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.


We know that convenience and sustainability matter. That is why our team has developed the Market2Go program where you can take your meals to-go. Launching in Fall 2021, Market2Go is a program that is included with meal plans, that allows you the convenience of eating where you want, while working to reduce waste.  

Simply grab your container take it in any market place, fill your container, and take your meal to-go. 

Please note: You can use your meal swipe to either dine-in or use Market2Go. 

Upon arrival to the University of Iowa, you will receive a virtual token that you can use at any market place cashier to claim your Market2Go container. One container is included with your meal plan. This is a green container that is reusable. All students will have free access to this program regardless of meal plan status. If you lose your container, you will need to purchase additional containers.

You will follow these steps to use your container: 

  1. A virtual token has been loaded onto your IowaOne card. 
  2. Tell the cashier, as you swipe in to the market place, that you want to take your meal to-go. The cashier will swipe your IowaOne card to remove the virtual token and give you a clean container and a disposable cup for your beverage. 
  3. The cashier will swipe your IowaOne card to remove the virtual token and give you a clean container and a disposable cup for your beverage. 
  4. Select your meal items and fill your container.  
  5. Take your container to-go to consume outside of the market place. You will not be allowed to remain in the market place to eat your meal. (Please empty and rinse your container, once your food is consumed) 
  6. Return your used container in a timely manner to the market place in order to obtain a clean container or a virtual token. 

To obtain a new container, you will follow these steps: 

  1. Bring your container to any market place. 
  2. Hand your old container to staff at the cashier stand.  
  3. Our staff will hand you a clean container for you to use. 
  4. If you don’t want to take your meal to-go at this point, a virtual token will be added back to your account. 
  5. The next time you chose to take your meal to go, you can exchange your virtual token for a clean container. 
  6. If you do not have a container to return or a virtual token on your account, you will be charged for a replacement container.

Market2Go containers can be used in three market places: Burge, Catlett, and Hillcrest. Market2Go containers cannot be used at retail locations or the Street Hawk Food truck. 

While your first container will be provided free of charge, any subsequent containers that you lose will need to be purchased. Each container will cost $5.00. 

Market2Go containers can typically hold an entrée, 2-3 sides, and a dessert or whichever food items you want to fill your container with. Your container must be able to close and latch.

You can use the container as often as your meal plan allows.

No. This container is meant for your convenience.

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

Market place meal tickets are not currently for sale at this time. Meal tickets for the 2021-22 academic year will be available for purchase beginning August 11, 2021. Please check back here on or after August 11 to order market place tickets.

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.