Sunday, April 1, 2012

#254: Cira's Restaurant

I grew up in the 90’s. That decade of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Spice Girls, and Titanic.  Maybe then it’s apparent why I am afflicted, like so many others in my generation, with nostalgia for times I never experienced. The television show Mad Men is perhaps the biggest and best example of this phenomenon. Without ever having experienced the 1950’s and 60’s, we are enthralled, and alternately horrified, by the fashions, the music, the attitudes, and by Don Draper himself.

I felt something similar when I walked into Cira’s Restaurant right here in South Bend. For 58 years, the restaurant has served breakfast and lunch from its cozy location on Miami Street.  The décor appears to have never been changed. There are mint-green booths along the side and orange stools facing a counter you can imagine has served many a South Bend resident. The waitress welcomed us cheerfully and continued to serve us, cheerfully, even as we proceeded to request breakfast items after the breakfast window had closed. The ambiance is homey and distinctly old-fashioned, if what we mean by that is simply that it was created in an older time. The menu features an extensive list of diner fare and there are always several specials of the day. And as it typically goes in South Bend, you can get the food for very cheap.

Yet there’s an important distinction to make. Unlike Mad Men or other forms of nostalgia, Cira’s isn’t merely a relic. It’s a functioning restaurant that has survived to bring us not only a retro charm, but eggs and toast, hot, on a Saturday morning.

2007 Miami Street


Tip: It’s cash only. 


  1. I haven't been there in years, but my grandparents used to have a house in that area. I need to revisit it soon!

  2. I've been driving that route to go home and it brought back memories from college when we used to go there for breakfast. Good to know they've still got it, now I'm hankering for breakfast food!

  3. Definitely going to stop by here when I get a chance.

    I would recommend checking out Doc Pierce's in Mishawaka. There might be some other gems as far as restaurants and shops go in that area as well!

    Also wondering if you've ever gone to Hana Yori.

    There's also the Shiojiri Niwa (Japanese Garden) in Mishawaka.

  4. They've closed now. Really sad. People were wrapped around the block on their last day.