Campus Dining

Knoxville, TN
Tuition (in-state)
$27,582 ($9,092)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Junior

Campus Dining: As a graduate student, I do not spend a lot of extra time on campus in dining.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Campus dining is okay for living in dorms. There are places in the University Center to eat. However, if you don't have a meal plan its really up to you how to go about eating on campus.

1 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The meal plans are ridiculously priced for what you're offered. Food is mediocre at best. The university acts as if it is willing to help you with issues, but it never gets much better. I've found that I usually get sick from the cafeteria food, and most of the other options are fast food. It's extremely hard to eat healthy on campus, so I tend to go to the grocery store and wonder why I have to pay for the meal plan.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: UT has a fair number of dining options. First, you have the buffet-style dining halls. These dining halls provide a wide variety of foods to choose from and have seen a major improvement in their quest to provide more options for vegetarian students and students with other dietary restrictions. Depending on the day, the dining halls can be a hit-or-miss taste-wise. However, they aren’t your only option for food on campus. UT campus has a number of chain restaurant type locations such as Subway, Chik-fil-a, Petro’s, etc. Also, you have some dining locations which are unique to campus such as Mabel’s (located on the Ag campus), Smokey’s (in the University Center) and the hot dog stand on Pedestrian Walkway.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: It's what you would expect from a college, we do have fast food and dining but it all gets old very quickly.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 545th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 604th
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 1168th
    Best Quality Food
  • 1311st
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 1331st
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kristen Lewis
Litchfield, NH
View all previous student authors

If you live in a dorm as a freshman, which is required for non-commuters, you are more or less required to purchase a meal plan. Students' opinions vary on the quality and selection of food, but most are satisfied with what UT has offered. When you have had your fill of cafeteria food, there are many fast food options. One thing is for certain, you will gain a whole new appreciation for your mother's cooking that you had taken for granted so many years. You will clean your plate, and possibly the rest of the family's plates, during each visit.

Since you will be stuck with the UT Dining Services meal plan, why not make the most of it? The key is to read and understand the meal plan rules. Keep track of your bonus bucks, and eat during allotted dining hours. If you know you are going to need something, such as snacks, and have room to pack them, stock up as much as possible! Finally, remember that bonus bucks do not roll over. If you have $200 left at the end of the semester, it will not be added to the following semester. Take my word for it, the money is not donated to charity and is not tax deductible, so if you don't use it, you have essentially thrown it away.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites
  • Breakfast at any of the cafeterias
  • Smokey’s in the UC for lunch
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Off-Campus Dining Network meal plans are available. These act as debit accounts for use at local restaurants. See for details.
Did You Know?
Pay close attention to the meal plan rules. There are only certain hours you can use your daily allowance for meals. Meals not within certain hours are deducted from "bonus bucks." Prices of goods in the small snack shops in and around dorms are highly inflated.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

All-American Grill & Grocery
Location: Presidential Court Building
Food: Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Salad Garden, Smokey's Doghouse, Grille Works, Kettle Classics, grocery/convenience
Hours: (Grill) Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; (Grocery) Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 2 p.m.-10 p.m.
Andy's Pantry
Location: Andy Holt Apartments
Food: Convenience, grab-n-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-12 a.m.
The Café
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena
Food: American, salad bar, Starbucks coffee
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Einstein Bros, Bagels
Location: Arts and Architecture Building
Food: Bagels, sandwiches, coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Hermitage Room
Location: UC top floor
Food: Fine dining
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Hess Express Grocery
Location: Hess Hall
Food: Convenience, grab-n-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-12 a.m.
KFC Express
Location: Hess Hall
Food: Fried Chicken
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Mabel's Café
Location: McCord Hall
Food: American, Starbucks
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Morrill Dining
Location: Morrill Hall
Food: Restaurant, buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
P.O.D. Market at Laurel Hall
Location: Laurel Hall
Food: Convenience
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Presidential Court Café
Location: Presidential Courtyard
Food: Pan Geos (pasta, Mediterranean), buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Rocky Top Café
Location: University Center
Food: Sbarro's, Quiznos, Burger King, Jump Asian, Fresh on the Go, Mayfield Ice Cream
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Sidebar Café
Location: Taylor Law School Building
Food: Starbucks, grab-n-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Location: University Center
Food: Tortilla Fresca, Tennessee Subs, Woodstone's, The Squeeze, Take One!, It's a Toss Up!, World's Fare, and Smokey's Traditions
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Smoothie King
Location: Rec Sports Center
Food: Smoothies, sports drinks
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sophie's Place
Location: Strong Hall
Food: Buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
The Sweet Tooth
Location: Presidential Courtyard
Food: Grocery, grab-n-go items
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
Varsity Inn
Location: Gibbs Hall
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Student Polls

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

  • 19% Smokie's in the UC
  • 14% Southern Kitchen
  • 14% Chik-fil-A underneath PCB
  • 12% Einstein's Bagels in Art and Architecture
  • 12% Fields of Green in the UC
  • 9% Starbucks in Hodges Library
  • 7% Dippers in Hess Hall
  • 7% PCB in Presidential Court
  • 7% Rocky Top in the UC

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 124 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 best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 9 responses

  • 50% Always having an option to eat
  • 25% Not having to worry about money
  • 17% There is nothing good about campus meal plans
  • 8% My dining hall is not conveniently located

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 11 responses

  • 56% Expensive when not on meal plan
  • 38% Dining dollars don't roll over.
  • 6% Few healthy options.

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 50% Convenient stores- but even they're not that bad.
  • 50% PCB and Morrill dining halls suck.
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