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Where to Eat

There are a lot of good restaurants around the campus. And the choices present a nice range of prices and cuisines.

Washington Avenue

The IRM stand-by continues to be Bona, a Vietnamese restaurant on Washington Avenue. The menu is somewhat schizophrenic, consisting of two distinct cuisines: standard Americanized Chinese food, and traditional Vietnamese dishes. Most of us prefer the latter. Try the Vietnamese salads (with rice noodles) or the Pho. The place is always packed, but the service is quick and the prices cannot be beat. E.g., a small Pho is around six dollars. Just a few doors down is Hong Kong Noodles. Order one of the specials written on the chalkboard next to the entrance for a traditional Chinese dish. On the other side of Washington Ave. are some other options including the fast-food Chipotle, Punch Neapolitan Pizza (single-serving wood-fired pizzas) and the Lotus (another Vietnamese restaurant). Closer to campus are a couple of "bar-food" restaurants, including Big Ten and Sally's. The coffee shop, Espresso Expose, has sandwiches and soup for five dollars. A few other options can be found if you follow Washington Avenue across the river. In particular, Town Hall Brewery serves beer brewed on the spot and food worthy of the brew. Town Hall has a nice patio and a couple of pool tables, so it is a nice place to go after a day in the lab. For a taste of Americana try the hot-dog joint, the Wienery.


Dinkytown also has several nice places to eat. Café 421 serves great salads, sandwiches, pasta, and more hearty meals like pork tenderloin, in addition to a good wine list. It is moderately priced; expect to spend around ten dollars, plus tip, for a plate. The restaurant's owner, Georgia, is a gregarious Greek, so be on the lookout for the Greek-inspired specials and desserts. The Loring Pasta Bar features an amazing interior and excellent food. It also has the best wine list within walking distance of campus. If you are a student, bring your I.D. for a 30% discount. Another option is Annie's Parlor, which serves good burgers, fries, and shakes. For a traditional American breakfast do not miss Al's Breakfast, a Dinkytown landmark. The building is actually a converted alley, so the seating is limited to a bar that runs most of the length of the restaurant. And since it is usually full, waiting customers line up behind seated diners. The line moves fast, so even if it runs out the door, you will not have to wait long. If a party of two is waiting and two non-contiguous places open up, a cook or waitperson will ask everyone to move over a place or two. The pancakes and eggs Benedict cannot be beat.

On Campus

There are a couple of dining options on campus. Closest in proximity to the lab are the vending machines in the basement. IRM staff members have been known to lunch out of the vending machines, choosing cheeseburgers, sandwich wedges, etc. Nolte Hall has a small cafeteria that is nearly as quick as the vending machines. But for a sandwich you would be better off choosing D'Amico and Sons on the first floor of the Alumni Center. They serve great soups, sandwiches and pasta salads with an Italian theme. The desserts are superb. The half-a-sandwich and soup meal for seven dollars is a good deal. Several fast-food options are located in the Coffman Memorial Union.


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