All you need to know about The Bend’s dining scene in one spot? Maybe not, but this is a pretty darn good start. Let’s dive in. We’re running down The Bend’s dining scene one letter at a time.
Anyone craving barbecue?
Here you go: Fat Cap, Frankie’s, The Prized Pig, On the Money, Clark’s Fish Net (seafood here too!), Fisher’s Tips N Chips, Pigee’s and Mission BBQ are some of your best bets.
Breweries in The Bend
Chocolate and Candy Shops
We have some amazing local candy and chocolate shops: South Bend Chocolate Co., Sanaa Chocolates, Violet Sky, La Candy Shoppe, Carlisle Coffee & Sweets and the Wakarusa Dime Store.
Desserts to Die For
Take your sweet tooth to The Ragamuffin, Yesterday’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Caracas Bistro, South Bend Chocolate or Macri’s Italian Bakery. Caracas Bistro’s milkshakes are part work of art, part over-the-top indulgence.
East Bank Village Foodie Tour
Fine Dining Around The Bend
Gaming + Restaurants
Hamburgers for the Win
Here are six places that serve up phenomenal burgers: Bru Burger, CJ’s Pub, Linden Grill, Scoobie’s, Table 97, The View. The View's Becky Burger is known across the region.
Ice Cream Shops
Ice cream is a must-have in the summertime. Our favorite local shops include Bonnie Doon, La Rosita, PaddyShack, The Chief, Dari Fair, Vanilla Bean Creamery.
“Just Whiskey” bourbon is probably Indiana Whiskey’s most popular product. Connoisseurs should visit The Exchange Whiskey Bar or The Hideaway at The LaSalle for fantastic selections of their favorite spirit. If you want to explore the world beyond whiskey, there are more cocktail spots to visit.
Kluski Noodles: Unique Local Flavor
Kluski noodles are a staple for locals of Polish heritage in a traditional meal with sausage, chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes. And they know where to find them all the time: The Skillet Restaurant.
LaSalle Grill has received AAA Four Diamond status for 25 years in a row, one of just 44 in the country that has landed that designation for so many years. Head upstairs to LaSalle Kitchen + Tavern for one of the best beer lists in town.
Mozzarella, minestrone, macaroni
Find all that and more at some of our favorite Italian restaurants: Put Carmela’s, Parisi’s, Papa Vino’s, Sunny Italy, Oliva’s, Simonini, Capri and Cosimo & Susie’s on your list. Sunny Italy is South Bend’s oldest Italian restaurant, dating to 1926. It still has that old school charm.
New and Trendy
Here are some new-ish restaurants worthy of your time: Fatbird, Bantam Chicken + Seafood, Roselily, Early Bird Eatery.
On the Way to New Carlisle
Bob’s 19th Hole is a local favorite when you're on the way to this charming small town. Once you're there, Longshots (pub grub), Moser’s (Austrian), Kate O’Connor’s (Irish) and Black Cat (pizza), Mel’s Diner (breakfast).
RELATED CONTENT: 4 Reasons to Visit New Carlisle
Pizza isn’t just the domain of big cities. There are dozens of amazing pizza places here. Find out why The Bend is known for its pies at Barnaby’s, Brunos, Chivo’s, Lacopo’s, Pasquale Rulli’s, Rocco’s and Starlite. And that’s just the beginning of the list.
Queso? Yes, Please
Especially at Jesus Latin Grill in Mishawaka. Its take on the classic appetizer includes baked goat cheese, pepitas and roasted poblanos. And it’s incredible.
Yes! Former South Bend mayor and presidential candidate turned Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg once made national headlines for opining about this combination. Locals know you only go to Hacienda Mexican Restaurants for this unique dip – and it’s really good.
Sushi in The Bend
Take a Taco Trek
Taco options abound in The Bend across several different areas. Find authentic options at Cinco 5, Fiesta Tapatia, La Esperanza, Los Aces, Puerto Vallarta, Rosales Super Market, Taste of Mexico and Taqueria Chicago.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options
You can found these at many local restaurants. Here are some that lean into those menus: Pinellia, Crooked Ewe, Aladdin’s, Elia’s, Cambodian Thai, Cre-Asian, Nom Nom Pho.
Where to Find the Wine
Head to Ironhand Vineyard. It’s the only vineyard in county and the wine bar has a fantastic patio overlooking the St. Joseph River.
Xtra credit: Head to the Market
if you’re looking to shop for food while you’re here. Find fresh options in the South Bend market district that includes the South Bend Farmers Market, Bamber’s Superette and Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue. Purple Porch Co-op isn’t far away either.
You Looking for Breakfast?
Here are five places that are hard to beat for breakfast: PEGGS, Chico’s Restaurant, Macadoo’s, South Bend Farmers Market Café, Uptown Kitchen. There are even more options in a place that loves its diners and brunch spots.
Zip into these Coffee Spots
Finding something for "z" was difficult, alright? Kodachrome *might* be a favorite on the local coffee scene. Here are some others: Chicory Café, DeLo’s, The General, South Bend Chocolate Café, Sway Coffee. If you want to take some home, look up Bendix Coffee and Importin’ Joe’s.