After living in Muncie, Indiana, for three years I have had the opportunity to try many of the local restaurants around town. After considering my own opinions and exploring your recommendations, here are my favorite local restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops.
Classic Lunch & Dinner Options
This gorgeous bistro offers “upscale fusion cuisine.” It is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. They offer daily specials, and the menus change seasonally to offer the best selections of fresh food. The dinner menu can be expensive, but the lunch selections are more affordable and just as delicious.
What do you get when one brother wants to open a Greek restaurant and the other wants to open a breakfast restaurant? A Gyro & Pancake house. This restaurant has wonderful gyros! My roommate eats here all the time, and always brags to me when he does. You can’t pass this up.
This may be one of them most recommended restaurants in Muncie. They’re pickle chips are to die for, and don’t miss $3.99 margaritas on Sundays!
You can’t beat a local pizza place, but RP’s comes with a twist: deep fried pizza. As if it’s 70+ items on the menu wasn’t enough, deep fried pizza is something you can’t get everywhere. They have tons of other unique creations including a loaded baked potato pizza and loaded french fries. Try something bold when you come here!
This old fashioned drive-in is such a fun local spot. You can pull up and a car-hop will come take your order so you can eat in your car. The other option is to park and order at the window. There are picnic tables outside the restaurant. I recommend their crinkle-cut fries and homemade ice cream!
Step back in time and enjoy some old fashioned burgers with a side of nostalgia. The old Coke signs and restored gas pumps are enough to create a vintage vibe, but the burgers and milkshakes will be the reason you return.
The lunch buffet here it to die for. I prefer this because it’s so hard to choose just one dish – they’re all delicious! Everything has so much flavor, and there are great meat options as well as vegetarian options. My favorite is the Chicken Tikki Masala with classic Naan.
This restaurant is attached to an Asian market. It’s small and charming. As its name might suggest, their dumplings are absolutely incredible. While there isn’t a large selection of dumplings, you can get original or fried dumplings. They have a huge selection of Chinese dishes, of which most are more authentic than any other Chinese restaurant I’ve been to. Their noodles were even homemade! I recommend the pork & cabbage dumplings.
When students think about Thai food, they don’t often consider this downtown option. It is the best Thai food in Muncie, and my recommendation is the Yellow Curry. I’ve tried all of their curries, but I always come back to that one.
Every college town has to have a great Mexican restaurant. While the locals pronounce it “Porta’s,” it’s a classic. If you’re feeling adventurous try a Monster Margarita. While the House Marg is always great, my personal favorite is the Coronarita!
Cafe Damask is my favorite restaurant in Muncie. It’s an Eastern Mediterranean Grill as well as a hookah bar, and everything they serve is spectacular. I am so keen on it because it reminds me of all the Greek food I ate last summer, and it’s the best way for me to reminisce about my trip. “If you can’t go around the world to taste the food, then the food is coming here.” Don’t miss the Spanakopita appetizer!
This is an Egyptian restaurant and has a great selection of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. It has rave reviews, and they live up to their word. There are classic options like gyros and samboosa, but my recommendation is the Koshari! This noodle and rice dish was incredible.
Cafés & Coffee Shops
If you’re looking for the best biscuits and gravy in all of Muncie, you’ve come to the right place. This little diner doesn’t look like much, but the food is cheap, fast and delicious! You can’t beat a hidden local gem.
This local favorite is located in The Village, on the south end of the Ball State Campus. This is a popular choice because it is very healthy and it offers a lot of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as international dishes. Their all-day breakfast is phenomenal! And, Frankie and Francie are the cats that roam the apartment.
This cafe is spectacular. It has all-day breakfast and is open 24 hours, making it a popular weekend spot for college students. As you can see, I like to judge breakfast joints by the quality of their biscuits and gravy. And fun fact: television series Parks & Recreation used this cafe as the inspiration for “JJ’s Diner,” the breakfast cafe Leslie Knope loves!
This corner coffee shop is a must-have for locals. It is constantly filled with Ball State students working on assignments, and its quaint local coffee shop vibe is the best atmosphere for productivity. The owners, Frank and Lauren, are both Muncie locals and decided that the downtown needed a great coffee shop.
This coffee shop is a favorite for students because it is conveniently located in the Village, on the south end of Ball State’s campus. Fun drinks like the “Dirty Hippie” and delicious panini make it a wonderful coffee shop to study, catch up with friends, and even attend poetry nights. Often students and members of the Muncie community will recite poetry, and the entry fee is purchasing something off the menu. So grab a coffee (and my personal favorite, a bagel with tuscan artichoke cream cheese), sit back, and enjoy to some great poetry.