UArizona Dining: All of Your Questions Answered

Knowing where to grab your next meal isn’t a usual concern for most incoming college students, but it quickly becomes one while adjusting to life at college.

While most first or second-year students opt for an on-campus meal plan to help with the transition to college, even some third and fourth-year students find that meal plans are a convenient, cost-effective way to plan meals while avoiding the hassle and expense of grocery shopping and cooking.

To help students know what to expect from the meal plan offerings at the University of Arizona, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about dining options at the UArizona.

What are the meal plan options at the University of Arizona?

Meal plans at the University of Arizona offer a mix of options to pay for meals at the dining hall-style buffets and the on-campus restaurants and markets.

The most common plans include a mix of meals per week plus cash allowances for food purchases under $10, the value of a meal swipe.

The mix of offerings can get confusing, especially for new students, so here’s an overview of what a typical meal plan offers at the University of Arizona:

  • Swipes
    • Swipes are used at one of the three all-you-can-eat buffet options on campus.
    • These buffet options are located at ‘85 North, Cactus Grill, and Radicchio.
    • Swipes can also be used at all on-campus eateries for a value of $10 per swipe.
  • Dining Dollars
    • Dining dollars act like a debit account for dining.
    • Dining dollars should be used for food and beverages less than $10 since swipes cost $10.
  • CatCash
    • CatCash is most commonly used for miscellaneous living expenses on campus, like laundry, short-term parking, and printing.
    • CatCash can be used to purchase food if a student runs out of Dining Dollars.
    • Not all food retailers accept CatCash.

The UArizona offers specific meal plans for students in the Honors Village and an option for commuters or students who live in off-campus apartments.

From cafeteria dining to national franchises and brands – plus a variety of specialty restaurants and value-added meal plans – the University of Arizona will provide you with the best.

How much are meal plans at the University of Arizona?

The price of meal plans at the University varies depending on the mix of swipes, dining dollars, and CatCash within the plan.

Below are the four swipe-based meal plan options available for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • Swipe Meal Plans for non-Honors Village students:
    • Sabino
      • $6,510 for the entire academic year
      • 18 swipes per week
      • $500 dining dollars
      • $250 CatCash
      • 15 guest meals
    • Catalina
      • $5,480 for the entire academic year
      • 14 swipes per week
      • $750 dining dollars
      • $250 CatCash
      • 15 guest meals
    • Santa Rita
      • $5,090 for the full academic year
      • 12 swipes per week
      • $1000 dining dollars
      • $250 CatCash
      • 10 guest meals
    • Rincon
      • $3,880 for the entire academic year
      • 9 swipes per week
      • $750 dining dollars
      • $250 CatCash
      • 10 guest meals

Students who live in the Honors Village must purchase one of the Village-specific meal plans as part of their housing contract.

For students who would rather not have to manage those mix of offerings, the UArizona also offers a pre-loaded debit card option for meals during the year.

To incentivize students to pre-load their account instead of using cash or credit, the university offers a discount on every meal, depending on the plan level.

Here are the debit account-based meal plans available for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • Debit Meals Plans
    • Gold
      • $4,850 for the full academic year
      • 7% discount on all purchases
    • Silver
      • $3,550 for the full academic year
      • 5% discount on all purchases
    • Copper
      • $2,150 for the full academic year
      • 3% discount on all purchases

Can you change your meal plan during the semester at UArizona?

Students can upgrade their meal plan to a more expensive swipe or debit plan at any time during the semester.

However, students are limited in their ability to downgrade to a lower plan and can only make that change during the first two weeks of the Fall semester.

After those two weeks, students are locked into their current meal plan and cannot downgrade.

The Meal Plan Office at the University of Arizona is located in Room 248 of the Student Union Memorial Center. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.

Where are the dining halls at the University of Arizona?

Three dining halls at the University of Arizona offer traditional buffet-style cafeteria meals.

Those three locations are:

Are there restaurants in the University of Arizona student union?

The restaurants located within the Student Union Memorial Center (SUMC) are:

  1. Arizona Market
  2. Cactus Grill
  3. Chick-fil-A
  4. Core
  5. Einstein Bros Bagels
  6. IQ Fresh
  7. NRich Urban Market
  8. On Deck Deli
  9. Panda Express
  10. Papa John’s Pizza
  11. Radicchio
  12. Sabor
  13. Saffron Bites
  14. Starbucks
  15. The Scoop

What are the closest grocery stores to the University of Arizona?

Safeway and Whole Foods Market are the closest grocery stores to the University of Arizona campus.

Safeway is located at 1940 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85719, about 1 mile south of the center of the UArizona campus down N Campbell Ave.

Whole Foods Market is located east of campus at 3360 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716. This location is around 1.5 miles from the center of campus down Speedway Blvd.

Located just off campus, our student apartments deliver the best of the University of Arizona living without compromising amenities.


Find your next home at the University of Arizona

Now is the time to start your housing search for Fall 2023, and there’s no better off-campus option for UArizona students than Aspire Tucson.

Aspire Tucson is a student housing highrise community located just blocks from the northwest corner of campus at 950 N Tyndall Avenue.

Aspire Tucson offers fully-furnished studio, one, two, three, four, five, and six-bedroom apartments – including limited penthouse duplex floor plans – specifically designed for the University of Arizona students.

Residents of Aspire Tucson are within walking distance of the University and nearby retail and restaurant areas along University Boulevard.

For information on availability, roommate matching, and pricing, contact the team at Aspire Tucson today at (520) 532-4065!