Where to Eat

Chicago is known for its wide array of diverse and exceptional dining. From steak to vegetarian fare, hot dog stands to five-star restaurants, and pizza to pad thai, there is something in Chicago for everyone. There are literally hundreds of restaurants just a short walk or cab ride away from SAIC.

Looking for something on campus? Below are on-campus dining options available to you when visiting SAIC.

On-Campus Dining

SAIC partners with local vendor Food for Thought to offer a variety of quality dining choices. SAIC’s dining facilities promote sustainable and healthy eating while also showcasing organic, fair-trade, and local ingredients. Options include grab-n-go items as well as hot entrees and fresh food options including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

  • Cafés are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks and late evening dining. All of our cafés are cash-free. Residence hall students are able to dine on campus with SAIC's meal plan. All cafés take credit and debit cards, as well as ARTICard. Add funds to your ARTICard at various locations around campus. 

    Grab & Go foods are premade and prepackaged meals and snacks offered as an alternative and quick way of dining in our cafes. Grab & Go meals offer a variety of high-quality, diverse, and delicious options. A few examples are fresh fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, salads, sandwiches, chicken tenders, French fries and much more.

  • 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 to daily specials at the hot buffet. From rotating dishes like authentic Japanese ramen and sushi, to pizza, specialty sandwiches, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes and international specialties, there is sure to be something for every palette.

    The LeRoy Neiman Center
    37 S. Wabash, floor 2

    Monday–Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 8:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. , Grab & Go after 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 4:00 p.m.
    Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 7:00 p.m.

  • Come check out the 280 Café for rotating breakfast options, a wide-array of sandwiches & salads, stir fry, choices from the hot frill, grab and go options, and tasty desserts. and most notably chef-designed dishes such as pad Thai, fried rice, and lo mein.

    280 Building
    280 S. Columbus Drive, floor 2

    Monday–Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 6:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 5:00 p.m.
    Weekends: Closed

  • The MacLean Center Café  offers breakfast items, sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks, and many grab-go offerings. A perfect place for before or after class, or for your mid-class break.

    MacLean Center
    112 S. Michigan Ave., floor 12

    Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 5:00 p.m. 
    Friday:  8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Grab & Go after 4:00 p.m.
    Weekends: Closed

A student adding food to their plate at the neiman center

Order Through Your Phone

With mobile ordering, you can place your order ahead of time and pick it up at a location outside of the café service and payment lines. Download the Transact Mobile Ordering app from Google play or the App Store. Select "SAIC Mobile Ordering" and sign in with your SAIC email address. The app takes both ARTICard payment (e.g., your meal plan) and credit cards. 

A table of food at a catered event

Cater Your Next Event

Having an event on campus? Consider catering through Food for Thought. Create customizable menus, including holiday menus, outdoor barbecues, and menus for themed-events such as Taste of Chicago Neighborhoods and Tour of Italy. View the catering menu and submit your order.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought is a Chicagoland, regional company that has been locally owned and in business since 1983, which includes several colleges and cultural institutions among its numerous locations. Food for Thought is proud to be a female and minority owned company.

With today's ever-changing dietary needs, Food for Thought is also dedicated to promoting sustainable and healthy eating, while showcasing organic, fair trade and local ingredients. The company meets SAIC's requirement of offering plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Contact Us

Campus Life Office

Sharp Building
37 S. Wabash Ave, suite 201

Director, Campus Life

Laura Lamb llamb@saic.edu