Beyond the campus life
Throw a stone from the Sample Gates and you’re bound to hit at least one
restaurant, shop or cafe on Kirkwood. Bloomington’s downtown scene is
bustling with flavor, vintage and vinyl. Here, we point out some of
our B-town favorites.
NICK’S ENGLISH HUT
423 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Few Hoosiers have left Bloomington without setting foot in this establishment. With old newspaper clippings, IU decor and televisions always set to that day’s big game, Nick’s epitomizes the IU spirit. For those over 21, make sure to play a round of Sink the Biz (see our Bucket List).
THE BOOK CORNER
100 N. Walnut St..
Located right on the square, The Book Corner is a cozy shop for book lovers. The owners are more than willing to help you find what you’re looking for or recommend a good read.
THE POURHOUSE CAFÉ
314 E. Kirkwood Ave.
The Pourhouse is more than your typical coffeeshop - 100% of the tips and profits are given to charities around the world. Oh, and it also serves killer espresso drinks, pastries and gelato.
412 E. Sixth St.
For weekend brunch, the Runcible Spoon is the best. Try home fries to cure a late night out or any of their omelets.
The funky atmosphere fits with Bloomington’s college town vibe, and the coffee is better than any Starbucks.
TD’S CDS & LPS
322 E. Kirkwood Ave.
This is literally Bloomington’s underground record store, situated in the basement of the same venue that houses Cactus Flower. It holds an extensive collection of vinyl, tapes and CDs, categorized perfectly for any music buff.
BASIL LEAF CAFÉ
404 E. 4th St.
Located on Fourth Street, Bloomington’s stretch of international cuisine, this Vietnamese bistro offers authentic Asian fusion cuisine, including the traditional Vietnamese dish “pho.”
322 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington’s one-stop shop for vintage lovers, this store has the latest trends on the first floor while the upstairs looks like your hip grandmother’s attic (just not as dusty).
BLOOMINGTON BAGEL CO.
113 N. Dunn St.
This local bagel shop has now been in business for more than 15 years. The bagels are boiled fresh in-house daily, and the selection of schmears and toppings will never bore your taste buds.
MOTHER BEAR'S PIZZA
1428 E. Third St.
This Bloomington institution boasts the best pizza in town and is usually crowded. But even if you have a long wait, you’ll be rewarded. Try one of the specialty pizzas, or make your own.
108 E. Kirkwood Ave.
For something a little more upscale, try FarmBloomington. Located on the square, it’s one of the most premier dining options in town. Its eclectic atmosphere and healthy dishes make you wish you visited more often.
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