UTK Dining – All of Your Questions Answered

Knowing where to grab your next meal isn’t a usual concern for most incoming college students, but it quickly becomes one while adjusting to life at college. While most first or second-year students opt for an on-campus meal plan to help with the transition to college, even some third and fourth-year students find that meal plans are a convenient, cost-effective way to plan meals while avoiding the hassle and expense of grocery shopping and cooking. To help students know what to expect from the meal plan offerings at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about dining options at UTK. 

What are the meal plan options at the University of Tennessee?

The University of Tennessee offers two meal plan options for first-year students living on-campus and six meal plans for upperclassmen or commuters who want to have at least some of their meals on-campus between classes. Most meal plans include a mix of allocated meals in the dining halls plus a debit account balance that can be used for food purchases at other on-campus restaurants and retailers. 

The language for the plans can get confusing, especially for new students, so here’s an overview of the terminology found within the meal plans at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville:

  • Meal Swipes
    • Unlimited swipes in the two dining halls on campus or Southern Kitchen
    • Plans offer either a 5-day plan for swipes Monday-Friday or a 7-day plan for every day of the week
  • Dining Dollars
    • Functions like a prepaid debit account with withdraws for each meal purchase
    • It can be used at any Vols dining location on-campus
    • An account can be reloaded at any time, but most plans include a starting balance
  • Block Plans
    • Allow for a set number of meals (50-100) per semester in the dining hall
    • Flexible option for students who don’t plan to eat all of their meals on-campus
    • Requires tracking for meal planning throughout the semester

The University of Tennessee offers two meal plan options for first-year students living on-campus and six meal plans for upperclassmen or commuters who want to have at least some of their meals on-campus between classes.

How much are meal plans at UTK?

A meal plan for first-year students living in on-campus housing costs $2,305 per semester.

First-year students must have a plan as part of their housing contract. UTK also offers plans for upperclassmen and commuters who plan to have some meals on campus. The plan offerings and semester costs for the 2022-2023 school year are as follows:

First-Year On-Campus Meal Plans

  • Unlimited 7
    • $2,305 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • Unlimited dining hall meals
    • $300 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester
  • Unlimited 5
    • $2,305 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • Unlimited dining hall meals on weekdays (Monday – Friday)
    • $400 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester

Upperclassmen and Commuter Meal Plans

Either of the First-Year Meals Plans, the Unlimited 7 or Unlimited 5, are also available to upperclassmen and commuters along with the following options: 

  • Weekly 7
    • $1,670 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • Seven meals per week
    • $500 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester
  • Vol Block 100
    • $1,125 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • 100 meals over the semester
    • $150 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester
  • Vol Block 75
    • $900 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • 75 meals over the semester
    • $150 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester
  • Vol Block 50
    • $900 per semester but requires a 2-semester contract
    • 50 meals over the semester
    • $300 Dining Dollars
    • Five guest meal swipes for the semester

Can you change your meal plan during the semester at UTK?

No, the University of Tennessee students cannot change their meal plan during the semester.

Since meal plan contracts require a 2-semester commitment, students cannot downgrade a plan even between the fall and spring semesters. Upperclassmen and commuters can upgrade for more block meals, but doing so in the fall semester also locks that upgraded plan in for the spring semester.

The meal plan for first-year students living on campus costs $2,305 per semester. 

Where are the dining halls at the University of Tennessee?

Two dining halls and one restaurant at the University of Tennessee accept meal swipes as part of an Unlimited or Block meal plan. 

Are there restaurants in the UTK student union?

Yes, there are several restaurant options inside the UT Knoxville student union where students can purchase meals using their Dining Dollars.

The food offerings inside the student union include:

  1. Subway
  2. Qdoba
  3. Rising Roll
  4. Steak n Shake
  5. Chick-fil-A
  6. Panda Express
  7. Blenz Smoothie Bowls
  8. Starbucks

What are the closest grocery stores to the University of Tennessee?

The closest grocery store to the University of Tennessee campus is the Publix Super Market at University Commons, located at 2429 University Commons Way. This Publix is within the boundaries of campus and offers a full-service grocery option within walking distance of most residence halls and Greek houses. 

Find your next home at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville

With the fall semester quickly closing, there’s no better time to start thinking ahead for housing for next year. There’s no better option than The Commons for UTK students looking for an off-campus apartment nearby.  

The Commons at Knoxville offers UT students one of the best locations for an off-campus student housing community with various buildings and unit styles. Spread across 12 different buildings in the Fort Sanders neighborhood, The Commons at Knoxville is located just a few blocks north of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus, and Cumberland Avenue.

The Commons at Knoxville offers one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments. As of 2022, all units have gone through a series of in-unit upgrades, including new flooring and kitchens but remain at some of the best prices in the neighborhood. For information about pricing and availability, contact The Commons at Knoxville team today at (865) 268-8255.