There’s always a few things that you have a soft spot for from your college days. Whether it’s food, certain places or certain people – you get attached, you learn to appreciate and crave for these things. Purdue has a charm of its own, and here in West Lafayette, we have some things that are either rare or simply exclusive to our campus. I’m going to dive right in because you should waste no more time and start checking these tasty memories off your bucket list. Here are the 20 most delicious things to eat in West Lafayette before you die (or graduate) and exactly where you can find them!
1. Freshen’s Smoothies
Almost on every list of anything related to Purdue, there’s Freshen’s. Freshen’s has been around for a while now, and is routine for a lot of people ranging from smoothie lovers to gym-goers. Freshen’s has the most mouth watering and fresh smoothies you will ever have. This is definitely something you need to try before you get out of here.
2. The Legendary Den Pop
You think I would leave this one out? Sure, it’s just soda, but it’s also creativity. Not many places have such large selections, student contributed recipes and, of course, the idea of making a fun pop, if you know what I mean. The Den Pop is tradition for Purdue during any event. BGR and Grand Prix are one of the biggest examples! The icing on the cake is that the Den Pop is so inexpensive, it can literally save your day (or night) and your wallet.
Alright, bubble tea! If you haven’t tried bubble tea, do you even go to college? Bubble tea is as simple as it sounds. Tea, with bubbles in it. The bubbles are made of tapioca and are just so addictive. My favorite at Latea is the Hazelnut milk tea, but there are so many flavors to choose from. By the end of my college life I would have probably tried all of them – no joke! Latea is down the hill by all the other restaurants at the intersection. It is a must have before you leave or graduate.
4. Hot Box Breadsticks
Let’s shift gears a little and look at the food side of things. The famous “Best Pizza on Campus” has that title for a reason. Hot Box Breadsticks are made to perfection, and choose the perfect dipping sauce (I prefer ranch or cheese) and you can savor that for hours (don’t literally, eat them when they’re fresh). We all know where Hot Box is located, right at the beginning of the Chauncey Hill parking lot next to Jake’s. Hurry, go get your breadsticks!
Pro Tip: After 9pm, Hot Box serves a singular slice of Pizza and Breadsticks for $6.44. At that price, it is a steal. It will save your day, or night depending on whichever one is worse!
5. Mad Mushroom Cheesy bread
How many times have you heard these 4 words on campus? Whether it’s right after class or at 3 a.m. after a rough night, Mad Mush is the place to be. Having the perfect location opposite of Harry’s (you know why), Mad Mush also prides itself for its amazing cheesy bread. If you’re brave enough, you don’t even need someone to share them with you. They are heaven!
6. Fiesta Burritos, Enchilada style!
Never heard of the Mexican restaurant right under Chauncey Square? You need to go there for your next meal. Fiesta is affordable, fresh and tasty Mexican food with a little twist in the burritos section. They have a free add-on called “enchilada style” and it will turn your burrito into two meals if you can stop yourself from devouring the saucy and cheesy burrito in one. Full disclosure – I always finish mine, but in the beginning, I did struggle. Ask for any burrito to be made enchilada style and watch the magic happen.
7. Insomnia Cookies
If you haven’t ordered insomnia during a late night long and tiresome study session, do you even go to Purdue? Insomnia cookies are the boon of our existence. When we need sugar, whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., they’re there and ready to deliver freshly baked and warm cookies. The best part? You can even order milk with them! Perfect break, right? Just log on to their website or visit their store on Northwestern! It’s worth it, trust me.
8. Triple X Omelets
Most of us are not breakfast people. Well we are, but we eat breakfast at lunch time most of the time. Triple X on the other hand will fix you up with some of the most tasteful and well-made eggs you’ve ever had. Try their milkshakes or their local root beer – it’s to die for! Triple X has been a landmark at Purdue for longer than we can imagine, and it’s always been in the same spot on State Street just as the hill ends on the top side. Check it out – but remember, they don’t take card-so bring cash!
9. Maru Sushi – Come on!
Every little town always has a sushi place, but Maru has a special place in our stomachs.. Err.. Hearts! This delicious restaurant that just moved to a bigger location next to Fiesta has some of the best sushi on campus! If you haven’t been there already, be sure to, because you won’t find better sushi anywhere else and I can guarantee that.
10. Rice Café – Chinese takeout done right!
If you’ve ever been “happy”, you’re definitely hungry. Rice café has been the legendary Chinese delivery that keeps us Purdue kids alive. There’s no minimum, delivery is super cheap and the food is heavenly. If you want to be brave and pickup, they’re right down the street from Harry’s (Perfect!) They’re even open until 4 a.m. most nights! So much perfect, right? My favorite at Rice café is the fried rice. There are choices of beef, pork, chicken and even vegetarian. Be sure not to pick a high spiciness level or you might end up having to drink more..water of course.
11. Greyhouse Desserts!
I can’t even name a single item from Greyhouse because all their treats are just so heavenly! They have gelato, pastries and even crepes. If you’ve had a rough Saturday night, there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a scrumptious breakfast at Greyhouse. It could be lunch, nobody is judging – We’re all students here and we get it. Go ahead, what are you waiting for? Let that sweet tooth go crazy for once!
12. Pappy’s Shakes and Ice Cream
Alright now, if you don’t know what Pappy’s is, you need to take another tour of Purdue. It’s in the food court of the Union building, rich with heritage and a LOT of amazing shakes, malts and ice creams. Pappy’s has long been known for keeping students from going crazy between classes with cold, fresh and thick milkshakes but little do many know, their food is fantastic too. If you haven’t already had a meal at Pappy’s, you should the next time you are in the Union. If you have had a meal, then go again. Another milkshake never harmed anyone.
13. AJ’s Burgers
This restaurant started by Purdue alumni is the perfect balance between good food and fast food. Sure, fast food can be good, but not AJ’s good. AJ’s is located right across from the Chauncey Hill parking lot and is always busy, so be ready to wait at least 10 minutes for your food. I highly recommend the seasoned waffle fries, and pretty much all the burgers. They are well cooked, well-made and perfectly put together. If you’re feeling lazy, you can order AJ’s too – just use HungryBoiler or their website and it’s easy as cake. Which reminds me- try the funnel cake fries. Yes, they’re dessert, and yes they’re amazing.
14. Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza
In 2016, we were gifted with a new concept for a pizza place. As most people say it, it’s like a subway for pizza. I mean, $8.55 for a freshly baked pizza? Hell yeah! Lotsa builds your pizza in front of you on uncooked dough and then uses a stone fire oven to bake it, also in front of you. The magic of this is you can watch your crust fluff, the veggies cook and the meat simmer as you patiently (or not so patiently) wait for your meal. They’re located right next to 308 on State Street and surprise surprise, they’re open until 3 a.m. on the weekends. Isn’t that just fantastic?
15. Sushi Burrito
This one is on here not just because the food is good but because – come on – look at the idea! Sushi, but burritos? Sushi Burrito is a fusion of sushi and burritos (of course) but in a way that nobody ever thought before. It’s like a giant handheld sushi, but not just a hand roll, a burrito made of it. What’s fascinating is that they’ve pulled it off. I had never heard of the concept before and I can assure you that most of us here at Purdue hadn’t either. Sure enough, it’s got a spot on HungryBoiler, great reviews and definitely something unique to us. It’s right next to Latea, so now you know what your meal is going to be before you hit the bubble tea lounge!
16. Harry’s Chocolate Shop food!
Yes, bar food. The number one college bar in the United States also has mouth-watering food. There is one simple dish that is to die for at Harry’s, the Harry’s spiced chips. $2.50 a basket, pure bliss, especially in that state. If you don’t know where Harry’s is, you haven’t been to Purdue. And if you actually haven’t been to Purdue, it’s right by Von’s on State Street, around all the other restaurants!
17. Purdue’s Dining courts
Yeah yeah, we’re over the dining hall food, probably what you’re thinking right about now. But let’s face it, we came to Purdue and were just amazed by the variety and type of food at Purdue’s dining halls. They’re all located within the radius of the dorm buildings (except Ford dining court), and they all have a large selection of food every single day. It’s cheap too! All you need to do is check out the menus and go to whichever one you like! You won’t regret it. You have to go there at least once before you graduate, although I am pretty sure that every Purdue student has been there as a result of BGR or residence hall events.
18. Egyptian’s Middle-Eastern or Indian Menu
Egyptian, located on Northwestern just next door to Greyhouse is a restaurant and hookah bar. Don’t mistake that for the food being just okay – because the food there is phenomenal. Right from the hummus to the butter paneer/chicken masala, that stuff will make your taste buds dance. If you haven’t had Egyptian yet, your next pregame and dinner needs to be there. It’s right next to the bars too!
19. Basil Thai
Basil Thai is a Thai (duh!) restaurant right in the center of Chauncey Hill in the parking lot. It’s been there since I was a freshman and probably many years before that. Basil Thai’s food is full of flavor, and they even have a sit-down service. It makes for a perfect informal dinner of delicious Thai food, combined with Thai iced tea or bubble tea and eloquently presented dishes. My personal favorite is the “Pra Ram”, which is your choice of meat in a fantastically cooked peanut sauce, served with rice and broccoli. Feel free to let me know if you liked it, because you’re going to have to try it now that I’ve made it sound so good!
20). Von’s Calzones
If you know where Harry’s is (well now you do), you know where Von’s is. It’s the place with the giant sign right next to Jake’s that says “Von’s dough shack.” Their menu is almost entirely calzones, and man are they good! They even have a variety of choices for the kind of bread you want your calzone to be made with – firewater is my favorite, thank me later. They also have “lovesticks” that are breadsticks made cheesy, with just garlic, or cinnamon and sugar. All three choices are those type of choices that you can never go wrong with.
Are there any more delicious things to eat in West Lafayette before you graduate from Purdue? Let us know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.