25. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA
Students Living on Campus: 9,031*
Dining Head: Ted Faulkner, director of dining services
Total Enrollment: 31,205
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 20,863
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $58 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $1,812-$1,581/semester
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 1
No. of Retail Outlets: 44
Phone: (540) 231-3933
*Number reflects temporary closing of one building for renovation. Ordinarily, the number would be around 9,300.
Virginia Tech’s campus dining program, which topped the Princeton Review Best Campus Food listing for the third time this year, is based on a flex-based plan holders can use on demand at any time at 36 self-developed, eight nationally branded and one AYCTE facility with eight stations. Flex dollars give users a 50% discount at all locations (except the AYCTE facility where it’s 67%). These collectively generated over seven million transactions last year.
The latest addition is the Burger ’37 gourmet burger station in the Squires Student Center. Also of note is Turner Place, a 35,000-sq.ft., 1,000+ seat multi-level facility with eight food outlets ideally located to capture commuter traffic that opened in fall 2012. The concepts include a Japanese steakhouse serving teppanyaki sit-down meals in the evening (and a sushi bar with chef-side seating during the day).
Dining at VA Tech is scattered among eight buildings across the campus to provide convenience. They range from the AYCTE D2 highlighted by a Brazilian churrascaria carving station, the West End Market a la carte dining emporium with seven display cooking platforms (including a chop house serving steaks and even lobster to order) to three food courts and a specialty coffee shop that roasts its own beans.