Runcible Spoon is a very Bloomington institution. The Spoon's been around since the 70s but came under new ownership in 2001. The new owner, Matt O'Neill, added an Irish twist to the menu but preserved the unique atmosphere. I have a vivid memory of visiting the restaurant with my mom when I was very young. I have no idea if we even had food, all I remember is the crazy bathtub filled with giant fish! Well now that I'm a bit older the bathtub is still kinda cool, but mostly it's just a murky tub in a dim bathroom with a few random fish. But I bet if I was six I'd still think it was awesome.
The Runcible Spoon is kind of a hybrid restaurant/coffee shop. They offer all the usual coffee and espresso options (my friend Katy lurves the blonde mocha) along with teas and pastries. And pie! The atmosphere is very relaxed, professors are known to hold "office hours" while students often hunker down with coffees and laptops for hours on end. Which is cool, but it can sometimes take a while to get a table during busy times. So I wouldn't recommend Runcible Spoon if you're on a tight schedule. My last meal there actually came out super fast, but Katy and I knew exactly what we wanted and ordered right away. Basically it's a great place for a nice, leisurely meal but don't expect to get in and out in a hurry.
I mostly order breakfast foods at non-breakfast times when I eat at Runcible. They serve breakfast all day which is convenient for lunch breaks with my friend Katy. Runcible makes what I believe to be the best bacon in Bloomington. It's cut thick and cooked to the perfect crispy/chewy balance. The home fries are hit or miss. Sometimes they're excellent, perfectly browned outside and creamy potato-ness inside. But on several occasions I've ordered them and been served underdone and underwhelming lumps of potato. Eggs at the Spoon are yummy. I usually get them fried, over easy with home fries or toast to sop up the yolk. I also like the ham and cheese omelet, Katy really likes the Bonne Femme (bacon, taters, and onion). The eggs benedict are also really good. And did I mention the bacon? Oh the bacon...
Another tasty breakfast options is the ham. It's good in the omelets, eggs benedict, and delicious as a ham steak with home fries. I've also heard good things about the hash, though I haven't tried it. The french toast is okay, it tastes good, but pretty much every time I've ordered it, its come out lukewarm, or even cold. I do like how you can order individual pieces if you just want a little on the side. The pancakes are better, nicely fluffy inside and a little crispy on the outside. There are lots of options for add-ins, my fave is blueberries, Katy likes banana. You can also add nuts, strawberries and chocolate chips!
As for the non-breakfast options, I haven't had many of them. I have had the lunch portion of the salmon with horseradish sauce and liked it a lot. I wasn't so much a fan of the mixed vegetables that accompany the salmon. They're kind of a mess of random sauteed veggies. See them here with the yummy Gypsy Chicken. I am a fan of the smashed potatoes however! It's like chunky mashed potatoes fried a little bit with a crispy, browned top and bottom. If you're looking for a healthy option try the Rosemary Chicken salad, Katy likes it!
I do hope to try eating dinner sometime in the near future, a lot of the dinner entrees on the menu sound delicious, and very reasonably priced. Pretty much all the lunch entrees are under $7. And a lot of the breakfast options are even cheaper than that. The restaurant itself is a little rundown, in a charming old house kind of way. There are bookshelfs everywhere filled with old travel and poetry books. When the weather's nice there's great porch and patio seating out front.
412 E. 6th St
Bloomington, IN 47405
Website + Menu