7 University Of Illinois Restaurant Essentials
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7 Restaurants Every University Of Illinois Student Should Visit In The Champaign-Urbana Area

This list of hot spots for University students explains why the freshman 15 is not just a mythical expression, but rather something to believe in!

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7 Restaurants Every University Of Illinois Student Should Visit In The Champaign-Urbana Area
Orla Willman

The Champaign-Urbana campus has a variety of different restaurants and dining styles to choose from. Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat after a long night out or a fancier dining spot to take parents and friends to, this list of tasty spots in the area should cover all your needs.

If these restaurants don't entice you, make sure to do some research on the unique restaurants the University of Illinois has to offer on-campus or nearby.

1. Maize Mexican Grill

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I have tried multiple Mexican spots in the area as well as famous places in Los Angeles where I am from, and I genuinely can say without a doubt in my mind that Maize Mexican Grill located on 60 E Green Street is the best.

They have an extremely flavorful and well-priced menu and is a popular sit-down/ take-out restaurant for U of I students.

Their chicken tacos are probably my favorite item on the menu, but everything is worth trying! Definitely a spot to bring visitors and parents too if you are looking to get a quick bite to eat!

2. Seven Saints

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This hot spot is located in downtown Champaign which is only about a seven-minute drive from the heart of campus. It is American tavern-style food with an upscale twist and menu.

The most popular items on the menu are their unique variety of sliders.

My favorite item on the menu is the Seven Saints Ding Dong Tribute Cake! This is definitely a fun birthday dinner place or a great place to bring your dad or mom on parent's weekends.

3. Sakanaya

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Most would argue that Sakanaya is the best sushi restaurant in town! It is located right on Green Street so it is easily accessible from campus.

The inside of Sakanaya is quaint and can definitely be a place to dress up for if you are in the mood, but also can be completely casual.

They have some of the tastiest rolls I have ever had and sushi combo plates if you want a lot of food for your buck. If sushi and raw fish aren't exactly your cup of tea, they also have ramen and cooked meat options!

4. Merry Ann's Diner

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Whether you're looking for food after a night out or you're just in the mood for a greasy breakfast platter of classic bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and pancakes, Merry Ann's Diner is the place to be! Depending on where you are living, there are two convenient locations, one on Neil Street in Champaign and another on Gregory in Urbana.

There is no need for a reservation or any special attire.

Come to Merry Ann's in your favorite pajamas or comfiest sweatpants and enjoy the comfort food this breakfast place has to offer!

5. Bangkok Thai Restaurant

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This hidden restaurant also located on Green Street is tiny, but makes up for its little size in its incredible tasting Thai food. There are a few tables inside, but most people pick up their food for take-out.

Their shrimp or chicken fried rice is an unbeatable dish and my go-to order, along with the dozens of other items on their menu.

This is definitely a fan favorite for many students at the University.

6. The Dancing Dog

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This little vegan health food hot spot is one of the best eatery and juicers in the Urbana area. It is located on West Main Street and is the perfect place for a cute Sunday brunch with friends and family.

My favorite item on the menu is the weekly vegan deep dish pizza that they only serve on Saturdays.

There is truly nothing like it! They also have delicious smoothies and vegan wine! Be sure to check this place out.

7. Hamilton Walkers

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This upscale old-fashioned steak house is located in the heart of little downtown Champaign serving a classic American style menu.

The dim lighting and romantic atmosphere is the perfect place to bring a significant other. Their steak-burger is one of my favorite things on the menu and a must-try!

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