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Best Coffee Shops and Healthy Eats in South Bend, IN

Alessia Bernocco

At Rent Like A Champion, we believe that every college football weekend is about more than just your experience at the game. That's why this year we're bringing you city guides to the best bars, restaurants, and activities that you can add to your game day itinerary...

We know that you love all of the best bars in South Bend and the best restaurants in South Bend - but sometimes you're looking for something quick... or a little more mindful... to get you through the day.

Luckily, you've got plenty of options to choose from close to Notre Dame - so check out some of our favorite spots to grab a coffee or a quick, healthy bite around town...

Best Coffee Shops in South Bend

Not interested in sitting down and eating a full meal? Maybe you are trying to get a quick boost of caffeine before heading out for a long day of tailgating. Whatever, the situation, knowing the top coffee shops in South Bend is a must!

Judgement was based on ambiance, food options, but most importantly – the quality of coffee!

South Bend Chocolate Café

3300 W. Sample Street ♦ (574) 233-2577

Anyone coming to South Bend has to stop by the South Bend Chocolate Café! Started in 1991 by a local South Bend resident, it is now nationwide. It falls onto our café list because it does have a wide selection of amazing coffee and other drinks, but this store is probably more well-known for its chocolates and sweets!

A perfect place to stop by with your family after a November game and warm up by the fire with hot chocolate or cool down in August with some ice cream from their parlor and a handful of delicious chocolate. The café also has a restaurant with booths and a full menu!

FROM THE FANS: “It was adorable and there was a great big stuffed Moose in the dining area. It was so cool!”

Zen Café

1302 High St ♦ (574) 217-7916

Zen Café proudly talks about its sourcing and roasting process and with good reason! Their coffee comes from Honduras, Nicaragua and Columbia and has the amazing taste one would expect from these renowned coffee countries.

Stop by for a warm and cozy environment, enjoy a cup of coffee made with great care and leave knowing you have supported farmers from all over the world. 

FROM THE FANS: “Easily the best coffee in South Bend. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, and good drinks.”

Chicory Café

105 E Jefferson Blvd #103 ♦ (574) 217-7916

Chicory Cafe began in 2005 as a simple "beignet and cafe au lait joint"... but it's expanded into so much more, having created a uniquely New Orleans inspired experience right in the heart of South Bend, Indiana.

With a full menu now featuring po'boys, muffulettas, Cajun hummus and olive salad and more, you have plenty of options to pair with your cup of coffee when you sit down and catch your breath on game day.

But that doesn't mean the coffee has taken a step back - far from it. Their creatively named espresso drinks will put a smile on your face, as will the delicious, locally roasted beans in every cup.

FROM THE FANS: "This place has everything: good coffee, good food, a lot of teas, beer, wine, and a cool, New Orleans vibe. The staff are really, very friendly and kind, and they're knowledgeable about their products and offerings. If you're looking for a place to bring a group, they have a section that can be reserved for you and your group with access to the bar. If you haven't stopped in there yet, I highly recommend it."

The Local Cup

1009 Portage Ave  (574) 232-9182

One of the cooler initiatives in South Bend, The Local Cup is a "pay it forward" coffee shop, meaning your cup of coffee will have already been paid for by a fellow patron in the community. Stop in, grab a cup, then - if the mood compels you - make your own donation and pay for someone else's coffee who may be stopping by.

But don't think that because it's a funky idea, the coffee won't be up to snuff. This is good coffee, folks - roasted locally with local farm's milk in your espresso drinks - along with delicious muffins to start your day off right.

FROM THE FANS: "Great spot to have a cup of coffee or tea. Small, quaint and nice, local decor. Bring a pal and enjoy some intimate bonding time. Family friendly. I recommended the Duke and the Sweet Sunday."

Healthy Eats in South Bend

True, game days can be filled with hot dogs and hamburgers and a whole slew of "treat yourself" meals... but that doesn't mean you can't sprinkle some more mindful options into your weekend.

And in South Bend, there has been a surprising surge of healthy food destinations that will keep you feeling energized and balanced throughout your stay near Notre Dame... 


CoreLife Eatery

5728 Grape Road  ♦ (574) 217-7221

A combination of casual, convenient and healthy, CoreLife Eatery is the perfect destination for fans who are truly dedicated to their health, but don’t want to wait in line. All of CoreLife’s salads, soups and bowls are made from scratch and are free from GMOs, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, and other artificial additives. They also have a kid’s menu and a wide variety of fresh-made lemonades and teas.

A modern and clean place to bring the entire family for a quick meal on game days. You will leave feeling full, healthy, energized and ready to tackle the day!

FROM THE FANS: “I love this! Just stopped in today for the first time and I am IN LOVE WITH YOU GUYS.”

Simply Pressed Juice

316 W Cleveland Rd. ♦ 574-703-7777

“Raw. Organic.” The two words underneath Simply Pressed are all anyone needs to know about this place! Their menu consists of cold pressed juices, açaí bowls, mason-jar salads (yes, this is exactly what it sounds like), organic smoothies, and Keto coffee.

Simply Pressed Juice is definitely not for everyone, but anyone with a palate for organic, fresh food is in for a treat!

FROM THE FANS: “The most delicious açaí bowl I've had and I've tasted some from the most trendy of cities.”

Uptown Kitchen

7225 Heritage Square Dr ♦ (574) 440-4116

Less healthy-extreme than our previous two options, Uptown Kitchen has a wide offering on their menu with both very healthful to more moderate options. Their iced coffee is to die for, and you are bound to find a line outside the restaurant on most weekends. However, it is worth the wait!

With a very kind staff, bright and fun décor, and food options for the whole family, Uptown Kitchen is definitely on our list of healthy places to go try out when you are in town. 

FROM THE FANS: “Excellent place to meet up with friends. Great food and a very special staff of servers and bartenders!  Highly recommend and will be back often.”


Staying caffeinated and making some healthier choices is a great decision on game day - and so is staying closer to Notre Dame Stadium when you travel to town!

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About Author

Alessia Bernocco
Alessia Bernocco

Alessia Bernocco is Rent Like A Champion's 2019 Content Marketing Intern. She's a rising junior at the University of Notre Dame, where she's earning her BA in Business with a focus on Management and Consulting as well a BS in Environmental Science. She is an officer on the Nordic Ski team and loves spending her time outdoors hiking, skiing, running and traveling.

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