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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

The University Union’s must-get food places

The four places that students enjoy the most
Asyah Zamani
A Panda Express worker at the University Union prepares a meal for a Sac State student who ordered Monday, Oct.16, 2023. Featured here is orange chicken, Beijing beef, chow mein and white steamed rice. (Photo by: Asyah Zamani)

As students get out of class or arrive on campus, large lines form at Sacramento State’s University Union’s food court for the variety of food options served there. Students are hungry and ready to dine in or get a meal to go.

Some food options students like to eat at are Panda Express, Chando’s Tacos, Round Table Pizza and Good Eats!, which are all located on the first floor at the University Union.

Panda Express

Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Panda Express, which many students enjoy eating at, is a really popular food place in the University Union. It serves a variety of Chinese foods, such as orange chicken, chow mein, honey walnut shrimp, Beijing beef, fried rice and many more.

A few meal types students can get are a bowl, plate or bigger plate. The bowl consists of one side and one entree, the plate consists of one side and two entrees and the bigger plate consists of one side and three entrees.

“I personally value the pricing of the menus and what they offer at places,” third-year computer engineering major Andrew Marr said. “So Panda Express is ok since it offers a bowl for under $10.”

Marr said he thinks Panda Express is a good place on campus and that it’s one of the nicest options because it serves decent meals. He also added that it’s become one of the lowest price places in the Hornet’s Nest.

Panda Express serves large portion sizes and it makes you stuffed. The best food items on the menu are the orange chicken and chow mein because of the tasty flavors they have.

“Lunch time really kicks off around 11 to 1:30 and after those hours, Panda Express has pretty much three people in line,” Marr said. “During rush hours, you might have massive lines because a lot of people regularly come and eat it. I normally come after rush hour.”

Coming to Panda Express in between classes or anytime during the day can be convenient because if you’re hungry, you can enjoy a great meal and be full.

Must get food items: Orange chicken, chow mein and fried rice

Many Sacramento State students enjoy eating Panda Express at the University Union Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. A Panda Express worker pours Beijing beef into an a la carte box. (Photo by Alyssa Branum)

Chando’s Tacos

Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Chando’s Tacos is located next to Panda Express. It serves Mexican food, such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas and many more.

The restaurant serves unique daily specials including Mulita Monday, Taco Tuesday, Burrito Wednesday, Torta Thursday and Flauta Fridays. These specials discount certain items depending on the day, so plan your visits accordingly.

“I love Mexican food,” third-year psychology major Gabriel Polkenhorn said. “I grew up in a Mexican Hispanic household, so something that’s similar to home. It’s nice to have some sense of home at college.”

Polkenhorn said the best food item on the Chando’s Tacos menu are the adobada tacos, which contains pork, guacamole, cilantro, salsa and onion. He gets the daily specials Tuesdays to Thursdays.

A Sac State student holds a burrito in front of Chando’s Tacos at the University Union Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Chando’s Tacos serves Mexican food, such as burritos, tacos, tortas and more and also has daily specials Monday to Friday. (Photo by Alyssa Branum)

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“On Tuesdays specifically, it’s $2.50 a taco which is a hell of a deal,” Polkenhorn said. “It’s $2.50, you just buy as many as you want if you have the budget for it.”

In addition to the tacos, the burritos are delicious to eat as well, specifically the chicken burrito. The chicken burrito tastes authentic and is filled with many flavors such as onion, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and salsa.

Along with a burrito or any other food item from Chando’s Tacos, a churro is a nice sweet treat to have for dessert after eating your meal.

Polkenhorn said he comes to Chando’s Tacos in the University Union three times a week in the afternoon around 1:30 p.m. and that it is not always busy and crowded when he waits in line.

“It’s usually pretty quick,” Polkenhorn said. “I get there and get my tacos and leave.”

Must get food and dessert items: Chicken burrito, daily specials and churro

Round Table Pizza

Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Round Table Pizza, a pizza restaurant, is located by Jamba Juice. It serves different types of pizzas, salads, garlic parmesan twists and more.

“I really love pizza,” fourth-year kinesiology major Sara Marquez said. “Pizza’s my go-to when I’m hungry.”

Marquez said Round Table Pizza has high-quality pizza and it is one of her favorite pizza restaurants. She also said she likes to get a small personal pepperoni pizza and the twists or ranch, if she is feeling like it.

Aside from the pepperoni pizza, the gourmet veggie pizza is delicious. The gourmet veggie pizza is mouthwatering, fresh and filled with tasty veggie flavors on the pizza, such as mushrooms, artichoke hearts, onions and tomatoes, on creamy garlic sauce.

“There’s usually seating available so I can enjoy my food and be on my phone and watch a show or something,” Marquez said. “It’s pretty quiet usually, everybody’s either on their own with headphones or having a conversation.”

Must get food items: Gourmet veggie pizza and garlic parmesan twists

A Sac State student holds a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Round Table Pizza at the University Union Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Round Table Pizza also serves salads, garlic parmesan twists, wings and more. (Photo by Alyssa Branum)

Good Eats!

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Good Eats! is located near Panda Express. It serves sandwiches, salads, chicken combo meals and individual side servings.

“I actually only ever get one thing, the pesto turkey, but it usually comes out pretty fast,” second-year health science major Gracie Williams said.

Williams said she lives on campus and has a meal plan and gets a certain number of meal exchanges and uses it at Good Eats! and Tenders Love and Chicken.

Students who have a meal plan can exchange meal swipes for stinger deals (meal exchanges) at certain food places on campus, such as The Bagel Place, Baja Fresh Express, Courtyard Market, Good Eats!, Engrained and TLC, according to an updated meal plan exchanges list. 

A Good Eats! worker makes a sandwich for a Sac State student at the University Union Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Featured here is a chipotle chicken club on sourdough bread. (Photo by Alyssa Branum)

Williams said the pesto turkey sandwich is simple, good and anybody will eat it because it is a big sandwich.

The pesto turkey sandwich includes roasted turkey, pesto mayo, Monterey jack cheese, green leaf lettuce and tomatoes on sourdough bread. It tastes amazing because the roasted turkey, pesto mayo and sourdough bread go well together.

Must get food item: Pesto turkey sandwich on sourdough bread

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About the Contributor
Asyah Zamani
Asyah Zamani, PRMA Staffer
(she/her/hers) Asyah Zamani is a transfer student from Cosumnes River College, majoring in journalism. This is her second semester at The State Hornet and she is excited to be a part of the public relations section.
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