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Where Central Students Eat Off Campus

Featured: Where Central Students Eat Off Campus

October 22, 2019

By Christa Miller ’20

Central College has amazing food, but there are times when you need to switch up your menu. From fast food options to bakeries and coffee shops, it’s good to know there are tasty restaurants in Pella. Take a walk down the sidewalks of the third best place to live in America and find a good off-campus meal or get a sweet treat for the road. These are just my favorites; you might discover others.

On the Square in Downtown Pella

In’t Veld’s Meat Market and Opa’s Deli

627 Franklin St.

In’t Veld’s Meat Market and Opa’s Deli, established in 1941, makes famous Pella Ring Bologna, a taut tube of salami-type meat that is mixed, spiced, smoked and cured on-site. It can be sliced, eaten cold with crackers or appreciated as a hot meal. Opa’s Deli offers lunch specials such as corned beef served hot with swiss cheese and mustard on rye bread.

Jaarsma BakeryJaarsma Bakery

727 Franklin St.

Jaarsma Bakery, established in 1889, is a historic option for dessert downtown. From chocolate covered pretzels to adorably designed iced cookies to cherry doughnut holes, there is a sweet treat for all. Head down and enjoy a famous Dutch Letter, my mom’s favorite. It’s a moist almond-paste-filled, S-shaped pastry, around 8 inches tall, sprinkled with sugar and baked to a golden hue.


Smokey Row

639 Franklin St.

Smokey Row is one of three great coffee shops around the square and offers the greatest selection of meal options. From bread bowls to salad to ice cream, there is a variety of cuisine. I love their lemon poppy seed muffins offered either warm or cold. With its vibrant family atmosphere, Smokey Row is a must-stop option.

Windmill Café

Windmill Café

709 Franklin St.

Windmill Café is open 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is an amazing breakfast option. My favorite: the country omelet with diced ham, green pepper, onion, tomato, mushroom and topped with cheese.



Elsewhere in Town

Applebee’s Grill + Bar

1600 Washington St.

Applebee’s Grill + Bar is next to Walmart on the east edge of town about a mile from campus. Many students take advantage of its late-night, half-priced appetizers; some work there as well. My older sister once took me out to eat there on my birthday as a surprise. The steak was great.

El Charro Mexican RestaurantEl Charro Mexican Grill

514 Main St.

El Charro Mexican Grill, just a couple blocks south of the square, is the place to go for a Mexican meal. This establishment is famous with many Central students. Their queso is superb and the environment is perfect for conversation.



Fast Food

  • Arby’s, 903 W. 16th St., has the best roast beef sandwiches.
  • Casey’s, 509 Main St., is just a block from campus and a great source of late-night- homework-session pizza.
  • Culver’s, 1512 Washington St., is a mile away but the cheese curds make the trip worthwhile.
  • Happy Joe’s, 718 Broadway St., is on the square and makes a tasty taco pizza, among many other choices.
  • Jimmy John’s, 608 Oskaloosa St., is a couple blocks from campus and also delivers its sandwiches.
  • Pizza Ranch, 508 Main St., is on the square and serves great dessert pizza. (My favorite: cactus bread with cinnamon streusel-topped with icing.)
  • Subway 714 Liberty St., is four blocks north of campus and a healthy choice. Get a footlong and save half for later! It delivers, too.

Both Happy Joe’s and Pizza Ranch offer an arcade for kids, so if you have family visiting with smaller children, these two restaurants are great options. Pizza Ranch has a buffet with chicken, salad and pizza for more variety.


Best Coffee Spots in Pella   Shops to Browse on the Square

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About the Author

Christa Miller ’20Hello! I’m Christa Miller ’20, an English and anthropology double major and student writer for Central. I love horses and can be found riding every opportunity. Outside of classes, I enjoy studying at The Sanctuary on the square and relaxing with some video game walkthroughs. I also enjoy spending time in conversation with friends and writing poetry or short stories. I would love to hear from you with any comments, concerns or questions! You can reach me at millerc2@central.edu. Have an amazing day!