College Town Tour - Must-do's? Where to eat?

My son and I will be visiting the following schools in the spring. I was hoping to try the “famous” restaurant or the restaurant that has “been around forever”. Are there any “must do’s”? Places to see, photo with mascot statues, etc. to take? Any suggestions?

Wake Forest
William & Mary
Notre Dame


The Village Tavern at Reynolda Village adjacent to the Wake Forest campus is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Dewey’s Bakery has authentic Moravian sugar cake and cookies to take home, as does the Winkler Bakery in Old Salem. Krankies by Wake Downtown is the spot for breakfast biscuits and coffee. Mozelle’s is our favorite for dinner.

For William and Mary, the Cheese Shop is the place for a sandwich. Paul’s Deli is another long time favorite. Food for Thought is our go to for a good sit down. There are a lot of great options in Williamsburg. A colonial tavern is always fun, too.

Agree with The Cheese Shop for William and Mary and Village Tavern for Wake Forest. Top of the Hill for UNC?

Not sure if the website is up to date but it has restaurant ideas.

Have fun!

For a few of these destinations, this Huffington Post article may be of interest:

For UM, it doesn’t get more famous than Zingermans as far as Ann Arbor food lore known outside of MI. For tradition, you’d hit the original Zingermans Deli in Kerrytown. Another tradition along the lines of “parents take the friends and roommates somewhere fancy” would be Sunday brunch at the Gandydancer. Townies eat brunch elsewhere (Cafe Zola, for example).


Purdue - Triple X Diner in Chauncey is kind of an institution for the kids. Personally though, I’d hit 8Eleven Bistro in the Union Hotel. The food is great and drinks are Purdue themed.

Northwestern - I don’t know that there really is “been around for ever, have to eat” kind of place but there are tons of options in Evanston. My go to recommendation is currently closed for renovations/rebranding and I’m not sure when they are re-opening. The new name is Thomas and Dutch (was Farmhouse). If you want pizza since you are adjacent to Chicago, I’d recommend Dave’s on Noyes or Union Pizza on Chicago Ave. There is an excellent ramen restaurant called Table to Stix on Davis. If you come in good warm weather, Five and Dime has a great roof deck (also on Davis).

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Northwestern - Mustard’s Last Stand, a true hot dog stand for Chicago style hot dogs, next to the Ryan Field parking lot has been around forever. Dave’s Italian Kitchen, an old-school red sauce joint, and Blind Faith, for vegetarian, have been around for decades. NU students we know rave about the burgers and shakes at Edzo’s. My family is partial to Giardono’s for pizza.

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I hate Edzos ; ) We were sent there when we were first in Evanston and didn’t get the hype. I also think the Chicago dogs are better at D&D on Noyes.

But we love Dave’s and Blind Faith.

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For Notre Dame, head to Rocco’s for red-checked table cloth, unfancy Italian food and pizza. Been open since the 1950s and is a staple in South Bend.

Oh, and for UVA Bodo’s Bagels.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. we’ll definitely check out some of these.

Totally 2nd Bodos! I don’t crave anything else from UVA except Bodos. Take it Away sandwiches are good too. Other places I liked as a student have now closed. Bodos and Take it Away have lasted the time.

Uva. Must pic is on University Avenue in front of the Rotunda

Make sure you visit Edgar Allen Poe’s dorm room

Bodo’s Bagels for breakfast - lots of other spots along main street close to campus

Cheese Shop for a Williamsburg classic sandwich. Paul’s Deli/College Delly are other long time favorites. Picture with Lord Botetourt. There is a Griffin outside of the stadium which is popular for pictures. If you have enough time in Williamsburg, make sure you walk the colonial area; students get a free pass while they are in school. Get a picture of your student in front of Crim Dell. The whole campus is just lovely. I’m an alum and my daughter just graduated if you have any additional questions!

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@merc81 - I’d watch out trusting any list that is now 8 years old! I think that was more “flavor of the day” then “Iconic” :slight_smile:

We didn’t eat out when we visited Duke, but I have to say that the on-campus dining is shockingly good. It was by far the best of the 25+ colleges I visited with my kids. Restaurant quality meals for very little money.

yes to Dave’s Italian Kitchen! Brings back memories to this old NU alum!

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I know you guys didn’t ask about Philadelphia, but in case anyone wants to know where to get the best cheesesteaks (via my membership in the Cheesesteak Gurus group on FB, and limited personal experience), here’s a pretty good list based on participants’ own rankings and reviews. I’ll do them like I rank colleges, in tiers –

Note: Most of the gurus now order their cheesesteaks with Cooper Sharp (American), not cheese whiz, regular American, or Provolone – the other typical cheesesteak cheeses. So if you have never tried Cooper Sharp, it might be worth a try.

Tier 1:
Angelo’s Pizzeria
Curly’s Comfort Foods
John’s Roast Pork
Lillo’s Tomato Pies (NJ)

Tier 2:
Cafe Carmela
Cockadoodle Dan’s (NJ)
Mama’s Meatballs (NJ)
Oh Brother!
Raceway Bagels by B-Uno (NJ)
Tony’s of West Reading

Tier 3:
Avenue Steaks
Oregon Steaks
Steve’s Prince of Steaks

Overrated (according to most – still probably better than most of us can get outside of Philly and environs):
Pat’s King of Steaks
Tony Luke’s

These are awesome eats we will try when we are in Philly later this year for mom and DD Taylor swift concert with other friends mom and DD duos!! Kids are all D23s- nice way to end a stressful school year together.

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