While some students prefer to eat in the cafeterias on campus or make their own food, many enjoy eating off campus, even if it’s only every once in a while. There are many restaurants right near campus; many are chain restaurants that are fast and cheap, but there are also some local spots too. Most restaurants around are also bars, so they stay open fairly late, though this means underage students may not be able to get in. However, if you eat at regular hours, there are many, many opportunities to get some amazing food. You'll find practically everything in Mankato and the other local towns: Chinese, Mongolian, pub food, fast food, coffee houses, Mexican, chain restaurants, local restaurants, and so much more.
There are several popular spots among the students. Cold Stone Creamery is always a favorite when craving ice cream, and it's right down the street. Tav on the Ave is another a popular place. However, practically anything that gets you away from the cafeteria is usually a good choice. Many students here also enjoy cooking and find it cheaper than anything else. There are many international students here, so finding someone cooking up some ethnic cuisine is not hard—as long as they're willing to share!