Great Food and Shopping, a Short Walk Away
One of the beauties of Bloomington is that so much is within walking (or biking) distance. In fact, IU and Bloomington are so interconnected that it’s often hard to tell where the university ends and the town begins. Downtown Bloomington—which includes the Monroe County Courthouse square (we just call it “the Square”) and the many shops, eateries, and performance venues that surround it—is just five short blocks from the west end of campus.
Kirkwood Avenue runs between downtown and IU’s symbolic front door, the Sample Gates. Kirkwood’s been a popular hangout for generations of IU students thanks to its cool shops, where you can buy stylish clothing, IU gear, used CDs, decorations, and knickknacks , and the eclectic restaurant scene. If you eat at only one local restaurant, go to Nick’s English Hut, an IU tradition for more than 80 years. Village Deli and the Uptown Cafe are great for breakfast (or brunch, depending on when you wake up), and Buffa Louie’s (around the corner on Indiana Avenue) serves the best wings around. Mexican more your style? Across from Nick's you'll find Chipotle, and further downtown is El Norteno.
In Bloomington, you can have the world on your plate. Our wide variety of international cuisine—including Afghan, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Thai, Tibetan, and Mediterranean—is concentrated on Fourth Street, a block south of Kirkwood, but extends throughout the city.
For more shopping and restaurants, ride your bike, hop in a car, or take a Bloomington Transit bus (free for IU students) to Bloomington’s East Side or West Side. The chain restaurants and stores congregate there, although there are still plenty of local options.
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