7 University Of Illinois Restaurant Essentials

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!

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

Dancing taco cartoon

Eat it Dance party GIF


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

Sloth eating sliders

White Castle Space GIF


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

Sushi sleeping

Sushi Sleeping GIF


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

Baby wants blueberry pancakes

Pancakes Eat GIF


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

Shrimp dancing

Shrimp GIF


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

Carrot Flexing

Vegan Cooking


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

Spongebob and Patrick dressed up like steaks

Season 4 The Lost Mattress


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!

Report this Content

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments