Although food on campus is not bad at all, sometimes you just need a steak or hamburger! Two of the best things about off-campus dining are that oftentimes students are given discounts if they have their Phoenix cards, and a lot of places deliver right to your dorm room. Some of those places that deliver, like Domino's, accept Phoenix cash and will take your account number over the phone for easy payment.
One thing you'll find little of around Elon is ethnic or independent restaurants. The area offers mostly chain and corporate food services, and there is little in the way of local competition. This bothers some people because the food isn't as varied and you lose a lot of atmosphere, but Elon and nearby Burlington are flooded with these businesses.
Off-campus dining is still one of the best ways to hang out with friends and go on dates because it does present something different from campus (albeit a chain-restaurant atmosphere). Many students like to take Friday nights to go out, see a movie, and then head on over to one of the local restaurants. However, dining is mostly casual, and sometimes you have to wait forever to get a table. On Orientation weekends, the lines are out the door with patrons.