Campus Food

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Campus Food

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: A little greasy at times but the food is still great, gets you fed and it's avaliability at PAR is amazing.

3 College Junior

Campus Food: I was thinking that when I came to U of I it was going to have worse food. But, Ike serves a good variety of food. It even has a small vegan section. The other ones don't have as large of a selection as Ikenberry does.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: Pretty decent. Wide selection of foods as well.

5 College Junior

Campus Food: Campus food is actually really good. If you live in University housing you can use credits/meals at any dorm on campus and they are all very different. PAR has probably the best food while the Ike has the most variety. However, there is something to be said for Busey given that you are able to get free coffee with every swipe and they have some of the best cookies!

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: I absolutely love the variety of food that the dining halls offer. Sometimes the dining halls would serve food for consecutive days though, but overall having a meal plan is awesome

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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College is often known for two things: parties and bad food. The dining halls at U of I don't do much to break out of that stereotype. Most students agree that instead of working hard to make creative new foods and variety, the University should just stick to learning how to make Rice Krispie treats properly. Cafeteria food is always going to be cafeteria food, though, which means either boring repetition or outlandish creations that make you skip right to the cereal bar.

Keeping the food fresh is also a problem, as students who have eaten slimy lettuce or stale Cheerios can tell you. It is a good idea to come early to take advantage of the fresh food. On the other hand, the hours can also be a problem. Most students don't like eating dinner by 6:30 p.m., especially when they are going to be up until 2 a.m. studying. Consequently, most dorm rooms are stocked with snacks and sodas. Seven specialty restaurants like A La Carte offer better food at more reasonable hours. When you are up late studying or just hanging out, there is nothing better than pizza or onion rings at Illinois Avenue Residence Hall. If it was not for specialty restaurants, the dining at U of I would be bleak. Even with these options, the University must work on its healthy food menu, as most main courses and appetizers are all simmering in grease and fat. Also, the vegetarian fare is limited to pasta and salads in most residence halls, which is less than tempting. All in all, the dining experience at U of I is stereotypically bad.

 

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Yes
Average Meals/Week
20
Average Meal Plan Cost
$5420 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Yes
Student Favorites
  • Fat Don’s
  • A La Carte
  • Sbarro
24-Hour Dining
None, but Merry-Ann’s Diner is located nearby.
Special Options
Some students choose to skip dinner and instead have a pizza delivered to their room later that night. It counts as a meal and most students agree it is better than eating in the cafeteria. Check out CampusFood.com to order delivery online.
Did You Know?
During Finals Week, the residence hall cafeterias host snacks and drinks for late-night studiers. Some even offer Midnight Breakfast, a full course complete with French toast and pancakes. It is a tradition that should not be missed.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Blimpie
Location: Union, lower level
Food: Sub sandwiches
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Busey Beanery
Location: Busey-Evans
Food: Grab and go snacks, coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 p.m.-12 a.m.
Cactus Grill
Location: Union, lower level
Food: American
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cocina Mexicana
Location: Illinois Avenue Hall
Food: Mexican
Hours: Friday 4:45 p.m.-7 p.m.
Cracked Egg Cafe
Location: Gregory Hall
Food: Breakfast
Hours: Tuesday 4:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Espresso Royale
Location: Union, main level
Food: Coffee, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday-10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Fat Don's
Location: Peabody-Snyder Dining Room
Food: American
Hours: Wednesday 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Field of Greens
Location: Lincoln Avenue Hall
Food: Vegetarian
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Gregory e-Chomps
Location: Forbes Dining Room
Food: Grab and go snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 1:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 1:30 p.m.-12 a.m.
Illini Union Ballroom
Location: Union, second level
Food: Variety buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Illini Union Vending Room
Location: Main level
Food: Chips, candy, muffins, bagels
Hours: Daily 7 a.m.-3 a.m.
ISR Chomps
Location: Illinois Street Residence Hall
Food: Grab and go snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Kosher Kitchen
Location: Allen Dining Room
Food: Breakfast
Hours: Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
McDonald's
Location: Union, lower level
Food: American
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Oodles
Location: Busey-Evans Hall
Food: Variety buffet
Hours: Friday 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
PAR Underground
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall
Food: Grab and go snacks
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Penn Station
Location: Peabody
Food: Grab and go snacks
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Quad Shop
Location: Union, main level
Food: Snacks and sundries
Hours: Everyday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Rice Garden
Location: Union, lower level
Food: Chinese
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sbarro
Location: Union, lower level
Food: Italian pizzeria
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.
Soul Ingredient
Location: Florida Avenue Hall
Food: Southern cooking
Hours: Thursday 4:45 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Sushi San
Location: Union, lower level
Food: Sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Student Polls

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 48 responses

  • 19% Ikenberry Dining Hall
  • 17% Green street
  • 16% INSOMNIA cookies
  • 15% Late Night at PAR
  • 12% Stir Fry at PAR
  • 6% Oodles at Busey-Evans
  • 5% Papa dels
  • 5% Cracked Egg Café
  • 2% Late Night ISR
  • 2% Newman Hall
  • 2% Chipotle
  • 1% Qdoba

What are the worst food options on campus?    Based on 28 responses

  • 30% Vegan Corner
  • 23% Guacamole
  • 17% Vegetarian Lasagna
  • 9% Eggs
  • 9% Soul Food
  • 4% Burgers
  • 4% Bacon
  • 2% Breakfast night at PAR
  • 2% Tacos

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 208 responses

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

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 46 responses

  • 30% Hours
  • 25% Food is repetitive
  • 18% Credits run out quickly due to restrictions
  • 18% Can't use meals for others
  • 5% Meal plans can be restrictive
  • 4% Dinner ended at 6pm

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 47 responses

  • 37% There is a variety of dining halls and locations.
  • 22% Choice of buffet and/or individual purchases.
  • 20% You get to chose it yourself,
  • 14% Cafe Credits
  • 7% High quality

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