Don’t get me wrong- I love Purdue and the wide variety of restaurants Lafayette/West Lafayette has to offer. Places like Greenleaf, Mad Mush, and Fiesta are very satisfying most of the time, but every now and then I can’t help but feel like something’s missing in the food scene at Purdue (like restaurant franchises that seem to be everywhere but here). These restaurants would make a great addition to Boilermaker territory while allowing us to cherish our existing gems all the same.

1. Tim Hortons


Photo courtesy of @im_chaeyoon on Instagram

I don’t know about you, but I really get the Timmy feels when I’m at Purdue. If you’re not a Starbucks fan, other options are either too overpriced or a pain to walk to from the other end of campus. Luckily the Canadian-born coffee franchise plans to open a Timmy Ho-Ho’s in Lafayette. If you still don’t believe a Tim Hortons is necessary for us Boilermakers, here are 11 reasons why this bakery & cafe is better than Dunkin’ (i.e. the new guy in town).

2. In-N-Out Burger


Photo courtesy of @_maya_huel_ on Instagram

I’m not a California native, but I hear In-N-Out is pretty decent. More like, all of my friends from Cali can’t stop complaining about the lack of anything even slightly similar to this burger franchise’s addicting taste. Sadly, it’s not just Indiana that’s In-N-Out deprived, it’s strictly a west coast thing. That’s really unfair because we Mid-Westerners love a good burger once in a blue moon too.

3. Red Robin


Photo courtesy of @nc_pdx_citylife on Instagram

In-N-Out may never make it’s way to Purdue, but Red Robin doesn’t have an excuse. Known for their gourmet burgers, bottomless fries, and hit-the-spot shakes, going to Red Robin is a childhood Rite of Passage. The closest one is over 60 miles away in Carmel, but I’m willing to drive for a nice food coma sponsored by Red Robin.

4. Popeyes


Photo courtesy of @popeyesca on Instagram

This Louisiana-style fried chicken restaurant brings a batch of seasoned homemade goodness to every table. Even if you don’t like fried chicken, they offer an array of traditional Southern eats like biscuits, fried seafood, and po boys. Did you know there’s even an annual Po Boy festival in New Orleans?

5. California Pizza Kitchen


Photo courtesy of @hezzaang on Instagram

I was surprised to discover that a CPK doesn’t exist on campus. Where else am I going to get a crispy-thin crust Sicilian or white pizza that’s ever-so-slightly charred on the bottom but not quite burnt? Oh well, I guess Hot Box of Mad Mush will do. But if  you’re a thin crust lover like me, try this cauliflower crust recipe. It’s healthy too.

6. Waffle House


Photo courtesy of @stevehaught on Instagram

What is often seen as an icon of southern hospitality, Waffle House is the place to go for a hearty breakfast. It has a family diner feel, even though it’s a franchise that’s been around since 1955. Everything from their waffles, to their oatmeal, and even their coffee is perfectly presented, allowing for a pleasant brunch for an even more pleasant price. Although it’s not likely Waffle House will set foot in Lafayette, I can’t help thinking about their breakfasts on a daily basis.

7. Chick Fil-A


Photo courtesy of @lee_racheal on Instagram

Okay, okay. There’s a Chick Fil-A in Lafayette, but for students who don’t have a mode of transportation, it feels like miles away from campus. So close, yet so far.  For your convenience, here’s a copycat Chick Fil-A sandwich recipe so you can enjoy them without having to trudge an entire city over, or if it happens to be a Sunday.

8. Souplantation/ Sweet Tomatoes


Photo courtesy of @jimmytoon_ on Instagram

This soup and salad bar depicts the future of buffets: no more heavy meals followed by plates piled higher than you. Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes (two restaurants owned by the same company that offer very similar food) emphasizes the ideals of farm fresh, made from scratch, healthy as can be food to nourish the body. Somebody tell me why this chain hasn’t taken over the world as of yet.

9. Jamba Juice


Photo courtesy of @photosbylisag on Instagram

Why are there Jamba Juice locations in Canada, The Bahamas, and the Philippines, when this American franchise ceases to exist in West Lafayette, IN? Jamba Juice specializes in fresh juice, fresh smoothies, yogurt parfaits and much more. A Tropical Sunburst or a Chili Mango smoothie sounds extremely appealing while walking to the Physics building on a hot spring day.

10. A Fro-Yo Place, Any Fro-Yo Place


Photo courtesy of @the_hungrygurl on Instagram

We had a nice fro-yo place… had. Now we are in dire need of one, especially for those who like to mix 10 flavors together, add all possible toppings, and then realize your frozen yogurt costs $20. Oops. Either way, fro-yo is a trend on all college campuses, and it’s time to bring this popular hangout spot back to Purdue. While waiting for the next place to pop up, consider making your own batch of fro-yo with just a few ingredients.


Gif Courtesy of

All in all, Purdue is a great school with so much diversity that has uplifted our food scene in every way. But you still can’t go wrong with the basics every once in a while. Whether it’s a smoothie from Jamba Juice or a deluxe burger from In-N-Out, I don’t think anyone would say no to a few more options around town, especially if you’re all about that dorm life.