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Dining Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

Q: What does "All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining mean?
A: "All-You-Care-To-Eat" (AYCTE) dining means that you can eat as much as you want in any of the AYCTE dining locations. Once you enter the East Café (SCE) or Dining Hall (JST), you can eat as little or as much as you want during that visit. Food may not be taken out of the AYCTE dining areas.

Q: I don’t live in the campus residence halls. Can I still purchase a meal plan?
A: Meal plans are available to all UIC students, faculty, and staff.

Q: Do I have to buy a meal plan?
A: No, you do not have to buy a meal plan. At the entrance of the "All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining areas, you may buy your meal with a purchased block meal plan, Dragon Dollar$, credit card, or cash. Students living in traditional residence halls (does not include MRH, TBH, SSR, or PSR), are required to purchase a meal plan. Any UIC student, faculty member or staff can purchase a meal plan if they wish to do so.

Q: Which dining option is right for me?
A: A variety of options is available in order to best serve the campus community. To figure out the right plan for you, start by thinking about your eating habits. Are you a "jetsetter" who grabs a bagel in the morning and a salad for dinner? Or do you need three square meals a day to function properly? We have options perfect for either type of eater, and for everyone in between.

Q: What is the difference between "All-You-Care-To-Eat" pricing and the "grab and go" pricing that is used everywhere else?
A: "All-You-Care-To-Eat" (AYCTE): At the entrance of East Café (SCE) or Dining Hall (JST), just swipe your i-card to access your Traditional Meal Plan, Block Meal Plan, or Dragon Dollar$ each time you enter. One "meal" will be deducted from your block plan total or the amount of the meal you are purchasing will be deducted from your Dragon Dollar$ balance. Meals may not be taken out of AYCTE dining areas.
Grab and Go: Alternate campus dining options each have fixed price items. These options are considered "grab and go". At the cash register, your items will be totaled and deducted from your Dragon Dollar$ balance, as if you were using a regular debit card. You may also pay cash at any of the dining locations. You are able to take your food items or beverages to where you choose to eat.

Q: Can I take food out of ";All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining area?
A: No. Meals may not be taken out of the "All-You-Care-To-Eat" (AYCTE) dining areas - East Café (SCE) and Dining Hall (JST). One piece of fruit or one dessert may be taken out only. Once you leave an AYCTE dining location, you may re-enter by purchasing a meal, using your block meal plan or by using your meal plan. See Meal Plan Tab for additional details.

Q: Will I have access to "All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining areas all day?
A: No, "All-You-Care-To-Eat" (AYCTE) dining area is closed after lunch and reopens for dinner. You may utilize alternate dining options during this time. Please see the Meal Plan Tab for dining hours in the AYCTE dining areas.
All-You-Care-To-Eat dining areas are closed during the following hours:
3:00 - 4:30pm, Monday through Friday
2:00 - 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday

AYCTE dining areas are located in the East Café (SCE) and Dining Hall (JST).

Q: Can I get breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night meals every day?
A: No. Brunch is offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays instead of the breakfast and lunch option. An expanded menu is offered at Brunch and is available from 9:30am-2:00pm. The late night option is not available on Fridays and Saturdays.

Q: What additional dining options are available?
A: Additional dining options include:


Argo Tea Café (opening soon)
Café Descartes
Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins
Halsted Street Station (convenience store)
Inner Circle (Burrito Bravo, Sbarros, Subway, Wendy’s)
Vending machines

Café Descartes
Marketplace (Adobe Flat, Freshii, Jow Jing, Lotus Café, Outtakes, Papa John’s, Table Top Café, The Grill at Marketplace, Zátar)
Union Station (convenience store inside Medical Bookstore)
Vending machines

Au Bon Pain (BSB)
Bull Market Coffee Shop (DH)
Cruising Café (SSB)
The Daley Grind (LIB)
Morgan Street Station (convenience store) (BSB)
On the Mall: Sbarros and Frank & Fries (Polk St.)
Port Center Café Tropical Smoothie (SPHPI)
Tropical Smoothie (SRF)
Wood Street Station (convenience store) (CSN)
Vending machines located in additional buildings on campus

Q: What should I do if I lose my i-card?
A: If you lose your i-card, report it immediately to the ID Center office at (312) 413-5940. Cards reported lost or stolen are immediately invalidated for your protection. A replacement i-card can be obtained in either of the ID Center offices (1790 Student Services Building or 242 UIC Student Center West).

Q: What happens if I run out of meals?
A: No problem. You can add additional Dragon Dollar$ to your account or purchase block meal plans at anytime.

Q: What can you do to accommodate my special dietary needs?
A: We want you to eat well on campus. American, Italian, Tex-Mex, Hallal, Kosher, vegetarian and vegan are just some of the great options available. Let us know what you need and we will work toward a solution. You can find information for a variety of special diets, as well as nutrition and health information, online at www.dineoncampus.com/uic/balancedU.

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Meal Plan Questions:

Q: What is a meal plan?
A: A "meal plan" is a UIC dining package which allows you to eat a certain number of days each week or a number of meals per week. See Meal Plan tab for details.

Q: How much are meal plans?
A: Please see Meal Plan tab for details.

Q: What is a block meal plan?
A: A "block meal plan" is a fixed quantity of meals or a certain number of meals that you may purchase. A "meal" is breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or late night. One block meal equals one entry to East Café (SCE) or Dining Hall (JST). With block meal plans, you get a specific number of meals added to your i-card. You may purchase block meal plans at any time at the ID Center (SSB), Service Centers in the Student Centers, or online at www.dragoncenter.uic.edu.

Q: Can I change my meal plan?
A: For Traditional meal plans, you can change to a larger meal plan anytime. You may change to a smaller meal plan only during the first week of the fall and/or spring semesters. Housing Residents can modify their meal plan with the Campus Housing office. Off-Campus Students can make changes by completing a meal plan change form available at the ID Center only.

Q: How do I access my meal plan?
A: The dining plan option you choose is linked directly to your i-card.

Q: How much does each meal cost if I am not using a meal plan for payment?
A: Unlike the meal plan, the cost to purchase a meal provides for a one-time individual access to the dining area. Meals can be purchased by using cash, Dragon Dollar$, or credit/debit.
Meal costs are:
Breakfast - $5.60
Lunch - $8.55
Late Night/Weekend Brunch - $7.95
Dinner - $9.70
(Applicable sales tax will be charged.)

Q: Can I use my meal plan to feed others?
A: Some residential meal plans come with a certain number of free guest passes. Simply tell the cashier you want to use one and they will access the guest pass option. With block meal plans, you may use as many of your meals as you want to feed your guests. You can always use Dragon Dollar$, cash, or credit and debit cards to purchase a meal for a guest.

Q: How do I buy a meal plan?
A: It’s easy. If you live in one of the residence halls, simply select a dining plan when you sign your housing contract. Off-Campus students may sign up for a Traditional meal plan only at the ID Center. You may buy a block meal plan at any time at the ID Center, the Service Centers in the Student Centers, or online atwww.dragoncenter.uic.edu..

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Dining Locations and Options Questions:

Q: Where can I eat on campus? And when?
A: For a complete list of campus dining locations and hours, please see the Locations tab.

Q: Which dining locations are no longer open?
A: Centennial Room in SCW closed in May 2015.

Q: Where are "All-You-Care-To-Eat" locations?
A: "All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining areas are East Café (SCE) and Dining Hall (JST).

Q: Can I use the "All-You-Care-To-Eat" dining option at all dining locations?
A: No, only at East Café (SCE) and Dining Hall (JST). Alternative dining areas have the grab-and-go option.

Q: If I bring my lunch or buy from one of the other dining options, where can I sit to eat my meal?
A: There are many seating options available. In SCE, there is additional seating in West Lounge (formerly part of East Café), SRC Atrium, Inner Circle, Montgomery Ward Lounge, and the Pier Room. In SCW, additional seating is available in the East Lounge.

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Dragon Dollar$ Questions:

Q: What are Dragon Dollar$?
A: Dragon Dollar$ provide a way to use your i-card to make purchases. See the Dragon Dollar$ website for details.

Q: Can I buy food with Dragon Dollar$?
A: Yes. Dragon Dollar$ are accepted at all Campus Dining locations, including All-You-Care-To-Eat dining areas.

Q: How can I purchase Dragon Dollar$?
A: Dragon Dollar$ can be added to your i-card by depositing funds similar to a banking account at one of the Service Centers. Please see the Dragon Dollar$ website for details.

Q: What happens if I run out of Dragon Dollar$?
A: You may add Dragon Dollar$ at any time. See the Dragon Dollar$ website for details.

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Comment and Feedback Questions:

Q: Who can I contact if I have comments?
A: You may share your comments by sending an email to dining@uic.edu.

Q: How can I give feedback on my campus dining experience?
A: We want to hear from you. Provide us with feedback on your campus dining experiences by sending an e-mail to dining@uic.edu.

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