Eclectic ethnic cuisine is not what you would expect when you think of dining in Bloomington, a city in the southern part of Indiana. But the city’s restaurant culture manifests the diversity of this college town, home to the prestigious Indiana University, Bloomington.
Here are the top four picks in Bloomington, Indiana – chosen with the guidance of our local friends:
Mandalay specializes in Burmese cuisine with dishes similar to Indian, Thai, and Chinese reflecting the multi cultural influence in Burma. Although dishes are alike, the different use of spices and cooking styles help to create unique flavors.
After struggling for a few years to introduce a new cuisine, Mandalay has now established a loyal client base.
Dishes to try: Fried fish cake (appetizer), Egg and potato curry and Garlic Noodle (if you are looking for a less spicy option)
This Bloomington, Indiana restaurant serves Tibetan specialties such as momos (dumplings) along with Indian and Thai curries.
Dishes to try: Tibetan momos (beef, chicken, vegetable and potato)
I recommend trying a few varieties to get a taste for the different mix of flavors.
Afghanistani food featuring kebabs, vegetarian dishes and hummus will make a memorable meal at Samira Restaurant. This is a great location if you’re looking for a sit down meal in downtown.
Dishes to try: Lunch buffet with two meat options, vegetarian sides, rice, bread and dessert makes it a three course meal at an affordable cost at under <$10 per person.
Tucked away, in a strip mall, Sobon is a Korean eatery with signature dishes such as bibim bap (Rice mixed with vegetables and meat of your choice), jap chae (clear noodles) and bulgogi (grilled marinated beef). If you don’t mind the small cafeteria style dining you can eat here or take your order to go.
Dishes to try: Bibimbap (you can ask for the preferred level of spiciness) and spicy squid (typically a spicy dish that goes well with white rice)