All About Choice

Leave the cooking and the dishes to the dining team. Dining plans at the University of Iowa are designed to help you select the meal plan option that best fit your schedule, budget, and lifestyle. 

A meal plan is a pre-set number of meals purchased in advance for an academic semester. At the University of Iowa, meal plans offer both market place meals and flex swipes. With your meal plan, you will be free to eat when and where you want (with some limitations), throughout the semester. A meal plan is required for all first-year students living on campus, as well as returning students not living in a room with a university-supplied kitchen. 

You will utilize these meals by presenting your Iowa One card to a cashier who will swipe it at the register. This swiping action deducts one meal from your balance and is called a meal swipe. The two types of swipes offered in our meal plans are market place meals and flex swipes. Most students will use most of their meals in the market places. However, we have retail locations available to you, should you choose to use them.

Check Your Meal Plan Balance

Market place meals are available at our all-you-care-to-eat market places: Burge Market Place, Catlett Market Place, and Hillcrest Market Place. The Gold and Black meal plans offer meal swipes for use exclusively in market place locations. Market place meals will draw from the number of market place swipes provided in your Gold or Black meal plan. Once you run out of market place swipes, flex swipes will be used automatically.

The most flexible option available, flex swipes, can be used in the all-you-care-to-eat market places and at retail locations that accept flex swipes. Every meal plan contains 75 flex swipes for use in market place and eight retail locations (River Room Café, Street Hawk Food Truck, Union Station, Food for Thought Café, Grand Avenue Market, Pat’s Diner, Mayflower Market, and Clinton Street Market). In retail locations, a swipe can be used to purchase a meal comprised of one entrée, two sides, and a drink.

Guest Meals and Walk-In Pricing

All Gold and Black meal plans include eight (8) additional guest meals per semester. You can use these meals to treat a friend in either Burge, Catlett, or Hillcrest Market Places. Unused guest meals expire at the end of each semester.

For those customers without a meal plan contract, Burge, Catlett, and Hillcrest Market Places accept the following forms of tender: UI Charge, Hawkeye Dollars, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

  • Breakfast: $8.00
  • Lunch & Dinner: $11.00

Market Place Meal Tickets

University affiliates (UI conference/camp staff, UI staff or UI students working for a department or student organization) are eligible to purchase market place meal tickets using a university (MFK). When placing the order, enter the MFK and an accounting entry will be automatically made. In the system, MFKs and ticket orders can be named or identified by a specific event, camp, or conference name so they can be reused at a later date. Meal ticket costs are $8.00 for breakfast and $11.00 for lunch and dinner.

Order Market Place Meal Tickets (UI Affiliates Only)

Meal tickets should be ordered at least three (3) business days in advance. The person placing the order will be contacted by email when the meal tickets are available for pick up (in person).  Meal tickets cannot be sent through campus mail as they are negotiable. Tickets may be picked up at the University Housing and Dining administrative office at 4141 Burge, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Guests should present the ticket before entering the market place.

Any unused meal tickets can be turned back into University Housing and Dining, 4141 Burge, for credit up until 5:00 p.m., of the date noted for return on the form. When returning tickets for credit, include the form provided with the tickets. Please list number of tickets being returned for each meal (e.g. 10 breakfast) and indicate the MFK to be credited on the return form. This information is required to receive a credit.

Retail meal tickets may be purchased by selecting the preferred retail operation under Where to Eat, and ordering retail tickets from that page.

Off Campus Meal Plans

Just because you live off campus doesn't mean you shouldn't have access to quality food. No matter your lifestyle, University Housing and Dining has options for you. Students living off campus have the opportunity to purchase meal plans. Meal plans not only give you access to our three market places, but all retail and cafe locations on campus. Convenience, variety, safety, and quality. All available in budget-friendly meal plan options. 

Order Ahead With GrubHub

Beat the rush and order ahead with GrubHub! GrubHub is a mobile app that allows you to order food and drinks for pickup from select retail locations. Best of all, you can use flex swipes, Hawkeye Dollars, UI Charge, and bank cards. GrubHub tells you when your food is ready, so that you can grab it and go. Download the app on Android and iPhone through Google Play or the App Store. 

How To Use Your Meal Plan

Learn more about using your meal plan by viewing the video on the left side of the screen.