A salad of crisp mixed lettuces tossed with golden and red beets, all locally grown. A diner so small it has room only for a counter and a few tables. A Celtic public house where fish and chips are served wrapped in newspaper. Sunday brunch in a mansion. South Bend and neighboring Mishawaka don’t lack for dining options. With more than 400 restaurants in the area, you have plenty to choose from whether you’re looking a simple, casual diner or a more upscale fine dining establishment. Here are several South Bend restaurants that we tried during our three-day visit to the area.
The seasonally changing menu incorporates local in-season produce at this farm-to-table trendy restaurant in downtown South Bend, but you can enjoy some menu staples, like the popular French Onion Gratinee, anytime. Café Navarre is house in a restored centuries old building, originally a bank whose claim to historical fame was that it was once robbed by John Dillinger.
101 N Michigan Street, South Bend | Phone: (574) 355-3355
Beer lovers will want to order a flight of beers to sample several of the hand-crafted brews, but as much attention is paid to the food as to the brew at the Evil Czech Brewery, owned by George Pesek, trained in Germany and Italy and with experiences like Ditka’s Steak House in Chicago and Ches Louis in St. Louis. Bar food taken up a few notches include dishes like Menage a Trois Mac and Cheese, Bison Goulash and Duck Confit Poutine.
3703 N Main Street, Mishawaka | Phone (574) 855-3070
Originally the home of Clement Studebaker, co-founder of South Bend’s Studebaker automobile manufacturing company, Tippecanoe Place offers fine dining lunch and dinner menus plus a Sunday brunch, which is what we experienced. The brunch buffet includes several hot breakfast and lunch items, including made-to-order omelets, plus salads, fresh fruit and other sides. Be sure to save room for the cakes, cookies, and pastries for dessert.
620 W Washington Street, South Bend | (574) 234-9077
We stumbled across the tiny Jeannie’s House Diner after our initial breakfast plans fell through. We managed to find two open stools at the long counter. This is the kind of place that attracts locals, and overhearing conversations, there were obviously several. Jeannie’s serves basic diner food at reasonable prices.
1444 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend | (574) 855-4423
How can you go wrong when “chocolate” is in the café name? Part of the South Bend Chocolate Company (click here to read about taking the factory tour), the café is full of rich chocolatey goodness. One side of the shop is a candy store; the other side a café, its cases filled with muffins, fudge cake, and cheesecakes.
122 South Michigan Street, South Bend.| (574) 287-0725
Showcasing the food and culture of the seven Celtic nations, the laid-back family-friendly Fiddler’s Hearth serves dishes like Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and Irish Stew. Skip and I both had the Fish and Chips, served in a page of the South Bend Tribune. Nightly entertainment includes a mix of sounds, including open stage nights. Performers and genres are listed on Fiddler’s Hearth’s online calendar.
127 North Main Street, South Bend | (574) 232-2853
Disclosure: Our visit to South Bend was hosted by Visit South Bend Mishawaka, and we received complimentary meals from some, but not all, of the restaurants listed above. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
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