Virginia Tech Dining Halls

The interior of D2 on Virginia Tech campus, Sept. 20, 2016.

The task of navigating Virginia Tech's 22 dining centers alone sounds intimidating enough to surrender to an eternity of ramen noodle consumption (in the comfort of your dorm room, of course). However, seeing as Virginia Tech is the fourth most highly rated provider of campus food in America, I strongly suggest that you refrain from ramen and consider exploring the diverse and delicious array of cuisine here on campus instead.

Leaving the nest can be scary. After all, exchanging the comforts of home for the uncertainty of college is bound to take you out of your comfort zone. While this metaphor of leaving the nest may be referenced often throughout your college transition, focusing on what you gain in the midst of these more difficult experiences can help alleviate the fear of departing the life you have grown accustomed to.

Embracing the food culture here at Virginia Tech is just one of many ways of learning how to trust in your newfound wings. From the teppanyaki dinner at Origami to the legendary pasta dishes at West End and Owens Food Court, the university caters to every palate and prides itself in maintaining high student satisfaction. In fact, Dining Services values student opinion to such an extent that it frequently seeks recommendations from its Student Advisory Committee and often acts on these suggestions. If you are a foodie, joining this committee is a great way to get involved and meet like-minded people early in your Virginia Tech experience!

On-campus residents in particular tend to gravitate toward the all-you-care-to-eat dining experience at the D2 dining center. Ever hear the phrase “the early bird catches the worm?” This saying rings true for students who arise for D2’s famous Sunday brunch spread. While D2’s brunch is a major hit, the establishment’s high standards are sustained throughout the rest of the week with hits such as customized omelets, penne primavera and sweet potato fries.

D2 offers a variety of cuisine and infuses the vibe of an international marketplace into the mix. At this dining center, you will find a diverse array of eight shops serving up international staples from countries such as Italy, China, Mexico and more. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free customers will be pleased to find respective shops that cater to these dietary restrictions.

The university dining staff is highly trained in food safety and is stringent with its cross-contamination prevention efforts. The university's dining services hosts an impressive interactive nutrition page featuring nutrition facts and ingredient lists for the array of cuisine served on campus. Students can set allergen filters on the online nutrition page in order to customize their search results to reflect the foods they can eat. Workers at the dining establishments are also knowledgeable about the ingredient contents of each dish and can be helpful in determining what does and does not meet your needs.

Another unique facet of the Dining Services’ program is that it sources a large portion of its produce from its very own farm, Kentland Farm. Students with an interest in crop production have an opportunity to gain meaningful experience by partaking in sustainable agriculture practicum at the farm thanks to a unique partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The farm currently cultivates over six acres worth of fruit, vegetables and herbs for Dining Services each year using small-scale sustainable farming methods.

Dining Services takes the threat of environmental degradation seriously, even integrating a sustainability pledge into its Guiding Principles in an effort to ensure that future Hokies will continue to have access to safe and delicious locally-sourced food. For more information about the dining sustainability efforts at Virginia Tech, please feel free to visit the Sustainable Dining at Virginia Tech blog.

An unknown author once wrote, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.” This quote applies beautifully to the metaphor referenced earlier. Nourishing your body with the right kind of fuel will help you sustain your journey. Trust in your wings — fueling your flight with the edible delights found on the Virginia Tech campus. You grow by emerging from the nest and plunging to the depths of the unknown, only to find that your wings take you to great heights. With the help of D2’s delicious cuisine, you will find yourself soaring for miles and stronger than ever before.

Read all of Tech Fundamentals here.

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