Campus dining halls provide meal plans, variety of choices


Courtesy NIU

There are many food and drink options NIU students to choose from at New Hall Dining and other location across campus.

By Jacob Baker

DeKALB — Coming to DeKalb for the first time and navigating dining options offered by the university and establishments located around campus can be overwhelming. While DeKalb has a small-town feel, the city has lots to offer for incoming students of all eating lifestyles. 

On-campus dining offers four dining halls and several retail dining locations. The main four dining halls are New Hall, Gilbert Hall, Neptune and Stevenson retail dining. 

New Hall Dining and Neptune Dining

New Hall dining and Neptune dining hall serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in an all-you-can-eat fashion. Features at New Hall include grilled or fried entrees, a fresh salad bar, cereal station and brick oven pizza and pasta, according to the NIU dining website. At Neptune, there is a large buffet of homestyle meals, grilled-to-order burgers and sandwiches, soup and salad bar, dessert station and more.

“We have different menus at both, so students can look at the menu for Neptune, look at the menu for New Hall, then decide,” Daniel Koenen, executive director for Campus Dining Services, said. “What I love about Neptune is that it’s at the center of campus, so the location makes it unique.” 

Gilbert Hall

Gilbert will not be open for all-you-can-eat dining in the fall. Instead, East Side Cafe will be open, where Gilbert residents will be able to use meal exchanges at their leisure, Koenen said. 

Stevenson Retail Dining

Stevenson retail dining offers two shops: the Stevenson Grill, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the Stevenson Pizzeria, which starts serving food at 11 a.m., according to the NIU dining website. Huskie Bucks, meal exchanges, dining dollars and normal payments are accepted. Retail dining locations offer non-dining hall food either from restaurant chains and unique campus locations.

On-campus retail locations

Located on campus are several retail locations like Einstein Bros. Bagels, Qdoba and Starbucks. Other non-retail locations include the Depot C-Store, The Grill and Three Sons Bistro, where Huskie Bucks, meal exchanges, dining dollars and normal payments are accepted. 

Off-campus dining options

Locations off-campus that accept Huskie Bucks range from Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle and Junction Eating Place, according to the NIU dining website. A full list of locations can be found on the NIU dining website. 

DeKalb has no shortage of favorite restaurant chains, local restaurants and unique flavors of global cuisines, according to the City of DeKalb website. A full guide to DeKalb eating locations can be found on the City of DeKalb Foodie Map

Payment options

Huskie Bucks, meal exchanges, dining dollars, credit and debit cards, brand gift cards and cash are payment options seen across the many dining options at NIU. Huskie Bucks are a form of currency that students can add funds to their OneCard to use at dining locations. Meal exchanges allow students to take their normal meal plan to other on-campus retail locations. Dining dollars serve the same purpose as Huskie Bucks but are strictly used for dining purchases.