UNT brings food hall dining experience to campus with Eagle Landing

Monday, August 23, 2021 - 14:23

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas has opened its newest dining hall inspired by Legacy Hall in Plano.

Eagle Landing includes seven independent restaurant concepts under one roof featuring a variety of fresh, made-from-scratch food and recipes crafted by UNT’s in-house culinary team.

La Mesa offers Latin fusion street tacos on house-made tortillas pressed on site while the vegetarian and 100% plant-based (vegan) menu at Leaf offers leafy greens and herbs grown at Mean Green Acres, UNT’s non-GMO hydroponic garden located on campus. Guests also can see cookies baked fresh behind the counter of The Clark Bakery at Eagle Landing, which boasts an array of other desserts, ice cream and pastries all made on campus. (See below for full list of restaurants.)

Seating “neighborhoods” provide options for dining, socializing and studying, including a 24-foot long community table, a quiet zone, seating overlooking the first floor and a table shaped like the UNT diving eagle symbol.

“Eagle Landing is a crown jewel that exemplifies the innovative spirit of our university. It creates a community dining experience where our Mean Green Family breaks bread together and celebrates college life,” UNT President Neal Smatresk said. “Fresh, locally sourced and inventive are hallmarks of the UNT Dining Services experience.”

In addition to being UNT’s first standalone dining hall, Eagle Landing is the university’s largest dining hall with the capacity to seat 700 people.

Design of the 25,990-square-foot building provides greater culinary transparency and guest customization of menu items by showing more preparation in front of the guests. Houston-based Kirksey Architecture served as the architect and Rogers-O'Brien as the general contractor on the project.

“At UNT Dining Services, there’s a seat at the table for everyone,” said Peter Balabuch, director of UNT Dining Services. “Eagle Landing demonstrates our commitment to doing food service the right way: preparing the highest quality food, utilizing whole ingredients and cooking with sustainable methods. Our guests deserve no less, and whether you are a student, faculty, staff or a visitor to our campus, we want you to have the best dining experience possible.”

The building’s design reinforces UNT’s commitment to sustainability by using 30% less water and 10% less energy than a standard code-compliant building. Strict procedures during construction helped minimize landfill waste and avoid pollution of local storm sewers and waterways. The project prioritized local materials with high recycled content, fully disclosed environmental and human health impacts and less toxic chemicals.

Eagle Landing is open seven days a week during the fall and spring semesters, serving up to 6,000 guests each day. It has an all-you-care-to-eat service style accessible with a single meal plan swipe or $8.45 plus tax at the door without a meal plan. 


UNT Dining Services is the largest self-supported food service department in North Texas. With 20+ retail food shopsfive dining halls, upscale dining restaurant, in-house bakery and full-service catering department, it serves nearly 5 million meals annually. As the largest employer on campus, Dining Services provides resume-building job opportunities to nearly 1,100 student employees. UNT is recognized as a leader in vegan dining on college campuses, thanks to the overwhelming success of Mean Greens Café, the nation’s first all-vegan collegiate dining hall. It also is a member of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. UNT was named No. 2 in the nation as a college with the best food by Delish.com and also is the recipient of the prestigious Loyal E. Horton Award from the National Association of College and University Food Services




Seven restaurants under one roof 

Avenue A 

  • Menu: Traditional favorites like fried chicken, mac & cheese, smoked barbecue and breakfast all day 
  • Centerpiece: Southern Pride brand smoker 
  • Good to know: Can serve 960 portions of mac & cheese and 1,700 portions of fried chicken per day. Features fresh-baked biscuits made from Clark Bakery scratch dough. The serving line linear foot measurement at Avenue A is greater than all of the serving lines at Kerr Dining Hall combined. 


Bamboo Basil 

  • Menu: Asian-inspired stir-fried rice and noodle dishes 
  • Centerpiece: Traditional wok range that can reach temperatures of 1600°F 
  • Good to know: Features Korean and Cantonese (Southern Chinese) cuisine. Can serve more than 600 portions of rice per hour. 


Cibo Fresco (pronounced “CHEE-boh FRES-co”) 

  • Menu: Pizza and chef’s pasta toss 
  • Centerpiece: Rotoflex brand pizza oven featuring four rotating stone decks 
  • Good to know: Can serve 200 pizzas (3,200 slices) per hour. Features fresh basil grown at Mean Green Acres, UNT’s hydroponic garden located on campus. 


Clark Bakery at Eagle Landing 

  • Menu: Fresh pastries, cookies, warm desserts, Scrappy’s ice cream cones and custom milkshakes 
  • Centerpiece: Pastry case with an array of Clark Bakery desserts and pastries 
  • Good to know: All items – including Scrappy’s Ice Cream – are made on campus at Clark Bakery, UNT’s scratch bakery led by professionally trained, certified bakers and pastry chefs. Cookie dough made at the central bakery is transferred to Eagle Landing, where guests can see cookies being baked fresh right behind the counter. 


La Mesa (pronounced “la MESS-ah”) 

  • Menu: Latin fusion street tacos, nachos, fresh toppings and house-made tortillas 
  • Centerpiece: Spiral conveyor tortilla press and oven 
  • Good to know: Can serve up to 900 6-inch tortillas per hour made from 100% plant-based (vegan) Clark Bakery scratch dough 




  • Menu: Contemporary vegetarian concept, featuring fresh veggies, salads and composed salads, four daily soups and plenty of 100% plant-based (vegan) options
  • Centerpiece: More than 20-foot long salad bar 
  • Good to know: Features fresh leafy greens and herbs grown at Mean Green Acres, UNT’s non-GMO hydroponic garden located on campus. Also features fresh produce grown by regional farms, composed salads, build-your-own pho bar and vegan hot entrées. Croutons and salad dressings are made from scratch. 


Wood Grill 

  • Menu: House-formed burgers, plant-based burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches served on buns baked fresh at Clark Bakery, plus shoestring fries and house chips  
  • Centerpiece: Argentinian gaucho grill with hardwood lump charcoal and real wood 
  • Good to know: Can grill up to 280 in-house blended burgers per hour 


UNT News Service
(940) 565-2108