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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student


Bloomington restaurants to celebrate at this graduation weekend


For 2024 graduates bringing family and friends this weekend, the celebration doesn’t have to end during the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday, respectively. Try a new dish or make a toast during brunch, lunch, dinner and more at one of the many restaurants Bloomington has to offer.  

There is something for everyone! 

Brunch before the ceremony, or the morning after 

If you’re not one for a late-night post-ceremony dinner, who says you can’t start the celebration early? Beating the crowds and the long wait times are an added benefit, too.  

Uptown Cafe — From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 3-4, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 5, Uptown Cafe will be serving a graduation brunch menu with dishes like shrimp, crab and andouille gumbo, eggplant farci and eggs Pontchartrain. Located on Kirkwood Avenue just a few blocks west of Sample Gates, Uptown Cafe is known for its Cajun flavors, fine scenery and plenty of wine and cocktail options to choose from for toast-making. Reservations can be made online at the Uptown Cafe’s website.  

Runcible Spoon — From specialty lattes to draft beer and blueberry pancakes to ribeye, Runcible Spoon makes a great option for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, or all the above. Located on 6th Street near campus, the eclectic cafe serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and dinner from 5-10 p.m. with lunch in between daily. Both indoor and outdoor seating options are available. Reservations can be made online at the Runcible Spoon’s website.  

RelatedGraduation photo locations that aren’t Sample Gates There are plenty of spots on and off-campus for the perfect backdrop in graduation photos.

An eclectic dining experience 

With more than 350 restaurants in Monroe County, there are options to choose from for just about every taste, diet and preference.   

The Owlery — Located on West Sixth Street just across from the Monroe County Courthouse, The Owlery is the only full vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Bloomington. Its menu totes options like tofu fish tacos, mushroom banh mi and an impossible meatball sub.  

The Owlery also offers a gluten-sensitive menu and partners with local suppliers like Twilight Dairy and BB’s Market. The downtown restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch Sunday.  

FARMbloomington — Located on Kirkwood Avenue, FARMbloomington is dedicated to sustainable practices. Chef Daniel Orr sources local foods from neighborhood and Indiana farmers for the restaurant's ever-changing seasonal menu. Operating out of the Oddfellow’s building, FARMbloomington saved much of the building’s artifacts to give the restaurant its charm and sustain Bloomington’s history.  

Products, like mustard, hot sauces and ketchup, are made in Columbus, Indiana, and the chef grows many of the herbs used in the summer himself. FARMbloomington’s Graduation Dinner menu includes dishes like Iberian pork loin and roasted salmon. Dinner is served 5-10 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, with the FARMbloomington’s Root Celler Bar opening after 9 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, to keep the celebration going.  

Related‘The Choreography Project’ showcases artistic performances choreographed by Jacobs ballet students “The Choreography Project” was held Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the Musical Arts Center.

For an upscale celebration 

College graduation is a tremendous accomplishment — you deserve whatever celebration you desire. Bloomington offers several upscale dining experiences and not all break the bank like your bursar bill did.  

C3 — Located just off South College Mall Road near Kroger, C3 is a neighborhood bar and restaurant that is known for its handcrafted cocktails and high-quality cuisine. The menu offers dishes such as choripapa tacos, handmade ricotta gnudi and seared pork tenderloin medallions with entree prices ranging from $14-40. C3 is open 4-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday and 4-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday. Reservations can be made on the C3 website.  

Truffles Restaurant and 56° Bar — This restaurant has been offering fine dining and cocktail experiences to the Bloomington community since it opened in 2000. With changing specials, Truffles regularly offers dishes like grilled beef filets, a wagyu burger and cavatappi pasta with several wine, beer and cocktail options to choose from for pairing. In celebration of the class of 2024, Truffles is offering a 4-course graduation dinner, with a specialty menu curated by the executive chef, Robert Adkins, with a set price of $125 per guest May 2-4. Truffles will only be taking reservations via email at and a deposit of $40 per person is required to reserve a table.  

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