Budge's Drive In

Friday, May 29, 2020

So now that things are starting to open up in Indiana, I figured that it would be a great time to revive my short-lived series on local businesses and events in Lafayette (who would have thought that the next week we'd be in the middle of a pandemic?).

This week, I'm highlighting one of our favorite seasonal places -- Budge's Drive In!

photo from roadarch.com
Tom and I actually used to live around the corner from Budge's, so sometimes I would walk Archie down there and get him a little cup of vanilla soft serve while I enjoyed their fabulous breadsticks (seriously, my favorite breadsticks and cheese ANYWHERE). Even when we moved to our last home, it was just a couple of minutes away.

Last weekend, Nolie had been begging us to go to "the place with the chef holding a burger" and we couldn't figure out what he meant. When he mentioned he had a grilled cheese there, I finally realized he meant Budge's (it's crazy that the logo stood out to him that much)! We tried to go last Sunday, but the line was craaaaaazy long (the hot weather had everyone wanting ice cream), so we told him we'd go Tuesday (and we did); the poor kid cried all the way to another ice cream place though, because he wanted Budge's!

Budge's has been a Lafayette institution since 1942. It's what you'd expect from a walk-up stand -- your typical burgers and soft serve -- but with fun twists added. In addition to the traditional peanuts and sprinkles, you can get your cone rolled in Fruity Pebbles or crushed Oreos. They have flavor-infused soft serve (called Flavorburst) that the boys like to get; they're both big fans of the Blue Goo flavor! On the food side, they have the Indiana favorite, the tenderloin sandwich (breaded or grilled), as well as unexpected items like taco salad and breaded mushrooms. Like many local Lafayette places, they have their own version of "Fruit Drink"; everyone has their own recipe, and Budge's has had theirs for over 75 years (I've never had a bad version of Fruit Drink, though they definitely all have their own flair!).

One of the best parts about Budge's is that it's affordable. Their prices (even for bigger items like tenderloins and banana splits) tend to be a few dollars cheaper than comparable places around town. It's a bit off the beaten path, but if you ever happen to be in the area, it's definitely worth the trip! It’s a walk-up place; there is a small, covered seating area, but it’s currently closed due to the pandemic.

Bonus: If you follow them on Instagram, you can get a small cone for $1!

My favorites: Breadsticks & Cheese, Banana Split, Waffle Cone

Budge's is located at 1102 North 14th Street, Lafayette, Indiana.

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