Best places to eat on campus


Tiffany Zhang | The Daily Illini

Helen Edna, sophomore in Business, cuts a freshly made pizza at Azzip Pizza on September 29, 2015.

By Jessica Berbey, Assistant daytime editor

Being away from home for the first time can be a daunting experience as is, but for many students who face the reality of not being able to travel home as frequently as others, homesickness tends to kick in a lot faster. Although home-cooked meals seem out of the question, especially if living in the dorms, many international students find comfort in the different kinds of food the restaurants on campus offer.

Green Street alone is host to a melting pot of international cuisine; ranging from Chinese food, to Indian food, to Thai food, there is something to satisfy every craving. Below are some of the most popular places to eat on campus among international students.

Lai Lai Wok

Located at 402 E. Green St., Lai Lai Wok is one of the few Chinese restaurants on campus that not only serves dishes popular among American students, such as sesame chicken or General Tso’s chicken, but it also has an “authentic” section on the menu that caters to students looking for something a little more traditional. The dishes are not only delicious, but most of the options on the menu are under $10, which is especially great for a college student’s budget. On top of that, they offer free green tea!

“Lai Lai Wok is definitely one of my favorite places to eat on campus,” said Nikhil Makhijani, sophomore in LAS. “I ate out a lot back home (in Singapore), and most of the time, I’d go to Chinese restaurants and order Kung Pao chicken. The Kung Pao chicken at Lai Lai is really good and it’s very similar to the ones I’m used to eating.”

Bangkok Thai and Pho 911

Located at 410 E Green St., this hidden treasure has some of the best Thai food on campus. From Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao to a selection of different curries and Pho, you can’t go wrong with choosing Bangkok Thai for your choice in Southeast Asian cuisine. They offer different spice levels ranging from one to six on every dish, six being the spiciest, which means guests are not restricted to foods based on their spice tolerance.

Azzip Pizza

Unlike “traditional” American pizza chains, Azzip Pizza is set up as a pizza bar, where customers can make their personal-sized pizzas exactly the way they want them. They offer a variety of fresh meat and vegetable toppings and sauces, as well as regular or gluten-free crusts in two different sizes.

Located at 505 E. Green St., Azzip doesn’t only serve pizzas. They have salad options, which is great for those who are a bit more health conscious.

Ambar India

Unlike the other restaurants listed above, this one is not located on Green Street. Situated at 605 S. Wright St., Ambar India is a must among international students looking to indulge in cheap Indian food. They offer both a la carte and buffet dining options, which is pretty great, depending on whether you want something specific or a little bit of everything. Their buffet has a  variety of meat and vegetarian dishes, as well as tasty sides and desserts.

“I love Ambar’s paneer tikka masala, garlic naan and dal makhni,” said Dhruv Khanna, sophomore in LAS. “I frequent Ambar when I’m craving food from back home (in India), and Ambar definitely satisfies those cravings. Compared to my favorite restaurant in India, Ambar is around a seven out of 10.”

Jessica is a junior in LAS.
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