The Illini Union, which is the hub of student life on campus conveniently located right on the famous Main Quad, has an awesome food court in the basement. Currently home to a Sbarro, Wendy’s, Qdoba, and Einstein Bros Bagel, this week it received a new and amazing Mediterranean restaurant called Garbanzo. Lots of Illini were asking for a delicious Mediterranean option, and the Illini Union delivered.
The line to Garbanzo was quite long when I visited. People must be eager to try the fast-casual food it is known for. Kind of like Chipotle, Garbanzo allows you to start with an entree like pita or flatbread and to add proteins, meats, and veggies. It’s a delicious alternative to the dining hall food you’ll get used to eating your first year here. Most people take advantage of the Illini Union basement food court when they have a spare hour or two in between classes. Many of the chains have student specials and discounts to encourage students to take advantage of these awesome places.
I recommend using the food court to its fullest by using it as a place to study, relax, and eat. There is free WiFi in the basement and plenty of seating available. There’s even a computer lab next to the food court if you need a computer or if you need to print something out for a class. This is convenient because not everyone opts to buy a printer to keep in their dorm.
When it comes to Garbanzo, I’m planning on having some Chicken Pita with a side of rice for a full meal. Expect to pay $7-10 for a great and filling lunch there. If you visit to campus before enrolling, make sure you and your family take a trip down to the basement and play on the Illini Union bowling lanes while you’re at it!