Dining in Downers Grove

The Commons Café

The Commons Café, located on the upper level of the Commons, offers daily specials, hot entrees, deli specials, grab 'n go options, homemade soups, and fresh baked cookies.  There are periodic specialty theme entrees at the café, daily combo meals, as well as Chef Specials to maximize your dining dollars.  The Commons Café currently is only accepting contactless payment (NO CASH).

For snack hours and dinner hours these are “online orders” only.

Hours: Monday - Friday
Breakfast -  7:00 - 10:00am
Lunch - 11:00am - 1:30pm
Snack* - 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Dinner* -  5:00 - 6:30pm
Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED 
(*denotes closed on Fridays)

The Commons Café is a great place to enjoy a variety of meal options with friends, talk informally with faculty and administration, or study for your next class.  For more info, click HERE.


Commons Grounds

Located in the lower Level of The Commons, Commons Grounds is a full Starbucks ® location. It offers an informal alternative to cafeteria dining. Commons Grounds offers a variety of pre-made meat and vegetarian sandwiches and wraps, salads, coffee, espresso drinks, snack items, and fresh bakery items made in our own kitchen. Sandwich, wrap, and bakery options change on a rotating basis.

Open Monday through Thursday – 7:00am-2:00pm/5:00pm-8:00pm
(Closed 10:15am - 11:00am)
Friday – 7:00am-2:00pm
Saturday – 9:30am-3:30pm
Sunday – CLOSED

Gourmet Grab 'N Go Options

Smart Market-Located next to Commons Grounds in the lower level of the Commons Building. This is a 24 hour vending option which includes fresh grab and go sandwiches/salads along with other typical vending options. Accepts credit and debit cards.

Farmer's Fridge-Gourmet vending machine which includes breakfast options along with sandwiches/salads. Available in the 24hour room of Little John Library.  Get the Farmer's Fridge app and pre-order.  Accepts credit and debit cards.

Summer Quarter Dining Options

The Commons Café will be open Monday through Friday for full breakfast and lunch. 

Commons Café Summer Hours:

  • Breakfast: Mon–Fri  7:00 - 10:00am

  • Lunch: Mon–Fri  11:00am - 1:00pm

  • Dinner: CLOSED
  • Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED

Student Meal Plans

The convenience and flexibility of the Midwestern University dining program helps take care of your dining needs so you can concentrate on your educational goals. In order to provide the greatest flexibility, Midwestern University is proud to offer MWU Munch Money for your campus dining plan. MWU Munch Money is used as a declining balance option on your student ID card.  By taking advantage of this benefit, students will receive an extra 15% bonus of MWU Munch Money added to their student ID. The Plan rolls over to the next quarter.  MWU Munch Money can only be used at both Chartwells food locations: The Commons Café or Commons Grounds.  Students who are graduating or separating from the University can request a refund of any money left over on this account, minus the 15% bonus money that was added by MWU.

Save money, enjoy a variety of food choices and eliminate the need to plan your own meals by enrolling in the campus dining plan.  Students who enroll can build the cost of this meal plan into their financial aid budget, alleviating the need to carry cash and the worry of running out of money. 

Additional Factors to Consider

Academic Schedule

The academic programs at Midwestern University often require that an extended amount of time be spent on campus engaging in coursework, labs, and exams with one hour scheduled for lunch. In addition, students may be involved in meetings with faculty, group projects, student organizations, work-study, or other activities which all occur after a full day of coursework.

Residential Students

Microwaves, hot plates, popcorn poppers and other cooking devices are prohibited in the residence halls. Microwaves are located in various areas in Redwood Hall. Residential students also have access to full kitchens located in the lower level of Redwood 1 and 2.

Commuter Students

The weather in Chicago can be unpredictable at times, negatively impacting traffic and driving times. The local expressway and tollway systems can easily become congested, particularly during rush hours and bad weather conditions. Midwestern University is located near several business complexes and shopping centers that also contribute to traffic delays and congestion. Commuter students have access to microwave ovens in the Commons Grounds and 24-hour Study Room in the Library.

University and Student Organization Programs

Throughout the academic year, Midwestern University and student organizations provide lunchtime programs where lunch is provided free of charge. These programs occur more frequently during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, and students may find they attend at least one program per week depending on the topic.


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