Taste a Great Slice of Pizza

In the mood for local pizza but not sure where to go? West Lafayette and Lafayette have a plethora of great pizza places, each with its own specialty and dining room atmosphere. Purdue University Student, Katherine Roth, shares a few of her favorites!

Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room

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At the bottom of the hill leading up to campus is the small family owned and operated restaurant and pizzeria. Bruno’s Pizza is a campus favorite that opened in 1955, and is best known for its Bruno Dough and hand-tossed pizza. Bruno Dough is their famous pizza dough that is deep-fried, brushed with garlic butter, sprinkled with Parmesan and served with your choice of dipping sauce. Not in the mood for pizza? The menu also features Swiss, German and Italian dishes, as well as a variety of salads and sandwiches with gluten-free options available. There’s something for everyone on the menu.

Bruno’s has 3 dining rooms including the Bar, the Swiss Room and Big O’s Sports Room. The sports room is covered in old and new Purdue memorabilia, allowing patrons to not only get a good meal but a visual tour of Purdue’s history. There is plenty of room to sit and enjoy a meal with friends and family. When Bruno’s Pizza opened in 1955, it was the only pizzeria in West Lafayette

When we went to the restaurant we ordered a large Bruno’s Meat, covered in sausage, ham, pepperoni, and bacon. There was enough pizza to go around for our group, and with an order of Bruno Dough, no one left hungry!

Professor Joe’s Sports Pub and Pizzeria

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In the heart of Lafayette, against the surrounding buildings, Professor Joe’s bright red exterior stands out. If specialty pizza, sandwiches and beer served in a cozy eatery with balcony seating and sports on TV is what you are looking for, then try this pizzeria.

When the restaurant opened in 2013 it was a 21+ bar, but was recently renovated to accommodate all ages. While eating you can enjoy a round or two of pub darts, live trivia, music, and sports on 12 TV’s — a sports fan’s dream location. Professor Joe’s was built on the belief that pizza should be special, and it is something that shows in every pizza they make.

Dining in the interior is cozy with wood booths and tables lining the walls, giving the option for larger groups to put together tables. With plenty of specialty pizzas to choose from, everyone can find something they want on the menu, with gluten-free options available as well.

When we went to Professor Joe’s, our table ordered the “Hoosier,” their take on the all meat pizza. The pizza itself is covered in pepperoni, ham, salami, sausage, ground beef, bacon and extra cheese. The salami and ground beef were two toppings I hadn’t seen on a pizza before and I was intrigued. It turned out to be one of the best pizzas I have ever had.

Midtowne Oven

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Midtowne Oven offers fresh and inspired flavors centered around Greater Lafayette’s only real wood-fired oven.  The restaurant has large windows, perfect to watch the sunset, or to people watch while you eat. Midtowne Oven also offers many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

The night we went to Midtowne we decided to go with a different style of pizza, the Margherita pizza. With hand squeezed tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on top, and then finished with fresh chiffonade basil and garlic oil drizzle, this pizza was amazing. The wood oven adds a nice smoky taste to the crust and you could taste the freshness of the ingredients. The fresh ingredients are something that Midtowne prides itself in, and it shows.

All in all, each pizzeria had it’s own special qualities, and are excellent places to eat while visiting West Lafayette and Lafayette. For more local eateries check out HomeOfPurdue.com.

Create a Masterpiece – Art Classes at 7 Art Studios

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Sometimes, there is nothing better than exploring your artistic side. Luckily for those of us nearby or visiting the Greater Lafayette area, there are many opportunities for you to do so. You can do so much more than view works of art here – learn to create your own masterpieces! Check out some of the fantastic classes offered around our two great cities.

All Fired Up In the heart of the Wabash Landing is All Fired Up! There are four important steps to the process here. First, select what piece you will make. A bowl, vase, cute critter, etc. Second, paint and decorate it to your heart’s content! Third, let the experts glaze and fire up your work of art. You can collect it in just one week!

Flourish Studio and Classroom – New to downtown Lafayette is the Flourish Studio and Classroom. There are classes for kids of all ages, and their grown-ups… sensory play, art education, create-with-me and many more fun classes for you and your little ones! Reserve your spot on their website here. Learn more about art and bond with your favorite kiddos in your life!

Flourish Studio and Classroom

Art Museum of Greater Lafayette – Part of this amazing art museum is the Manya Fan Art Education Center! The Center is dedicated to instructing and educating artists in our community. There are studio art classes, art workshops, exhibitions and more! Learn more about their classes here.

The Creative Clayground – If you know someone that loves art and has a special event coming up (birthday, wedding shower, baby shower)…The Creative Clayground is a paint-your-own pottery studio that offers unique pieces like teapots and chess pieces! Stop in for their special Muggy Mondays for 10% off mug creations!

Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery – Ever tried glass blowing? If you haven’t, you are really missing out. Owner Sharon Owens and her staff are absolute experts, waiting to show you the ropes! Along with open studio hours, there is a wide selection of classes available at Inspired Fire. Beginners classes, fire-less classes, and more – there is something for everyone. What a treat!

LaLa Gallery Studio – Pop into Lala, Greater Lafayette’s premiere artist studio specializing in art & pottery lessons. Angela Taylor (LaLa) teaches lessons, classes, parties, groups, and students with special needs starting with children (3+) to adults in her private studio located in the Bindery Artist Studios. Make your appointment here.

Handmade Mugs from Lala

Painting with a Twist – You’ve probably heard of this super-fun group painting studio,

Painting with a Twist

Painting with a Twist. Whether you reserve a private room for your group or join in on a public class, you will not be disappointed in your masterpiece. Select the class that fits  your style best, and don’t be scared! The staff and teachers will walk you step-by-step through painting your piece.

There is no excuse for you to not become a master artist with classes like these right in Lafayette-West Lafayette. Let us know which classes you’ve enjoyed! This blog is shared by VLWL Visitor Information Specialist, Samantha Martin.

Mad Mushroom: Home of the Original Cheesestix

There are some places in Lafayette that are absolute staples! One local favorite serves up some the best Italian food around…the famed Mad Mushroom! Purdue students and locals alike can’t get enough of Mad Mushroom. There are two convenient locations, in both Lafayette and West Lafayette.

The home of the Original Cheesestix! Mad Mush has a menu with something for everyone. Beyond their delicious pizza, there are sandwiches – calzones – grinders – paninis – pasta – salads…. and more! If you know a picky eater, don’t worry, you can build and customize to create your ideal dish.

Allow the pizza experts to toss you up a delicious pie, with a selection of great toppings! You can even get a gluten free pizza crust. Try their unique Greek Gryo Pizza, topped with gyro meat, onions, black olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce! For those who are on the pineapples-on-pizza side of the debate, there’s the Mad Maui with bbq sauce, ham, bacon and pineapple. These are just two of the amazing creations you can get at Mad Mushroom!

Dive into all this pizza deliciousness today! You’ll love stopping into their welcoming locations – they have a great vibe that invites you to stay and hang out with your friends over a bite (or more) to eat! You can even stop in for trivia nights at the West Lafayette location, which are announced on their Facebook page and typically take place on Tuesday nights! If you are new or old to the area, you won’t want to pass up dining at Mad Mushroom.

Pizzas Galore!

This blog is shared by VLWL intern, Samantha Martin! For more information, please visit our website HomeOfPurdue.com.

Spring Break Staycation 2019

Our Visitor Information Specialists are here to assist you with your travel questions!

You don’t need to go far to enjoy your Spring Break! Whether you are traveling through our great cities or staying closer to home this month, there are plenty of chances for spring break fun!

To those travelers passing through and heading for a spring break destination (or those locals wanting to treat themselves to a relaxing time), please note we have  wonderful hotels that offer great amenities and good old-fashioned Hoosier hospitality. Our location is the perfect stop during your travels to rest before you head out farther south or on your way home. Our visitor center is also right off of Interstate 65 and is staffed with our friendly Visitor Information Specialists 7 days a week to assist with travel ideas, guides, maps, and more.

Local Breweries/Winery Did you know that there are five breweries and a winery all located in our area? You can learn all about them on our website. Brokerage Brewing Company is in West Lafayette right off of Sagamore Parkway. Lafayette Brewing Company and Thieme & Wagner are in the heart of downtown Lafayette, and also serve delicious food! People’s Brewing Company and Teays River Brewing are memorable and exciting options as well! Why not stop in and try them all? If beer’s not for you, Wildcat Creek Winery has a variety of excellent wines suitable for everyone!

Downtown There are three district downtown districts – Chauncey Village, Wabash Riverfront and the Arts and Market District. You can explore all of the cool shops, delicious restaurants and other attractions! Try out restaurants like Black Sparrow, Red Seven, Cellar 422, East End Grill, La Scala and so much more! There are art galleries, theaters, a doll museum, Merlin’s Beard, art shops as well. Learn more about downtown here!

Outdoors If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, Lafayette-West Lafayette has lots of different places to go. There are beautiful and spacious parks, including Prophetstown State Park. The Farm at Prophetstown is a must-see for someone who loves animals and nature. You can also enjoy Wolf Park, a wildlife sanctuary for wolves, foxes and other furry friends! All this and more to visit outdoors here.

These are just a few fun activities in our area.  You’ll just have to stop by to see for yourself everything that there is in store for a great staycation! For more information about our area please visit HomeOfPurdue.com. This blog was written by Visitor Information Specialist, Sam Martin!

An Irish Visit to Nine Irish Brothers

Four Irish men and women walked into a pub. No, that is not the beginning of a joke, but the beginning of an evening at Nine Irish Brothers pub.

Four University College Dublin students — Penny Gavin, Tommy Meade, Niall Diffley, and Celine Kiernan — tried traditional Irish foods at the local Irish pub near Purdue’s campus.  The group had already tried a pub in Chicago but were sorely disappointed after finding that one featured an Italian flag above the counter rather than an Irish one.

However, the group was able to find a piece of home right near Purdue’s campus at Nine Irish Brothers pub. It did not take long for the group to feel the true Irish spirit after they entered the doors. They agreed that the atmosphere matched that of a typical Irish pub, with live music and décor. Similar to many pubs in Ireland, Nine Irish Brothers has dark wood paneling with lots of signs and flags. Many of the signs referenced many locations all over Ireland. The group was happy to see that there was even a photo of Michael Collins, who is a famous revolutionary leader in Irish history and a symbol of Irish patriotism.

Penny is from Westmeath, Ireland, and is studying crop production. She tried a half order of Tiger Mike’s Fish and Chips. She was worried about the fish not being fresh; as Ireland is a small island country, fresh fish is common, accessible and a key ingredient for fish and chips. She was happy to find that the haddock was fantastic. The half order comes with “chips,” or non-traditional fries, and one large haddock filet battered with lager. We also tried shamrock sauce, which is a delicious fry sauce. It is much better than it sounds and worth a try. The half order comes with plenty of food.

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Tommy is from Meath, Ireland, and is studying agricultural sales and marketing. He had a full order of Baby Jer’s Guinness Stew. Tommy grew up raising Limousine cattle and had high expectations for the stew. Even so, he thought it was quite delicious. As the name implies, the beef stew features a Guinness Stout that gives it the delicious, hearty flavor. Like any Irish meal, it would not be complete without potatoes. In the case of the Guinness stew, it came with two large scoops of mashed potatoes. The half order is available as well.

He also noticed that many of the recipes were American variations from typical Irish recipes. For example, corn beef and cabbage typically is ham and cabbage. The soda bread was also much sweeter as many Irish recipes do not use nearly as much sugar as American ones.

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Niall is from Roscommon, Ireland, and is studying agricultural sales and marketing at Purdue. He tried Irish John’s Prime Rib, which is a Friday & Saturday night special served from 5-10 p.m. In addition to the prime rib, the meal was served with steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, and whiskey sauce. It is one of the best steaks Niall has had since coming to the States. It was very tender and cooked perfectly. While the vegetables were underwhelming, the mashed potatoes were exactly like how they are at home in Roscommon, he said. Niall was the only member of the group over 21 and was excited to order Magners, an Irish cider not commonly found in the States.

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Celine is from Cavan, Ireland, and is studying food science. She loved how homey the pub felt as it featured traditional Irish music and decor. She loved how some decor incorporated the Gaelic language. She had a half order of Brother Jim’s Shepherd’s Pie. Featuring ground beef, carrots, and peas, the shepherd’s pie was hearty and delicious. The half order was the perfect size for smaller appetites and the full order provides the perfect opportunity to take home leftovers.

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Overall, Penny, Tommy, Niall, and Celine loved their experience at the Nine Irish Brothers pub, noting its authenticity and atmosphere. Tommy was happy to see that the flag was the correct one.

Be sure to make a point to stop at one of Nine Irish Brothers pub’s three locations in West Lafayette, Lafayette or Indianapolis and try a traditional Irish meal, or check out their events page to see upcoming events like whiskey tasting or live bands. For more information about Nine Irish Brothers and other restaurants, visit HomeOfPurdue.com

Purdue University Student, Hayley DeHaan, shares this blog.

Dusk Till Dawn Restaurant Serving Seafood & Chicken

Located in Wabash Landing, right by Wabash Landing 9 Theater is a new eatery: Dusk Till Dawn Restaurant. Known for fried chicken and seafood, you will definitely want to check out what this place has to offer.

With a modern and industrial vibe and movie posters throughout, this restaurant is something unique to the West Lafayette area. For students at Purdue University, it is within walking distance and easy to get to, and one of the only local options for fried chicken. The fried chicken and fries are tasty options for those who are not big fans of seafood. Well seasoned and fried to perfection, you must stop in for this.

Fried Chicken!

If seafood is more your taste, they offer an amazing cajun seafood boil as well as two other sauce options. The seafood option can be quite messy, but they know that and give you a pair of gloves to help with the meal which creates a really fun dining experience. All the food is served in unique box containers and the seafood mix comes in a bag similar to what you might expect at a seafood boil. Not too spicy, but flavorful and well seasoned, I would highly recommend the cajun sauce. They also offer a variety of signature drinks including the Sunset Samurai which is a fruity lemon drink or the Starry Night drink which features fresh fruits and flowers.

Cajun seafood boil

The owner is friendly and seeks to create a fun atmosphere. The service was efficient and overall it is an excellent dining experience!

Next time you are looking for something new in the are, be sure to check out Dusk Till Dawn. For information about this restaurant and other in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Lafayette Eclectic Pubs, Sports Bars and Historic Saloons

Some may think that the best nightlife in the Lafayette area takes place on Purdue University’s campus; however, the bar and pub scene across the bridge in Lafayette provides an exciting environment that can fit anyone’s niche.

Eclectic pubs, sports bars and historic saloons are just a few of the different scenes you can experience on your next visit to downtown Lafayette.

Below are just a few suggestions for a good night on the town.

The Black Sparrow

After celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2018, The Black Sparrow continues to offer a new experience every time you visit its location on Main Street. Known for its craft beer menu that continuously changes, the Sparrow’s specialty pizzas are a favorite part of an expanding list of food items that contains old favorites and unique daily specials. Open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, the bohemian vibe hits you the moment you walk through the door. But don’t let the calmness during the day fool you. In the evenings, especially Friday and Saturday nights, the music turns up and the number of people grows.

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The brick walls, dim lighting, and unique shelving help enhance the eclectic vibe that is shown throughout your visit.

“You will always find a mix of different people here,” says John Olakowski, general manager at The Black Sparrow. “One moment we are playing classic rock, and the next you’ll hear hardcore rap.”

If you want to experience a bar with diversity and originality, The Black Sparrow is the place to go.

Knickerbocker Saloon

One fact about the Knickerbocker Saloon stands above the rest: it is the oldest bar in Indiana, having been open since 1835. Knickerbocker is located directly underneath what used to be the Lahr Hotel, where the Amtrak Station would drop off and pick up travelers coming through the town. Even today, the outdoor seating provides a prime place to enjoy a classic cocktail while people watch along 5th Street; however, it is the inside scenery that will leave you staring. The dim lighting and table to ceiling mirrors enhance the antique feel you get the moment you walk through the door.

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With a large selection of alcohol, you can try something new or stick with your favorite.

Although the rich history and cigar menu sets the Knickerbocker Saloon apart from many bars in Lafayette, Dan Scott — a bartender at the saloon — said the Knickerbocker prides itself on old-fashioned service as well.

“Professionalism is what sets us apart,” said Scott. “We are expected to come dressed well and provide the best service we can, every day.”

To check out a saloon that has history built into every inch while enjoying your favorite drink, stop by any day between 4 p.m.–3 a.m.

Chumley’s

Chumley’s on 3rd Street in downtown Lafayette describes itself as an “upscale sports bar,” which is exactly what you will find on your visit. The view into this pub from the street is enough to draw you in to see what’s going on inside. A variety of seating ranges from booths to bar stools, along with high and low top tables, that provide plenty of space for standing and cheering on your favorite team during any sporting event. If the open and friendly atmosphere isn’t enough to make you want to stop by, the food and alcohol options will be sure to draw you in.

“We just recently changed our menu to offering a majority of Mexican food,” explained Rebekah McCormick, manager at Chumley’s. “However, what we are probably most known for is our 50 beers on tap.”

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50 beers on tap means a long line of eye-catching levers at the bar.

Along with its impressive list of beer on tap, Chumley’s has great deals throughout the week if you are looking for a cheaper option for your nightlife and bar scene experience downtown.

Come to Chumley’s any day of the week between 11 a.m. to 3:30 a.m..

Digby’s

Digby’s Pub and Patio is a great place to try if you’re looking for something informal with a modern space. One feature that separates Digby’s from the rest is its outdoor patio. This is a great space to get together with friends or to enjoy a nice breeze while drinking a handcrafted cocktail.

If you are looking for somewhere that focuses heavily on the local aspect, Digby’s is known for serving locally sourced beef, pork and seasonal produce from the Lafayette Farmers Market. Their local purchasing does not limit their menu options; they have many choices of salads, burgers, sandwiches, and even mac & cheese.

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Digby’s Pub and Patio adds a new outlook to nightlife in downtown Lafayette due to their outdoor seating options. (Photo provided from Digby’s website)

Open daily on 4th  Street downtown Lafayette from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., be sure to visit Digby’s website to stay up to date with the multiple events that are hosted weekly.

If you are still unsure of where to visit for your nightlife experience while in Lafayette, check out the Home of Purdue Blog to see a list of all the pubs and bars the area has to offer.

This blog was written by Emily Marsh, Purdue University Student.

Eclectic & Bohemian Scene – Star City Coffee & Ale House

Nestled in Downtown Lafayette is a unique and dynamic café known as Star City Coffee & Ale House. Star City is a combination of part coffee shop and part ale house which creates the perfect environment to savor the simple things in life. Whether you are a fan of a delicious pour over or prefer a draft beer, Star City Coffee & Ale House has something for everyone.

An eclectic, bohemian, and artistic scene is what you should expect when walking into this local Lafayette jewel. It is a relaxing and casual place to catch up with friends or catch up on some work while being fueled by Star City’s delicious Dirty Chai (my personal favorite). And do not hesitate to chat with the baristas as you will quickly find that they are knowledgeable on all things coffee and ale. These baristas love to help new guests with their drink selection or even pick the best cupcake flavor. So, when you become a regular at Star City you will find that the expert baristas remember who you are as they truly care for the people who walk in their door. (And occasionally some of those guests who come to Star City are on four legs!)

A few of the menu highlights include items such as the Star City Turkey Panini that includes turkey, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil, cream cheese and chives or for a breakfast option I recommend the open-faced Mediterranean bagel with feta, honey, tomato, and basil. Both are classic options for some sustenance, but if you are looking for a sweeter pick-me-up to drink I recommend the Lavender Vanilla Latte or the Nutella Latte. And for customers who are 21 and over, the Upland-Two of Tarts Tropical Gose has an unmistakable flavor of mango and passion fruit with a crisp, dry finish.

Whether you are a local to Lafayette-West Lafayette or planning your next weekend coffee crawl/beer tasting, then Star City Coffee & Ale House is an absolute must. For more information about this location and other restaurants in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Jaclyn, Purdue University Student and VLWL Intern, shares this blog.

Pepperoni Perfection at Arni’s

Stomachs grumbling, cold winds hitting our faces and tired bodies from sledding. What was the next activity on the agenda? This was the question the Visitor Center’s staff had. A unanimous agreement was made…we should dine at Arni’s Restaurant for lunch! (Arni’s originated in the Lafayette area over fifty years ago and has expanded to multiple parts of Indiana.)

The Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette staff arrived with warm welcomes from the Arni’s staff. We were seated right away in a comfortable and cozy booth. The hospitable waitress introduced herself and explained the fresh-made foods on the menu and the famous Arni’s pizza.

Pondering for a minute, we had to try the pepperoni pizza and side salads. The Arni’s Junior Salad is a unique rendition of a traditional salad. This delicious dish includes tender ham and turkey chunks topped with blends of cheese, sliced radishes, green onions and croutons. With any salad comes flavorsome dressings! Arni’s homemade french dressing is one of the available choices as well as their famous bleu cheese, herb vinaigrette and classic ranch.

The staff is fabulous!

After deciding pizza and salads as a main meal, we had to try some munchie appetizers. A plethora of choices, the loaded cheese fries and chili nachos supreme were the final decision. Who doesn’t want crispy fries, gooey cheese, bacon and green onions all in one! The chili, tomatoes and jalapenos had a savory taste and put a trance on anyone who tried them.

Nachos galore!

After full bellies of appetizers, salads and homemade pepperoni pizza (which you must order…the pepperoni is cut up very small and has the perfect blend of spice! One of best pepperoni’s around!), it was time to end the impeccable lunch break. The polite staff and efficient service brands Arni’s Restaurant as a preferable place to eat.

Fly heaven!

Onward to more winter fun as we embark on an afternoon of more sledding in Lafayette-West Lafayette! For more information about this restaurant and our fabulous sledding hills, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Abby, VLWL Intern and Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

Get Lost in Stories at Main Street Books

Bring your kids to pick out a fun children’s book full of adventure!

Traveling through Lafayette, and forgot to bring along that new book you were planning to read? No problem! Main Street Books in historic downtown Lafayette has something any book lover might need.

Home to a variety of fiction genres including anything from fantasy to mystery to a large young adult section, Main Street Books has a story for anyone looking to read a good book. They also have a small selection of nonfiction books that include many biographies. At reasonable and fair prices, Main Street Books is the perfect place to visit when you are hoping to grow your library while also supporting local business.

Books Galore!

By shopping at this bookstore, you also contribute to the life of historic downtown Lafayette. An area of town with lots of growth supported by local, small businesses. When you buy a book from Main Street Books you can do so knowing your purchase truly matters.

Before you decide on which book you are going to purchase, take a seat on one of the two reading chairs and read a few pages. This cozy shop with lots of character is the perfect place to spend time getting lost in a story. Next time you are making a purchase for yourself or your book loving friend, check out Main Street Books.

For more information about this bookstore and others in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com. Jaclyn, VLWL Intern, shares this blog.