Illinois State and the surrounding community offer a world of dining choices. You can find food from many different countries all a short distance from the University. Also, on campus, we have two conveniently located dining centers which serve ethnic and American cuisine such as sandwiches, pasta, steamed vegetables, salads, fresh fruit, and more.
Campus Dining Services has a registered dietitian on staff to assist students with special dietary needs such as religious restrictions, vegetarian or vegan diets, and food allergies. If you have questions or concerns about meeting your nutritional needs at Illinois State, email our registered dietitian at CampusDining@IllinoisState.edu or call +1 (309) 438-8351.
International students who study in the U.S. may find American food is saltier, sweeter, and more processed than the food to which they are accustomed. Illinois State strives to make options available for all students.
Students living on-campus must purchase a meal plan. The plan gives you access to dining centers on campus using your student ID card. There are several options to suit your needs from unlimited dining to a certain number of meals per week or semester. Dining centers are generally open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with more limited hours on weekends. Learn more about meal plan options and costs for on-campus students at Campus Dining Services.
Off-campus students may also purchase meal plans. Dining centers and meal plans save off-campus students from spending money on restaurant food or taking the time to pack a lunch. Campus Dining Services explains off-campus meal plan options and costs.
Both on- and off-campus students can benefit from eating meals in the campus dining centers. It is affordable and gives you an opportunity to meet other students. After you are admitted, the Office of International Studies and Programs can help you choose the right meal plan for you.
Carry out meals are available from the dining centers meaning you can pick up a meal to take with you if you don't have time to sit down in the dining center.
Each meal plan includes a certain amount of "Flex Dollars" that can be spent at a variety of on-campus eateries including:
- Bone Student Center
- McAlister’s Deli - sandwiches, soups, salads
- Pizza Hut - pizza and pasta
- Burger King - fast food hamburgers and sandwiches
- Einstein Bros. Bagels - bagels, coffee, espresso drinks, sandwiches
- Subway sandwich shops - deli sandwiches
- Wilkins Hall
- Watterson Towers
- Manchester Hall
- Coffee and sandwich shops
- Centennial Hall (Airport Lounge)
- College of Business Building (Business Bistro)
- Vending machines in the residence halls - snacks, juice, soda
Unused Flex Dollars from fall semester will be rolled into your account for the spring semester as long as you purchase a meal plan for spring.
Bloomington-Normal is known in the region for its wide array of restaurants. You may even be able to find ethnic cuisine from your home country. Explore your dining options.
There are several grocery stores within a short distance of campus including some ethnic and international food stores.