Kaylee’s Dining Hall Awards: The Best Food on IU’s Campus and Where to Get It

A pizza being cut

If you have a meal plan, you need not worry about variety when chosing food at IU. We have two buffets, two food courts, the Bistro, countless C stores in places such as Wright, McNutt, Union Street Center, and more, a coffee shop, an ice cream store, and cafes in all of the major academic buildings, including SPEA, the Ed building, and Ballantine, amongst others.

Even though you may not be as thrilled dining on campus as you are off campus, there still are plenty of great picks for your sit-down or on-the-go meals. Here are my picks for the best of the best!

The Best Lunch/Dinner 

The Flamingo Grill (multiple locations)– Grilled Cheese made to order

Ballantine and SPEA– Paninis available (leave a few minutes early since paninis are popular and take a few minutes to make)

Union Street Center– Wraps and Sandwiches, hot and cold, as well as soups and hot entrees

El Bistro– Sandwiches and burritos made-to-order

C Store and Cafe at Read– The small cafe here not only makes Starbucks coffee drinks, but also has a daily lunch offering of Southern favorites like chicken, barbecue, tator tots, mac n cheese, cornbread, and more!

Wright– The best random food– garlic knots, potato wedges, several kinds of soup, chicken, gluten-free sweets, burritos, and the ability to order a whole pizza from Sbarro!

The Best Breakfast

Flamingo Grille- Breakfast Buddies are made fresh with eggs (you can ask for egg whites or whole eggs), cheese (you can also chose), and bacon or sausage on your choice of bread. You can also order omelets or blueberry pancakes.

Jordan Hall– Oatmeal- Just add hot water!

Gresh– Grab yourt parfaits from the cooler or make your own at the breakfast bar (where the salad bar normally is). Banana bread, pumpkin bread, and other breakfast breads are located over by the donuts. Other dining halls also have this stuff, but it goes quickly.

Collins– Sunday Brunch always includes some kind of waffles, pancakes, or French Toast

The Best Healthy Food

Union Street C Store– Buy a variety of fresh products and organics. Try some fruit leather, KIND granola bars, nuts, soy products, or international favorites. There is also a great selection of cooking basics and mixes for those with access to kitchens.

Collins– Eat at the lunch or dinner buffet here during the week, but don’t be fooled by the buffet concept; the buffet offers plenty of veggies and dishes for vegetarians and Vegans. Just beware of the delicious homemade desserts. The buffet at Read has a similar concept.

The Best Dessert

The Creamery– If you’re not into ice cream, try a chai or smoothie. The shop also offers softserve frozen yogurt and gelatto for different textures and flavors.

Wright– Check out the cooler of novelty ice cream treats with Drumsticks, ice cream sandwiches, and more!

El Bistro at Read– Waffles with ice cream or fruit syrup make a better dessert than breakfast.

The Best Options for Campus Access (No Meal Points Accepted)

The IMU– Caramel corn at Freshens

Wells Library– Chick-fil-A in the basement (remember, it’s closed on Sundays!)

Happy eating!



Kaylee Dolen

Environmental Management with Spanish and Latino Studies ~ Class of 2015

Jubilee College Ministries and First United Methodist Church, Amnesty International, Invisible Children, Global Village LLC people person. tree hugger. activist. foodie. dinosaur. Have a lovely day!