Whether it be your best friend, significant other or anyone in between, having someone visit you for a weekend at school is always a nice change. Especially if you are living in the dorms, it's nice to ditch dining hall food for a couple days for some real fine dining.
Next time your friend comes to visit, take them to these five restaurants to show them what Champaign-Urbana really has to offer.
Whether it's date night or celebrating a special occasion with your friends, Big Grove Tavern is the perfect place to enjoy a cozy and delicious meal. Located in downtown Champaign, this restaurant offers a wide selection of beers, wine and amazing food, which you can get for a good deal with their weekly specials.
While Big Grove Tavern's atmosphere and food alone make it a great restaurant, it's the fact that it is a farm-to-table restaurant that makes it a great place to take a visiting friend to.
So, next time your visiting friend asks you what there is to do in Champaign-Urbana after the drive here implied that there is nothing but corn, tell them that all of those local farms produce products that make delicious food, like at Big Grove Tavern.
As one of UIUC's more popular bars, Joe's Brewery offers a variety of great drinks and delicious food. Joe's has a great selection of appetizers that you can order for the whole table to share. These appetizers range from their Loaded Fries that are filled with bacon, green onion and topped with a cheesy sauce, to mac and cheese bites.
While at Joe's, your visiting friend also needs to try one of their many flavorful burgers. They even have a burger named in honor of this campus, the ILL-INI, which comes with American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. Pair this with a Lunchbox and your friend will be wanting to transfer immediately.
3. Fat Sandwich
After you and your guest spend the better part of your day partying at one (or a few) of the many bars near campus, you are going to want to end the night with a greasy, filling meal. Fat Sandwich is the perfect place to satisfy any craving you might have.
Located in Johnstown Center, this small fast-food restaurant is anything but ordinary. With a long and creative selection on the menu, Fat Sandwich is known for stuffing a roll with anything you can think of, like mozzarella sticks and cheesesteak.
This meal creates an experience that is like no other, unique to this town and definitely will soak up whatever drinks you had earlier that day. But, maybe just don't eat it sober.
Located near the heart of campus right on Green Street, Zorba's serves up delicious gyros and classic Greek salads. Your guest will get the classic Illini experience from this restaurant just by walking through the front door.
As one of the oldest businesses on campus, this place adds a homestyle feel to Champaign, as it's family owned by UIUC alumni. Also, the restaurant is decked out with vintage Illini gear, which adds a nice touch of school spirit.
The food is as tasty as the decor is cool. Zorba's menu offers multiple meal combinations for their famous gyros. Aside from gyros, Zorba's also serves a variety of chicken, fish and vegetarian options.
Zorba's is a must-try for anyone looking for some fast and tasty Greek food in a truly Illini themed setting. Your guest will love the school spirit and, even more so, the gyros.
UIUC alumni rave about this place for good reason. Papa Del's Pizza serves up authentic deep dish pizza that will make you think you are in Chicago. While Papa Del's has changed locations a couple of times, it has been a longtime favorite of Illini since 1970.
This is a great restaurant to go to with a group of visiting friends because their signature deep dish pizza can fill the stomachs of many. Besides deep dish pizza, Papa Del's offers a selection of thin crust pizzas, salads and pastas. Your guests will love this place so much you may just have to ship them some pizza for their birthdays.
A weekend with friends from home makes you think about the good ol' days back in high school. A weekend eating at restaurants as opposed to sliced turkey in your dorm room reminds you what it's like to be well fed. Make your weekend with your friend full of new memories and stomachs full of delicious food.