At this point, everybody is definitely ready for school to be over, but ahead probably looms a long week of finals. After the completion of finals, nothing is better than unwinding with friends before you head separate ways for the summer, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with tasty food. Here are some of buzz’s top picks for the best places to treat yo’self after finals.
There is no better way to kick off summer than with a great cup — or cone — of ice cream, the unofficial food of summer.
The standard Champaign pick for ice cream tends to be Jarling’s Custard Cup. Only a few blocks away from campus, Jarling’s offers great homemade custard with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the beautiful warm weather.
If you are up for a longer drive, Freddy’s, located in northern Champaign, has possibly the smoothest and creamiest shakes around.
And for a long summer drive in the country for your ice cream, check out the fresh hometown flavors at the Sidney Dairy Barn, just 20 minutes down the road in Sidney, Illinois.
Whether you are still studying for those finals or have just finished, bubble tea is a great drink option to stay cool in the newfound summer weather, and campustown has plenty of options and flavors to choose from. A personal favorite, however, is Caffe Bene, located both on Green Street and next to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Bene offers a calm environment with lots of delicious snacks, perfect for treating yourself with. Their bubble tea comes in many flavors, with a delicious creamy texture and lots of tapioca, but the honeydew and mango flavors are strongly recommended.
Finally, everyone loves a good pizza, the quintessential celebratory meal.
Fans of New York style pizza will surely enjoy Vinny’s East Coast Pizzeria or Manolo’s Pizza & Empanadas. Both offer large slices and a great taste of thin pizza.
Lovers of the signature Chicago deep dish will want to head a few blocks from campus to local favorite Papa Del’s or down the road to Market Place Shopping Center, where Chicago-favorite Giordano’s is available.
And thin crust lovers will admire the crispiness and flavor of Monical’s Pizza, the customization of Mia Za’s on campus and the freshness of Pizzeria Antica located in downtown Champaign.
If these options don’t suit your fancy, take a drive away from campus and explore other local Champaign cuisine that may be unfamiliar. A handful of incredible options include Black Dog Smoke & Ale House for barbecue in downtown Champaign or Urbana, the diner-style Courier Cafe in Urbana, or Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant in Champaign.
So after finals are said and done, grab a tasty bite to kick off summer with a new world of flavor.