Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I would totally eat off-campus if I had the money and the transportation because there is so much variety and there are ALWAYS discounts for being a student! I can name about 10 different spots to eat off the top of my head, and they're all pretty darn good.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: On North Prospect there are many chain restaurants, as in smaller mall areas around champaign and urbana. The best but most expensive restaurants are the downtown Champaign bars/eateries. Also some new trendy ones in downtown Urbana.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Go to Bangkok Thai! Food is reasonably priced and delicious. Always keep an eye out for student or weekly deals.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I don't know, I don't eat off campus.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: there is a lot of chains but there are a ton of options


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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While dining in the residence halls can be a problem, off-campus dining is guaranteed to make you gain at least some of that Freshman 15. There are restaurants all over Green Street, from predictable spots like Noodles & Co. and Potbelly, to the out of the ordinary like Zorba’s or Bombay Grill. There is Mexican, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, seafood, and fine dining—most within a few miles of campus. However, some of the chains and high-end restaurants are not located near campus, which can be problem. If you have a yearning for Red Lobster, you will have to choose between an extensive bus ride or carpool.

Most students, especially freshmen, find it easier to stick to the options near campus. And of course, there is always pizza to rely on. On weekends, Gumby’s delivers until 3 a.m.—a fact everyone in college takes advantage of once in a while. Every Tuesday night, Gumby’s has a buy one get one free Pokey Sticks sale that is a must. Nevertheless, eating healthy can be a problem. There are places like Red Herring and Strawberry Fields that cater to vegetarians and those on a healthy diet, but for the most part, off-campus dining is heavy in grease and calories. Another problem is the distance to the grocery stores. If you live in the residence halls but still want to stock up on food and drinks, you are going to have to either take the bus or walk. The best grocery store, Mejier’s, is nowhere near Green Street, so if you want more than Hostess and Doritos, you are going to have to forget County Market and take a long bus ride.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Kennedy's at Stone Creek
  • Mandarin Wok
  • Radio Maria
  • Za's
24-Hour Dining
Merry-Ann's Diner
Best Asian
Mandarin Wok
Best Breakfast
Merry-Ann's Diner
Best Healthy
Strawberry Fields
Best Pizza
Papa Del's Pizza
Best Wings
Fat City Saloon and Grill
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Kennedy's at Stone Creek
Other Places to Check Out
  • Brothers
  • Burger King
  • Cheddar's
  • Garcia's
  • Giovanni's
  • Jarling's Custard Cup
  • Jimmy John's
  • McDonald's
  • Minneci's
  • Monical's
  • Oakley
  • Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
  • Pita Pit
  • Steak 'n Shake
  • Subway
  • White Horse
Did You Know?
  • Illinois was home to the first McDonald's restaurant.
  • Popcorn has finally been voted the official snack food of Illinois after years of heated debate.
  • Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, lives in Champaign. Champaign residents occasionally spot his Ferrari downtown.
  • In 2007, one of the big campus scandals was when someone stole several letters from the Insomnia Cookies sign over a series of days. The owner offered a 100-cookie reward to anyone with information regarding the perpetrator.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Country Market
1914 Glen Park Dr.
(217) 356-8242
Jerry's IGA
312 W. Kirby Ave.
(217) 352-0019
2401 N. Prospect
(217) 355-3801

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano
Food: Italian
2235 S. Neil St.
(217) 356-4300
Price: $8-$15
Bonnie Jean's
Food: American
901 S. Fourth St.
(217) 239-2121
Price: $5-$10
Courier Café
Food: American
111 N. Race St., Urbana
(217) 328-1811
Price: $5-$10
Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant
Food: Mexican
1407 N. Prospect
(217) 351-6879
Price: $8-$15
Empire Chinese Restaurant
Food: Asian
410 E. Green
(217) 328-0832
Price: $8-$15
Fat City Saloon and Grill
Food: Bar and Grill
505 S. Chestnut
(217) 356-7100
Price: $5-$10
Gumby's Pizza
Food: Pizza
1409 S. Neil St.
(217) 355-3278
Price: $5-$10
Food: American
39 E. Main
(217) 398-5988
Price: $5-$10
Kamakura Japanese
Food: Japanese
715 S. Neil St.
(217) 351-9898
Price: $8-$15
Kennedy's at Stone Creek
Food: American/Fine Dining
2560 S. Stone Creek
(217) 384-8111
Price: $8-$15
La Bamba
Food: Mexican
313 N. Mathis
(217) 355-2888
Price: $2-$5
Mandarin Wok
Food: Asian
403 E. Green
(217) 337-1200
Price: $5-$10
Merry-Ann's Diner
Food: Breakfast
1510 S. Neil St.
(217) 352-5399
Price: $5-$10
Papa Del's Pizza
Food: Pizzeria
206 E. Green St.
(217) 359-7700
Price: $5-$10
Radio Maria
Food: American
119 N. Walnut
(217) 398-7729
Price: $5-$10
Red Herring
Food: Vegetarian
1209 W. Oregon, Urbana
(217) 367-2340
Price: $5-$10
Red Lobster
Food: Seafood
1901 N. Prospect Ave.
(217) 355-2577
Price: $8-$15
Strawberry Fields
Food: Vegetarian
306 W. Springfield, Urbana
(217) 328-1655
Price: $5-$10
Food: Italian
2006 W. Springfield Ave.
(217) 355-4990
Price: $5-$10
Food: Greek
627 E. Green St.
(217) 344-0710
Price: $5-$10

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 231 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 264 responses

  • 44% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 42% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 10% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 3% An endless repetition of the same few places.


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