March Madness! Head to Harry’s Chocolate Shop

Photo taken Purdue Homecoming 2014!

Photo taken Purdue Homecoming 2014!

It’s Final Four time in Lafayette-West Lafayette! Sixty-eight schools start off March dreaming of Final Four glory, but only four teams make it to college basketball’s biggest weekend. Head to Harry’s Chocolate Shop to take in the big games with co-workers, friends and fellow Purdue Alumni!

Harry’s! When I say Harry’s Chocolate Shop what do you think? To most Purdue Alumni, Harry’s Chocolate Shop it is an integral part of their college days. It is a gathering place to meet up with friends, have a burger, watch sporting events and drink beer. My husband, Marc, is a Purdue Grad and I asked him what this bar/restaurant meant to him.  He shares, “Harry’s means, “Tradition” and “Purdue”. When he was in college he and his buddies would meet up at Harry’s for appetizers and to relax after their busy college schedules. Marc said it was the perfect gathering spot because there was a laid back and welcoming atmosphere to Harry’s that made everyone feel like they were a part of the Purdue spirit.

Breakfast Club! Another Purdue tradition where students dress up in costume during home football games and Race Day of Grand Prix (mark your calendars for April 25!) Harry’s is hopping with undergrads at 6am in the morning cheering on these major Boilermaker events.

There are so many rumors and different stories of how Harry’s got its name and mantra,
“Go Ugly Early”. Marc’s version is Harry’s used the front of being a “Chocolate Shop” during prohibition but secretly ran a bar.  The code word to enter was “Go Ugly Early”. Rumors are there are secret tunnels that were used to bring alcohol into the bar during this time. Is there a story you heard about how Harry’s received it’s name?  Please share!!

This March visit Harry’s and make your own traditions! Do not miss the exciting NCAA Basketball Tournament and cheer on your favorite team (BOILER UP!) For more information about this bar and others in our area, visit

Purdue Family Traditions – Triple XXX, Mackey Arena, Jane’s Gourmet & Greyhouse Coffee!

DSC_0371Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette is excited to announce new blogger, Maddie, to our team of bloggers! She shares her lifetime experience visiting Lafayette-West Lafayette and now as a Purdue University Student, what living here is all about!

As a child I always seemed to find myself sitting in the back of our family van, road tripping to West Lafayette, home of the Purdue Boilermaker’s, my dads favorite past time, and the place that I now call home as a 20 year old college student. I wouldn’t consider myself a “newby” per say, but I will say I’m new to all of the opportunities that West Lafayette has brought me.  My faint memories involve me holding my dad’s hand in Mackey Arena listening to the band followed by a trip to Triple XXX to get a root beer float, which was the size of my head at the time while my dad chowed down on his favorite burger (the Duane Purvis!) smothered in peanut butter. Little did I know I would be spending four years of my life living in this town and experiencing more than just root beer floats with Dad on basketball game weekends.

10377388_10203780419809215_1745586004360782109_nAs a sophomore now at Purdue University, I’ve had my fair share of experiences when it comes to eating and dining around the ever-growing Lafayette area. Coming from a fairly small town in Indiana, I will say that I’m used to the hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, (who doesn’t love that?), but I have to say that I have a handful of recommended places that I find myself revisiting time after time. I seem to always find myself sitting in the places where I have about 3 feet of leg space, soft music playing and a small table with just enough room to lay my laptop down and study for my next exam (or… let’s be honest, explore Pinterest or my latest blog post findings.)

Located just up the hill from Triple XXX where I drank root beer floats with my dad is a small coffee shop laying right on the corner of State Street and Northwestern Avenue. Greyhouse Coffee is just the place to visit if one is trying to relax on a Sunday afternoon or winding down from a long day at work. Each time I visit I try and get something new to expand my horizons a little bit but I always find myself going back to the same drink each time. Ever had coffee with a hint of orange flavoring and a dash of cinnamon? I bet not! Yes, the first time my good friend recommended this drink my thoughts were probably the same as yours right now, “That’s just about as weird sounding as peanut butter on a hamburger!”  Dr. Strangelove, the infamous name of this divine coffee, is not just your basic drink. It’s got a flavor that really nothing can compare to.  My mouth waters just thinking about the hint of clove, cinnamon and citrus flavored coffee. At just $4.75 for their basic mug, you’ll get a drink that absolutely will not disappoint you. I highly recommend trying it!


Farmhouse Ham & Brie

Coming to West Lafayette I never knew that I would have so many places to choose from while picking a place to eat with my friends. From Greek food to Mexican, the variety of places to pick lies all across the border. Like I stated, my favorite places are the smaller ones that you’ve most likely never heard of, or even seen lying in-between two different buildings, for that matter.  I’ve had a variety of different cuisines in a variety of different environments and I have to say that the one place that my mind always wanders back to and the first place that comes out of my mouth when people ask for advice is Jane’s Gourmet Deli and Catering. There’s something about little deli restaurants that always catch my eye! If I were to suggest one of their menu items for people to try it would be their Farmhouse Ham and Brie. The sweet honey baked ham on a warm toasted French baguette will melt in your mouth and leave you craving more (which is crazy because the sandwich is huge and filling!). Jane’s offers a great environment, delicious sandwiches and soup. I still have yet to try everything but so far I haven’t been disappointed!

Although my heart will always belong in the places where my dad would bring me as a small girl, exploring this town will never get old. I cannot wait to get out and share more of my dining and travels around the area.  Watch for more blogs to come from Maddie, Purdue Student and Explorer of the diverse and eclectic Lafayette-West Lafayette area!

Latea: Hidden Gem of Wabash Landing

We loved Latea specialty teas!

We loved Latea specialty teas!

Calming, warm, and friendly, these are the three words I would use to describe Latea, one of West Lafayette’s newest tea lounges. Latea opened late last summer and has been a great addition to our area. Tucked into the shops at Wabash Landing Shopping Center, Latea, is located in the Wabash Riverfront downtown district. As an avid tea lover, I had been dying to try out Latea and I must say I was not disappointed.

DSC_0360The ambiance of Latea immediately sets you at ease. The peaceful lighting, natural tones in the décor with pops of color, and relaxing back corner lounge, make the perfect setting for either unwinding or studying the day away. Even better than the relaxing atmosphere is the amazing customer service. When fellow Visitor Information Specialist, Maddie, and I stopped by we weren’t sure what to expect. Neither of us had tried bubble or milk tea before so there were a lot of questions to be asked. The staff went above and beyond our expectations to say the least. They let us try multiple different flavors of teas, explained the process behind the different types of drinks, and gave us recommendations based on what we told them we usually enjoy. They were never impatient with what seemed like, millions of questions we had and reassured us if we didn’t like what we ordered they would make something else totally free! When it comes to exceptional customer service this place is doing it right.


Carmel Iced Milk Tea

After finally deciding, Maddie ordered a Carmel Iced Milk Tea and for myself a Lavender Iced Milk Tea.  We were not let down. Although each had totally different flavors they were equally delicious. Maddie said, “My tea is like sipping ice cream through a straw. Sweet but not over powering, with just enough kick.” My drink was also perfect. With a subtle yet bold lavender flavor I can see why it is one of the most popular items on the menu!

Aside from endless options of tea drinks, Latea also offers a variety of cupcakes and pastries. I wish I could say we did not let our sweet tooth win but we had to find out if these cupcakes tasted as good as they looked. The answer? Yes! The dense creamy frosting and rich cake batter made to be the perfect pairing for our drinks.


Decadent Cupcake – Jelly cupcake

The next time you are looking for a place to relax, grab a friend and head down to Latea. From their specialty tea drinks to the friendly staff we promise you won’t leave disappointed. Latea is the hidden gem of Wabash Landing I am glad I found, and hope for you to discover sometime soon!

Terese, Visitor Information Specialist for Lafayette-West Lafayette, shared this blog.

A Day in the Life of a Lafayette-West Lafayette Spring Break Family

Sacred Grounds Coffee

Sacred Grounds Reclaimed Coffee Shop

Spring Break Season is here! Many people head south on their travels, but there are so many wonderful places to visit right in our own backyard. Last March we had family visit from Michigan and we spent a day visiting a host of great attractions and restaurants in the area. Let me share my day in a life as a Lafayette-West Lafayette Spring Family!

8am – Wake up early to catch the sunrise! Head to Sacred Ground Reclaimed Coffee Shop for a smoked sausage and cheese wrap, hash browns, and delicious light roast Ethiopian coffee. Rich, smooth hot chocolate is the perfect refreshment for the kids.

Farm Family

Farm Family

9am – With over 80 pieces of outdoor art pick a few that interests the group and traverse the area to find them.  We picked the Family Farm Sculpture, Farmers Market Mural, Boarrister, and Envisioning Tomorrow as they are all located downtown Lafayette (and we only had an hour!)

10am – Take the kids to Imagination Station, Lafayette’s only science center designed to provide the opportunity to explore space, science, technology, and engineering in our community.

11am – What is more exciting to a kid than imagining to be a firefighter?! Call ahead for an appointment to visit the Five Points Fire Station Museum, a 93-year-old building where you can see what it was like to be a firefighter in the 1930s as well as try on firefighter coats and helmets.

Arni's Train!

Arni’s Train!

12pm – Lunchtime has arrived! With over 250 restaurants, there is something for everyone! We chose Arni’s Pizza for its delicious food and charm.  Sit in the Toy Room where you are surrounded by dolls, trains, trucks and more. Our little daughter can always find Mickey Mouse and gets so excited to see the train run and eat thin crust pizza!

1pm – It may be spring break, but a little bit of learning keeps the mind fresh! Explore the site of The Battle of Tippecanoe. Visit the grounds, take in the the vivid museum displays and discover the history of a time when two Shawnee brothers, Tecumseh and The Prophet, had a dream of uniting many tribes into an organized defense against the white settlers. Walk the battleground where Native Americans and settlers clashed and a conflict of cultures was resolved. Do not miss the Wah-ba-shik-a Nature Center which features natural history exhibits and has a wildlife observation window and small taxidermy animal displays.

2:30pm – Enjoy a little recreation and competition at Monster Mini Golf, an indoor glow in the dark monster themed 18 hole course and arcade. The winner in our family gets to brag and be king or queen for the day, whereas the rest of the family has to suffer the nonsense. My husband won last year to my dismay!

Which toppings are your favorite?

Which toppings are your favorite?

4pm – Snacks!!  It may still be chilly, but what is more refreshing than a cold treat! Yogurt reTREAT, a locally owned and operated self-serve frozen yogurt shop welcomes guests to grab a cup, fill the cup with the flavor(s) of frozen yogurt and the portion you desire, add topping(s) from the topping bars, and weigh and pay for your delicious creation! My family loves their Very Berry Sorbet, which is refreshing and gluten-free!

5pm – Choose Your “Canvas” at All Fired Up! With a wide array of pieces to choose from and weekly specials that offer something unique for all ages, All Fired Up is the perfect destination for family fun.

We love Triple XXX burgers and onion rings!

We love Triple XXX burgers and onion rings!

6:30pm – Let the feasting begin! Our family loves a good burger joint and one place that is always on our lists when we have family visit is Triple XXX! Have you ever craved a burger so bad your taste buds are literally salivating? After trying a Triple XXX burger you will be feeling this way all the time! Add in fries, chili and root beer and you may never leave the restaurant!

8pm – Bowling fever! Visit Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl, where you can find great bowling and great family fun in a smoke free environment! Take part in billards, arcardes, cosmic-bowling, and a full service snack bar!

This Spring Break day is only a small sampling of everything in store when you visit Lafayette-West Lafayette! Check out all our family friendly activities at  I hope you have as much fun as my family had when they visited!

Craft Beer, Unique Sandwiches & Great Customer Service Equals Lafayette Brewing Company

Lafayette Brewing Company- OutsideDowntown Lafayette is home to many unique family owned restaurants. Located right on Main Street next to the Lafayette Theatre is a microbrewery owned and operated by high school sweethearts Greg and Nancy Eming. Lafayette Brewing Company opened its doors in September of 1993. Locals and regulars may refer to it as “The Brew Co” or “LBC”.  LBC has a family dining room, a bar, and an upstairs party venue. The upstairs hosts many private parties, comedy events, and the occasional local band or dance group. Local entertainment seen upstairs in the past few months has included One Size Fits All (an improv comedy), James Moon and the Third Floor Invention (a local band), and Cap’n Dangerous (a local DJ). The upstairs also features a pizza kitchen that is a favorite to the “Brew Crew” members.

DSC01002Let me tell you about the main attraction, the beer. All of the beer on tap is brewed right in house at the Brew Co. Typically 12 beers are featured at any given time. Four flagship beers are always on tap and are definite favorites. They include the Black Angus Oatmeal Stout, Star City Lager, Tippecanoe Common Ale and the 85. Something really unique about my personal favorite beer, the stout, is that it is made with 10% oatmeal. Currently featured on tap are many darker beers, as it is wintertime. (Cold weather drinkers usually like the darker and stout beers.) Something really to get excited about is the cask conditioned beers that are featured at LBC for limited times. Most recently was the Dastardly Dark with added vanilla beans and cocoa nibs put on cask. A cask beer is one that is fermented for a second time in the vessel it is served in. The results of a cask-conditioned beer are more creamy and smooth. All of those flavors are combined beautifully to create a sweet and delicious unique beer.

Black and Blue Burger

Black and Blue Burger

Amongst all of the hype around the beer, taking a look at the food menu is really important when dining at the Brew Co. The menu is in the form of a newspaper. The centerfold features the food selections. From large salads, to unique sandwiches to burgers, the menu has a little something for every palate. My personal recommendation is a sandwich called the Chicken Meltdown. Layered between two jalapeno cornbread pieces are chicken, bacon and lots of homemade beer-BQ! It was quite the explosion of flavors. Other regular favorites include the queso covered chicken nachos, and a large platter of fish and chips. They also offer three different seasoning to be put on the fries including ranch, Parmesan and Cajun.

Lafayette Brewing Company is one of the most welcoming places downtown. The staff ensures that every guests leaves with great experiences. All of the servers and bartenders are extremely knowledgeable about each and every beer on tap at all times. They will work with you to find the perfect beer for each and every person, over the age of 21 of course. Next time you go out to eat, try supporting the local economy by visiting the Lafayette Brewing Company. Whether you are bringing your young family or a group of 20 friends, the Brew Co. has something for everyone.

Rachel Blankenship, Group Tours and Meetings Intern for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette & Purdue University Student, shared this blog.

The Downtowner is Here to Serve a Piping Hot Breakfast!

10348369_10153411211218154_1225216350651767572_nDo you find yourself hungry after shopping at Market Square and wanting something for lunch? While Market Square offers several wonderful options, you might check out The Downtowner. Located in the alley at Market Square this is a nice family diner where you can find anything from breakfast food, sandwiches, soups and salads.

I have lived in Lafayette all my life and have always heard about the Downtowner and know many people that frequent it often; but I’m a little ashamed to say that this most recent visit was my very first time there. It for sure will not be my last though!

When you walk in the restaurant it’s hard not to notice the large wall filled with license plates. It’s interesting to look at and wonder or dream about where all those cars have been. Next time I go in, I’m going to see if there is a story behind them, surely there is a reason why they are all up there.  Anyone know?

10474646_10152914543783154_1311074299567394922_nAnyway, the food was great and they were very quick! When I visit a diner for the first time, I usually like to stick with breakfast food, not really sure why but an omelet is typically what I will order. That is exactly what I ordered this time and it was great! Came out piping hot and filled to the brim with yummy fillings. My Dad, a somewhat regular at the Downtowner was with me also and he got a sandwich, boy did it look good too! I can’t wait to go back and try all of their other options!

Looking for a great place for a group? They have a couple large rooms that would be great for a group of friends to meet and chat the morning away! Be sure to check out the Downtowner the next time you are in the area.

For more information about this restaurant and others in our area, please visit  Thank you to Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meeting Manager, for sharing this blog.

Southside Diner offers Omelets, Pancakes, Burgers, Tenderloins, Salads and More!

Vanilla ShakeLooking for a great meal at a reasonable price? Check out the Southside Diner. Omelets, pancakes, burgers, tenderloins, salads, soups, pies, milk shakes and more! You are bound to find something you will love at the Southside Diner!

Located off of Veterans Memorial Parkway it’s a great location for those that live or are visiting the south side of town or a nice stop before or after a trip to some of our Southside attractions like Monster Mini Golf, Exploration Acres or Wea Creek Orchard.

Chili with Chicken Tenders

Chili with Chicken Tenders

If you are in the mood for breakfast, I love their omelets! They are a nice size, filled with plenty of vegetables and meat and the eggs are fluffy but thin at the same time, just how I like them. You can actually taste the filling and not just all egg. They are served with potatoes (I like the hash browns) and choice of toast. If breakfast isn’t your craving of the day try one of their salads, soups or sandwiches. They have great burgers and tenderloins. I’d recommend choosing the potato salad as your side; it was fabulous! My husband is also a fan of their chili and, no trip is complete without a peanut butter milk shake for dessert! It is awesome! Beware though; even the small is pretty large. It is so worth it though!

Tenderloin with Potato Salad

Tenderloin with Potato Salad

The atmosphere is fun as well with the black and white tile floors and a counter just like you would expect to find at a diner, although booth and table seating is also available. They just recently expanded as well so now you can take even more of your friends with you! They almost doubled their seating space! The restaurant does have quite a few regulars that the servers know by name and will automatically know their favorite drink and sometimes meal. I know my Dad and his friends are some of the regulars. They are retired now so many “local joints” around town know them.  The group enjoys eating and chatting with friends and what better place to do that than a restaurant where you don’t have to clean up the mess. Ha! They know many of the local area restaurant’s best specials and which day to visit those restaurants to get that special. Oh, to be retired!

Peanut Butter Shake

Peanut Butter Shake

You will see people of all ages in the Southside Diner and they all have a big smile on their face by the time they leave, a sign of a well-enjoyed meal and friendly service. Check it out sometime! You won’t be disappointed.

Ashley, Group Tour & Meeting Manager, shared this blog. For more information about this diner and more restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit our website at

Out to Lunch Divas Visit Mama Ines Mexican Bakery

Mamas inside 4If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the wonderful scent of baked goods that greet you at the front door of Mama Ines Mexican Bakery should be worth five thousand or more.

Mamas pastries 1Our lunch trip to Mama Ines, 518 Sagamore Parkway N in Lafayette, was not our first. Bev and her husband Jeff are regulars and she convinced us to pop in several months ago on a scouting trip. We heard all about the fresh tamales, cornbread, melt in your mouth cookies, and custom cakes. We also learned about the beautifully remodeled former Ryan’s Restaurant by architect Jose A. Roman Marquez and new retail space since moving to their new location in March of this year.

Can I just say one thing? (spoiler alert) Corn! Bread!! Yes, imagine a cornbread that will change your life. I kid you not, it is that good! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The scouting trip paid off and we agreed to come back hungry and willing to try new treats and familiar favorites. On the day we returned we started in the recently opened gift shop and party/event room while waiting for Kay, our diva photographer. When she arrived, it was down to business.The blog group2

Sidebar: I think it is important to explain, especially for someone like myself who is new to the experience, that the expression “A treat for your

Pregnant cake!

Pregnant cake!

senses” could have first been used to describe a place like Mama Ines. The fragrance the moment you walk through the door, the beautifully and authentically renovated interior, and brightly lit display cases of new and unfamiliar treats can leave you (well, me anyway) awestruck. But do not be intimidated, the staff and owner Rosa Montoya are as warm and welcoming as you can find anywhere … so back to the shopping.

Mamas pastries 3As in most authentic Mexican bakeries, the shopping trip starts with a tray and tongs at the door. Next you serve yourself from display cases full of every imaginable cookie (galetas, marranitos), roll (bolillos, cernos, and empanada) and loaf (conchas).

The choices are many and the prices very reasonable (.75-1.20 each). Experiment! Try one of something new, like the jalapeno and cheese roll; or load up on your favorites, like the previously mentioned cornbread. You may still spend less than $10. Because there were four of us, and we share well, we tried one of almost everything including dozens of baked goods, three types of tamales (prices range from 99 ChamPurradocents to $1.50) and burritos served hot and fresh at the checkout counter, a chicken and pepper sandwich, two fruit and veggie drinks ($4.50 for 16 oz., $5.25 for 20 oz. and $5.75 for 24 oz.) made to order at the juice bar, and a hot chocolate drink. In reality we had enough food for 6 or more people and only spent a minimal amount.

The one part missing from the experience was a café at the bakery to sit and eat our purchases. Luckily the conference room at Margy’s office was available and we took our order packed “to go”. The atmosphere there was as near a party as you can imagine.

Our mess at Lafayette City Hall Annex!

Our mess at Lafayette City Hall Annex!

The Dining Divas enjoyed a real cultural experience courtesy of owner Rose and Mama Ines Bakery, her mother’s namesake. And, if the mess we made of the meeting room is any measure of its success, then we can rate this dining experience a 9 out of 10 and a great way to round out our 2014 line up, see you again soon in 2015!

Our next stop is Shaukin (Indian Food), located at 138 S. River Road, West Lafayette.

Mama Ines Mexican Bakery on Urbanspoon

Romantic Night at Bistro 501

Bistro 501 Brent Russell 2014Check out Visitor Information Specialist, Marlene’s blog about her delightful visit to Bistro 501.

I recently went to dinner at Bistro 501. I had been there a few times in the past. The most memorable time, until now, was when I was in high school. The French Club took a field trip there for dinner. This was years ago, right after the restaurant had opened. Then and today, Bistro 501 is still one of my favorite restaurants in the Lafayette area.

The service is always pleasant and prompt. The atmosphere is perfect. I especially like the natural light that comes in through the large windows at the front of the restaurant. I also greatly enjoy their rooster themed decorations.

DSC00485I had perused their menu online so I knew in advance that I wanted a glass of wine to go along with the Wild Mushroom Pasta. I am not the best at pairing. I asked the server if he could recommend something. He quizzed me about what wines I liked and took into consideration my meal choice. He pointed me to the Willamette Riesling (from Oregon). This was a fantastic wine! So much so that I went on a hunt for it at a few local liquor stores.

Bistro serves some wonderful white bread and whipped butter while you wait for your meal. We had a choice of soup or salad. I had their well-known French onion soup while my boyfriend had a salad. He doesn’t normally get vinaigrette dressings but when the server mentioned that they were made in house, he decided on the honey mustard vinaigrette.  He shared it was fabulous!

We went on a holiday evening and they were just starting to get busy.  I would highly recommend making reservations anytime that you would like to go to Bistro 501. You never know how busy it will be, especially since many local businesses meet with clients, partners, and have meetings there for lunch and dinner.

Our meals arrived more quickly than I would have anticipated. The wild mushroom pasta was perfect! It was penne tossed with sautéed wild mushrooms and spinach in a Marsala cream sauce. It was creamy and the mushrooms had a great flavor. My boyfriend ordered the New York Strip. It was fantastic! It was a 12 oz. New York strip steak, crusted in pepper, and served on a bed of french fries (pommes frites) with a brandy shallot sauce.  I was about to take his dinner away from him, but I didn’t want to let go of my wild mushroom pasta.

Even though we were thoroughly full from our tasty dinners, we couldn’t celebrate the holiday without dessert. I LOVE the dessert selection at Bistro 501! I would be tempted in the future to go back just for wine and dessert! Hint, hint, boyfriend, there’s a future date suggestion when we play the “what do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do game?”)

I have always been a fan of Bistro’s bread pudding. It’s warm bread pudding with melted chocolate chips and walnuts baked in a caramel whiskey sauce. I got it with a scoop of their Mexican ice cream. My boyfriend decided on the Tiramisu Chocolate Cake. It was chocolate cake soaked in espresso liquor layered with mascarpone cream and cloaked in chocolate ganache. The mascarpone cream was amazing! Of course he got a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go along with it.

Bistro 501 is the perfect restaurant to celebrate special occasions or to just meet friends or family for a nice lunch. I must admit it is pricey, however, it is well worth every penny once you enjoy every bite. I have also heard that I must come during their Beaujolais Nouveau celebration. What is this celebration you ask? It’s wine! The completion of  fermentation of the wine in France is a huge celebration. They only ship a few cases from France to the US. and Bistro has the “in” to get them every year. They make a celebration of it by having a fife and drum corp parade to the restaurant and offer a five course meal. Reservations must be made in advance for this fabulous evening of fun!  Check out the UTube video here: 

For more information about this restaurant and others in the area, please visit our website at

Star City Coffee and Ale House is Tucked Right in the Heart of Downtown Lafayette

IMG_3197The semester has started back up, and boy, is that an eye opener. After a full break filled with relaxation, movie binge watching, reading, sipping hot chocolate by the fire, and being surrounded by family and friends, transitioning back into the fast-paced world of college and work is quite the transition. The to-do list has started back up and seems never-ending sometimes; however, when it all becomes a little overwhelming, I have found my small escape to relax and rejuvenate. My secret getaway happens to be right in downtown Lafayette: Star City Coffee and Ale House!

Cappuccino at Star CityStar City Coffee and Ale House is tucked right in the heart of downtown, giving you a beautiful walk through Lafayette before entering the quaint coffee shop. Once inside, it is instantly comforting, smelling the fresh brewed coffees and pastries. With many items to choose from, you are guaranteed to find a treat you like. They feature a supply of breakfast items, panini sandwiches for a simple lunch or dinner, and even delicious cupcakes for dessert! The drinks are plentiful and made with care and high quality. They even feature a drink for those sleepless nights of studying or hard work titled “Insomniac,” which comes in handy sometimes; trust me! Their drinks come either hot or iced and vary from coffees, teas, smoothies, hot chocolate, craft beers and more! Grab it on-the-go or avoid the cold temperatures by dining in. For those who choose to stay, you are served your beverages in charming mugs to make you feel right at home.

One aspect that stood out to me was the atmosphere and vibe of Star City Coffee and Ale House. The employees are extremely genuine and put effort into making your food or beverage just right with high quality ingredients! The customers they attract even add to the ambiance. Many locals gather here to chat, study, or simply catch a break from life, and they are all so welcoming. Every time I enter Star City, there are smiles all around. Occasionally, you’ll be surprised to find live entertainment inside! During the Christmas season, I was able to study at Star City while listening to relaxing and original acoustic Christmas tunes sung and played by local artists. It’s safe to say I was in a tranquil bliss.

IMG_3196Locals, who were born and raised in Tippecanoe County, own Star City Coffee and Ale House, and it shines through their outstanding work. They sell local beer and native fresh food while also promoting local artists and true “Hoosier Hospitality.” It really is an excellent example of what Lafayette is truly about. Next time you need a nice escape, head to Star City Coffee and Ale House to reward yourself with the relaxation you need and deserve!

Kaley, Visitor Information Specialist and Purdue Student shared this blog.