Delicatessen opens in Memorial Union

Installing signage at Lance and Ellie's deli

Jeff Newsom of SpeedPro Imaging installs signage at Lance and Ellie's Delicatessen. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

ISU Dining's new delicatessen opened Wednesday in the Memorial Union. Lance and Ellie's, named for the iconic swans found on and around Lake LaVerne, boasts Iowa-sourced and scratch-made items as part of its menu.


Lance and Ellie's

  • Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, closed

MU food court venues and hours

Diners can choose a chef-created "stack, roll or toss" (sandwich, wrap or salad), which range in price from $4.95 to $6.50. The venue uses Boar's Head premium cheeses and meats (leaner cuts with fewer additives), and tofu made in Iowa City using Iowa-grown soybeans. House-made dill pickles, desserts and fresh-baked bread also are featured.

The menu sports two hot sandwiches, including a vegetarian barbecue creation made with shredded jackfruit -- a versatile tropical fruit with a meaty texture. Any of the "stacks" can be toasted. Sides (potato salad, edamame salad, fruit, chips), desserts (marble cookies, mocha brownies) and fountain pop are available a la carte or with a combo meal.


Lance and Ellie's is located on the west side of the first-floor food court. ISU Dining reclaimed the space when a lease held by the Subway national sandwich chain expired last May. Kristi Patel, assistant director for ISU Dining's retail operations, said two full-time staff (a cook and a sous-chef) and up to 40 students will work at the new venue. 

Kitchen work in Lance and Ellie's deli

Workers prep the kitchen area for Wednesday's grand opening.