**I apologize ahead of time for how decently long this blog entry is, but it's hard to wrap up all of the good food in Bloomington in a short amount of words.
Background info on the food side of me: I've eaten and drank everything from alcohol with snakes steeping in it while I was visiting Guilin, China to a chocolate croissant the size of my head in Kaiserburg, Germany. I love to try new things and I'm an instigator for everything weird.
Food in Bloomington, Indiana. Never will you hear the words "Wahhh, there aren't enough choices," unless your friend is either new or sarcastic. Bloomington has one of the most diverse and delicious smorgasbord of restaurants that I've ever seen or heard of. Not only is there the famous ethnic 4th street, but also a multitude of different coffee shops, diners, and fast food-ers.
Ethnic 4th street has different restaurants from the well-known Siam House to the lesser-known Anyetsangs Little Tibet Restaurant. The restaurants on 4th street are all very good, and no matter if you are an omnivore, vegetarian (Turkuaz Cafe), pescatarian, or vegan, there is a restaurant for you! Prices at these restaurants can be high at times, but if you're lookin' for a date night with someone special or just tired of eating American food, head on down to 4th street - it's a good investment!
Kirkwood. Yes, there are things there other than bars. Not only is there shopping (Vintage Vogue, Urban Outfitters, Tracks, ChaCha, etc...) but great, cheap food too. There are such places as Noodles & Company, Falafels, Bloomington Bagel Co., Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. All of which have very delicious food at a reasonable price. Definitely fits in the college kid's stomach and wallet.
>Noodles & Company might be one of my newest favorite restaurants in the whole wide world. The Italian-based food can be ordered in the restaurant or delivered. You can get anything from bowls of noodles to sandwiches to soups. Definitely a good atmosphere and it's good reheated too!! :)
>Falafel and Bloomington Bagel are both pretty obvious food establishments, but just in case: Falafels serves food from Jerusalem, with their customer-favorite food, the falefel. Bloomington Bagel Co. serves bagels. They're great. Promise.
>Which Wich is a combination of both Quiznos and Subway... It's fun! You grab a brown paper bag, go to town scribbling what you want on it, and then write your name. Any name. ANY. (i.e. Marilyn Monroe, Broseph McFratboy, or Poopy Pants) It is quite humorous to hear what people come up with.
>The Village Deli. A great combination of all deli/cafe/breakfast foods. Pancakes as big as your head and so delicious you'll want to order more, even though your stomach will be crying for you to stop. Go ahead. You can microwave them tomorrow anyway.
Down Kirkwood away from campus, there is a little coffee shop I can't help but mention. Its called the Pourhouse Cafe and it is simply precious. I've spent many-a hours working on homework in their comfortable atmosphere. It is just like any coffee shop you've probably been into, except with more creativity, lots of stuff on the walls, and all of their tips go to help countries that need help with access to water, necessities, etc. The drinks are scrumptious and a so-so on the pricey scale. They also have ICE CREAM and some kickass music.
Another *BRAND NEW* coffee shop that is absolutely fantastic is in the little inlet on 10th by the laundromat and a Korean restaurant is Kopi. It is a lot like the Pourhouse Cafe, except less sentimental stuff on the walls and more like IKEA just threw up everywhere. The baristas are super cool and prices are fine. Ask for the Cream and Crimson. Hint: red velvet cake!
Did I mention I got Baked with my mom? That's right.
Baked Cookies. They're better than the pun they're associated with. Baked is a cookie eatery where you choose your own dough, insides, and toppings. They're on west 3rd street and a little ways down, but they deliver! They're about as expensive as you would think they would be, but totally worth it for a late-night study session or a movie night/pick-me-up. You can even bring new friends during the walk down there like I did! It's a great bonding point - who doesn't like cookies?!
Alright, this is the big debate when it comes to Bloomington food. If you're a freshman coming in now, listen up: pizza will become a weekly weekend food. Find the cheepest, most delicious pizza that will deliver at 2:37 am when your tummy has a rumbling that only that pizza pie can satisfy.
Here are the Maya Ferrario Awards for pizza in Bloomington:
>Best Late-Night Overall: Pizza X
>Most Delicious Overall: Momma Bear's
>Most Delicious Delivery: Aver's
>Best Bargain: Aver's/Pizza X
>Cheapest: Mad Mushroom
>Fastest: Pizza X (10 minutes/walk-in, 20-25/delivery)
I mentioned late-night food in the above paragraph. There isn't that much late-night food, but its pretty much all yummy. Pizza X and Mad Mushroom are late-nighters, both affordable pizza places that deliver. More late night food is the all-famous Jimmy John's sandwiches. Delicious, cheap, and your sandwich is made faster than the amount of time it takes to put the change they just gave you back in your wallet. Surprisingly Fortune Cookie, a chinese restaurant, is open until 1 in the morning. Fortune Cookie can be eaten at any time in the day (it opens at 11am) and is surprisingly good for how fast the service is. The food is affordable and they have a 2 for $12 deal which gets you two main dishes, a side of rice for each and a combination of two - an egg roll or 2 crab ragoons (2 egg rolls, one egg roll and 2 crab ragoons, or 4 crab ragoons).
A random assortment of restaurants that just need their two cents in:
>Wee WIlly's Inc. A titleless place for speechless food. Literally. It doesn't have a name on the outside of the building. Its located on South Walnut and is the best breakfast in Bloomington. It's a cool, homey feel is really authentic, the waitresses are nice, and their orange juice is fresh squeezed and out. of. this. world. Definitely worth the $2.50 you pay for the small glass.
>Asuka is located by the College Mall right beside Panera. The best part of this Japanese-style sushi and steak house is not the delicious sushi and tempura vegetables/shrimp for a good price, but the fact that it delivers. Oh yeah. Great study break food. If you don't like sushi, I would suggest you give it a try anyway.
>A great ice cream place that is seasonal (sad face) is Chocolate Moose. Need I say more? Its ice cream and its delicious. Located on South Walnut as well.
The last group of food establishments I'll name are those of fast food. Within Bloomington there are all the normal ones: Taco Bell, McDonalds, White Castle, Panera, Rally's, Chick-fil-a, Steak 'n Shake, etc. in case you have a hankerin' for the usual burger and fries (or breadbowl and apple in my case).
Other restaurants that are definitely worth checking out too:
>Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream (burgers 'n hot waitresses 'n such - ask for the Big Ugly, I dare you.)
>The Bakehouse (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
>Lennie's (lunch and dinner. off-the-wall, semi-fancy food)
>FARM Bloomington (all the food is made from food grown/harvested in or near Bloomington, IN. expensive, so get your parents to take you here!)
>Upland Brewery (get your parents to take you here too! not as expensive, but definitely more of a scarse visit than the occasional visit.)
Also, bring a microwave and plates. You'll be glad you did. You don't need to buy plastic silverware; steal some from the cafeteria. Kidding, but seriously.
These are just suggestions - try them out and try more too! You know I will be ;)