Readjusting to College Life: When You’re Sick of the Dining Hall (part 1)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Notre Dame’s dining hall is not bad, and certainly better than the dining halls at many other universities.  I would even go so far as to say I look forward to eating there most days.  However, everyone has days where they just can’t fathom another dining hall dinner.  Especially when we’re coming off of a month long break, leaving the great food we had at home for the dining hall can be painful (literally, in the form of stomachaches!)

In order to save money, on these days I tend to seek out other food in Lafun, Duncan, or other restaurants on campus that will accept flex points.  However, we all deserve a meal out sometimes, so I’m going to tell you about a few of my favorites!

The type of food that I tend to miss most while I’m here is various types of ethnic food, especially Mexican, Asian, and Thai.  There are tons of “Mexican” restaurants here like Hacienda, Salsa’s and others that I haven’t yet tried that are honestly not Mexican food in my opinion.  As tex-mex, however, their food never disappoints.  I’ve tried a few more traditional street-taco style places here so far, and the best I’ve found is Flamingo’s.  While it’s still not quite the tacos I would go for at home, it tastes amazing, and the grocery market they have attached to the restaurant has so many cool, delicious, and traditional items!

Another type of food that I can’t live without is sushi.  I remember everyone’s excitement last year when we first tried Woochi, a higher-end sushi place in downtown south bend.  It’s great sushi and great fun, but I can’t justify going if I don’t have a special occasion.  Ichiban is another place I’ve come to love, but that is somewhat of a controversial statement among my friends.  It’s not the best sushi ever, but it’s price and the fact that they deliver to campus makes it more than worth it for me.  If you’re a bigger fan of Chinese food than Japanese, my friends rave about J.W. Chen’s as well.

As I mentioned, Thai food is another one of my favorites.  I’m still searching for the best Thai restaurant here, but I’ve had some success at Nom Nom Pho and Cambodian Thai.  If anyone knows where to find the best yellow curry in South Bend, please tell me immediately!

One thing that I hadn’t had at home but fell in LOVE with when I tried it here is the pho from Bowl of Pho.  I like to describe pho as fancy chicken noodle soup, and Bowl of Pho is an absolute staple here that you need to try if you haven’t already.  I never believed my friends when they said I would come to crave it constantly, but they were right—now we’ve made it a tradition to go almost every Sunday.

Unsurprisingly, there are far more non-ethnic restaurants than ethnic restaurants here, so I’ve barely scratched the surface of where to eat in South Bend.  In terms of ethnic food, this is by no means an exhaustive list; I have many more places to try, and two and a half years to do it in!

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