Things To Do in Michiana

Top Picks

Flamingo’s: Decent Mexican food for the area. $2 tacos and grocery store attached.

India Garden: Locations in Mishawaka (on Edison). Lunch Buffet and adjacent grocery store for all your culinary curry needs.

Elia’s: Great Mediterranean food, decent prices. You will get addicted to their garlic paste. Walking distance from campus on South Bend Ave.

J.W. Chens: Good chinese, great delivery. Super close to campus. 

Noodle Alley: Decently priced Thai, in Mishawaka (on Mckinley).  Next to an arcade!


Steak n’ Shake

Sonic: on Douglas in Mishawaka, and in South Bend on Portage in South Bend

Buffalo Wild Wings: Grape Road. The OG of wings and beer

Penn Station: Not bad at all. Ironwood and 23.

Nick’s Patio: Serves all your 3am dining needs (though if you show up at 3, they make you pay first). Ironwood between 23 and Edison.

Panera: On Main in Mishawaka

El Paraiso: Very cheap, good Mexican food. On Main at Western in South Bend. Dollar tacos on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Tacquiera Chicago: Mexican joint on South Bend’s West Side. Good burritos.


Uptown Kitchen: Good food, good drinks, good brunch, though not as fancy as it pretends to be. Former is in Granger, latter in Eddy Street Commons just south of campus.

Woochi: Upscale sushi. Must be patient for the 30min wait on crowded nights.

Soho Japanese Bistro: Good stuff, in Heritage Square (Granger).

Mishawaka from Grape to Main has all of the chains you’d expect in a town this size–Logan’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bonefish and so on.

Parisi’s: Italian dining and close to campus: 1412 South Bend Avenue

Polito’s Pizza: If you want New York style pizza, this is the closest thing to it in northern Indiana. Some say this is the best pizza joint in town. Strombolis are highly recommended. They also have fantastic vodka sauce–get an order with breadsticks. 401 North Hickory Road, South Bend, IN.

Rocco’s Pizza: A Fighting Irish fixture, for better or worse.


LaSalle Grill: steak joint and place to fling your bling. Don’t forget the swanky bar upstairs. (115 West Colfax, downtown SB)

Corndance: The food here is actually pretty good. Grape road, Mishawaka

Cafe Navarre: Converted from an old bank. Very decent cocktails. Corner of Michigan and Washington, downtown SB


Crooked Ewe: Awesome food. Super hipster, all the gluten free (1047 Lincolnway E, SB)

Evil Czech: Great weekend brunch. (3703 N. Main St, Mishawaka)

South Bend Brew Werks: Monday night trivia. (216 S Michigan St, Downtown SB) 

Bare Hands Brew: Newly opened in Granger

Ghost Brewery: In Michigan City. Close to Beach.

Cafe/Coffee Shops

South Bend Chocolate Cafe: A monster that takes up three or four storefronts. Downtown. Hard to study there.

Chicory Cafe: Widely considered the best coffee downtown. Serves real drinks and stays open relatively late. Good food, southern flare. Good study spot (but limited power outlets). At Michigan & E Jefferson Blvd. Build your own Bloody Mary Sundays.

Indulgence Pastry Shop & Cafe: Too loud for studying, but the desserts will blow your mind. Located five minutes from campus on Edison.

South Blend Cafe: Located downtown on the ground floor of the LaSalle Building. Great coffee, good food, and the owner Amy is nice and friendly. Decent place to study, though there’s usually at least one TV on.

The General: Great coffee. Good work/study space. Smaller place, limited seating.

Zen Cafe: Quiet and a bit haunting–good for studying. Limited menu.

Bigsby Coffee: A regional chain that nonetheless offers some good coffee and pastries, as well as comfortable seating arrangements inside (for non-pandemic times).


Pinellas: A very nice family owned restaurant that does great pan-asian stir fries, noodles, rice bowls, as well as some raw offerings. Everything is vegan.

Crooked Ewe: Offers a vegan menu and some vegetarian options but tends to be on the more processed side.

Purple Porch: This co-op has a hot food and salad bar, though it’s a bit pricey. Still, on most days there’s a fair amount of options to choose from for vegetarians and vegans.

On Campus

Waddick’s. In O’Shaughnessy for coffee, snacks, breakfast sandwiches, and baked potatoes.

Decio. A cafe where all the professors eat, but you’re welcome, too. 

Recker’s. Attached to South Dining Hall and is the only place open 24 hours.

LaFortune. A Starbucks, a Burger King, a Subway, a convenience store that serves vaguely Mexican food, and a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express as well. What more could one want?

Legend’s. The on-campus bar; they have pretty decent deals most weeknights; all the food tastes basically the same. 

Sorin’s. In the Morris Inn and is pretty fancy; the department will sometimes offer you a meal there to meet with visiting faculty or job candidates. Rohr’s is the adjacent bar to Sorin’s. 

Eddy Street Commons. Across the street from campus has a Chipotle, a Five Guys, Yatz (cajun food), the livery (delicious tapas), Blaze Pizza, Brother’s bar and Grill. Also O’Rourke’s, the other pseudo-Irish pub (after Fiddler’s Hearth)



Fiddler’s Hearth: If you like to nerd out over Ireland, this place is for you. Also doubles as a quite alright restaurant (fish and chips, boxties, all that). It’s expensive though, and it closes early. Non-smoking. Downtown on Main. Live Irish music. 

Brother’s: Right off of campus, you can’t miss it. Decent food; smoking outside.

O’Rourke’s: Same as above, ‘cept Irish-themed.

The Oaken Bucket: Three levels of deck overlooking the St. Joe’s River. Best place to sit outside and have a beer in South Bend. On Ironwood at Northside Boulevard. Really quite nice when the weather permits.

Corby’s: Good for going all out, and they have corn hole out back. Undergrads go here. LaSalle and Niles.

McCormick’s: fun & grimy, the best combo

Mulligan’s: Smoking, not great. Just past campus on Edison.

The Linebacker: The legendary place to slime; huge crowds packed in tight, especially during football games. Expect undergrads, wear closed-toed shoes.

Taphouse on the Edge: Walking distance from Campus. Famous for their 32oz Smurf


Frank’s Place: Classic neighborhood bar; bar food, smoking–I like this place)

Bleacher’s: Bar food; smoking. The thing about Bleachers is that they have very good, very expensive beer by the pitcher for very cheap…. something like $5.75 or so for microbrew. In Mishawaka on Grape.

Cheers Pub. North of town on 933 (near the entrance to the toll road). 

The Pub. Smoking; bar food — has good beer and is an English-themed pub. 408 Cleveland in Mishawaka.

Midway Tavern (aka Martha’s): legit old blues juke joint. 810 West 4th Street  Mishawaka, IN



Potato Creek State Park: A state park about 10 miles south of town with all kinds of outdoor activities (hiking, biking, boating, swimming, cross-country skiing, etc).

St. Patrick’s Park: A great part for walks, jogs, get-togetthers, bird-watching, and disc frisbee. They have a big barn where people will host events, like weddings.

Bendix County Park: Great for hiking, birdwatching. Foresty feel.

The Dunes National Park: 55 minutes away and worth the trip. Great beaches and camping.

The River Walk. In Mishawaka; a nice place to walk your dog or just stroll around.

East Race: Artificial white water rapids; also a pretty area to run or walk or read.

First Fridays. There’s some sort of event the first Friday of every month in downtown South Bend.

Don’t forget to check out the “lakes” on campus at some point.


Everyday Needs


Groceries that won’t break the bank: Meijer (on Portage), Martin’s, Aldi, Walmart, Target, etc

Purple Porch Co-op: A member-owned food cooperative that allows you to order food online from local growers/producers and pick up at a prescheduled time (for a yearly fee), or just drop by to shop (Wednesday evening year round and Saturday morning during the summer).

South Bend Farmer’s Market: A year-round indoor market with both local producers and non-local distributors; open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings as well as Friday mornings in the summer; just south of downtown South Bend on Northside at Sample.

Fresh Thyme Market: Organic Grocery Store on Grape Rd in Mishawaka. Small, but better than Whole Foods prices.


Erasmus Book Store on Eddy and Wayne in South Bend is a really lovely place.

Used Clothing

Besides the regular places (Goodwill, etc.) you should really check out It’s a Man’s World (right next to it is the equivalent for women). Very good stuff! The owner is selective in what he sells –suits, leather, cowboy boots, along with the usual stuff. 3032 Mishawaka Ave.


Also you should know that you are in one of the weirdest parts of the country, so it is no surprise that Niles, MI is a great place to buy weird things (on Dixie Way or Michigan Ave shortly after you cross the border). There are also nice antique shops in Elkhart.

Studebaker Museum: Hear the thrilling tale of the rise and fall of South Bend!

Coveleski Stadium:  Home of SB’s own minor league ball team, the Silverhawks. Thursday’s has cheap beer! 

For the Kids

Potawatomi Zoo

Chuck E Cheese

Skyzone Trampoline Park

Healthworks! Kid’s Museum

South Bend Cubs games

Putt-Putt Fun Center

Strikes & Spares Entertainment Center

Mega Play