Bloomington, Indiana is a charming and quintessential college town located in the southern part of the state. As it is mostly known for being the home of Indiana University (IU), the city offers beautiful architecture, a mecca of delicious restaurants, a vibrant music culture, and incredible outdoor attractions like Brown County State Park.
If you get the opportunity to explore the city on a game day, you will get to witness a sea of red and white Hoosier fans take to the street. To get the full Bloomington experience, we highly recommend checking out one of these top seven restaurants and walking down Kirkwood Avenue to the iconic Sample Gates.
Bloomington Restaurants you Must Try!
Buffalouies is a local favorite and Bloomington staple serving Buffalo-style wings, burgers, curly fries, and sandwiches. The restaurant spans 3 floors, filled with IU decor and is a perfect spot to watch the big game on tv. For their famous crispy wings, you can choose between boneless or traditional and a variety of sauces and dry rubs. Buffalouies sits near the Sample Gates on IU’s campus, which makes for a perfect spot to eat and explore.
Janko’s Little Zagreb
Jankos’s Little Zagreb has been a favorite among the locals for 40 years and is famous for their hand-cut steaks grilled to perfection. It’s also famous for their wide selection of wines and their Meatballs Bucharest. This steakhouse books up quickly on the weekend, so be sure to get a reservation for your perfect date night or special occasion.
Mother Bear’s Pizza
Mother Bear’s Pizza is an IU favorite among students and is a restaurant to check off your Bloomington bucket list. When you step inside, you’ll notice a wooden, rustic atmosphere with graffiti and IU decor around the restaurant. Be sure to bring your permanent marker and sign your name on the wall when you sit down to eat. Along with the memories you’ll make here, enjoy their famous hand-made deep dish pizza pies, award-winning pizza sauce, craft beer, salads and brownies.
Nick’s English Hut
Head over to Nick’s English Hut, the most school-spirited bar in Bloomington. This local pub is full of historic IU memorabilia and they are also known for their drinking game, Sink The Biz (if you’re 21 years old). During your visit, be sure to order a bucket of Sink The Biz fries, a burger, or one of their filling strombolis.
Bloomington Bagel Co.
Bloomington Bagel Co. is located in the heart of Bloomington. It’s the perfect place to enjoy breakfast, brunch, or a quick lunch. They have a wide selection of freshly made bagels and an assortment of cream cheese. Some of the local favorites are the bialys (stuffed flattened bagels) and the egg and cheese bagel. We think this is one of the best places to eat in Bloomington.
Runcible Spoon Cafe & Restaurant
Head over to Runcible Spoon Cafe & Restaurant for the best brunch in Bloomington. Enjoy the cozy, quirky atmosphere with bookshelves around every corner. Don’t leave without ordering a big plate of pancakes or one of their signature dishes, the Smoked Salmon & Croissant Bennie or the Corned Beef Hash. Runcible Spoon was the first coffee roastery in Bloomington, so be sure to try the Runcible’s brew of the day if you are a coffee lover!
Taste of India
4th street is known for international cuisines, and Taste of India is filled with dishes from both the northern and southern part of India. With one of the best patio seating in town, enjoy a variety of vegetarian dishes as well as a large selection of traditional proteins including chicken, lamb, and seafood. This is one of the best places to eat in Bloomington, Indiana.