UW-La Crosse: Food on a Budget
rudy's in la crosse

Rudy’s in La Crosse | Flickr

With all the money you’re spending on textbooks, rent, notebooks and everything else that matters to a college student beer, you need to find a place to save somewhere else. Food is that place. It’s crazy how much food costs, even in a smaller college town like La Crosse. Well, we’re here to help. We scoured Yelp and found the best places to eat near UWL off-campus housing food on a budget. The Rivoli Theatre and Pizzeria

We know what you’re thinking, “Ew, whenever I get pizza from a movie theater it tastes cheap, like it was made from flour cooked by a heat lamp and topped with whatever was left in the back of the fridge.” And that’s a fair point. But this isn’t a movie theater. It’s a Theatre. THIS JOINT IS CLASSY. The pizza receives rave reviews and the only thing cheap is the movie you’ll watch while you scarf it down.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

The pizza came right in the middle of the movie which was perfect. It was hot and absolutely delicious. The crust was fantastic, soft but also kind of crispy. Would eat many more pizzas if I lived closer!

The Root Note

Those of you who care about local and regional food will love The Root Note. This art cafe features live music on a near daily basis, an eclectic mix of beer, food, wine and coffee, and an entertaining presence on Facebook and Twitter. There was a puppy out front the other day too, so you’ll even get an occasional puppy sighting here. If puppy sightings aren’t your thing, maybe you should think long and hard about what your things are and why they wouldn’t include puppy sightings.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

I got the baby blu savory crepe. Oh my goodness, it was amazing!!! It had just enough blue cheese that it didn’t over power the crepe. There was fresh spinach, bell pepper, and green onion in it. The best part was the over easy egg inside!! It’s so worth it. I think this is going to be my obsession for a while.

Iguana’s Mexican Street Cafe

Authentic Mexican food is always hard to find in Wisconsin, even in densely populated areas. That makes Iguana’s even more of a treasure. The five-star reviews never seem to stop pouring in for La Crosse’s favorite Mexican restaurant. Iguana’s has been open for just over three years and based on the experiences they have been delivering, they’ll be open for plenty more. The space is small, but the vibes are good if you’re comfortable with quaint. Otherwise, they deliver and you couldn’t do much better for delivery.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

Authentic tacos and a Mexican-American menu make this a perfect place for lunch or dinner. You can’t beat the prices and its eighth across from campus. This place is AWESOME! P.S. Get the Chico burrito with Al Pastor for $5! It’s filling and oh-so delicious!

Pickerman’s Soup & Sandwich

Wisconsin gets cold quick in the winter and stays cold long. If we put together a ranking of foods that taste even better when it’s cold out, soup might claim the top spot. It’d have to battle chili. But then we’d get into a debate about whether or not chili was soup and the whole process would break into madness. Anyway, soup is good and Pickerman’s soup is better than good. A new bunch of delicious batches like baked potato, asiago bisque, clam chowder and more are made daily. You know the soup must be good because they are so focused on it that they let their website serve as a reminder of what the internet used to look like. Flaunt that old looking site proudly, Pickerman’s, you have the goods that stand the test of time. The pizza is famously greasy, but that’s part of the pizza experience. And there aren’t too many places that are willing to give you free pizza on your birthday. If you’ve got a birthday coming up, sign up for their email club, cash in and try not to spend that $10 in one place.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

Some of the best vegetarian soup and sandwiches I’ve hever had. It can get packed around lunchtime so plan to stand in line.

Rudy’s Drive-In

It’s always 1970 at Rudy’s. Not really. This isn’t one of those weird places where people roller skate around and wear bell-bottom pants though. Okay, well they do wear skates. But it isn’t weird. It’s just been an institution in La Crosse for over 40 years. It opens up in the Spring and that’s how you know you don’t have to worry about those wretched winter storms Wisconsin’s been throwing at you day in and day out for the past handful of months. There’s a lot of traditional Wisconsin fare at Rudy’s. Cheese curds. Root beer floats. Burgers. Onion rings. All the classics are at this classic and they aren’t too pricey either. There’s something to being comfortable, isn’t there?

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

Great food and great service, I always know what I’m getting with Rudy’s. Very cheap take home root beer as well. I would say that Rudy’s root beer is their pride and joy. Their floats are the best selling item, and the rootbeer isn’t far behind. Pretty good burgers too.

Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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