I’m going to let you in on a little secret: South Bend is low-key a great city for foodies. Though I am merely an amateur connoisseur of cuisine, trying new and different restaurants in town with my friends is one of my favorite ways to get off campus. While there are lots of awesome places to eat in The Bend, this guide highlights just a few of my favorites – give them a try!
For weekend brunch with your friends…PEGGS
When you walk in to PEGGS, you immediately feel at home, especially when Peg comes over to your table to welcome you. On a weekend morning, it’s hard to top being gathered with friends in a warm environment with great coffee and food. 10/10 recommend the chicken and waffle, or, for a lighter dish, the avocado toast.
When you want an experience, too…Farmer’s Market Café
Nestled in the heart of the South Bend Farmer’s Market, the Café is known for its outstanding meals prepared daily from seasonal produce and fresh meats and cheeses from the market. Grab brunch at the Café then explore all that the market has to offer –fresh fruits and veggies, flowers and succulents, pastries and coffee, jewelry and decorations, and more!
When you want to feel like a local…Rocco’s
Rocco’s is a staple in the South Bend community. Originally opened in 1951 by Rocco Ameduri and his wife Julia, the family-run Italian restaurant is now run by Rocco’s daughter and her husband and is still the best slice of pizza in town.
For something delicious and in walking distance from campus…The Livery
Eddy Street’s newest hot spot, The Livery brings Latin American flair and flavors right to Notre Dame. The Cauliflower is a must-try dish, and you can’t go wrong with their fan favorite – Empanadas!
For a South Bend classic…Evil Czech
When you ask fellow Domers what their favorite restaurant in South Bend is, more times than not Evil Czech will be cited as a top choice. With dishes from burgers and sandwiches to tacos and mac and cheese, there is something for everyone here. Their Sunday hangover brunch is also popular, featuring a buffet-style offering of small plates of all the restaurant’s normal menu items plus a few special breakfast dishes.
When you aren’t sure what you’re in the mood for…Tapastrie
If you’re someone that always wants one of everything on the menu, Tapastrie is the place for you! A Mediterranean tapas-style restaurant, Tapastrie is the perfect place for a group of friends to share and try a bunch of different exotic flavors. Some of my favorite dishes include the fried feta cheese, BBQ carrots, and the Mediterranean dip sampler – YUM!
For a local brew…South Bend Brew Werks
Right in the heart of Downtown South Bend, SB Brew Werks brings food and community together in one place. The family-owned brew pub offers a wide variety of local craft beers on tap for the 21 and older crowd with proceeds from certain drafts going to local charities. With their focus on being a neighborhood presence and having a fun menu featuring gourmet grilled cheeses, you can’t lose!
For a creative menu…Crooked Ewe
An adventurous eater will appreciate the unique flavor combinations at this trendy spot on the river. It’s a great place for vegans with over a dozen vegan-friendly entrée options. Ask your waiter to explain the menu, and your taste buds will be rewarded. I highly recommend the Tacos (but sauce on the side if you’re not a fan of a little heat).
If you studied abroad in Dublin and desperately wish you could go back…Fiddler’s Hearth
Anyone else? Just me? While it’s not quite Ireland, Fiddler’s has a playful pub environment that takes me back to my days in Dublin. Be sure to check out the live music schedule so you can enjoy your bangers & mash with some traditional Irish tunes.
For something sweet…South Bend Chocolate Café
Chocolates and cookies and candies, oh my! If your sweet tooth is calling, the Chocolate Café will happily answer. It’s the perfect place for gifts and sweet treats to please a crowd. They also offer an array of coffees, ice creams, and pastries to enjoy in the Café.