The Spoon Choice Awards celebrate eateries in college towns for providing the most delicious food and inviting environments to students in the area. All of the winners are chosen by college students at universities around the country.

Sometimes, you just have to treat yourself. As you explore your school’s area, you find the best budget spots where you can satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank — but you also learn about the places to go when you're celebrating with your S.O. or when your parents are treating you to dinner. They might be expensive, but they are worth the splurge for the right moments. 

When that thrilling time finally comes, you’re going to want a restaurant that serves food that is worth the price. Apart from food, however, these Spoon Choice Award-winning splurge spots also have good service, great views, and a luxurious interior. If you’re spending a lot of money, it helps to have comfortable seating and a pleasant ambiance. These spots allow you to indulge in cuisines often not readily available in dining halls such as Oaxacan, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, and more. At the end of the day, someone’s wallet might be a little lighter, but you will have a food experience to remember. If you’re feeling like spending some big bucks, these restaurants are definitely worth it.

Click on the map above to check out all the winners.

Design by Spoon University

The Sinclair, Fairfield, CT

The Sinclair serves diverse American food that ranges from seafood to steaks. Its upscale brunch is available until 2 p.m. if you prefer to treat yourself earlier in the day. You can also order a four-course feast that comes with a salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert for $75. 

Nominated by Fairfield University

Fox & The Knife, Boston, MA

You know a place is going to be good when it has an open kitchen and fresh Italian pasta. Fox & The Knife brings families together through soul-satisfying food and an inviting atmosphere. If you've never tried wild boar, octopus, or escarole, you can experience it here over a comforting bowl of pasta and a glass of wine.

Nominated by Northeastern University

Lucia Ristorante, Boston, MA

Buon appetito at Lucia Ristorante. The delicious Italian food spot is in the heart of Boston with a beautiful space to sit in while you dine. With tradition you can taste, any dish here is money well spent.

Nominated by Boston University

Yvonne's, Boston, MA

Dine in luxury in Yvonne's main dining room, lounge, gallery room, or library bar. You'll want to take pictures of the chic environment and the world-class cuisine that will be served to you. However, if you're the kind of person who has a hard time deciding what to order, you might have difficulty picking from the wide variety of options such as the Thai octopus or lamb kofta.

Nominated by Emerson College

Oleana, Cambridge, MA

At Oleana, you'll find small, photo-worthy Middle Eastern dishes that pack a flavorful punch made to be savored. On top of incredible food, the atmosphere is romantic, making it the perfect place for a date night splurge.

Nominated by Boston University

Trevina, Lewisburg, PA

Trevina offers a unique and modern dining experience. The decor is delicate but still glamorous, and students dress up when visiting for a meal. The menu offers upscale, homestyle dishes like salmon BLTs, caprese flatbreads, and summer crab toast.

Nominated by Bucknell University

Union & Finch, Allentown, PA

As an American-style bistro, Union & Finch serves comfort foods with a twist. Its atmosphere is light, playful, and relaxed, which lends itself nicely to a friend get-together or nice date. Plus, brunch is served on the weekends with dishes like waffles foster and steak and eggs.

Nominated by Muhlenberg College

Old Man Rafferty's, New Brunswick, NJ

During the spring and summer, Old Man Rafferty's provides outdoor dining worth the drop-in. It's not the most expensive splurge, but the tavern atmosphere and comfort foods make it a fun place to bring your friends or your mom. 

Nominated by Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Osteria Procaccini, Pennington, NJ

Osteria Procaccini takes pizza to the next level. The crusts are thin and charred to perfection in the traditional Italian way. Treat yourself to a gamberi pizza with red shrimp, capers, white wine, garlic, shaved parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil for $23, and get the cannolo rollatini, cannoli cream, and strawberries rolled inside pizza dough, as a $17 dessert.

Nominated by The College of New Jersey

Tobalá, Bronx, NY

Tobalá loves sharing Oaxacan-inspired food to the greater Riverdale area. Students love to splurge there for the atmosphere, mezcal, and Oaxacan cuisine. With brunch, dinner, and cocktails, your money will be well spent.

Nominated by Manhattan College

Soju, Pittsburgh, PA

For $35 a person, you and seven friends can enjoy a three-course meal of delicious Korean American food served family-style. Or, if you're not part of a large group, you can choose from a variety of menu options that are served on cute plates. If you love spicy food, there are delicious kimchi dishes, spicy tuna gimbap, or katsu curry.

Nominated by University of Pittsburgh

Design by Spoon University

NaKorn Thai, Evanston, IL

Photo by Siège Food Photo

NaKorn's Thai cuisine is plant-forward and presented so beautifully that you'll want to a picture of every plate. Its service is friendly with a goal to provide a fancy dining experience without the fuss. From the wallpaper to the hanging lights, NaKorn's ambiance is perfect for dates or a nice meal with friends or family. 

Nominated by Northwestern University

Pesto's Italian Restaurant, Valparaiso, IN

Cozy up with Pesto's Italian fare and its inviting decor. When you spend your money here, you're paying for freshly cooked food and a lovely evening out with a date, friends, or family. 

Nominated by Valparaiso University

The Basil Leaf Cafe, Lawrence, KS

Seven cheese mac and cheese is enough of a reason for most to splurge at The Basil Leaf Cafe. Its upscale dishes taste decadent and can be enjoyed with a protein of your choosing including chicken, shrimp, or lobster.

Nominated by The University of Kansas

Mani Osteria, Ann Arbor, MI

Mani Osteria is a locally-owned restaurant perfect for family gatherings. The open floor plan and cheerful atmosphere will make your dining experience one to remember. Some highlights on the menu include house-made focaccia, wood-fired pizzas, and bolognese.

Nominated by University of Michigan

Charlie Kang's, East Lansing, MI

Sitting just off Grand River is Charlie Kang's, ready to serve you a warm and comforting meal. It offers an array of Chinese and Korean cuisine, both spicy and non-spicy. If you're on a date, you can order dinner for two, and enjoy a family-style meal of some of its most popular dishes.

Nominated by Michigan State University

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, Cincinnati, OH

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse is an elevated fine dining experience and most definitely a splurge spot. The sophisticated ambiance is created through live music on a gold-plated piano, the ruby and gold color palette, massive chandeliers, and hospitable service.

Nominated by Northern Kentucky University

Forno, Columbus, OH

At Forno, you can splurge on high-quality American food and outstanding drinks. There are options for gluten-free, brunch, dinner, and late-night visitors, plus an incredible happy hour menu. For everyone with a sweet tooth, don't skip the pies and cheesecakes or the signature dessert of spiked strawberries.

Nominated by The Ohio State University

Eno Vino, Madison, WI

When you splurge at Eno Vino's, you get both a breathtaking view of the city and a glass of great wine. The dishes are small, but crafted to perfection. Eno Vino is the perfect location for a late-night outing or date night.

Nominated by University of Wisconsin-Madison

Design by Spoon University

Hillstone, Phoenix, AZ

Hillstone is a formal dining experience designed for smaller, more intimate gatherings like a date night. While it definitely is expensive, the beautiful indoor and outdoor dining services and diverse menu provide reason enough to splurge.

Nominated by Grand Canyon University

North Italia, Tucson, AZ

North Italia plates amazing, handcrafted, and quality Italian food with care to ensure you can taste the love. The menu includes pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and even a charcuterie board that serves up to four people. Plus, you can splurge for lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch whenever you crave a taste of Italy.

Nominated by University of Arizona

Spurrier's Gridiron Grille, Gainesville, FL

Spurrier's lounge is here to accommodate your large group gathering on game day, while the main dining room or patio area is perfect for smaller groups. The atmosphere is bright and the food is high-end. "In the restaurant business, your best defense is a great space," restaurant owner Steve Spurrier said. "And your best offense is great food."

Nominated by University of Florida

Backwoods Crossing, Tallahassee, FL

Photo by Zoe Allaire

Few things are more heartwarming than two brothers teaming up to start a farm-to-table restaurant. At Backwoods Crossing, there is always something new on the menu as seasonal produce changes on a regular basis. There's a banquet room that is perfect for wedding rehearsal dinners, parties, or business gatherings.

Nominated by Florida State University

Hal's The Steakhouse, Atlanta, GA

Filet mignon and white truffle mac and cheese, anyone? Hal's takes American comfort foods and serves them as upscale and elegant dishes. The welcoming and lively atmosphere promises a special evening out.

Nominated by Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta

O-Ku, Atlanta, GA

Photo by Heidi Harris

O-Ku has Japanese food and sushi that looks like it came straight out of a magazine. Splurging on sushi has never been so fun and colorful. The menu is great for adventurous foodies, who definitely have to order the crudo flight.

Nominated by Emory University

Jubans Restaurant & Bar, Baton Rouge, LA

Jubans' famous Hallelujah Crab is one of many creatively and beautifully-plated dishes you can order. With brunch, lunch, and dinner looking so fancy, you'll definitely want to order a dessert just to admire it — but it'll taste as good as it looks, too.

Nominated by Louisiana State University

Shaya, New Orleans, LA

Executive chef Fariz Choumali studied cooking techniques all over Europe and the Middle East and now serves his food to the residents of NOLA. The menu echoes Choumali's travels through its wide variety of European and Mediterranean cuisine. The interior of Shaya is simple but beautiful, with large windows and intricate hanging lights.

Nominated by Tulane University

Uchi, Austin, TX

Founded by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole, Uchi offers both great food and great service. Local favorites include walu walu, kurodai nigiri, and hama chili. The indoor and outdoor dining spaces are bright, cozy, and spacious, so you can dine in comfort.

Nominated by The University of Texas at Austin

Casa do Brasil, College Station, TX

If you've ever wanted to indulge in a ton of food for a set price, then Brazilian steakhouses are made for you. While you can order a la carte, most people enjoy sampling everything Caso do Brasil has to offer through the experience menu. Brazilian steakhouses are great places to gather with friends or family because the long meal gives you time to enjoy with loved ones.

Nominated by Texas A&M University

Mexican Sugar, Plano, TX

The dining area is gorgeous, the views are spectacular, and the food is vibrant and delicious. Even though the food is expensive, you get a portion worth of the price. The drinks are spectacular as well, and you can order flights to try multiple tequilas or margaritas at once.

Nominated by The University of Texas at Dallas

Reata Restaurant, Fort Worth, TX

If you're hankerin' for some legendary Texas cuisine, then Reata is the splurge spot for you. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the dining space. You can have a business meeting brunch, a family lunch, or a date night dinner here, dining on rib eyes, pork chops, and crusted chicken. 

Nominated by Texas Christian University

Design by Spoon University

Kiraku, Berkeley, CA

Kiraku follows the traditional izakaya experience by serving small plates of delicious Japanese food. On top of the wonderful food and service, the majority of the ceramic dishes in the restaurant are handmade by the owner, Daiki Saito, which makes the dining experience even more special.

Nominated by University of California, Berkeley

Din Tai Fung, San Diego, CA & Seattle, WA

Each dumpling you order at Din Tai Fung is handmade with high-quality ingredients. A favorite at Din Tai Fung is the Xiao Long Bao dumplings, which are filled with delicious broth. If you're a boba fan, you can also order a milk tea to pair with your meal.

Nominated by San Diego State University (San Diego, CA) & University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Gao Viet Kitchen, San Francisco, CA

Chef Viet's restaurant is lively, fun, and full of fresh food. Everything is vibrant, and the portions are so large, you might as well be paying for two meals when you order one. If you have others splurging with you, you can also order a shared plate that has an array of beautifully arranged seafood or pho.

Nominated by San Francisco State University

Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara, CA

It wouldn't be a boathouse unless it was on the beach — and Boathouse certainly is. Here you can enjoy your seafood breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxing dining space with an ocean view.

Nominated by University of California, Santa Barbara

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Eugene, OR

Japanese steakhouses are always fun for group meals — especially since there's usually one person in your group who freaks out over the flames erupting from the stove as a masterful chef cooks your dish right in front of you. At Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, you are paying for a delicious meal and the entertainment of watching it be prepared at your table. 

Nominated by University of Oregon

Taggart's Grill, Morgan, UT

There is a highway exit specifically to encourage travelers to make a stop at Taggart's Grill. And who wouldn't want to stop at a restaurant where there are peacocks roaming around the property? The food served is comfort on a whole other level, and getting the spinach dip is a necessity during every visit.

Nominated by Weber State University

Novilhos Brazilian Steakhouse, Bellevue, WA

Novilhos is a Brazilian steakhouse where you pay a fixed price for a ton of amazing, fresh food served to your table in rotation. It's a great place to go if you want to splurge on both money and time since the meal is designed to last a while. 

Nominated by Northwest University

Click here for more from the Spoon Choice Awards.

Header photos courtesy of Backwoods Crossing by Zoe Allaire, O-ku by Heidi Harris.