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COLUMN: The 10 best Bloomington restaurants and cafés to celebrate special occasions

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With Bloomington’s rich food scene, there is a fitting restaurant to celebrate every moment.  

The downtown area is packed with authentic international restaurants, classic sports bars, local bakeries and dessert shops. With an overwhelming number of options, here are the 10 best Bloomington food spots to honor these four  special occasions.  

Food spots to celebrate completing an exam 

There is no better feeling than walking out of a classroom after finishing an exam. If you want to commemorate the moment with a treat, I recommend stopping by one of these three places:  

Gables Bagels – A hot and fresh bagel is a perfect post-exam breakfast. I believe an everything bagel topped with chive whipped cream cheese will instantly uplift your spirits and allow you to forget about your stressful morning.  

La Una Cantina  – Indulging in La Una’s Dip Trio is the correct way to honor an exam day. The homemade guacamole, queso and salsa flight is the perfect appetizer to split with a large group and will ease all your exam worries.  

Jiffy Treet – Ice cream is the classic dessert symbolizing a celebration. Jiffy Treet offers over 40 flavors of ice cream and an additional 17 rotating flavors. If you want a rich scoop of homemade ice cream to recognize your academic success, this is the best option.  

Food spots to celebrate your birthday 

Blowing out your candles and eating cake is the classic birthday tradition. However, if you are looking to expand your birthday customs, incorporate these two Bloomington food spots.  

DA Vinci Turning a year older is much more enticing when there is tasty wood-fired pizza involved. You and your friends can split a few pizzas and enjoy the relaxing yet quick service. Plus, once you see the dessert menu, you will most likely end the night with a slice of triple chocolate mousse cake. 

Parlor Doughnuts Cupcakes are so out, and croissant donuts (cronuts) are so in. A cronut has the fluffy base of a croissant but is iced like a donut. If you never had a cronut, your birthday is a perfect reason to try one at Parlor. Its giant flakey donuts are irresistible and guarantee a sweet day.  

Food spots to celebrate your parents visiting Bloomington 

If your parents don’t reside in Bloomington, it’s important to take them to the iconic food spots when they are in town. Here are three restaurants that will impress your parents.  

Yogi’s Bar and Grill –As soon as your parents step foot into Yogi’s, they will know they are in Bloomington. The sports bar is decked out in Hoosier décor — allowing you to enjoy a tasty meal in a fun environment. Plus, if you are feeling adventurous, Yogi’s offers a Ranch Dorito smashed burger.  

The Uptown Café – If you are looking for a high-quality meal to enjoy with your family, I suggest making a reservation at Uptown Café. The classy restaurant offers various pasta dishes, steak meals and Cajun cuisine.  

The Inkwell Bakery and Café – Inkwell not only has an impressive array of breakfast and lunch items, but it also sells the tastiest pastries and coffee. Do your family a favor and urge them to try the muffins and flavored lattes! 

Food spots to celebrate a snow day  

School getting cancelled is the best holiday of all and requires proper celebration. If the roads are clear, there are two great places to celebrate the fresh snow and no school.  

Crumble Coffee and Bakery –  With three locations in Bloomington, you are bound to find a spot at one of their cozy coffee shops. Walk or drive to the nearest location and enjoy a hot latte, veggie quiche or chocolate chip muffin. 

My Thai Cafe – Escape the cold weather and enjoy a hot bowl of ramen or spicy stir fry at My Thai. The food and charming environment will instantly warm you up! 

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