A Guide to Shafer Dining Court

Shafer, the all-you-can-eat dining hall, is the flagship location for ARAMARK at VCU. Shafer can be great when someone need a lot of food fast, wants to introduce someone to what food is like at VCU, or just a place to have as much as you can eat and seat a lot of people. It can also let you down, in more ways than one…

OPTIONS
They have a large variety of stations, including: pizza, deli, waffle, stir fry, sushi, pasta, grill, dessert, salad, and vegan, making it a go-to eating place for many VCU students.

WHERE
810 Cathedral Place. Next to Hibbs, facing the Cabell Library.

HOURS
Monday-Thursday: 7:00 a.m – Midnight
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

FOR THOSE WITH A DINING PLAN
One swipe gives you all you can eat. Extra swipe options, called Uppercuts, are available for some selections. You have the option of swiping in your friends if you so choose.

BUSY TIMES
Weekdays 12-1 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m.
Shafer begins to clear out around 3 p.m. on weekdays. Many food choices also vacate. But at 4 p.m., the dinner options become available and there’s at least a 90 minute window before crowds form. Around 10 p.m. or so on weekdays, options tend to dwindle. But you can always rely on cereal, at the very least, to be available.

QUALITY
We like Shafer. Hold Shafer up against most dining halls in the country and Shafer can compete. The quality isn’t the highest; it’s not your mom’s home cooking. Many times, however, the food is well above average. If you’re looking for a step up in quality on a particular visit, consider swiping extra for one of the options. Occasionally, outside vendors offer their food in Shafer for extra swipes as well.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Fried Chicken on Mondays is a must, the Eggplant Parmesan’s great, and don’t forget Fajita Fridays. Soft serve ice cream is always available right by the dishwasher.

Shafer never goes wrong with their breakfast options. Eggs, biscuits, and potatoes are always available, with french toast and pancakes being cycled through. You can have an omelet made at any time by the vegan food section. Chocolate milk is available right where the cereal is located, right across from the grill.

TIPS
The keys to succeeding in Shafer are variety and creativity. Don’t eat the same things every time you go. Especially if you’re parents loaded you up with swipes and you’re relying on Shafer to sustain you for 17 weeks. It’s hard enough on your digestive system as it is to go there more than once a day (if you’ve done this, you know what we’re talking about).

So mix it up. Combine different entrees from different sections of Shafer. Get a salad. Take meat from one section and vegetables from another. Add a bagel or bread from near the drink station to your pasta. Notice the omelet station in the middle. Swipe extra for chicken tenders if a burger would be a repeat for that day. And, don’t forget there are more locations available on your meal plan!

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