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.