Dining in Downers Grove

The Commons Cafe

The Commons Café, located on the upper level of the Commons, offers a large selection of a la carte meal options including hot entrees, made-to-order meals at the Exhibition Station, home-made soups and chili, freshly baked pizza, a dazzling salad bar, newly made desserts, ice cream, and hot breakfast including made-to-order omelets. There are periodic specialty theme entrees at the café featuring palate tantalizing options, daily combo meals, as well as Chef Specials to maximize your dining dollars. 

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. Full brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday.

Breakfast: Mon–Fri  7:00 - 10:00am
Lunch: Mon-Fri  11:00am - 1:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri  5:00 - 6:30pm
Brunch: Sat & Sun  10:00am-1:00pm 

Common Grounds

Located in the lower Level of The Commons, Common Grounds is a full Starbucks ® location. It offers an informal alternative to cafeteria dining. For students who bring their own lunch, want to play pool or Foosball, watch TV, or grab something quick, Common Grounds is the place for you. Common Grounds offers a variety of pre-made meat and vegetarian sandwiches and wraps, salads, fountain drinks, coffee, espresso drinks, snack items, and fresh bakery items made in our own kitchen. Sandwich, wrap, soup, and bakery options change on a rotating basis.

Open Monday through Friday
 8:30am - 1:00pm

Summer Quarter Dining Options

The Commons Café will be open Monday through Friday for full breakfast and lunch. Summer dinners offer a full salad bar, pre-made grab ‘n go options, plus packaged snacks. Summer weekend brunch will offer hot breakfast items, deli station, salad bar, assortment of beverages, fruit, and desserts.

Commons Café Summer Hours:

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

  • Lunch: Mon–Fri  11:00am - 1:00pm

  • Dinner: Mon-Thurs  5:00 - 6:30pm

  • Brunch: Sundays  11:00am-1:00pm 

Common Grounds Summer Hours:

  • Mon–Thurs  8:30am – 1:00pm
  • Fridays  8:30am – 4:30pm

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 and can be purchased in various amounts as low as $100 on up to $800 through a quarterly meal plan contract. Students who enroll in the Plan will receive an extra 10% bonus of MWU Munch Money added to their student ID. The Plan expires at the end of each quarter with no refunds. MWU Munch Money can only be used at both Chartwells food locations: The Commons Café or Common Grounds.

Save money, enjoy a variety of food choices and eliminate the need to plan your own meals by purchasing the appropriate amount of MWU Munch Money per quarter. 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 at the end of the quarter. Students who are interested in the MWU Munch Money plan can complete the online contract in their student portal in the Student Services tab.

If you are unsure exactly how much MWU Munch Money to purchase, begin with the lower dollar amount per quarter to ensure you can utilize all the money within that quarter as the excess will not roll over into the next quarter. If you run out of Munch Money, you may load funds from a credit card onto your ID card and use a simple declining balance plan (which is not applicable to your financial aid budget). If you have funds remaining on your Munch Money account at the end of the quarter, options to purchase retail snack and beverage items are made available to help spend any remaining Munch Money balance.

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 Common 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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