If there is one thing I have learned to appreciate since coming to college, it’s good food. Although Mason dining has stepped up it’s game and has great options for us, sometimes we all just need a break from it. However, going out to eat in college isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Between not having a car and working for free at your internship, transportation and funds can be difficult to manage. Luckily for us, Mason has multiple options that make it easier!
1. Use the free campus transportation! Mason offers shuttles to various places around Fairfax, including the metro, 7 days a week. One of my favorite off campus dining places is Fairfax Corner, which has Chipotle, Pinkberry, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, and numerous other restaurants and shops. It’s a great option for a date night when you don’t have a car because, let’s be real, no one really wants to go on a date to Southside (especially if P.F. Chang’s could be an option…) The shuttle also goes to the mall, which not only has a delicious food court but sit-down restaurants as well, like Cheesecake Factory and Champps. Check out the full Mason shuttle schedule at: http://shuttle.gmu.edu/Fall%202013%20Schedules/gunston.htm
2. Take advantage of Mason Money! Majority of meal plans already come with Mason Money attached to it. If yours doesn’t, it’s so simple to add! Not only does Mason Money come in handy when you go an extra 60 cents over a meal plan, but it can also be used at multiple locations around Fairfax. My favorite place is Jersey Mike’s Subs, but dozens of other places accept Mason Money as well, like Panera, Noodles and Company, Chipotle, Chili’s, and Josie’s! I can’t think of a better way to get a break from campus food, relax with friends, and not spend a dime of your own! You can find the full list of accepting restaurants at: http://masonid.gmu.edu/masonmoney/masonmerchants.html
3. Find those discounts! Not only does Mason offer those discount cards in the Student Involvement office, but many places offer student discounts simply for having a Mason ID. One fantastic option is The Greene Turtle. All Mason students can receive 15% off their orders! If you’re in the mood for yummy chili, Hard Times Café also offers student discounts as well. Besides discounts for just having a student ID, numerous restaurants offer weekly specials on food. My absolute favorite is $1.50 tacos every Monday at The Old Fire Station on University Drive. Every Mason student needs to experience this at least once—the tacos are amazing. Buffalo Wing University also offers 10 wings for $5 on Fridays and $2 draft beers to accompany them for lucky 21 year olds. Although you have to spend real money, not only is it worth it but also cheap and delicious!
Although it isn’t as easy as walking through campus to swipe your meal card, taking the occasional trip to an off-campus restaurant can be a great break from the same campus food over and over. Between the convenient Mason shuttles and multiple restaurants offering specials, it is easier now than ever before for Mason students to get off campus and enjoy some delicious food on a budget!
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