Illinois students explain campus’ most beloved food spots

Customers+fill+out+their+order+slips+at+Mia+Zas+Italian+restaurant+on+Sept.+12.+Both+Mia+Zas+and+Bangkok+Thai+are+beloved+by+students+at+the+University.+

Cameron Krasucki

Customers fill out their order slips at Mia Za’s Italian restaurant on Sept. 12. Both Mia Za’s and Bangkok Thai are beloved by students at the University.

By Dhanashri Mandhani, Contributing Writer

Many say food is a universal language of love, of some sort of deep human connection and that good food can never fail to bring people together. 

Champaign-Urbana is almost a 154-year-old community, and with about 44,000 students on campus, food is at the heart of this town for many. Commercial chain restaurants are everywhere, but local restaurants are one of a kind. They mean so much to the local community and have nothing but delicious food that is made with love by these very locals.

 C-U has its very own popular, small local restaurants and cafes that have been serving students at fair prices all throughout the year for many years now. Green Street is the community’s very own food street that is always hustling and bustling with students and C-U residents, especially during lunch and dinner hours.

But what is it that C-U loves so much about these local restaurants? The answers lie within those who visit and enjoy these places the most.

Bangkok Thai

Bangkok Thai, as the name suggests is a Thai restaurant on Green Street that has won the hearts of almost everyone who has been there. Sam O’Brien, graduate student in LAS, said he loves the yellow curry at Bangkok Thai and everything he has tried at the restaurant is delicious

“The portion sizes are great so the money you spend on food here is worth it,” O’Brien said. “I end up spending about $40 every month at Bangkok Thai.”

Rebekah Kim, junior in LAS, said she has been coming to Bangkok Thai for four years now. 

“The food is great,” Kim said. “Pricing is really fair, and the delivery time is short. These things make me return to this restaurant almost every week.”

Mia Za’s

Down Green Street lies local Italian joint Mia Za’s. Operating at the same location for almost 20 years, it’s safe to say that Mia Za’s is a community favorite. 

Allison Kamrat, manager of Mia Za’s, has been working at the restaurant for four years and was a Illinois student until last December.

“People always tell us that our order placing system is very innovative,” Kamrat said. “Our customers never run out of options. People love our pizza and pasta.”

Zack Saudners, senior in LAS, has been going to Mia Za’s since he was a freshman. 

“Mia Za’s is close to all my classes,” Zack Saudners said. “It’s quick, inexpensive and one of the best pizza places on campus.”

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