Dining Options for Groups Under 2 Weeks

Residential Dining Centers
Convenience Stores, Cafés, and Restaurants
Catering through ISU Dining

ISU Dining, our award-winning, self-operated campus dining provider, prides itself on providing a variety of quality culinary experiences to our university community and guests. ISU Dining offers several residential dining centers, convenience stores, cafés, and restaurants across the ISU campus, as well as catering for both on and off-campus venues.

For conference groups staying under two weeks, conference sponsors may arrange a customized meal plan to meet the needs of their group. This could include breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals in our open residential dining centers; a catered meal, or a dining dollar program where individual guests may choose meals, snacks, or convenience items from our dining centers, cafés, restaurants, or convenience stores. Meal tickets or guest cards are typically provided for dining access and will be issued at check-in. Guests may obtain replacement tickets or cards for a charge at their Conference Desk. Contact Conference Services Staff for assistance in putting together a personalized package to meet your group’s needs.

During the summer, current information on ISU Dining facility hours, menus, and nutritional information is available on the ISU Dining website on the Hours, Menus, and Nutrition links (information on other links may not apply to conference groups).

Residential Dining Centers

Several dining centers may provide meal plans for groups, or individual guests may choose to pay cash at the serving entrance (or with MasterCard, Visa, or Discover credit card at Union Drive Marketplace or Seasons Marketplace). Click this link for a residential dining sample menu. Summer 2017 dining rates for groups with a contracted meal plan are:

Union Drive Marketplace and Seasons Marketplace Adults Children 9 and Under
For Contracted Meals:    
Breakfast $8.00 $6.75
Lunch $9.50 $7.75
Dinner $10.50 $8.25
Paying Cash at the Entrance:    
Breakfast $9.50 $7.00
Lunch $12.50 $8.50
Dinner $12.50 $9.00

Rates for next summer will be posted in approximately January of each year. For information on rates for groups numbering over 1,000, special circumstances, or estimates for future summers, consult with Conference Services Staff.

Union Drive Marketplace (Dining Center)
The Union Drive Marketplace is located in the Union Drive Community Center (UDCC) on the west side of campus in the Union Drive Residence Hall neighborhood. This spacious, multi-venue residential dining center serves summer school students, prospective students, faculty/staff, and university conference and camp guests. Being only a few steps away from guests living in the Union Drive Residence Halls, it is the dining center of choice for those living in Friley, Martin, Eaton, or Helser Residence Halls, or for programs with activities on the central campus area. For Summer 2017, meals will be served seven days a week during the summer, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday breakfasts, and University Holiday closings (all meals on Monday, May 29, 2017 for Memorial Day and all meals on Tuesday, July 4, 2017).

The Union Drive Marketplace’s Summer 2017 serving hours are listed below (subject to change prior to each summer). Inquiries regarding availability of hours outside the minimum serving times should be requested in advance to Conference Services Staff.

  Sunday Monday-Friday Saturday
Breakfast Closed 6:45 a.m.-9:15 a.m. Closed
Lunch 10 a.m.-1:15 p.m. 10:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. 10 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Dinner 4:30-7:00 p.m. 4:30-7:00 p.m. 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Currently, homestyle breakfast offerings might include prepared eggs, breakfast casseroles, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit, and more. Or a quick breakfast could include breakfast pastries, a make-your-own-waffle from the waffle bar, or choose from the large variety of breakfast cereals on the breakfast cereal bar. For lunch and dinner, guests may be able to choose a meal at Country Cuisine; create their own quesadilla or try a Mongolian stir-fry at Wok Your Way; grab an Italian treat at Oregano's; or enjoy some burgers and fries at the Backyard Grill. Guests may want to check out the Sweet Temptations dessert bar, the Farmer's Market salad bar, or the Fresh Choices delicatessen for a made-to-order deli sandwich topped with fresh vegetables.

Seasons Marketplace (Dining Center)
Seasons Marketplace is located in the Maple-Willow-Larch Commons on the east side of campus in the Richardson Court Residence Hall neighborhood only minutes away from the Iowa State Center, a popular venue for many conference activities on the ISU campus. This state-of-the-art multi-venue residential dining center serves university conference and camp guests when larger conferences are on campus. Dining service availability for each meal is determined by the contracted number of diners. Consult with Conference Services Staff regarding availability of service. Arrangements may also be made in advance for those living in the Richardson Court Residence Halls to dine at the Union Drive Marketplace on the east side of campus.

Currently, unique dining stations include Bonsai’s (authentically prepared ethnic foods), Bushel Basket (fresh salads, fruits, vegetables, and soups), Olive Branch (gourmet pizzas and other Italian foods), Cocoa Bean (desserts), Wood Grill (grilled meats and sandwiches), Breakfast Nook, and Hickory’s (featuring down-home slow cooked comfort foods and smoked meats). While dining, enjoy the beautiful lighting and décor, including artwork by Sticks, Inc. from Des Moines, Iowa.

Additional Dining Centers
During times when very large conference groups require more dining facilities beyond Union Drive Marketplace or Seasons Marketplace, additional dining locations may be used. In the Richardson Court Residence Hall neighborhood on the east side of campus along Beach Road, this may include Conversations Dining, the dining center located in Oak-Elm Residence Halls. Storms Dining on the south side of campus or dining facilities in the Memorial Union on south central campus may also be used to serve guests. In any dining area prepared to conveniently serve customers, guests will enjoy all-you-care-to-eat entrees, salads, beverages, and desserts prepared with care by ISU Dining staff.

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Convenience Stores, Cafés, and Restaurants

Additional ISU Dining establishments are available to serve customers on a walk-in basis. Payment options include cash and Dining Dollars. During the summer, current information on all ISU Dining facility hours, payment options, and locations is available on the ISU Dining website.

Several convenience stores (sometimes referred to as “C-Stores”) are located within our residence hall and apartment neighborhoods—ideal for guests who may have forgotten to pack a personal care item, or for youth groups who need an afternoon or evening snack! Typical products at the C-Stores include health and beauty items, soft drinks, pizza, frozen foods, batteries, chips, candy, cleaning supplies, cereal, stamps, phone cards, guest cards for laundry service, laundry products, and more.

Some of the most popular stops for conference guests are:

West Side Market
The West Side Market is a C-Store nestled in the ground floor of the Union Drive Community Center in the Union Drive Residence Hall neighborhood. In addition to the typical convenience store products, the West Side Market also offers a special deli counter at which customers can purchase a made-to-order deli sandwich. Customers can also grab hot slices of pizza or whole pizza pies.

East Side Market
The East Side Market is a C-Store on the 2nd level of the Maple-Willow-Larch Commons in the Richardson Court Residence Hall neighborhood. East Side Market has the typical convenience store items you need, just a short distance away!

Treat yourself to something special at Hawthorn, located in the Frederiksen Court Community Center in the heart of the Frederiksen Court Apartments. Hawthorn is a great place to dine, socialize, and relax. The coffee house atmosphere, including sofas and comfy chairs, creates an ideal gathering place.

Customers can start their day with breakfast sandwiches or choose from an assortment of pastries. A wide variety of grilled favorites are available: burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, chicken strips, fries, and onion rings. Or they may choose a cold or toasted deli sandwich prepared to their liking with choices of specialty breads, meats, cheeses, spreads, and toppings. Also offered are soup, personal Hot Stuff pizzas, salads, side dishes, smoothies, and Starbucks coffees and specialty drinks.

In addition to typical convenience store items, coolers and freezers are stocked with milk, yogurt, juice, and frozen entrées—especially handy for guests living in the Frederiksen Court apartments!

Memorial Union Food Court and MU Market & Café
Inside the Memorial Union on south central campus there are several restaurant and convenience options. At the Memorial Union Food Court, customers can enjoy fresh (not frozen!) burgers and natural-cut fries at CYs & Fries, Mexican fare at Fresh Burrito Works, chicken entrees at Chesters as well as personal pizzas at Godfather's Express. A salad bar, deli case featuring freshly made salads, sandwiches, and sides, as well as desserts are also available in the Memorial Union Food Court. Subway and Panda Express are just around the corner.

The nearby MU Market & Café serves coffee and specialty drinks, ice cream, smoothies, juices, muffins, cookies, pastries, bars, and tortes as well as a wide variety of snacks and popular convenience store items.

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Catering through ISU Dining

From bakery items and boxed lunches to unique appetizers and served dinners, ISU Catering's managers and chefs are equipped to handle any size event.  Full-service catering is available for both university and non-university customers.  ISU Catering is the provider of food and beverage services for events held at the Memorial Union.  Staff have years of experience catering events throughout ISU's campus and the Ames area.  Pick-up, delivery, and fully-staffed service is available.

Catering staff will meet with you to understand your event and the type of food you would like to have.  Catering staff can accommodate special dietary needs as well as customize a meal of local or organic ingredients.

Our menu is available online at the ISU Dining website on the Catering link, or call us at (515) 294-2103, extension 1 to speak with one of our catering managers.  We look forward to working with you!

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