At least twice a year, a Purdue student introduces the “Purdue Bucket List” to college freshmen. From fountain runs to walking at graduation, the lists round up the best things ‘you must do’ for Purdue students. And often this bucket list also includes things you must EAT.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy eating good food. And in my opinion, bucket lists never include enough about places to eat.
Hmm. If only someone would compile a list of oh-so-delicious places to eat in this college town. *clears throat loudly*
Oh wait. I did!
Here are 10 of my favorite places to eat on campus (give or take a mile or two).
All the places. All the feels. All right here.
Since the 1920’s Triple XXX has served up a root beer we (the townies) have grown to know and love. But the root beer isn’t the only reason Guy Fieri (yes, the platinum blonde guy from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) made a stop here in 2007. The one-of-a-kind burgers at Triple XXX landed this family restaurant a spot on the show and made it even more special to us. If you ask pretty much any Purdue student, they will tell you everything here is DELICIOUS.
FAVORITE DISH: Triple XXX Breakfast Special
Bruno’s Pizza has been serving the Greater Lafayette and Purdue community since 1955. You’ve heard of Chicago style and New York style pizzas, well this is Lafayette style. Their pizza is hand-tossed, which you can watch them make as you enter the restaurant. They have a variety of pizzas including one with peanut butter instead of traditional pizza sauce. Oh, and they have this amazing deep fried pizza dough appetizer called Bruno Dough! I can’t think of a better way to describe them other than little deep fried dough balls of greatness. This family-friendly, Purdue-themed restaurant is perfect for when mom and dad visit too!
FAVORITE DISH: Bruno Dough
Pappy’s Sweet Shop
Conveniently located in the basement of the Union, the home of The Wall of Fame Burger is also the perfect place to treat your sweet tooth. Personally, I recommend any form of ice cream at Pappy’s because it is made with the original Purdue Creamery recipe. How can you leave campus without trying that? From pancakes or biscuits and gravy for breakfast to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs for lunch, Pappy’s has it all.
FAVORITE DISH: Homestyle Breakfast (with a milkshake to follow… it’s never too early for ice cream)
Hands down, this is best place in Lafayette to watch any and all Chicago sports. Looking for delicious, greasy, messy food? This is the place for you. Every sandwich has a paper towel rating on their menu. Whenever I am asked where someone should eat while in town, I send them here. You won’t be disappointed at DTs. The owner is funny, personable and a HUGE Chicago fan. His customers are loyal and his food leaves me speechless. Take a gander at the menu and make sure you read all of the rules. Once you walk in this dive bar, you’re in Chicago territory (don’t even THINK about asking for ketchup if there is a hot dog at your table). Just sayin.
FAVORITE DISH: Philly Steak Sandwich (as seen here)
This recommendation comes with a little confession. I’ve only ever had ONE thing from Mad Mushroom. Mind you, their menu is full of food but I only order their Cheesestix. You might be thinking “Really? Cheesestix? Whatever.” But I’m not kidding when I say these are the greatest thing ever. They don’t come like breadsticks topped with cheese, but rather in the shape and size of a pizza (10″-20″ in diameter), cut into smaller pieces of cheesy, melty goodness. They are also served with ranch and pizza sauce for dipping. I suggest getting these at least once while you’re here in West La La.
FAVORITE DISH: Cheesestix
After having what I thought was the worst sushi experience ever, I swore off sushi forever (Spring Break 2007. Daytona Beach. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about). Then I ate at Maru with a coworker and I fell in love. It became a weekly staple. HOLY. COW. The sushi is delicious. There are several places to get sushi around these parts, but this is my personal favorite. I’ve always had quick service and never have been disappointed with my choice of rolls. One thing I love about Maru is how helpful the staff is. I couldn’t find a roll I was looking for so I described it to them and they didn’t make that specific one but suggested one similar. Now it’s my new favorite roll and I get it every time I stop in.
FAVORITE DISH: Dragon Roll
AJ’s Burgers & Beef
AJ’s was created by two 21 year-old Purdue students and Chicago natives who set out to serve and deliver basic Chicago favorites: Chicago style hot dogs, gyros and Italian beef. And they do it well. Aside from the Chicago classics, they have added unique burgers, chicken sandwiches, and are always perfecting their menu. The campus location is open late until 2, 3, or 4 a.m. depending on what night it is. AJ’s is happy to deliver their fresh, never frozen, burgers loaded waffle fries or mac & cheese bites (to die for) to your door at just about any time of the day (or night). If you’re in the mood for something sweet after you eat, you must try their funnel cake fries (insert heart eyed emoji here).
FAVORITE DISH: Funnel Cake Fries
Open Monday-Saturday 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. the Rice CafÃ© was voted Best Chinese Restaurant by Purdue students and is going to be your new best friend. Right around the corner from Harry’s, Rice CafÃ© is ready to serve those who’ve had a long night on the hill, or were tucked away in the library. Didn’t realize how BAD you wanted Chinese food until you got home? That’s okay, they deliver. I had their food for the first time a few weeks ago and I will be a returning customer. You should do the same…you won’t be disappointed.
FAVORITE DISH: General Tso’s Chicken Combo (fried rice and crab rangoon)
Up until now, this list has been all about savory food (with an exception of a Pappy’s milkshake or AJ’s funnel fries) but I’m going to switch it up a bit. If you miss homemade, fresh-baked cookies, are having a rough finals week or just have a late night craving then Insomnia Cookies is here to serve. Number one, they deliver. If you’re lazy or don’t want to walk there in the wee hours of the morning, that’s perfectly fine. They will deliver their warm-from-the-oven, oh-so-delicious cookies right to ya! Number two, their cookies are DELICIOUS. I’m a sucker for the s’mores cookie and it’s a permanent staple during dead week. Don’t forget to have them throw in some milk to wash those cookies down! You’re welcome.
FAVORITE DISH: S’mores Cookie
The campus newbies might be wondering what kind of restaurant is called ‘Club Callout’? But many of you know what I’m getting at… A club callout is exactly what it sounds like; a callout for a club. It isn’t a restaurant but many times there is food. The beginning of fall semester is PACKED with callouts. Clubs are always looking for new members and college freshmen are likely looking to get involved to meet people. What is the best way to get people to come to your meeting? Food. There’s nothing better than free food and getting to meet people that have the same interests as you (like going to a callout for the free food). Get out, get involved and take advantage of some free food! #noshame
FAVORITE DISH: Whatever they provide…it is free.
So, the next time you have a late night craving, need a little something extra to get you through dead (or finals) week or want to show your family that there is more than just dining court food on campus, check out one of these places! I think it’s safe to say that none of them will disappoint.
How about you? What are your favorite places to eat? Are there restaurants would you recommend? Reach out and let us know!
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