Ricky’s Favorite Restaurants

Food being delivered

If you are an international student new to the United States, you may be worried about the food here like I was. Here are some of my favorite restaurants that I have found after being in the States for three years, in case you are wondering where you should try out for dinner tonight.


Basics:  Panera Bread is an American bakery-café that serves sandwiches, salads, soup, and


Panera Bread

Panera became my favorite restaurant when I had braces. Wearing braces limited my choices of

food because hard and chewy food may break my brackets. Panera always serves the best soup.

Chicken noodle soup, for example, is my all-time favorite, and Panera’s chicken noodle soup not

only has the taste of “grandma”, it’s smooth taste of noodles and fresh chicken make wearing

braces seem not that bad.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Basics: Buffalo Wild Wings started its first restaurant in Columbus, OH in 1982. When you

look for their information on their website, they say that there are only three things you should

know about them: wings, beer, sports.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings’ restaurants are known for all the TVs they have hanging all around the wall,

I believe. On those TVs, only sport events will be displayed. My brother from my host family in

Nashville, TN, is a huge sports fan and Buffalo Wild Wings (which he calls it as BWs), where he

can watch different sport events at the same time, is definitely his favorite restaurant. The first

time he took me there, I thought that the restaurant was too crazy and loud because I believed

that a restaurant should be place people enjoy their food instead of staring at TVs and yelling at

one another. Later on, however, when I started following sport events, BWs has become very

top of my favorite restaurant list.


Basics: Qdoba is an American chain restaurant that serves Mexican-style cuisine.


Qdoba was the restaurant where my family and I always went after Church back in Nashville,

  1. In Qdoba, you choose what you want from the menu, like a burrito, a taco, or some soup,

and you choose your toppings, like lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. My favorite item

from Qdoba is its quesadilla.

After introducing you my favorite American chain restaurants, I have to tell you about some of my favorite local restaurants here in Bloomington.


Basics: Sobon is a Korean restaurant located on 10th street.


Sobon’s owner is a beautiful Korean lady who always smiles at all her customers and always

makes sure her restaurant does the very best to meet its customers’ needs. My favorite dish

from Sobon is Kimchi fried rice. Kimchi fried rice is not only popular among international

students but also domestic ones. I remember one time there was an American student walked

in the restaurant and asked me if I could give him some recommendations. I said Kimchi fried

rice because I was actually eating it. He took my advice and the next time I ran into him in the

restaurant, he told me that he came back for the same dish every day for a whole week because

it was too good.

Lotus Garden

Basics: Lotus Garden is Chinese restaurant located on Washington street, owned by some

Chinese students.

Lotus Garden

As a Chinese student and a huge Chinese food fan, Lotus Garden would never go wrong when

you crave for some authentic Chinese food. I have to say something about its Koushui Ji, which

in English literally means “mouth watering chicken”. Koushui Ji is a “must” when I go to Lotus

Garden. Koushui Ji is a Sichuan appetizer served with sesame and chili oil. Though it is an

appetizer, I still eat it with white rice. The soft and fresh taste of chicken and a little spicy touch

up are never resistible.

Ricky Liu
Ricky Liu

International Student Ambassador

Hello friends, it's Ricky here. I am an international student from China, studying Human Resources Management with Psychology and Business minors. I am a huge American football fan (a loyal Tennessee Titan's fan). Basketball games are always fun to go to at IU and I won't miss out a good restaurant here in town. Catch me on Facebook and Instagram (@hwrickyleo).

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