Off-Campus Dining

Saint Peter, MN
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The cost of the restaurants in town are very reasonable. They are not too far from campus. There is some variety. There aren't very many student discounts.

1 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Mcdonalds, Dairy Queen, Chinese, Mexican, and Dominos is pretty much the main ones we've got and other than Mcdonalds and DQ they can get pretty pricey especially for delivery

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are local groceries stores in town and one is organic. Good options for delivery

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are few restaurants to eat in St. Peter but Mankato, MN is approximately a 10-15min drive from campus and there is an immense amount of restaurants to go to there. Many Gusties go to El Gave in St. Peter for Mexican food and for the bar scene Gusties frequent Patrick's (known as Patty's), Ericksons, and The Flame. In Mankato Buffalo Wild Wings, Grilly's, AppleBees, Olive Garden, and many more are frequented by students.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: DOMINOS! but no taco bell :(

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 398th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost
  • 991st
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Steven Olson
Moorhead, MN
History and Scandinavian Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Thank goodness that Mankato is just down the road—otherwise, students would expend their off-campus dining options within the first month of school. While St. Peter has local establishments that offer a few delicous options (peppered steak from China Town, nachos at El Agave, ranch fries at Patrick’s, or pizza at Jake's), one of its small-town charms is the fact that there are fewer chain restaurants than what would normally be found in a larger city. The best food in St. Peter can be found easily: on Main Street. It's not uncommon for upperclassmen and profs to escape to downtown and enjoy some coffee at River Rock or Waldo's, read the paper at the Co-op, or toss back a few at the Flame or Patrick's. Students are generally satisfied with St. Peter's dining options, as they make late-night McDonald's runs, order Domino's, or take their parents to the one "nice" restaurant in town. If you're looking for delivery, Domino's, Erbert and Gerbert's, and China Town know the path up the hill very well. 

Mankato, on the other hand, offers a welcome reprieve when you are craving something more and want to truly get off the hill. Mankato is stockpiled with chain restaurants, including college student favorites such as Five Guys, Chipotle, and Noodles & Company. For those willing to seek out restaurants beyond the chains, there are a few unique spots: Mongolian Grill offers an excellent Mongolian-style buffet (be sure to get a lot and bring it home for your next meal), Bonito Guadalajara doles out fantastic Mexican cuisine, and Neighbor’s is the primo date locale (you even get free wine if you have to wait for a table). What both St. Peter and Mankato lack is variety, and after four years, students who enjoy eating out will have memorized all of the worthwhile places. 

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Best Asian
China Town
Best Breakfast
St. Peter Food Co-op
Best Coffee
  • Caribou Coffee
  • River Rock Coffee
Best Dessert
Dairy Queen
Best Healthy
St. Peter Food Co-op
Best Late-Night
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Patrick's on Third
Best Mexican
El Agave
Best Pizza
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Godfather's Pizza
Best Wings
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • Patrick's on Third
Best Place to Take a Date
  • Cedars Grille
  • Whiskey River
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Patrick's on Third
  • Whiskey River
Other Places to Check Out
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • Arby's
  • Cedric's Landing
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Famous Dave's
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries
  • Flame Bar
  • Great Wall
  • KFC
  • McDonald's
  • Mongolian Grill
  • Olive Garden
  • Panera Bread
  • Pho Saigon
  • Subway
  • TGI Friday's
  • Waldo's Coffee Co.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Econo Foods
612 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 931-5541
Daily 6 a.m.-11 p.m.
St. Peter Food Co-op
228 Mulberry St.
(507) 934-4880
Daily 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Bonito Guadalajara Mexican
Food: Mexican
503 Belgrade Ave., Mankato
(507) 386-7167
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Most authentic Mexican cuisine in the area
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Food: American, wings
12 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato
(507) 385-9464
Price: $8-$15
Caribou Coffee
Food: Coffee/tea, sweets
1850 Adams St., Mankato
(507) 345-1103
Price: $3-$8
Cedars Grille
Food: Fine dining
408 S. Third St.
(507) 934-3314
Price: $20-$40
China Town
Food: Asian
302 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 934-5566
Price: $10-$15
Dairy Queen
Food: Ice cream
850 N. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 931-4580
Price: $3-$8
Domino's Pizza
Food: Pizza
103 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 934-9112
Price: $8-$15
El Agave
Food: Mexican
402 S. Third St
(507) 934-5323
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: With Gustavus ID, students receive a 10 percent discount (but not on drinks).
El Mazatlan Authentic Mexican Restaurant
Food: Mexican
1525 Tullamore St., Mankato
(507) 625-2406
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Look for the live music playing on the weekends.
Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwich Shop
Food: Sandwiches
224 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 934-2020
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Late-night delivery
Godfather's Pizza
Food: Pizza
225 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 931-6140
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Show your Gustavus ID and get 10 percent off your order in the store.
Jake's Stadium Pizza
Food: Pizza
119 Broadway Ave.
(507) 934-4944
Price: $10-$20
Mexican Village Restaurant
Food: Mexican
1630 E. Madison Ave., Mankato
(507) 387-4455
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Wednesday is a cheap margarita night.
Neighbor's Italian Bistro
Food: Italian
1812 S. Riverfront Drive, Mankato
(507) 625-6776
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Free wine for those waiting to be seated
Noodles & Company
Food: Pasta, salads
1600 Warren St., Mankato
(507) 385-1166
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: A higher-end fast food chain that serves up pasta favorites (like delicious macaroni and cheese) along with creations that you would never take the time to concoct on a typical college student's schedule. Cheap and tasty.
Patrick's on Third
Food: American
125 S. Third St.
(507) 931-9051
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: On Tuesday trivia night, brave patrons can try the $16 Chuck Norris Challenge: downing two double cheeseburgers with a grilled cheese sandwich in between four slices of bacon, a pound of french fries, and pickles. Winners receive a T-shirt.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Food: American, breakfast
1123 Range St., North Mankato
(507) 345-5021
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
River Rock Coffee
Food: Coffee and sandwiches
301 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 931-1540
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: A great place to relax and study, River Rock also provides a great alternative to corporate-owned coffee shops.
Whiskey River
Food: American
34166 State Highway 99 E
(507) 934-5600
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: One of the only establishments that likes to serve up green beer on St. Patrick's Day
Willy's Hometown Tavern
Food: American
220 S. Minnesota Ave.
(507) 931-4355
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Frequented by locals

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 33 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 36 responses

  • 14% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 22% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 56% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 8% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
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