On the list of holidays that require a special dining experience to celebrate, Valentine's Day is probably tops. Let's take some of the guesswork out of your planning.
NOTE: Restaurants in The Bend remain open for in-person dining. Please contact restaurants directly for hours, service changes, delivery and carryout options and coronavirus guidelines.
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An elegant downtown South Bend restaurant in a former bank, Café Navarre leans into its seafood options. The French onion soup is a must. As for an entrée, you need not scroll past the bouillabaisse, a French fish stew with lobster, shrimp, market fish, scallops, mussels and more.
Carriage House Dining Room
Fine dining in an idyllic setting northwest of South Bend. Dine on the Steak Diane, duck breast or hand made pasta, among other options. Then make a note to come back during summer when the outdoor gardens are in full bloom.
In an area flush with Italian restaurants (we could do an entire list of them suitable for Valentine’s Day dinner), Carmela’s in South Bend rises to the top for ambiance to match the occasion. Start with the mozzarella fritti as you work through the wonderfully traditional menu.
Copper Rock Steakhouse
You could make a meal out of the Copper Rock Seafood Tower, which is something to behold. The steaks are prepared through an in-house dry aging program. Copper Rock is situated inside Four Winds Casino South Bend, which offers a massive gaming floor.
You might visit for the dry-aged steaks or seasonal favorites like truffled chicken roulade but be prepared to have difficulty making a decision. Corndance’s menu is wide on variety and bold on flavor.
Classic fine dining steakhouse and then some in downtown South Bend's oldest commercial building. Wood-fired steaks are the linchpin of a menu that also features fresh seafood, like Canadian lobster tail. Choose from an extensive wine list and don’t forget dessert. They’re all made in-house.
Render Meat + Potatoes
An upscale, modern option in the East Bank Village neighborhood of South Bend. Options range from New York strip to Alaskan halibut to delectable Render burger. There’s also an extensive vegan menu.
Rohr's at Notre Dame
A little more on the laid back side but still serving up some of the finest meals in South Bend. Rohr's, located inside the Morris Inn on Notre Dame's campus, reopened in 2020 after an extensive renovation.
Ruth's Chris Steak House
The Bend is one of the smallest markets in the country with a Ruth's Chris, the out-of-this world steakhouse chain. This one is locally owned and delivers everything you'd expect out of the brand.
Woochi Japanese Fusion
Here’s one for the sushi lovers. Woochi has a chic space in downtown South Bend, plus some of The Bend’s best rolls. The Godzilla roll – shrimp, eel, red snapper – is a house favorite.
Yesterday's Food and Spirits
Forgive us if we skip straight to dessert. They're massive and flavor-packed. We lean toward the cheesecake at this quirky Granger restaurant, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the sweets on offer.