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 Conversations Dining). Click this link for a residential dining sample menu. Summer 2018 dining rates for groups with a contracted meal plan are:

Conversations Dining Adults Children 9 and Under
For Contracted Meals:    
Breakfast $8.50 $7.25
Lunch $11.00 $8.25
Dinner $11.00 $8.25
Paying Cash at the Entrance:    
Breakfast $10.00 $7.50
Lunch $13.00 $9.00
Dinner $13.00 $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.

Conversations Dining (Dining Center)
Conversations Dining is located in the lower level of the Oak-Elm Residence Halls on the east side of campus in the Richardson Court Residence Hall neighborhood. Conversations Dining offers a variety of meal options, including a full-service made-to-order deli, speciality sandwiches, as well as vegan options. The "Grill" venue features a daily specialty hamburger, grilled chicken and a vegetarian option as well as fries. Our home-style and international venue, "Creations", offers pizza daily as well as Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and American cuisine on a rotating basis. To round out the offerings, stop by the soup station, made fresh in-house daily and the salad bar—chock full of fresh and healthy items, including fresh fruit and yogurt. Finish off your dining experience with a bakery fresh cookie, cake or bar, or if you prefer ice cream, we have Blue Bunny hard pack ice cream (8 varieties daily). We will look forward to serving you at Conversations Dining for a great dining experience.

For Summer 2018, 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 28, 2018 for Memorial Day and all meals on Wednesday, July 4, 2018).

This dining center serves university conference and camp guests, summer school students, prospective students, and faculty/staff. Conversations Dining Summer 2018 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 7:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m. Closed
Lunch 10:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m. 10:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. 10:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Dinner 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Additional Dining Centers
During times when very large conference groups require different or more dining facilities beyond Conversations Dining, 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 Seasons Marketplace located in the Maple-Willow-Larch Commons. Another 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. 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.

Back to top

Convenience Stores, Cafés, and Restaurants

Additional ISU Dining establishments are available to serve customers on a walk-in basis. 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 are located within our residence hall and apartment neighborhoods—ideal for guests who may have forgotten to pack a personal care item, or for guests wanting a light snack! Typical products at the C-Stores include health and beauty items, soft drinks, frozen foods, chips, candy, groceries, stamps, 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 offers made-to-order deli sandwiches.

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, chicken strips, fries, and onion rings, or they may choose from our paninis or signature sandwiches. Also offered are salads, sides, 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
Inside the Memorial Union on south central campus there are several restaurant and convenience options at least six days a week. The MU Market & Café serves coffee and specialty drinks, ice cream, smoothies, juices, muffins, cookies, pastries, and bars, as well as grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and sides, along with snacks and popular convenience store items.

Back to top

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!

Back to top

Back to Groups Under 2 Weeks