Campus Dining

Normal, IL
Tuition (in-state)
$20,016 ($12,726)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Many good items available and with a meal plan they are at a fair price. Flex Dollars are very useful to have for the Subways within the residence halls

2 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: I cannot wait to move into an apartment in order to have control over the foods I eat. The dining center serves the same entrees every week, and have a hard time making sure that all the food is stocked and clean. They often run out of food, or the workers decide not to refill drink dispensers. Not many allergy-conscious options, or vegan options. Uninteresting. Tasteless. Very processed.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There is a lot of variety in the all you can eat dining halls, which are expensive only if you don't have a meal plan. There all also many on campus options for food such as Subway and Einstein's, which you can use the flex dollars included with every meal plan at. If you live on campus, I would highly recommend getting a meal plan and you will have a lot of variety of good food.

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: being vegetarian my options are unlimited

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Meh. I like cooking so it's not my favorite, because I personally think I make good stuff


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 47th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 95th
    Best Quality Food
  • 193rd
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 255th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 470th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Elizabeth Nelligan
Lake Zurich, IL
View all previous student authors

At Illinois State University, many of the on-campus dining facilities are where students go to enjoy meals and hang out with friends in between classes. Recently, ISU changed its meal plan. It used to be that students had a sum of money to use throughout the semester, and everything they bought was at a discounted price. Now, ISU has three different meal plan options: the first is an unlimited access plan that does not limit the number of meals available; the second is the traditional meal plan that has a specific number of meals per week that expire every Sunday if not used; and the third is the block meal plan that has a specific number of meals that expire at the end of the semester. Meal plan flex dollars can be used at restaurants located in the Bone Student Center and residence halls.

ISU offers various healthy options for students, including fruits, vegetables, and a salad bar. There are also places for stir-fry and stations where students can make their own sandwiches. A lot of times, the dining centers have weekly food options such as "Greek Day" with gyros and pita chips. There are also home-style dinner options that remind many of their mother’s home cooking. While there are enough food options to make every student happy, some complain that there are not many options for vegans or those students with food allergies.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$5426 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
All students living in dorms are required to purchase a meal plan.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
  • The Marketplace in Linkins
  • Southside in Feeney
  • Watterson Commons
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • Burger King
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Pizza Hut Express
  • Subway
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Bacon and eggs
  • Bagel
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Cereal
  • French toast sticks
  • Hash browns
  • Omelette
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Baked potatoes
  • Chicken
  • Mac and cheese
  • Nachos
  • Pasta/pizza
  • Popcorn shrimp
  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Wings
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Jimmy John's
  • Pizza
  • Pokey stix
  • Subway
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
The Alamo II
Did You Know?
At Watterson, students are able to relax and watch their favorite shows or soap operas on a variety of TVs.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Airport Lounge
Location: Fine Arts complex
Food: Baked goods, coffee, salads, sandwiches, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Burger King
Location: Bone Student Center, second floor
Food: American, fast food
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Business Bistro
Location: College of Business
Food: Salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Bone Student Center
Food: Bagels, coffee, grab n' go
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Location: Bone Student Center, second floor
Food: Smoothies
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Jamba Juice
Location: Fitness Center lobby
Food: Juice drinks, snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 12:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Marketplace in Linkins
Location: Linkins Center
Food: Entrées, grill items, Mongolian Grill, paninis, pasta, pizza, salad bar, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
McAlister's Deli
Location: Bone Student Center, first floor
Food: Salads, sandwiches, soups
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Pizza Hut Express
Location: Bone Student Center, second floor
Food: Breadsticks, pizza, wings
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Southside in Feeney
Location: South Campus
Food: Baked goods, entrées, pizza, sandwiches, yogurt and salad bars
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: All residence halls
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Watterson Commons
Location: Watterson Towers
Food: Asian, baked goods, home-style entrées, grill, health food, ice cream, pizza, salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 92 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 13 responses

  • 33% Dining hall food
  • 27% Burger King
  • 13% I think they are all pretty good!
  • 13% Subway
  • 7% Pizza Hut
  • 7% Einsteins Bagels

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 14 responses

  • 45% McAlister's Deli
  • 18% Einstein's Bagels
  • 18% Go to uptown Normal. Lots of options and close.
  • 9% Pizza hut
  • 9% Jimmy Johns

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 12 responses

  • 33% Gets boring
  • 22% There aren't many options
  • 17% Some days the food is bad
  • 17% Very expensive
  • 11% All the food is disgusting.

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 14 responses

  • 67% It allows flex dollars to spend around campus
  • 19% Unlimited
  • 14% Quick and convenient


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