I want to welcome you to Champaign-Urbana, or Urbana-Champaign,
or C-U, or U-C, or Shampoo-Banana
it's all the same place!
The twin cities are divided by a single street -- Wright Street
-- which runs through the center of campus. If you are west of
Wright Street, you are in Champaign, to the east, you are in Urbana.
I developed this handbook many years ago in an attempt to help
students new to town learn the little secrets the "townies"
know about C-U. I know that grad school is a big enough transition
without the added stress of being new to a community. I hope this
will help ease that stress by giving you ideas where to go and
how to easily get around town.
I am a "townie", born and raised in C-U. I graduated
from both Urbana High School and the University of Illinois (in
psychology) decades ago. I lived in Los Angeles for 11 years,
but always considered C-U my home. I returned to town in 1992,
to a very fast-growing area -- there were once cornfields spreading
for miles where shopping malls and restaurants now stand.
I tend to watch my pennies pretty carefully. Most of the places
I talk about in this guide are relatively inexpensive, though
I do mention (and recommend) some of the more expensive places
These are the places where I actually shop, eat, and visit. My
lists are, as a result, somewhat limited. There are many other
places besides the ones I include here, and many are just as good,
I'm sure. It's all rather subjective and a matter of which way
your tastes run. I have also included other useful information
such as emergency phone numbers, utility companies, and even some
University numbers, which should come in handy for graduate students.
I hope you will find the information in this guide useful. This
is a wonderful community to live in, with lots of variety, and
new businesses starting up all the time. Sometimes these restaurants
and businesses only stay around for a short time, and as a result,
the guide may be out of date in a matter of months. Therefore,
it is always best to support your favorite local businesses!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.
Enjoy your stay in C-U!
Cindy Dodds, Administrative Coordinator
Center for Biophysics & Computational Biology