Illini Tower Dining Services

On-Site Dining at Illini Tower Café

In addition to the kitchen facilities in your unit, Illini Tower Dining is open for meals seven days a week. We offer a variety of meal plans so that you can select the one that best suits your needs, including vegetarian and vegan options.

Our meal plans offer convenience, flexibility and a wide range of choices. Whether you eat three times a day or three times a week, we've got you covered!

Our Priorities and Practices

  • Source Responsibly
  • Operate Efficiently
  • Minimize Food Waste
  • Reduce Packaging

On-Site Dining Open 7 Days a Week

Illini Tower offers a variety of meal plans that are both convenient and flexible.

We’re committed to providing a broad selection of great-tasting, healthy foods, and beverages.

Our menus are created by experienced chefs with a passion for food, and our recipes are freshly prepared and made as close to the meal time as possible.

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Find the Right Meal Plan For You

Bright, leaf-shaped messages make it easy to find food that fits your life. It’s a simple way that can help you make better-for-you choices.

Eat Well

Eat Well selections make up over 30% of menu items on our residential dining menus over the semester. Our Eat Well selections contain nutritionally dense whole foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, beans, lean protein) and are lower in calories, saturated fat and sodium.

Made with Whole Grains

Made with Whole Grain selections comprise over 15% of menu items on our residential dining menus through the semester.


Vegetarian and Vegan selections now make up over 30% of our menus. Our culinary team and dietitians assure that vegetarian selections contain no meat, fish or poultry.


Our vegan selections contain no animal products of any kind. In addition vegan items can not include dairy, eggs, or honey.


Plant-Forward selections feature a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes healthy plants at the center of the plate with a proportionally small quantity of animal protein.

Our menus are a reflection of our practices and priorities

We purchase local, seasonal, and responsibly raised, grown, and sourced products whenever possible. We firmly believe responsible sourcing directly impacts people, animals, and the environment. We engage suppliers and partners to source environmentally and socially responsible products.

We implement practices to conserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. Fueled by the understanding that our day-to-day actions have an impact, we work closely with our clients to conserve energy and water. We also minimize our use of fossil fuels and emissions across our fleet of vehicles.

We reduce food waste across our operations with the dual goals of conserving resources and keeping food out of landfills. Our practices include back-of-house operational practices to reduce waste before it’s generated, programs to help consumers decrease food waste, feeding those in need during instances of excess safe, unserved food, and finally, implementing composting programs wherever possible.

We minimize our waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Across our operations, we have established practices from initial purchase to final waste disposal that decrease the overall cost of waste both environmentally and financially. We emphasize reducing single-use plastics – skipping straws and stirrers across our operations is just the beginning.


We’re Going Plant-Forward

Including more plants on our plates provides so many benefits, with a long list of positives for healthier people and a healthier planet.

What is plant-forward dining?

Plant-forward is a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. With plants as the star of the plate, animal products can appear in smaller portions, often as a flavoring or garnish. Plant-forward goes one step beyond the many vegetarian and vegan options we continue to add to our menus. It further elevates plants as the lead ingredient, even when small amounts of meat, dairy, fish, or poultry are included in a recipe.

The plant-forward trend has proliferated, and it shows remarkable staying power. Research has shown that 60% of consumers want to reduce their meat intake, and 62% want to eat more vegetables. It’s a significant driver of today’s menus, and our chefs are bringing a plant-forward approach to life across our locations.

Our menus.

To achieve our goal of increasing the plant-forward ingredients on the menu, we launched a major plant-forward menu innovation initiative to elevate the role of these healthy and more sustainable ingredients on our menus. Many of our chefs have enthusiastically participated in plant-forward culinary innovation workshops and contributed to developing hundreds of new plant-forward recipes. See our current menu and food options.

It’s a Win-Win-Win.

Plant-forward is a ‘win’ for nutrition. By adding more plants to the center of our plates, our recipes now contain less saturated fat and sodium than many get too much of in their diets – while also bringing more of the naturally wholesome, nutritionally dense benefits of plant-based foods.

Plant-forward is a ‘win’ for flavor. By layering in fresh, healthy, flavorful plant-based ingredients, our chefs are taking plant-forward dining to a whole new level.