You can bet a college town is going to have great places to eat. Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University, is no exception. Here are six Lafayette-West Lafayette restaurants where we dined during our weekend visit.
Near Purdue University, Town & Gown Bistro opens early (7 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. weekends) and closes late (11 p.m.). We ate breakfast there (breakfast served all day) and were impressed at both the quantity and quality of our meals. That isn’t surprising, given that Chef Matt O’Neill, a native of Dublin, Ireland, has been featured in Midwest Living as an innovative chef.
Don’t miss a Midwest Wanderer post. For a FREE subscription, enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe2 box to the right and click Subscribe.
Skip, an Egg Benedict fanatic, loved the Smoked Salmon and Croissant Bennie. Town & Gown also offers a traditional Eggs Benedict and a Veggie Bennie. I ordered one blueberry pancake along with a granola, fruit, and yogurt plate. The pancake was huge—plate size! And the yogurt, granola, and fruit plate made a full meal in itself. There was no way I could finish everything.
This West Lafayette restaurant opened as a drive-in in 1929 as a Triple XXX Root Beer franchise. Today it’s the only official Triple XXX restaurant location remaining. They no longer offer drive-in service, but there is plenty of counter seating inside. In fact, owners Greg and Carrie Ehresman bought the Triple XXX Root Beer Corporation. Purchasing the company ensures the classic root beer continues to be made with sugar, no high fructose corn syrup. The Ehresmans use only natural ingredients in all of the food they serve. They grind whole sirloin roasts daily, which they then form into steakburgers. (Open 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily)
Although the Route 66 Diner doesn’t have the iconic status of Triple XXX Family Restaurant, it’s owned by Triple XXX owners Greg and Carrie Ehresman. No, Route 66 Diner isn’t on the Mother Road. Rather, it emulates the type of diner that you may have found along the historic route, with counter service in addition to booths and tables and decorated with plenty of classic gas station signs. The Route 66 Diner menu offers the same foods as Triple XXX but with additional items, as well. The restroom doors are identified with a pair of women’s heels and men’s penny loafers.
“Bar & Grill” does not define the fare in this downtown Lafayette restaurant. The food is fine dining quality, and the ambiance far from what you’d find in a local watering hole. My succulent Bacon Wrapped Scallops were served with roasted corn and cherry tomato, Yukon mashed potatoes, and house-made honey-ancho chili sauce. Our server delivered our dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake, with a dazzling giant sparkler.
Bruno Itin, a Swiss immigrant, opened West Lafayette’s first pizzeria in 1955. Over the years, he enlarged, renamed, and relocated the restaurant. Bruno also added Swiss, Italian, German, and American dishes to the menu. Today, Bruno’s two sons and daughter own Bruno’s Big O Sports Room. Reflecting the name, the walls are filled with sports memorabilia.
Skip enjoyed the chili, and we split the bratwurst. The bratwurst, wrapped in puff pastry, is served with homemade dumplings and braten sauce. We tried the pizza as well, which remains one of the Lafayette area’s top pizza choices. We noticed other patrons order a dessert pizza along with their regular pizza. Dessert pizza toppings include peanut butter, chocolate chips, and apple butter.
About 17 miles northeast of Lafayette in Delphi, the Garden Gate Tea House serves lunch and tea from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Mismatched furniture and valanced windows create charm perfect for a tea house, as do the elegant mismatched teapots and teacups. With over 40 tea varieties, from English Breakfast tea to Jasmine to Ginger Orange, the Garden Gate Tea House is sure to have a tea to please everyone. In fact, I am not a hot tea drinker, but I enjoy iced tea. The staff brought out the hot water for steeping the tea and another pot filled with ice. Garden Gate Tea house makes all salad dressings and desserts in-house and serves sandwiches on bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company.
Accommodations in Lafayette
We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Lafayette during our visit to Lafayette and West Lafayette. Check room rates.
Disclosures: Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette hosted our visit to the area. Many of our meals were complimentary. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book at hotel room through the “Check room rates” link above, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe. I will notify you whenever I publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm. – Connie