Frequently Asked Questions

Open Access:
An open access plan will allow the student with this plan unlimited access to Founder’s Table during the hours of operation. This unlimited access allows for one swipe upon entry for the assigned cardholder. There are no blackout periods or limited access periods.

Block Plans: Block plans have an allotted amount of board plan swipes to use throughout the semester. One “block” is charged per visit to Founder’s Table and allows access to the All-you-care-to-eat environment of Founder’s Table. Blocks are non-transferrable and expire at the end of the semester.

Dining Dollars: Dining dollars are flex money that is tied to the board plan purchased. This money may in dining facilities and used on any retail food purchase at dining facilities around campus including: The Bell & Beacon, Grinder’s, Farmer’s Market, Concessions, and Founder’s Table.

All-you-care-to-eat: Founder’s Table transitioned from a retail style food court to an unlimited dining venue that allows you to eat from any stations you choose. The role of the All-You-Care-To-Eat facility is to eliminate the stress of budget decisions when eating your meals. We will continue to provide a blend of healthy, balanced nutrition products with international cuisine and traditional American fare.

Founder’s Table: An All-You-Care-To-Eat dining hall housing the following stations:
Spoon & Fork – The main entrée station with main protein, veggies, potatoes and a vegetarian option as an alternative.
Grille and V2 – Traditional grill station supporting vegetarian focused alternatives. Authentic wok featured items throughout the menu included.
Oven – Pizza, Pasta, action station entrees. NEW! – Tandoori Oven to supplement programming variety throughout the menu.
Clean Plate – Allergen-Certified dining station focused on eliminating the major allergens from the preparation and cooking process.
Center Market – Salad station and Deli housed in one center market area. 70+ items prepared in house for our salad station and made to order sandwich station with a wide selection of meats, cheeses, and toppings.
The Bell & Beacon: Retail food court in the Harre Union.
C’Store – An array of necessary college-life snacks and toiletries.
Green Fork – Our made-to-order bowls and wraps station.
Flex Kitchen – Ala carte options served from weekly feature stations. BBQ, international cuisine, traditional grill are some of the options.
Grinders: Starbucks Café offering a full array of Starbucks beverages supplemented with our On-The-Go packaged products. Perfect for students studying in the Christopher Center or just crossing campus to their next stop.

An assortment of flexible plans allows you to choose one that best fits your lifestyle. Whether you’re a campus resident who eats the majority of your meals at any of our dining locations or a commuter who catches a few lunches per week at one of our campus cafés, University offers the right option for you.

View detailed meal plans here.

Are you trying to figure out the best meal plan for you? Stuck between two meal plan options and want some help? Use the Meal Plan Navigator to help you decide.

Off-campus options are not a part of our meal plan because we want to maximize the convenience and value of eating on campus.

There are a number of options to check your meal plan balance! They include:

  • Check your balance at the register of any campus dining location.
  • View your balance on DataVU at
  • Check your balance at any P.H.I.L stations (Payment Headquarters in Location — located on the second floor of the Harre Union).
  • Check your balance in the OneCard Office
  • Email
  • Click  here for a step-by-step guide for adding a meal plan, changing a meal plan or adding dining dollars
  • Money may also be added to all meal plans in $1 increments through the DataVU Student Menu — Housing/Meal Plan Self-Service.
  • All additions to your meal plan, which are initiated by you online, will be updated to your OneCard every hour on the odd hour.

Meal plans will be active per semester. Any meal plan dates where the program would be unavailable will be communicated to the community in advance of any adjustments to the program.

Valparaiso University is residential by design. Living on campus represents an integral component of the mission of the institution by providing living and learning experiences, which lead to a student’s growth and development, and an enhancement of one’s total education at Valpo. Because residency is such an important aspect of the Valpo experience, Valparaiso University has a three-year residency requirement. All undergraduate students should expect to reside in campus housing for six (6) semesters. Meal Plans are assigned based on numbers of semester living on campus.

All meal plans and unused dining dollars will expire at the end of each semester.

None are required but all of the meal plans are available to commuting students. There are many options available that depend upon your schedule. We often suggest that students pay attention to how much they spend and then purchase a plan that makes sense to them. Most commuters like the $300 or $500 declining balance options, the 100/100 plan, or the 50/50 plan that offers 50 swipes and $50 of declining balance.

We will have a standard door rate for the Founder’s Dining Room: $7.75 breakfast, $11 lunch and $13 dinner. All other dining venues will be open for purchases by campus guests with cash or credit card payments.

With the new All-You-Care-To-Eat system in Founders, there is no longer a need for a traditional training table. Our Open Access Plan will allow student athletes to take advantage of the dining program at their discretion – eat as often as you want, whenever you want within service hours. Our chefs are trained to offer menu selections to meet the needs of student athletes, including clean proteins and the appropriate balance of carbs and fats. We look forward to forging a partnership with the Department of Athletics, coaches, and student athletes.

The new Clean Plate station in Founders will be a chef-attended, service oriented destination serving hot entrees and sides that are free of the eight most common allergens as identified by the FDA (milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy and sesame). Additionally, all food prepared and served from Clean Plate will not contain gluten. The station will operate independently and will have its own dedicated holding system, cooking equipment and specially-marked purple utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Team members working this station will have special training by our third-party food allergen training partner, Kitchens with Confidence™, to certify that our Clean Plate stations are safe for guests with food allergies. In addition to daily specials, we will be able to customize meals for our students with special dietary concerns. The goal of Clean Plate is to provide the Valpo community with delicious, allergen conscious dishes. No student with special dietary needs should feel alienated by what they cannot eat. At Clean Plate, those students, and even those without food concerns, will be excited about dining with their friends in Founders. Additionally, we’ll offer a selection of Clean Plate On the Go! items in Campus Café and Grinders, because our guests with special dietary needs should have access to delicious, fresh, portable options, too! They’ll be made at our Clean Plate stations, merchandised daily with the traditional grab-and-go offerings, and clearly marked.
Additionally, for our guests who identify as vegan or vegetarian or simply are looking to eat a more plant-centric diet, we will offer the V2 Vegan and Vegetarian kitchen. Every day in Founders, guests will be able to choose from a selection of delicious, satisfying and well-balanced vegetarian and vegan dishes ranging from wild mushroom strudel, lentil and vegetable biryani, vegetable paella, seitan gumbo and roasted asparagus, or spinach fajitas.

Founders Table

Our all-you-care-to-eat resident dining location offers a wide variety of craveable stations. Clean Plate offers delicious options completely free of the FDA’s eight most common allergens to give our guests total peace of mind. The 1859 Grille serves everything from hot, hand-carved sandwiches, to barbecue, to a brand new Tandoor oven, always with delectable sides. Our V2 station hones in on vegan and vegetarian cuisine, and The Oven serves up pizza, stromboli, and calzones made from fresh dough as well as other roasted entrée features. Bravissimo, our action station where food preparation comes alive, as well as the Center Market Salad Bar, serve as focal points in the space. Fresh, nutritious, and customizable breakfast options are available daily. Spoon & Fork serves up scratch-made entrées from traditional comfort foods to international cuisine every day. And, for quick and convenient options to go, stop by Take 3.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5-8 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5-7 p.m.

The Bell & Beacon

You can have it all at The Bell & Beacon, from a healthy, customizable greens bowl at Green Fork to pizza, nachos, and chicken tenders! You can also grab a cup of coffee, pastry and do some shopping for snacks and other convenience items while you’re at it.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Grinders Café

Grinders serves Starbucks® coffee and espresso drinks and fresh house-baked pastries. You’ll also find On the Go! items, smoothies, and delicious breakfast sandwiches.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday, Closed

Gelley’s Grab & Go

Starbucks Café offering a full array of Starbucks beverages supplemented with our On-The-Go packaged products. Great location for students studying or have classes in the Gellersen Engineering & Mathematics Center.

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday, Closed

Cash, Credit (Visa, MasterCard and Discover), Dining Dollars, Meal Plan blocks, and Beacon Bucks.

Please contact the dining office at