Even though I've been a resident of the South Bend area for 20 years, I wasn't always aware of all the different small businesses (a.k.a. not chains) that are scattered around the Notre Dame campus. Today, I would like to highlight a yoga studio along with a mix of a few different ethnic restaurants that I've discovered around town while being a student here.
620 W Edison Rd, Suite 132
Mishawaka IN 46545
Solace is a yoga studio opened in 2011 that is about a five minute drive from campus. My favorite day to go to Solace as a college student is Tuesdays because each class is half-off ($8.50!in). I love "Hot Yoga" yet I would advise that you hydrate well in advance since the room is very, very heated. For Solace, all you need is is a towel, water, and a yoga mat - but you can also rent the towel and the mat while you're there. Sign up online in advance by viewing the class schedule. I haven't tried the other yoga they offer, but feel free to check out the other class descriptions that includes Yoga for Beginners, Vinyasa, Power Hour, Kripalu, and Yin Yoga, and hot core flow.
615 W. Edison Rd
Mishawaka, IN, 46545
The Indian Garden Restaurant is right across the street from Solace and a great place for Indian food. I would recommend the mango smoothie (which is different from a mango shake!) and peshwari naan (which is naan stuffed with raisin, nuts, and coconut). You can get a coupon for $8 off of $20 on groupon.com.
1835 South Bend Ave (State Road 23)
South Bend, IN 46637
J.W. Chen's is within walking distance of Notre Dame, a bit behind the soccer fields. Jean, the owner and chef, will usually be there to take your order or help you pick out something that isn't necessarily on the menu. For example, the last time I went, I said I wanted shrimp and vegetables with some spice; she said she'd surprise me! When I tried it, it automatically made me think of the Chinese food I had while studying abroad in China itself. It was so good!
5625626 Grape Rd
Mishawaka, IN 46545
I've never had a chance to go to Bowl of Pho, but I've heard nothing but good things. In addition, through the grapevine, I've heard many people who are familiar with authentic Vietnamese food often frequent this restaurant - it seems like it stays pretty busy. I'm looking forward to trying it out as well as other "hidden" restaurants and places in the South Bend/Mishawaka area!