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Unlike uptown Champaign, uptown Normal does not have tons of cool food places, let alone food places in general. Tri-towers are known to have decent food, but who likes eating dining hall food everyday? So here are 5 underrated food places that ISU students MUST visit at least once:

1. McAlister’s Deli

It is a MUST for students at ISU to eat a McAlister’s Deli at least once. Located on the bottom level of the Bone Center, McAlister’s Deli is known for their warm sandwiches and their famous house tea. To-go orders are available too, which is perfect for people that just want to be in their PJ’s and watch Netflix while they eat. The Sweet Chipotle Chicken and the Southwest Chicken sandwich is definitely recommended.

2. CherryBerry

This self-serve frozen yogurt shop is the perfect place to go when craving something sweet and fresh. They serve varieties of yogurts and toppings, making it hard for you to decide what you should get. A full cup of yogurt will most likely be under $5 (depends on how many toppings), so the price is very reasonable too! It’s located right by the recreation center, so why not stop by for some dessert!

3.  Buffalo Wild Wings

Honestly, who doesn’t crave Bdubs late at night?! Located only 3 minutes away from campus, Bdubs is a popular place for some late night wings. But make sure to call and place the order beforehand, because the place gets packed after 5PM! The Buffalo Mac and Cheese is to die for, and the taste will be impossible to forget. On Monday through Wednesday, theyr are open until 12AM, and Thursday through Sunday, it’s open until 1AM. They also have student discount! Show them a school ID and that’s a 10% off on the order!

4. Imperial Buffet

This place is a hidden gem that deserves more attention. Located only 10 minutes away from campus, this buffet is literally heaven. They serve a variety of food, including sushi, steak, seafood, noodles, desserts, and more. And it’s all you can eat! It’s only $15 for dinner and people can eat as much as they want! But better get there as soon as possible for dinner, because the food goes down pretty fast.

5. Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream

Located in Uptown Normal, this ice cream place serves everyone’s favorite desserts. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, coffee, shakes, cookies… just name it. This place is perfect place to go for the munchies, but it is also a perfect place to go and study. The interior of this ice cream shop is very funky and fun. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Blast is a must, and to make it better, they are all healthy compared to other average shakes!

So there you have it. The best places to go eat with friends when a change is needed from just eating dining hall food! ISU may not offer many food places compared to other schools, but these hidden gems around campus definitely make up for it. Now, make sure to take a look at the menu beforehand, because it is impossible to decide what to get at all these great food places!


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Julia Park


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