Sober spots lacking after 10 p.m.

Carrie Feistner

Carrie Feistner

You’re busy all day at school; so when night falls, it’s time to relax. Do you know where to go for the best hangouts? Where can you find the best food and the best place to have a conversation? Here are my findings of the area hot spots for the non-drinking crowd after 10 p.m.

Best place for a budget

Taco John’s, which is open until midnight, takes this category. This is a great place to go if you find yourself on campus and hungry late at night. Just a short walk from campus to the location on the corner of Sixth Street and Medary, this place will have fresh, good food to satisfy you. The menu is low-priced and there are daily specials — perfect for the college budget. Fast service is also something you will find here, in addition to a clean environment.

Best social place

If you want a place to meet people with good-tasting food further away from campus, I suggest George’s Pizza located downtown. It has a pizza window that is open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights. An added bonus is meeting people every night as they congregate on the city blocks.

Best atmosphere

Perkins restaurant on Sixth Street has a comfortable late-night atmosphere perfect for long chats or just catching up with that special someone. They seem to have more booths for seating and the servers are friendly. They have relatively fast service at nights and don’t seem to mind how long you want to stay.

Best hours on weekends

If you find yourself hungry in the middle of the night, chances are the Country Kitchen on Sixth Street will be open to serve you. It is open 24 hours Wednesday through Saturday with a menu with many choices. There is a good service staff there and it feels like a “family atmosphere.”

Best Variety of Food

Hy-Vee! Hy-Vee has all kinds of food! But, if you don’t feel like hanging out there all night, you could always try Perkins and Country Kitchen. Those two restaurants have an equally large selection of foods to meet every taste and appetite. They both offer breakfast menus, dinner items and desserts.

Overall Best of Brookings

For me, this is a hard decision. If you want a place to sit and chat, I think Perkins would be the best choice. They have good food, nice servers and a great atmosphere. If you want to meet people and grab a quick bite of good food, go to George’s Pizza.