Near you: Good spots on campus to eat

Harvest Cafe

ABE's Harvest Café opened last month in the foyer of the biorenewables complex, the newest of ISU Dining's campus locations. Photo by Anne Krapfl.

Maybe you scored a coveted parking spot in your lot this morning. Or you want to meet an other-side-of-campus friend for lunch. If you're looking for lunch or a mid-morning snack, there are plenty of options on campus. Most are operated by ISU Dining, including its newest venue, ABE's Harvest Café, located inside the south doors to Elings and Sukup halls. In addition to sandwiches, salads and desserts from ISU Dining's bakery and commissary, the café offers specialty coffees and daily hot lunch options. Its name is a tip of the hat to the agricultural and biosystems engineering department.

Full-time Iowa State employees have the option of activating a staff charge plan on their ISUCards, in which purchases at an ISU Dining location are deducted from their paychecks each month. Sign up for this option via AccessPlus.

Listed below, by format and then by location, are on-campus dining options this fall.


ISU Dining operates the cafés in partnership with the unit(s) in each building. Each has its unique features. Hours vary by location and day of the week.

Memorial Union (ground level)      MU Market and Café
State Gym    Froots
Elings/Sukup halls   ABE's Harvest Café
College of Design      Design Café
Library               Bookends Café
The Hub        Hub Grill and Café
Caribou Coffee
Fredericksen Court Community Center         Hawthorn Market and Café
Lagomarcino Hall   Courtyard Café
Curtiss Hall Global Café
Gerdin Building Business Café
Vet Med complex      Gentle Doctor Café



All three venues provide a sit-down option. At the first two, you'll purchase your meal at a counter; the third option includes wait staff at your table.

Memorial Union (ground level) Food court
Union Drive Community Center Clyde's Sports Club
MacKay Hall The Tearoom*

*A lunchtime learning laboratory for students in the Quantity Food Production and Service Management class, the Tearoom will open for the semester on Thursday, Sept. 11 (sit-down and take-out options). Reservations are required; call 4-3330. Closed Saturday through Monday.


Outdoor lunch (seasonal)

East side of Union Drive Community Center  The Grill, Monday through Thursday (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Several private vendors were awarded food service contracts through the ISU purchasing department. They'll serve Monday through Friday (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) as long as the weather allows, and accept cash and credit cards.

South of Hoover Hall Streets of Europe
South of Coover Hall Indian Delights
North of Bessey Hall Finley’s Curbside Beastro
El Mexicano
South of Beardshear Hall The Cheesesteak Factory


Residence dining centers

The dining centers feature multiple stations serving a variety of foods, one admission price for non-students and an all-you-care-to-eat format. A little self-discipline is essential on that last one.

Union Drive Community Center Union Drive Marketplace
Oak-Elm residence halls Conversations Dining
Maple-Willow-Larch Commons Seasons Marketplace


Convenience stores

The C-stores stock snacks, beverages, frozen foods and convenience items. The East and West side markets offer Godfather's Pizza (slices and whole pizzas) and made-to-order deli sandwiches.

Maple-Willow-Larch Commons East Side Market
Union Drive Community Center West Side Market
Wallace-Wilson Commons South Side Market


Vending machines

With more than 100 ISU Dining-serviced vending machines and 180 beverage machines distributed among about 70 buildings, this is a quick, dependable option, particularly at odd hours. Some locations offer sandwiches, ice cream and microwavable meals, in addition to snacks and beverages. Vending machines accept bills and coins.

Ice cream sale

Another weekly option (Wednesdays only) is the Dairy Science club's ice cream sale, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. near the Lush auditorium north doors in Kildee Hall. An 8-ounce cup costs $1. Fall flavors will include vanilla, chocolate, triple chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, s'mores, Twix, Oreo, Reese's and Butterfinger.