Michiana's Menu: Cozy up in the heart of Notre Dame at Cafe J

Michiana’s Menu: Cozy up in the heart of Notre Dame at Cafe J

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For visitors, a trip to the University of Notre Dame starts here, the Morris Inn. The exquisite hotel is considered the University’s living room - offering a cozy place to work, chat and connect.

But the warm and welcoming atmosphere was missing one thing until now…

“It exemplifies Notre Dame, Notre Dame is about people, Notre Dame is about coming together with a mission to do good,” says Scott Rieth, Executive Director of Hospitality at Notre Dame. “It just emphasizes that it is one more element for people to come together, enjoy each other, and be a part of the Notre Dame experience.”

A kitchen! Welcome to Café j. The friendly environment offers everything from delicious and specialty coffees and teas, and of course, the pastries. But these are not just your typical croissants and muffins. No, they are the workings of the Food Network’s Halloween baking champion, Sinai Vespie!

“That was like the scariest, most exhilarating ride you could ever be on, it was pretty intense but it was fun,” says Sinai Vespie, Executive Pastry Chef for the University of Notre Dame.  

The executive pastry chef competed on the Halloween themed baking show back in 2020. She brought home the gold to fighting Irish territory, and lucky for you, her creations, too! Everything at Café J is made fresh that morning. They offer croissants, almond croissants, spinach and ricotta, muffins, and ham and cheese.

“And then my favorite, a bacon cheddar scone, everyone has to come in and try that, it is more cheese and bacon then flour so it is very rich,” says Vespie.  

The menu is endless with sandwiches and salads coming soon! The excitement of South Bend’s newest addition is only on the rise as football season is fast approaching.

“As you know gamedays are epic, they can expect this place to be hopping,” says Rieth. “It will be buzzing, and we will maybe have some merchandise to celebrate gamedays. It will be another place on campus to enjoy the hotel and enjoy Notre Dame.”

Plan your visit here.  

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