Campus Dining

Louisville, KY
Tuition (in-state)
$23,146 ($9,662)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Not many options but the food is decent.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: I like the campus dining, but that's because I'm not too concerned with my diet. I love the variety in the SAC (student activities center.) They have papa johns, subway, Wendy's, Chick-fil-a, a chinese place, and a smoothie store. There is also the Tulip tree cafe and the Ville Grill which is a buffet with a variety of options.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Prices are way to high,I do eat off campus more then on campus, but if I do eat on campus I really try to eat healthy which really isn't a easy thing to do here.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Dining: There are plenty of options to choose from on campus. I just wish the flex points extended past living in a dorm and also went to people living in an apartment.

1 College Senior

Campus Dining: I'm sure it could be worse, but I don't have a whole lot of positive things to say about our campus dining situation. First of all, meal plans are required, even if you live off-campus, and are a pain to get rid of. Secondly, the options are limited and not great quality. The McAlister's on campus is the worst I've ever eaten at but the wait is still long despite the quality! The Papa John's isn't warm by the time you get it. There's a Wendy's and a Chick-Fil-A, but I can't say much for those. We have an Einstein Bagel place in the Humanities building that I like, but is slow and always has a long line. I haven't been to the dining halls, but I haven't heard great things. At my previous university, we had a Starbucks, Panda Express, Subway (and more) in addition to decent dining halls. UL's dining options are far below my expectations.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 580th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 775th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 924th
    Best Quality Food
  • 1008th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 1117th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Annie Muller
LaGrange, Ky.
French and English
View all previous student authors

The University recently revamped its meal plan options, and despite controversy over the required plan for off-campus students, most seem to appreciate the improved quality and variety. However, commuters make up a large chunk of the student body at U of L, so dining options close early, and many don’t open at all on weekends. Student favorites on campus include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Heine Brothers’, and McAlister’s Select, but many say it’s common to find that only the fast food restaurants are still open for dinner, which can be frustrating. There are a couple of convenience stores on campus where students can use meal points to buy things to eat in their rooms later, like microwaveable meals, bread, and fruit, but if you want to eat at a late hour or are very health-conscious, you might need to live somewhere with a kitchen. However, there are vegetarian options, such as veggie burgers and wraps, veggie sushi, and a popular salad station at The Terrace. Vegans may have a harder time, since cheese comes with pretty much everything, and the coffeehouses run out of soy milk about once a week.

The lines can get long during lunch hour, when the most people are on campus, and you’ll have to wait a while at places like Einstein or Heine. Many groups also gather for lunch in the multi-purpose room connected to The Terrace, and the lines there move quickly. Plus, now that the other coffee shops on campus have become more popular, Jazzman’s usually has short lines, and you can grab a wrap or panini and a drink there in just a couple minutes.

Facts & Statistics

Average Meal Plan Cost
$2920 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Any commuting student who is taking 9 or more credits or any student who lives on campus must have a meal plan.
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
The Terrace in the SAC
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
McAlister's Select
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
Breakfast buffet at Damon's
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Paninis at Heine or Jazzman's
  • Sandwiches from Einstein Bros.
  • Sandwiches from McAlister's
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
Papa John's
24-Hour Dining
None, but there's a Taco Bell and a McDonald's right next to campus.
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Special Options
U of L offers daily vegan and vegetarian options.
Did You Know?
  • Students here are never at a loss for free food. Religious organizations offer free lunch every Wednesday and Friday and dinner every Sunday, President Ramsey provides free small coffees for the whole school at the end of the year, REACH gives away food at most of its events, and numerous organizations sponsor free cookouts throughout the year.
  • Most dorms are equipped with a shared kitchen that has a stove for students to use. Just be sure to bring your own cooking utensils.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Café a la Cart
Location: Davidson Hall and Kersey Hall
Food: Grab-and-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cardinal's Nest
Location: Louisville Hall
Food: Convenience Store
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Damon's Grill
Location: SAC
Food: American
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9 a.m., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m., 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Bingham Humanities Building
Food: Bagels, pastries, sandwiches, soups
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Heine Brothers Coffee
Location: Ekstrom Library
Food: Coffee, pastries, sandwiches, sushi, wraps
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Jazzman's Café
Location: Ground level of SAC
Food: Coffee, salads, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
McAlister's Select
Location: Miller Technology Building
Food: Potatoes, salads, sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Papa John's
Location: Ground level of SAC
Food: Pizza, wings
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Quick Zone/Freshens
Location: Ground level of SAC
Food: Convenience store, ice cream, smoothies
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sub Hub
Location: University Tower Apartments
Food: Subs
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Location: Ground level of SAC
Food: Subs
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Terrace
Location: SAC
Food: Various including Chick-fil-A, Garden Toss (salads), Global Market (international cuisine), Mein Bowl (Chinese), and Smart Market (grab-and-go)
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Location: Ground level of SAC
Food: Fast food
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Westside Dining
Location: University Tower Apartments
Food: All-you-can-eat variety

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 90 responses

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

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

  • 28% Ville Grill
  • 28% SAC
  • 20% Qdoba
  • 8% Cluckers
  • 8% Papa Johns
  • 8% Cardinal towne

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 13 responses

  • 69% Always there when you need it
  • 15% None
  • 15% I use it for drinks, that is about all

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 11 responses

  • 46% The ville grill
  • 31% SAC
  • 23% I like them all

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 13 responses

  • 67% It's required
  • 33% Most of the time you have a lot of money left over


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