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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

If there is anything you need to know about Champaign, it’s that we have amazing food! Trust me, even though we are amidst cornfields, what we lack in location, we make up for in our food. So, if you find yourself bored and hungry on a Saturday night, look no further! These restaurants are bound to become your new go-to spots if they aren’t already.

1. Sakanaya

Located on 409 E Green St, Sakanaya offers an extensive menu varying from sushi to ramen. Though some items on the menu can be pricier, they are honestly worth every penny. The ingredients used are both fresh and high-quality; upon entering, the fish is even displayed for customers to see. It is truly one of the Midwest’s hidden treasures. Some customer favorites include the: Shrimp Tempura, Playgirl, Willis Tower, and Crunch Munch. If you are an avid sushi lover, you can still pop in for some take-out and I promise you will not be disappointed!

2. Maize Grill

Located on 60 E Green St, Maize Grill is a small, authentic Mexican restaurant; it is also a Champaign staple. However, don’t be fooled by its size! The food is prepared in such a timely manner and the service offered is excellent. The meat, varying from chicken to steak, is also always high-quality and well done. Additionally, with an order of $10 or more, you receive a complimentary bag of Tortilla chips accompanied by fresh, home-made salsa! Some customer favorites include the: Taco Tradicional, Rice & Beans, Quesadilla, and Burrito Carne Asada (Steak). As the weather continues getting warmer, grab some Maize with your friends and enjoy the seating offered outside.

Fusiontempura And Shrimp Tacos
Tiffany Meh / Spoon

3. Naya

Located on 212 E Green St, Naya offers an extraordinarily rare approach to food as we know it, describing itself as an Asian-inspired Italian restaurant. The atmosphere is delightful and elegant. Naya is especially perfect for a date night or even a fancy night-out with friends. But word to the wise, it is incredibly busy most of the time, so it is recommended to reserve a spot if possible. Thankfully, it is also very COVID-conscious; customers dining in are required to sanitize and have their temperature checked upon arrival. And of course, the unique foods offered are delicious! Some customer favorites include the: Umami burger, Sweet Potato pizza, Galbi burger, and Vegetarian Tempura Portobello Burger. Treat yourself to a night out!

4. Shawarma Joint

Located on 627 E Green St, Shawarma Joint is a new, Middle Eastern restaurant. After anticipating its arrival, it truly lives up to the hype. The food is incredibly fresh and well-seasoned, including a wonderful variety of toppings and sauces to choose from. The value is great as well because it comes with a lot of food. (It is usually my dinner for two nights). Some customer favorites include the: Gyros Pita, Chicken Shawarma Bowl, Falafel Wrap, & Hummus. If you have never tried Middle Eastern food before, this will become your new favorite!

Bowl of colourful food
Photo by Edgar Castrejon from Unsplash



Iga Stepaniak

Illinois '23

Hi! I'm currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign studying Psychology and Communication. I am the VP of Editorial for the Her Campus Illinois Chapter. In my free time, I love to write, travel, and read.
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