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carriage house, flowers, fall, garden, outside
Original photo by Grace Haak

Hidden Gem of South Bend: The Carriage House

I think we can all agree that South Bend itself doesn’t really have much of a “city” feel; there aren’t any towering skyscrapers or streets lined with neon signs, the roads aren’t constantly crowded with cars and there certainly is not as much to do compared to other college towns. Notre Dame definitely makes up for all that with having a ton of events and fun activities on campus, but I still want to get to know what I’m surrounded by. I mean, if I’m going to be here for four years, I might as well start exploring! And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend, starting with a friend’s birthday dinner at The Carriage House.

Located just twenty minutes from campus, the Carriage House is a great place to go to celebrate birthdays, surviving midterms or even just to get away from the dining hall for a night. 

The Carriage House is just that; a vintage-style house tucked away on the corner of the street, partially hidden by big green bushes. I didn’t get to see the inside due to COVID restrictions as only outside seating was available, but I was far from disappointed. The outside seating area is absolutely stunning; beautiful greenery is abundant, and there is a literal garden with string light arches that is perfect to walk around when waiting for your food (or to walk off all the delicious desserts!). I cannot express just how breathtaking this place is; it looked like it could be made into a wedding reception venue at any second, and I’m shamelessly adding it to my list of future wedding inspo (what, doesn’t everyone have one?). Seriously, the setup itself is reason enough to venture out here.

carriage house, garden, grass, walking, fall
Original photo by Grace Haak

But I know that what you really want to hear about is the food. And let me tell you, the menu did not disappoint! There are eight artisan wood fired pizzas to choose from, ranging from classic margherita to the restaurant’s signature style complete with fig marmalade, prosciutto and a honey drizzle. I treated myself to the Four Seasons pizza, which is topped with mozzarella and a ton of delicious colorful veggies. The other entrees that tempted me include creamy clam chowder, slow roasted pork shoulder and a massive platter of beer battered fish and chips. And if you’re mouth isn’t watering yet, let me tell you a bit about the desserts. My friends and I split two of their most popular: fresh fruit cobbler topped with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate-filled churros served with caramel dipping sauce. I am still having dreams about that cobbler; it’s served warm with crispy streusel that is complemented so nicely with the rich ice cream, and while the dining hall sugar cookies are pretty good, this was the type of dessert I had been craving!

food, pizza, carriage house, dinner, south bend, restaurant
Original photo by Cora Vulin

After dinner, my friends and I walked around the gardens, admiring the flowers and bird baths around every corner. The weather was gorgeous, so it was a perfect way to soak up the last few days of warmth before the arrival of fall. I could not stop thinking about the fact that this restaurant was so close to campus and had such an amazing location and menu; I will definitely be returning!!!

carriage house, restaurant, dinner, south bend, food
Original photo by Grace Haak

Some facts to know:

  • The address of the Carriage House is 24460 Adams Road, South Bend, IN 46628

  • The restaurant takes reservations via phone call!

  • The website of the restaurant is https://www.carriagehousediningroomandgardens.com/ 

  • The main dining room is closed until further notice

  • The restaurant is only open Thursday-Saturday evenings, so definitely try to book a reservation well ahead of time

  • The restaurant describes its attire as “resort casual”- I wore a dress and sandals, so dressing formally isn’t really needed (but if you want a break from wearing sweats and sneakers, go for it!)

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the Carriage House and will definitely be adding it to my growing list of hidden gems in South Bend! Despite it not being a big city, there are certainly lots of places to go if you just want to explore!


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Grace Haak

Notre Dame '24

My name is Grace Haak, and I am a sophomore at Notre Dame! I'm from Phoenix, Arizona, but on campus I live in Ryan Hall. I am majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and hopefully minoring in Compassionate Care in Medicine! I love creative writing, all things fitness, country music, anything pink and girly, and I have an unmatched passion for La Croix sparkling water.
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