
  • Online Account Management: Via GET, an online system and mobile app, students can log on to check their balance, view their transactions, make deposits, make mobile orders from select GWorld merchants, and report their lost card.
  • Savings Opportunities: Students can use Dining Cash to take advantage of meal deals, promotions, specials and discounts available through their dining plans at GWorld locations.
  • Social Media: Follow @GWDining on Twitter, follow @GWDining on Instagram and like us GW Dining on Facebook to stay up to date on Dining partners and specials.
  • Colonial Cash is a voluntary account that can be used in addition to Dining Cash.  
  • It can be used at all GWorld merchant locations, including dining and grocery partners as well as with on-campus and off-campus retail partners, like the campus bookstore, or for services like parking, laundry and printing

Please visit our complete FAQ page to see all the most frequently asked questions about dining at George Washington University. 

Soon, GW to Transform Dining- Coming Fall 2022

As part of ongoing efforts to continually enhance the student experience, the George Washington University is re-envisioning the dining experience, particularly for undergraduate residential students.

GW has selected Chartwells Higher Education, a leader in campus dining, as our new dining partner. Together, we will create a program that best supports our students—focusing on choice, accessibility, affordability, and community building.

Our new approach to dining will be centered around shared tables and dining halls to include:

  • A redesigned dining hall with an all-you-care-to-eat option at Pelham Commons for Mount Vernon residents for fall 2021, and a newly renovated coffee café and convenience store at Ames in spring 2022.
  • New dining halls in Thurston, Shenkman and District House in fall 2022 and new retail options at University Student Center.
  • In fall 2023 more retail options at the University Student Center.

As we introduce new dining spaces around campus, new and incoming students will be phased into an unlimited, all-you-care to eat meal plans, including:

  • In fall 2021, students at Mount Vernon will participate in a hybrid plan that allows for 112 Block of meals for the Fall semester and up to 3 meal exchanges per week for use at Higher Grounds Café or Late Night at Pelham. These students will also receive $1,620 in Dining Cash per semester to use at any participating GWorld Partner.
    • Except for MVC, the meal plan will not change for academic year 2021-22.  
    • Any student, faculty or staff may visit Pelham Commons or Higher Grounds Café at Ames Hall and use their GWorld Dining or Colonial cash, cash, or credit to eat a meal. Breakfast is $8, Lunch is $10, Dinner is $12, and Saturday/Sunday Brunch is $12.


Pelham Commons Menu   Pelham Dining at West Hall Hours  Higher Grounds Cafe at Ames Hall Hours


  • In fall 2022, in addition to Pelham Commons, first- and second-year students will be able to access any of the new dining halls at Thurston, Shenkman or District House as much as they want with their unlimited swipe meal plan.
    • First- and second-year students will also be able to select additional dining cash amounts to their base unlimited meal plan 
    • While the dining halls will be open to all students, only first- and second-year students will be on new unlimited plans.
  • In fall 2023, juniors and seniors will have a choice:  
    • Choose one of the newer unlimited, all-you-care to eat meal plans OR
    • A block-based plan with a certain number of all-you-care to eat meals available each semester.
    • Plans will also be available for off-campus students, faculty, and staff.
  • In future years, even with the focus on the all-you can eat options, students will still have a set-amount of dining dollars for use at the on-or off-campus GWorld dining partners.

For more information about the future of GW Dining, read the GW Today story from August 2021.  Stay tuned for more to come!