Reservations, The Earlier, The Better!
Finally, graduation is here, yay! Family and friends will want to join you for a feast, here are our tips on local restaurants and the reservation specifics. IU holds three commencement ceremonies each year – two in May and one in December. You can check the commencement schedule for additional information. Hopefully, you have read our blog, Graduation at IU, and already arranged your hotel rooms. But if you are visiting with your entire family, you may want to make your restaurant reservations as many of the restaurants get extremely busy.
To help out, we are including in the listings the restaurants that take reservations and if they require a deposit. For other restaurant recommendations, see our blog on restaurants. We will continue to add to this list regularly as we find more information but our suggestion is to make your plans early, especially for Spring graduation weekends.
- Anyetsang’s Little Tibet – Located on 4th street in a quaint old house, offering specialties from the Himalayan homeland as well as Indian and Thai dishes. They do take reservations and can accommodate up to 15 people.
- Bear’s Place – Located on 3rd Street, a casual atmosphere that has a quaint room that seats up to 100 people for private parties, full bar, and stage.
- Cardinal Spirits – A craft distillery located on South Morton Street with award-winning craft cocktails and a seasonal menu of snacks as well as a full dinner menu. The dining room is 21 and up, the patio and distillery are open to all ages, online reservationists available for graduation reservations starting January 1, seating up to 30-40 people.
- FARMBloomington – (temporarily closed) A creative farm to table restaurant located on Kirkwood. It seems the menu is always changing with seasonal specialties and local ingredients. Reservations are available online with an additional room that seats up to 62 for plated meals, a credit card will be needed to reserve a reservation.
- Gaza Modern Japanese Cuisine – Modern Japanese Cuisine located on College Mall Road. A little bit farther away from campus but worth it. Reservations are available online.
- Janko’s Little Zagreb – Janko’s (pronounced yawn-koes) is located at 6th and Morton, this is a well-loved locally owned steakhouse. Graduation reservations are accepted up to 4 months prior to the date, either by going on Open-Table or calling.
- Little Italy Market – Located on East 3rd Street, this little market offers authentic Italian and Mediterranean entrees. Good sandwiches, large portions, and plenty of samples.
- Malibu Grill – This popular local establishment on N. Walnut street is casual yet classy, offering American fare, seafood, and steaks. As of January 2 of the graduation year, reservations will be accepted by calling, a credit card will be needed to reserve a spot.
- Mother Bear’s Pizza – A Bloomington institution, located at 1428 E 3rd Street, is my daughter’s favorite. Bloomington’s best version of deep-dish pizza. They do not take reservations.
- Nick’s English Hut – This popular local favorite is located on Kirkwood Avenue and offers an American Sports Bar and Pub that serves up local meats and beers. Call in November of the previous year for reservations.
- Samira Afghani Cuisine – This small and compact eatery on West 6th Street offers Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Afghani, Vegetarian, and Vegan options. Reservations are taken by calling in advance.
- Southern Stone – While this restaurant is located a bit off campus on Patterson Drive it will satisfy your southern food cravings. Call in advance for reservations.
- Taste of India – Located on East 4th Street, this family-owned and operated Indian restaurant. Call ahead for reservations.
- The Irish Lion Restaurant and Pub – Although this place looks like an Irish Pub it has some of the best seafood, steak, and pub grub in town. Located on W Kirkwood Avenue. Online reservations or call ahead.
- Upland Brewing Company – One of the original independent breweries in Bloomington this eatery and brewing company is located on West 11th Street and offers some of the best food in town. No reservations are taken.
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