Deciding where to eat in the South Bend/Mishawaka area can be a challenging task. From mom and pop Italian restaurants to heaping portions of delicious Mexican cuisine, from AAA Four Diamond restaurants for that special occasion to award winning sports bars for a night out of fun, there is quite a selection of restaurants to choose from in the South Bend/Mishawaka area. While the South Bend/Mishawaka area has no shortage of chain restaurants, we have listed below some of the best local places we love to dine at.
Sandwiches and pizza are the only entrées at this family dining site. In the past only cash was accepted, but an ATM is provided on site.
This place makes absolutely huge pizza’s and is one of the very favorites of South Bend locals.
Carmela’s at Macri Deli
Italian bistro with a fancier atmosphere
Famous for their stuffed, Chicago style pizzas, Gianetto’s is a unique family restaurant. Prices are reasonable, and the food is plentiful!
This place has good food and amazing Italian desserts in their bakery. They make large grilled sandwiches with imported and domestic meats and cheeses, and they even have some specialty Italian products to take home.
Parisi’s Ristorante Italiano
Conveniently located near campus, Parisi’s has good food in a nice atmosphere. They’ve recently added food specials, which makes this a much more affordable dinner option.
Polito’s Italian Pizzeria Restaurant
This recently rebuilt restaurant makes great pizza and is well known for its vodka sauce.
Rocco serves good pizza and provides warm service with very cold beer. Pizza and pasta are available at reasonable prices and is open until 1 am. This is a family owned place that has been a must try in South Bend for over 50 years.
Sunny Italy Café
If you want Italian food like your grandmother used to make, go here. The food is basic and simple. It’s your typical mom-n-pop joint – small with red-checkered, vinyl table cloths and minimalistic decoration that is dominated primarily by family portraits.
This is more upscale dining in downtown South Bend. The food’s a little bit pricey, but it’s a nice atmosphere and convenient location.
This is a favorite of many students! It’s a very small restaurant in downtown South Bend with very reasonable prices, large quantities, and great food.
Typical, but decent, inexpensive Chinese eat-in, takeout, and delivery.
Indian Garden Restaurant
Decent prices for hefty portions of Indian food. There’s even a daily buffet at lunch.
Pretty good Chinese food at reasonable prices. JW Chen’s has a good lunch time deal too and with its close proximity to campus, it’s perfect for an off campus visit.
Many people like to buy their sushi and sashimi right from the sushi counter at Martins. A quick and easy way to satisfy your sushi craving.
Sunny’s Korean Garden Patio
This place has had some mixed reviews, but is often considered a great find in a homey atmosphere.
Toyo Japanese Restaurant
This is one of the few places in South Bend where you can find sushi and sashimi. The food is decent (considering it is a landlocked state) but service can sometimes be sub-par.
Flamingo’s Mexican Restaurant
Authentic and affordable Mexican restaurant attached to a Hispanic market in downtown South Bend.
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
The salsa is great and the wet burritos to die for. Popular amongst South Bend natives for inexpensive, Tex-Mex food.
Serves authentic Mexican food at reasonable prices. We also hear there is nice selection of margarita flavors.
Salsa’s Mexican Grill
Authentic Mexican grill that serves giant portions of delicious cuisine for inexpensive prices. Some of our favorite dishes are the handmade guacamole prepared right at your table, or the fajita plates that are a challenge for even two people sharing to finish.
Bar Louie offers a nice bar area that opens up into a patio. There’s a decent food and beer selection, with some great specials that change throughout the year.
Between the Buns
This is a fairly traditional sports bar covered in sports memorabilia and flat screen TV’s, including individual TV’s at each booth. They offer daily specials on food and drinks in a casual environment. In 2010, Between the Buns was one of 8 finalists for ESPN’s Search for North America’s Best Sports Bar.
Often voted the best hamburger in town. CJ’s is a great place to get a burger, fries, and cold beer.
Fiddler’s is conveniently located in downtown South Bend and has great live entertainment and good beer specials almost every day. They serve a variety of traditional Irish dishes, like Sheppard’s Pie or Fish & Chips, in a relaxed environment.
This restaurant features casual dining and its own brewery on site. The food is well made and in generous portions. By paying an initial fee to join their Mug Club, you receive 10% off all food purchases and discounts on beer.
On campus near the football stadium. Legend’s serves up food and drinks at the convenience of campus.
Main Street Pub
Located within walking distance of campus, this restaurant is favorite amongst Notre Dame students, not just for the bar, but for the great food as well.
Offers a relaxed environment that serves home style favorites and breakfast all day long. Nick’s is open 24 hrs and frequented most heavily after the bars close around 3 am.
They serve one of the best cheeseburgers in town with huge portions. This has a great atmosphere with a patio that overlooks the river.
The Pub serves Mishawaka Brewing Company ales domestic beer, wine, and spirits, tasty appetizers, pizza, and sandwiches.
Ritter’s Frozen Custard
This walk up stand serves some great frozen custard for the summer months in South Bend. Show them your student ID and get a 25 discount on your custard.
South Bend Chocolate Café
Building on their success for great chocolate, coffee, and desserts, South Bend Chocolate Company recently opened this expanded café to offer soups, sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads. There’s even a children’s play area and a gift shop of candy goodies.
East Bank Emporium
Restaurant and dining that overlooks the East Race River. Great for family or romantic events.
Located in a historic church with beautiful gardens, this is one of the most expensive restaurants in town. Known for their classic French menu and wine selection, this is a great choice if you have the money!
Another great restaurant if you are looking for a nice meal and don’t mind spending a bit more. LaSalle is located conveniently downtown and includes Club LaSalle above (with cigar room – can be smoky at times) if you’re just looking for a nice drink and dessert.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
We couldn’t resist putting this chain restaurant on our list. It is your typical Ruth’s Chris, delicious but pricey. Does not disappoint if you have the money to splurge.
Located in the former Studebaker Mansion, Tippecanoe offers nice food while you dine surrounded by antiques and hand crafted wood. They also offer a very popular Sunday brunch.
This is a French Quarter style Coffee House that sometimes features open mic nights or Indie Folk bands.
Indulgence Pastry Shop and Café
As their full name indicates, Indulgence serves up coffee with some delicious pastries. Free wifi too.
Main Street Roasters
The cafe area is set up classic American cafe style; order at the counter, find a table, pour yourself a cup of coffee and wait until they bring you whatever food items you ordered to your table. Whether you are looking for a restaurant or just to buy a bag of coffee, Main Street Roasters satisfies.
South Bend Chocolate Café
They have a nice coffee selection and always good desserts to go with it. This is a pretty common meeting space for groups, with large tables inside and some outdoor seating.