Bloomington is known as one of the country’s best food towns not only because of the quantity of culinary delights, but the quality and variety too.
There’s no doubt that Bloomington is a food town. There are over 90 restaurants in the downtown area alone, most of them locally owned. Add to that the two wineries and three breweries and you’ve got yourself an amazing culinary destination.
There are two wineries in Bloomington, both offering great wine without any pretentiousness.Oliver Winery is the largest and oldest winery in Indiana, with a wide variety of wines (including the Creekbend label, made from grapes from their own vineyard) and two beautiful tasting room at their production facility and on the downtown square. Butler Winery is a smaller winery, but produces high quality wines using a variety of grapes including those grown at their vineyard. They have a downtown tasting room and a tasting room at their production facility, which happens to look out over their scenic vineyard.
Craft beer is an art, and just as Bloomington is overflowing with great artists, it’s also overflowing with great beer! Bloomington Brewing Company and Upland Brewing Company both offer a variety of beers, from pale ales to stouts. They’re brewpubs also offer some pretty amazing food too. You can find BBC and Upland beers on menus through Bloomington. If one of their beers is on the menu, get it!
Great restaurants abound in Bloomington, from the international flavors of 4th Street’s restaurant row to the traditional pizza joints on which so many IU memories are built. Speaking of pizza’s, at Finch’s Brasserie the smell of the pizzettas cooking in the wood oven are enough to make your mouth water. But this isn’t a pizza joint- this is Finch’s Brasserie, a casual restaurant with upscale food. They offer fresh, local food, seasonal menu selections and daily specials.
FARMbloomington offers a farm-to-table menu that is partially gourmet and partially southern Indiana cooking. The atmosphere matches too, with farm equipment paired with retro tables. And FARM items are available at the retail store too. It’s like a Cracker Barrel for cool people.
Restaurant Tallent is named after chefs and owners Dave and Kristen Tallent, but it’s a completely appropriate name as they are talented chefs indeed. The Chefs emphasize fresh, local ingredients and do it with a gourmet but approachable flair. An absolute must for food connoisseurs.
Stay in the downtown are at the Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard by Marriott, both within walking distance of these and other great restaurants.