Fave Food Finds: Freshman Edition

With the year coming to an end, I have a lot of "freshman year" posts coming your way! Something that you definitely have to do your freshman year at IU is go to some of the great restaurants that Bloomington has to offer so you can discover your favorites! So without further ado, here is a list of my favorite food finds from this year.

Mother Bear's Pizza

Okay, I definitely said no order, but Mother Bear's is my favorite restaurant in Bloomington. Mother Bear's is a pizza joint off 3rd Street, across from the Southeast neighborhood. They're rated fourth in the nation for their delicious, heaven sent pizza. I'm really weird and have an obsession with cheese (it's probably my favorite food if we're being honest), so the Big Cheese is my favorite pizza of theirs. I've also had the Cosmo, the "Paulie Pine Nut's" Pesto Pie and the Illinois Central. They're all extremely delicious. In addition to pizza that never disappoints, they also serve wings, breadsticks, subs, pasta and more! Check out their website

Two of my best friends, Shelby and Adam, visiting me for the weekend.
I had to take them to Mother Bear's, of course.


Once again, I said no order, but this ties with Mother Bear's for my favorite restaurant. They have AMAZING pasta, a super yummy Caesar salad and a chocolate mousse cake that makes you feel as if you're spiritually connected to it. I know one of my best friends, Lauren, is cracking up while she reads this. She came down to visit one weekend, and we got dinner here one night. I would not stop talking about the dang cake. It was super obnoxious but the cake is seriously so good! The point is that if you eat here, you MUST get a slice of the chocolate mousse cake. It will change your life. I promise. Check out their menu here.

Hartzell's Ice Cream

This place is kind of a hole in the wall, but they have the best ice cream I've ever had. It's a close call between them and Coldstone Creamery, but I think they win.The ice cream is super creamy and so delicious. I'm a little plain Jane when it comes to ice cream, vanilla is my favorite flavor. I got Malted Vanilla when I went. You can check out all their flavors here.

Me and Meg on a roomie date with our Hartzell's.

Buffa Louie's

If you love wings, you'll love this place. It's comparable to Buffalo Wild Wings, only much better. The inside is super cool; it's filled with IU memorabilia and other unique decorations! In addition to their awesome wings, they have really good curly fries with cheese sauce! Told you I love cheese. Even if you don't like wings, they serve burgers and other sandwiches as well. They even serve breakfast. I haven't gotten to experience that yet, but I'm definitely planning on it within the next three years. To learn more about Buffa's, click here

Part of the inside of Buffa's.

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

The man and baby in this picture make me giggle, they're so random. ANYWAYS. Praise the heavens and gods above for Bub's. Hands down best burgers I've ever had in my life. This was another life changing experience. I've never had their ice cream, but I'm sure that it's delicious as well! Bub's is unique because they size their burgers: the "mini bub," the "settle for less ugly," the "not so ugly," and the "big ugly." The "mini bub" is an eighth of a pound, and each burger goes up by a quarter of a pound, with the "big ugly" weighing in at a whopping one pound. They even have a food challenge: if you can eat an entire "big ugly" burger, you'll get your picture on the wall of the restaurant. They've been featured on Man v. Food! Another unique thing about Bub's is that they serve beef burgers (normal burgers) as well as elk burgers, which are REALLY good. I love being adventurous and trying new or unusual foods, and I highly encourage anyone to get the elk burger. You really can't tell a difference as far as taste, but the meat is much leaner and better for you! Bub's also has AMAZING chili, and I typically don't really like chili. Read more about Bub's here.

Opie Taylors

Opie's is another really yummy burger joint. I went on a date here once, and it was nice because the environment is really casual. It's pretty sports oriented on the inside between the decorations and multiple TVs. They have really good BBQ chips! Check 'em out here.

Café Pizzeria

As you can probably guess, Café Pizzeria is another pizza joint. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how great their pizza was. It was different than Mother Bear's taste wise. Their crust is thinner, and their toppings are much more traditional. They also have a great garlic cheesy bread. My friend Courtney and I came here for dinner after a football game once, and we both loved it. I had leftovers even though I only had a six inch pizza and garlic bread, and I ended up giving to a young homeless man who was down the street. It was a really cold night, and he needed the warm food much more than I needed the leftovers. It's important to remember that a simple act of kindness can really improve someone's day. To read more about Café Pizzeria, go here.

Brothers Bar & Grill

Brothers, unlike most of the restaurants that I've mentioned, is actually a franchise, so there are restaurants outside of Bloomington. Notre Dame actually has a Brothers on their campus. Brothers is another awesome burger joint. Among their lengthy selection of burgers, they serve stuffed burgers. I had a cheese curd stuffed burger when I went. See, back at it with the cheese... It's a problem. To read more about Brothers, click here

The Runcible Spoon

This is the most precious hole in the wall breakfast place that I've ever been to. The restaurant is in a house, and it's super quirky and cute. They have amazing smoked salmon and croissant eggs benedict, and their french toast is also really great. Go here for more info.

The Big Cheeze Food Truck

Okay friends, let me tell you about this gem here. Wow. Remember how I said that I loved cheese, like, more than anything? Yeah. This place is AWESOME. They have a MACARONI AND CHEESE STUFFED GRILLED CHEESE. And it does not disappoint!! They have reeeeaaaallly good creamy tomato soup too. It's a must. I think food trucks are really cool in general, but this one of the best. To check out their full menu, go here. Go get your cheeze on, immediately.

These are a few of my favorite food finds of this year! I cannot wait to try more restaurants over the next three years! Bloomington has so many great restaurants, and I've only been to a handful of them!

As I've mentioned, I'm launching my own personal blog in May, which is health and fitness oriented! Even though I'm not fully launching it until May, I already have the website up and running. You can check it out at fitlyss.blogspot.com. (:

About The Author
Alyssa ModosEnglish Major, Future Book Editor, Class of 2018, Fort Wayne, IN

I'm an English major and Marketing minor with the dream of working for a Big Five publisher in the Big Apple.

I'm obsessed with my cat, I'm newly addicted to pineapple, and I like to go running for fun. When I'm not at the gym, you can find me buried under blankets in bed watching The Walking Dead. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at my place; it's my own little "slice" (heh heh) of IU Traditions and Spirit.

Follow me around online and through social media to get to know IU and how amazing it is. You'll get to know me, too -- I'm a pretty cool person, just throwing that out there. (:

Be sure to check me out on Spoon University (where I write about delicious, life-changing food) and The Odyssey (where I write about a little bit of everything).