Food for Thought Café services provides School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s campus with great food and a wonderful environment to grow and learn! Enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious menu items served at some of the busiest social hubs on campus. All of our dining facilities serve fresh, often locally- sourced food prepared fresh daily.

See the following list for a selection of places to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner around SAIC. Options range
from familiar standbys to one-of-a-kind places with a sitdown or to-go atmosphere.

Please note that hours reflect open times during the fall and spring semesters. Holiday and Summer hours will be posted throughout campus and in the cafes during breaks.

LeRoy Neiman Center Café*

The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 2nd floor
Monday –Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.–3:00p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

The Campus Center Café is located on the second floor of the Neiman center and features a wide array of options from specialty coffee drinks (including a local SAIC/Food For Thought Intelligentsia blend) to daily specials at the hot buffet. From rotating dishes like authentic Japanese Ramen and Sushi, to pizza, specialty sandwiches, specialty vegetarian and gluten free dishes and international specialties, there is sure to be something for every palette.

Columbus Drive Café*

Columbus Drive Building, 280 S. Columbus Dr., 2nd floor
Monday –Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Grab and Go Options only
Sunday, Closed

Come check out the Columbus Café for rotating breakfast options, a wide-array of sandwiches & salads, and most notably Chef Designed Authentic Asian dishes such as Pad Thai, Fried Rice, and Lo Mein.

MacLean Center Café*

MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., 12th floor
Monday –Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Saturday- Sunday, Closed

In the MacLean Café, guests visit not just for the wide-variety of delicious food options, but also for the breath-taking views overlooking Millennium and Grant Parks. Come to the MacLean Café for a quick bite to eat, or kick back and relax for a while on one of the comfortable couches or chairs. MacLean Café offers unique gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, specialty coffee drinks and breakfast dishes made from the freshest ingredients right in their kitchen every day!

America's Dog

26 E. Randolph St.

21 E. Adams St.

Hot dogs are not just a Chicago institution. This hot dog spot serves them up in the distinctive styles of cities across the country. It can be a bit pricier than your usual hot dog, but they use Vienna all-beef hot dogs, and that's the sign of quality in any hot dog. Burgers and wraps are available as well.

116 S. Michigan Ave.

Tasty sandwiches, soups, pizzas, salads, and coffee—good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Cosi is located next to the MacLean Center and across the street from the museum. It's also open until 9:00 p.m. during the week and 10:00 p.m. on the weekends.

8 E. Madison St.
+ locations throughout Chicago

Gourmet Tex-Mex burritos, assembly-line style. A guilty pleasure.

Exchequer Pub
226 S. Wabash Ave.

This is a reasonably priced option that's open late if you're looking for American standards or a pizza.

Jimmy John's*
6 E. Madison St.
+ locations throughout Chicago

Korean Express

330 S. Wells St.

The only Korean restaurant downtown serves sizeable portions and can be a healthier choice. They also offer vegetarian options. It may not be your mother's Korean food (it does have "Express" in the name, after all), but the bibimbop or chop chae will help ease a craving.


230 S. Wabash Ave.

Kramer's is a quirky health food shop with a café and juice bar upstairs. It's a downtown oasis for vegetarians.

La Bamba
120 W. Madison St.

Burritos as big as your head—not an exaggeration.

Oasis Café*
21 N. Wabash Ave.

One of the most random locations for a Mediterranean restaurant: Oasis Café is located inside the Wabash Jewelry Mall, all the way in the back. Delicious falafel, baba ghanouj, kebab sandwiches, and much more. Large portions and inexpensive; there are many vegetarian options.

Pittsfield Cafe

55 E. Washington St.

Great diner-esque café in the lobby of the Pittsfield Building with huge sandwiches.

Pizzeria Uno & Due*

Pizzeria Uno
29 E. Ohio St.

Pizzeria Due
619 N. Wabash Ave.

A historic Chicago institution with some of the best Chicago-style pizza in the city. Both locations are typically packed, especially during tourist seasons, so be sure to allow extra time. Note that the deep dish pizzas take at least half an hour to prepare.

Su Casa*
49 E. Ontario St.

River North Mexican/Tex–Mex fare.

Under 55 Food Court*

55 E. Monroe St.

Large portions and a good bang for your buck. Lunch options include pasta, stir fry, sandwiches, and more. 10% discount with student ID.


*Accepts ARTICard as a payment option