So the four-year study bubble is about to pop… and guess what? Here comes reality! (And it’s not like on MTV). While some of you have landed three-digit paying jobs or accepted to further your education, some of you still have to pick your pockets to survive until you hit bank. But no matter what your future holds, graduation is a momentous event worth celebrating. Here are 16 places to cherish the moment with family…before the bill gets too expensive.
This is not a ranking; restaurants are listed in no particular order. For the purposes of this article, the number of features is limited.
As the Tallahassee house of special occasions, Cypress is prepared to satisfy your craving for lavish chocolate desserts and perfectly seasoned fish while you contemplate how you’ll ever eat this way again. But in the meantime, take a minute to admire how beautiful the view looks, until giving in and savoring the very last meal you’ll eat as a student ever… to the very last, pricey bite. Now you can cry.
#SpoonTip: Hurry up and reserve a spot. But if it’s too late, you should check out…the rest of this list.
Maybe you’ve never gone to NOLA, or maybe you have for a fraternity/sorority formal (*cough cough* Robert Wehrli) or something… It doesn’t matter ’cause Harry’s set to celebrate your final night cajun style with scallops (above), jambalaya, and gumbo. So make a party of it, before it all comes crashing down in the form of financial independence and taxes.
3. Food Glorious Food
Food, especially fine food is gloriously expensive…but totally worth it. Although the menu changes often, the quality doesn’t. Try the Grilled Salmon, P.E.I Mussels (above) or a famous dessert like the Key Lime Pound Cake, and you’ll feel as if you can do the impossible like Eric Liddell in “Chariots of Fire” (except you probably won’t be able to move at all after eating so much). So let the meal fuel you for your post-grad future. #lifegoals
Here’s the “Real World” 101: College is over. Life after school is tough…so eat to cope. Take advantage of the Appletini and Red Sangria (above) at this place while wolfing down a Buffalo Chicken Pizza or the Four Cheese Ravioli. If you end the ride with good food, then you’ll be ready to start the next one with high expectations. Just be prepared when they don’t come true. But always aim for the sky ’cause one day…
5. Andrew’s 228
If you like Andrew’s Capitol Grill & Bar and their amazing burgers, you’ll love their upscale side. Since Andrew’s never likes to be one-dimensional, this alternative is fine dining at its…well, finest. It’s upscale, private, and exceptionally tasty. Try any of their seafood and the Warm Bread Pudding dessert (above), and you’ll be more than prepared to pursue the hard-knock life after college.
#SpoonTip: Here’s some truths about life after graduation.
6. Bella Bella
There’s only one way to celebrate the end of a great (or passing) college career – Italian food. Be excited you survived four years of academic hardship and stuff your face with lasagna (above) and rich chocolate delicacies. Do it all in the name of the #unconquered. Now step out into the world as a proud ‘Nole forever.
If you want to prepare for a change, why not start with food? If you haven’t tried French food, treat yourself to some Euro-American cuisine at this place. Also, guests are served a small appetizer (that changes daily) — a complimentary “Amuse Bouche” or “amuse the mouth” — before dinner in appreciation of your visit. Say Merci to Tallahassee for another fine dining night to remember… before you move to a new place (or back to your parent’s house).
#SpoonTip: If you can’t get a spot, Kool Beanz Cafe is an exotic spot to try.
If you didn’t know, Sage is used as a healing remedy. And if you want something to ease the “I’m done with school, but I’m scared of the future” ache, then this place lives up to its namesake. Try the Rack of Lamb or homemade ice cream for a soothing night out on the town before you continue your unrelenting job search or experience “newbie status” on your first day of work.
If you’re ready to stride that stage and frame your diploma, then come out to Osaka where they “roll with the freshest.” Enjoy all the Japanese have to offer — from fried Donburi to the Surf Roll (above) — ’cause your graduation has got you feelin’ good about raw fish and uncertain future prospects. Just be thankful if you have an internship (although you’re not paid), because that’s a step up from rock bottom.
Although no one can go wrong with Mediterranean, Georgio’s definitely got it right! It’s not only healthy, but the food’s seasoned to perfection. From the Chicken Marsala to Greek Style Grouper, you’ll get a taste of Greece without every leaving Tallahassee. It’s so good, “eat in Europe” will become number two on your bucket list after “land a steady job that can pay for my trip to Europe.”
#SpoonTip: Here’s how to save on food in Europe.
Steak is always the way to deal with separation anxiety (except for chocolate), and Marie is ready to dish up the cure. So savor a Ribeye with the family while you handle the depression of your college breakup. I know, I know…she helped you grow so much, but now it’s time to move on. #biggerandbetterthings
#Spoontip: Here’s another great place to get steak in Tally.
If you want to experience royal dining and Caribbean-inspired food, take a trip to this restaurant! They serve a variety of dishes, including vegetarian. So take advantage of such regal treatment, enjoy the Ptah’s Salmon Extraordinaire (and the option to choose Tofu), and feel imperial for a night. Then, you can return to real life and remember that you’re only a prince/princess in your mind (and that’s okay).
If you prefer to go simple and enjoy a classic pizza as a reward for a job well done, then this place is perfect! It’s not over-the-top or expensive, and it’s a reliable comfort food. So if pizza (and you’ll get it special here) is your go-to, then chow down and cherish every bit ’cause it might be the last of Tally you taste for a long time.
The name “Masa” is of Japanese origin meaning, “become.” And if you eat here, you will become addicted… ’cause it’s AMAZING. So stop by for graduation dinner and taste it for yourself! You’ll become a new person. When the night ends, you’ll be glad you did. Then you can go back to thinking about how you’re going to continue your sushi spree without any money…
#SpoonTip: If it’s too packed, check out these other great sushi places.
If you want a unique food experience, this organic, local, and farm-to-table based restaurant offers a variety of foods including Braised Pastured Chicken, cheese and wine plates, and ever changing desserts. It’s strange it say…but this place is both exotic and local. Try it and see what you think.
#SpoonTip: Here’s why it’s good to go local when it comes to food.
15. Zin & Sin Eatery
Just look at that Red Velvet cake. Looks good right? And so is every else at this restaurant, including lunch, dinner, the wines, all the other desserts…should I elaborate further? This place is so top-notch that every food type has its own room (i.e. there’s a wine room, a dessert room, etc.)! So get set to sin…but only with Pecan Pie.
16. The Edison
Yeah, so everyone knows this place has mad brunch, but what you might not have known is that it’s a great place to drink and dine anytime. It’s classy and old-fashioned (so check out their dress code and parking). So go back in time for a night and graduate in style!
#SpoonTip: Here are drinks you should have tried before your graduation. Now you have to try them all in one night. Good luck.
Regardless of how tough life might be, here’s a bit of encouragement: Be proud you’re a ‘Nole. You’ve beat the college game and are set to start a new life. You’ve got this! Just…eat a good meal before you step into the real world.