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Friday, March 8, 2019

Eat Like a Local in Bloomington

Categories: Wine & Culinary

Doing all the tourist-y things in town is always fun, but there's something fun about finding an area's hidden gems and eating like the locals. This list is your guide to some of Bloomington's favorite places to eat from the perspective of a townie.

Laughing Planet Cafe

Laughing Planet Cafe is the place to be if you're looking for an out-of-the-box burrito in Bloomington. A huge selection of salsas plus options for plant-based proteins and completely customizable burritos and bowls lead to unique meals every visit. Their location right above Soma Coffeehouse + Juicebar lets you easily grab some coffee or a smoothie to enjoy with your beautiful bowl or burrito.

Bucceto's Smiling Teeth Pizza & Pasta

Bucceto's is consistently a Bloomington favorite for pasta and pizza. No matter if you're on the East or West side of Bloomington, there's a Bucceto's for you. If you have gluten-free Italian lovers in your party, Bucceto's has them covered! The pages full of pizza and pasta leave endless combinations to eat for meals to come. If you're looking for a post-meal treat, grab a slice of cheesecake from New York's Carnegie Deli.

Irish Lion Restaurant & Pub

The Irish Lion is a Bloomington mainstay for Irish comfort food. The pub is in a remodeled building that's been a part of Bloomington since the 1800s and on any given night you can find families enjoying dinner in the glen or friends catching up for a Guinness at the bar. Their soda bread is a delight and the coddle is hearty enough to keep you full for hours, but make sure to start of the meal with some of their famous Blarney puffballs. 

Lennie's Restaurant & Brew Pub


Hot dogs plus cold beer are here #drinklocal #eatlocal

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Lennie's is the Bloomington version of Cheers--cozy, welcoming, and full of people just the same. Lennie's started off with gourmet pizzas but the menu has grown to hold gigantic salads, stromboli, pasta, and, of course, unique pizzas. Lennie's uses local produce and animal products, uses an extensive composting and recycling program, and carries local Bloomington Brewing Company beers, making it the perfect place to dine if you want to really support Bloomington.


BuffaLouie's is the local's choice to grab some wings (or try their new vegetarian wings!) and watch the game. BuffaLouie's has been named one of the best wing joints in the country by USA Today and they live up to the hype. Crispy wings (bone-in, boneless, or vegetarian) with a huge variety of sauces and sides give you the freedom to customize meals to suit everyone in your party. Make sure to grab a seat under one of their many flat screens to watch some Hoosier basketball!

Anyetsang's Little Tibet


PF Momos! #momo #dumplings #tibetanfood #tibet #littletibetbloomington #food #fall #yummy

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Traditional Tibetan decor and prayer flags adorning the garden will lead you to a favorite for Himalayan cuisine in Bloomington. Sitting in the garden next to a bubbling fountain and eating momos (Tibetan dumplings) on a balmy summer night in Bloomington is its own kind of bliss. Little Tibet has a wonderful variety of dumplings, curries, soups, and noodle dishes perfect for warming up in the midst of winter or enjoying with a Thai iced tea during the summer. 

My Thai Cafe & Sushi Bar


Pad Thai // Pad See Ew // Pad Kee Mow #noodleoverload #iufoodie

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My Thai is a great place to head if you're looking for a casual spot with Thai comfort food. Their west side location has some amazing lunch specials and you won't want to miss the Massaman curry. If you're not interested in noodles or trying the drunken man's fried rice, check out the sushi menu for something a little different. Check out one of the My Thai locations on fourth street if you want to sample a bit of everything--they have a great lunch buffet.

The Chocolate Moose

The iconic Chocolate Moose shack may be gone, but this stop for cold treats is still popular as ever. The Chocolate Moose has 20+ homemade ice cream flavors (including vegan!), soft serve, coffees, slushies, Dole Whip, cookies, kombucha, and more. It's a one-stop shop for all things sweet in Bloomington, and the inside seating means a cool place to sit in the summer and somewhere warm to relax in the cooler months.

Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford is a southern Indiana native and Visit Bloomington’s marketing and media intern. Gillian loves Bloomington for its diverse community, outdoor opportunities, and the wealth of possibilities in everyone’s not-so-small small town. On any given day, you can find her hiking around Lake Griffy, dog spotting, or searching for her new favorite coffee shop.