One of my favorite things to do is enjoy a great meal with friends and family. I'm so lucky to live near Dinkytown (a neighborhood adjacent to campus), where there are so many options for places to enjoy a delicious meal. Here are a few of my favorite places to eat in Dinkytown:
The Loring Pasta Bar has always been my favorite place to eat near the U of M. This Italian restaurant's design and decor is beautiful, and unlike any other in Dinkytown. When it's warm, you can eat outside, too! There is almost always great music in the evenings and a chance to go salsa dancing on certain nights and weekends. Then there's the food--which is always fantastic. I love pasta, and Loring's pasta is some of the best I've had! Also, during certain times, students can recieve a 30 percent discount with their U Card!
Al's Breakfast is sometimes overlooked--it's a tiny restaurant built in the space between two larger buildings, which was once an alley. However, this restaurant serves, in my opinion, the best breakfast in Dinkytown. I strongly encourage you to try their amazing food. Be careful though, you may get hooked and want to go to Al's every morning! Be prepared to wait in line due to the small size of the restaurant and the number of people there who know they are in for a great breakfast. It's worth the wait!
With it's unique and flavorful pizza options, including Southwest Taco, Philly Cheesesteak,and Macaroni and Cheese (my favorite!), it's impossible not to like Mesa Pizza. It's also very convenient to grab a delicious slice while heading to or from class. It's definitely a U of M student favorite!
If you're in the mood for Chinese food and you don't want to travel far, I suggest Shuang Chang. It's my favorite Asian restaurant in the area. Since it's nearby, my friends are always going to Shuang Chang for dinner, and I don't blame them! It's affordable and the portions are huge -- perfect for budget-conscious students who want to take leftovers home.
If you need to do homework and eat, get a table at The Purple Onion Cafe. I study here all the time, because the atmosphere and great coffee is perfect for getting a lot of work accomplished. The menu is delicious, and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. This popular spot is perfect for group projects, because you are able to meet with and talk to your classmates in a relaxed, stress-free environment.