When people think of South Bend, they think Notre Dame. What most people don’t know is that the city of South Bend has more to offer, especially when it comes to food. How the heck are ND students supposed to get artsy food instagrams with nothing to work with but dim lighting and mediocre food choices? As Notre Dame students, the allure of the dining hall practically plummets after experiencing just a few weeks of poorly steamed broccoli and soggy mashed potatoes. Check out these six restaurant alternatives to spice up your college eating game.

1. Woochi

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While it may not be the low price leader, Woochi has incredible sushi. This Japanese fusion restaurant combines incredible food with the quintessential mood lighting. You may be thinking, where does all this fresh fish come from? Lake Michigan? The South Bend River? All I can say is, don’t ask questions. It tastes phenomenal.

2. Whole Foods 

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Confused how Whole Foods made the list of the top places to get dinner in South Bend?If you aren’t a seasoned Whole Foods attendee, then you’ve probably never seen the seemingly endless sushi bar, soup selection, and combination of hot and cold meals. This “build-your-own” set-up allows you to tailor your meal to fit your every desire. I usually end up with a confusing jumble of varying cuisines, but in the end my stomach’s feeling more than happy.

3. Chipotle

Photo by Olivia Feehery

I know what you’re thinking. Really? Chipotle? As an avid Mexican food lover, Chipotle has literally never left me unsatisfied. Even in the E. Coli crisis I couldn’t keep my hands off those juicy burrito bowls. Chipotle by no means screams fancy cuisine, but trust me, it’s worth it. In case you’ve never experienced Chipotle before, and if that’s the case I am seriously sorry, I recommend a burrito bowl with literally everything.

4. The Mark

Photo courtesy of The Mark Dine & Tap on Facebook

Conveniently located on Eddy Street, The Mark is literally right across the street from campus. There’s no excuse not to give this one a try. Their made from scratch menu has something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger and fries or you’re feeling a little fancy and want to order the salmon, every dish is simply delicious. You cannot leave without having a piece of the cake. It is hands down the best cake I have ever had. My personal favorites are chocolate ganache and coconut.

5. Daihido

Photo courtesy of http://daihidosushi.com/

If you love sushi, or if even if you don’t, you’ll love Daihido. It is the newest addition in the Mishawaka area. It features Asian fusion. My personal favorite is the salmon-avocado roll. The best part is that it is not as expensive as you may think. Don’t forget to take a picture with the lion statues out front on your way out.

6. Cafe Navarre

Photo courtesy of Cafe Navarre on Facebook

If you’re looking to impress your date or your parents are in town for the weekend, Cafe Navarre is the place to go. It features modern American cuisine with French, Spanish, and Italian influences. The focus is on fresh ingredients that are simply prepared. You’ll not only be blown away by the food, but also the ambiance. It is located in an old bank right in the heart of downtown South Bend. The Old World style architecture combined with natural lighting makes for a cozy dining experience. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.