The best places to eat in Chambana

I Asked 35 Illini Students Where Their Favorite Place To Eat In Chambana Is, Spoiler, It’s Not The Dining Hall

Writing this made me a very hungry Illini.


While University Housing offers a wide variety of choices in their dining halls, a la carte locations, and specialty restaurants, school food gets really old really fast, and by the second week of classes, students are looking for a change in their food. Enter Green Street—the one area of campus that makes the "micro-urban area" tidbit tour guides throw at prospective students make sense. Every taste is catered to on these glorious few blocks, but that's not the only place to find delicious bites on campus.

It would've taken me forever to list all of the restaurants within walking distance of Campustown—and even if I had the time, I'm sure I'd miss a few along the way—so I took to the Internet to ask other Illinois students where they like to eat out. Here, I've ranked them by the number of votes they got in my poll.

23.  Red Herring (1 student)

Red Herring

Located just off the Main Quad, Red Herring is a completely vegan restaurant that's perfect for lunch. It's not as well known as some of the others on this list, but it's a great spot for lunch during the week!

22.  Jip Bap (1 student)

Jip Bap

Jip Bap is a quality Korean restaurant that serves delicious noodle dishes in movie theater popcorn-sized bowls. It's enough food to last for multiple meals—if you can bring yourself to stop eating when you're full.

21.  Murphy's (1 student)


This Irish pub is a campus staple known for its affordable meals and drinks for UIUC students that aren't into the bar scene but want to go out.

20.  Joe's Brewery (1 student)


Joe's Brewery is a popular dance bar on campus that also serves a variety of unique burgers. Lowkey though, the fries are what really push Joe's over the top.

19.  Mia Za's (1 student)


Mia Za's boasts made-to-order pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches, making it the perfect spot for the group that can't agree on what they want. Plus, they're great about doing fundraisers for RSOs and other groups!

18.  Vinny's Pizza (1 student)


Tucked away at the end of Green Street, Vinny's is one of the best stops on campus for a late night slice of pizza. The variety will astound you.

17.  Legends (1 student)


One of a few Illini-themed bars on campus, Legends is another great stop for students looking for a night out at a calmer bar. Be sure to grab a burger and catch a game when you go!

16.  Ko Fusion (1 student)

Ko Fusion

Calling all sushi lovers: Ko Fusion is the place for you! Found both downtown and on campus, students and locals alike flock to this restaurant every chance they get. Their stir fry is not to be ignored either—it's my personal favorite.

15.  Antonio's Pizza (1 student)


Antonio's—some of the best pizza on campus—may you rest in peace.

14.  Seven Saints (1 student)

Seven Saints

Located in downtown Champaign, Seven Saints is a bar/restaurant that is not to be missed. Many compliment their appetizers and note them to be the reason they make the visit.

13.  Merry-Ann's (1 student)

Merry Ann's

Open 24/7, every Illinois student ends up at Merry-Ann's at some point or another. It's a classic diner that serves breakfast at all hours and satisfies every late-night or drunken craving you can imagine.

12.  Jimmy John's (1 student)


In need of a freaky-fast meal? Jimmy John's is the solution! The 22 Illini will drop you right outside the Lincoln Avenue location pictured above. Fun fact: the chain originated 45 miles away from campus in Charleston, IL.

11.  Panda Express (1 student)


Panda Express is a chain that's hard to miss. Located just across the street from Alma Mater on the corner, Panda is a common stop among Illini.

10.  Noodles and Company (1 student)


As a chain restaurant, many are familiar with what Noodles and Company is all about. They serve a variety of noodle dishes from various cultures. Even though it is a chain, there is nothing quite like a bowl from Noodles on an Illinois winter day.

9. Panera (1 student)


Panera is another pretty popular chain that calls Green Street home, and it makes for the ultimate comfort food, no matter where you are.

8. Kohinoor (1 student)


Located just off campus, Kohinoor is one of just a few Indian restaurants in CU. If you're looking to change it up a little, Kohinoor is the place to go!

7. Blind Pig Brewery (1 student)

Blind Pig

Blind Pig is a well-renowned pub in the Chambana area—locals and students flock to this stop. Besides being known for "the beer of Champaign," Blind Pig boasts a wide variety of unique craft beers.

6. Zorba's (2 students)


Situated right next to Mia Za's, Zorba's is another unique addition to Green Street. The gyros at this Greek restaurant are not to be missed!

5. Manolo's (2 students)


Manolo's is a grab and go pizza place right around the corner from Canopy Club and Espresso Royale. They're open late into the night, which makes their empanadas and pizza slices the perfect snack after a night out.

4. Cracked (3 students)


Cracked is one of the most Illini restaurants on campus, as the concept was developed by a UIUC student while he was attending the University. The unique restaurant is known for its egg-based breakfast foods served all day long. If you're ever craving breakfast for lunch (or a snack or dinner), you can catch Cracked's brick and mortar store on Green Street or the food truck at various locations across campus.

3. Fat Sandwich Company (3 students)

Fat Sandwich

Fat Sandwich is located a few streets over from KAM's, without a doubt a strategic move as these super-packed sandwiches are a common favorite drunk food on campus. It's not the place for me, but plenty of students love a good Fat Sandwich.

2. Sakanaya (3)


Another popular sushi stop is Sakanaya. It is recognized for both its food quality and for being the first authentic Japanese restaurant on Green Street.

1. Bangkok Thai (5 students)

Bangkok Thai

Hidden in a building across from Walgreen's on Green Street, Bangkok Thai is clearly a favorite among UIUC students. Personally, my friends and I love to go for pad Thai every now and then. It seems pricey for what it is, but most people can get two or three meals out of each dish. If you haven't been, you need to drop everything and go!

While this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully, it will encourage you to try something new—or at least something that's not served in the Ike.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter

I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.


If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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