After reading an article shared about Ricobene’s Steak Sandwich (here’s the article) I thought students ought to know about a few other popular spots near campus.
I am originally from Massachusetts and have lived in Bridgeport for three years. During my three years I have eaten everywhere in the neighborhood, here are my favorites:
If you don’t think Impallaria is the coolest bakery in town then you’re wrong, dead wrong. Impallaria has been serving up fresh Italian baked goods since 1950 and the experience shows in how worth the guilt the treats are. While they are famous for their chocolate cake donut I am a frequent éclair and cannoli guy. The cannoli selection is more limited than the all time world’s best cannoli of Mike’s Pastry in North End Boston, but the ricotta levels are on point. Also, throw out what you know about éclairs before you walk in. This monster is a quarter pound of custard. At only a few bucks beware of your waistline. Located at 30th and Wallace it’s a great weekend stroll (especially if you walk there by 29th because Bridgeport’s charming neighborhood vibe from our campus’s pseudo-urban feel).
Authentic? Eh. Crave-worthy? YES! Weather you order from their website, GrubHub, over the phone, or walk in you’re gonna have a good time. If you like steak and elote don’t waste your time with anything other than the Stelote Burrito—it’s exactly what it sounds like. Need some savory spice in your life? Get roasted red pepper sauce with everything and put it on everything. 26th and Princeton if you’re going in person.
Italian—I’m torn here
Want a cool date spot close by? Go to Franco’s. Being from Boston this is exactly what I expect from an Italian restaurant: small, the grandmother’s recipes are made by her grandsons and served by her granddaughters; all while she watches from her chair in the corner. Take a date, take a friend, its ten minutes from the res halls at 31st and Princeton. Lastly, get the gnocchi, that is all.
Want a lot of food right now? Order from Mangia Fresca. This place is actually owned by the cousins of the Impallaria owners.
A lot of people like Bridgeport Coffee. They roast their own beans which makes then a bit more in line with current coffee trends, but forget about the story behind your beans and focus on what’s important: taste. Drop what you’re doing and go to Jackalope. Jackalope coffee has a great atmosphere of chaos and the coffee is stellar no matter what your get. Like it hot? Agave Latte. Like it Cold? They have Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee on tap—yes tap. It’s on 32nd between Halsted and Emerald. Here is a photo of one my lattes with a foam teddy bear. These guys and gals don’t mess around with coffee.
Ice Cream and Ice
While there are not many options, we don’t need many. If you want ice cream go get some with a side of doo wop from Scoop’s. The owners are the same as Mangia Fresca so you can always pair your Butter Pecan ice cream with some decent espresso. 31st and Wallace, cash only.
Can’t handle the Ice Cream? That’s fine! Grab an Italian Ice from Ferro’s just across the highway on 31st. It’s also a grill/greasy-spoon so you can get cheese fries on the side. This is also a cash only establishment.
Even been craving burgers and fries at 4 am? Me too, its fine, no need to admit it out load. Maxwell Street Depot is 24 Hours a day and cheap. The fries come unsalted, but do not fret! If you need some sodium to feel warm and fuzzy about your spuds they have it on the windowsill to add as you desire. Only catch is you have to bring cash. The walk is short here from dorms as it is at 31st and Canal.
I hope this helps you in all your dining endeavors. May your food journeys be plenty and delicious.
Max Wiese, Applied Mathematics