The best places to eat and drink at University Village


EN Photo by Leah Sankey. The “Thyme for a marg” at Tacos and Tequila.

By Leah Sankey
News & features editor
Tacos and Tequila
The name says it all. This small chain has three restaurants throughout Southwest Florida and some of the best specialty margaritas in town. Happy hour is 12-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. T&T offers up two for one house margaritas every Tuesday and Sunday. Upon arrival, you’ll be served salsa in a mason jar with some tortilla chips. Try not to fill up on the salsa though, because their tacos are amazing.
The menu features a twist on conventional tex-mex cuisine and over 20 variations of tacos served on handmade tortillas with a few veggie options. The tacos range in price from $3.50 to $5, and you can choose from traditional Mexican options like chorizo, pollo, carne asada, carnitas, and al pastor or get something influenced by various other regions, like the South American taco (my personal favorite). They even have a chicken pancake taco, with buttermilk chicken dipped in pancake batter, smothered in cheddar jack cheese, bacon, and maple syrup. It’s seriously good.
Are you into food comas or just tired of counting calories? This is your place. The service is quick but the effects of a meal this decadent are long lasting. The menu features four types of fries: hand cut, coated straight cut, seasoned waffle and sweet potato. Then comes the toppings… they have five types of meats, more than 20 sauces, seasonings and toppings. If the choices are simply too much, choose from one of their baskets, like their Oh Canada poutine basket or their Rocky Balboa cheese steak fries. The fries start at $3.93 with a sauce. Basket meals or combinations are $6.99 for a medium or $8.99 for a large (for the love of god, if you get a large, don’t try to do it alone).
Get a milkshake or a beer to wash it all down. Then, promptly go home, take off your pants and take a nap. You deserve it.
Hearty breakfast and lunch food made from scratch; it doesn’t get much better than this. FGCU students, faculty and staff receive 10% off with an ID card. In addition to this discount, their most expensive breakfast item is only $12.95, with most meals ranging between $7 and $10.
Thai Udon Café
Thai Udon’s panang curry is some of the best I’ve ever had. The University Village location is their second, the first is located in Naples. The menu has Thai and Japanese cuisine, with traditional and modern options. Choose from a variety of curry dishes, sauté dishes, teriyaki, tempura, or sushi. Their weekday lunch specials are killer, so if you have some time in between afternoon classes, check it out.
Mellow Mushroom
Mellow Mushroom may be a chain restaurant, but this funky eatery doesn’t feel like a typical chain. The inside is brimming with art and trippy décor.  Mellow Mushroom has fantastic pizza, but they offer so much more than that. The menu features a variety of craft beer and craft cocktails, unique pizzas, calzones, snacks, hoagies, and burgers. Try their unique and instagrammable cosmic coconut punch cocktail and mellow out, man.
Poke Fusion
This is Poke Fusion’s first and only location. Their food is healthy and sustainably sourced.  This is the perfect place to go on a scorching day when you want something quick that won’t weigh you down. Choose your base, protein, sauce, and toppings. Or you can choose from one of the fusions on the menu. My favorite is the En Fuego Fusion with spicy tuna and wasabi aioli. Oh, and they have dole whip.
Frutta Bowls
Their menu is all about health and includes acai bowls, pitaya bowls, kale bowls, toast, hot oatmeal bowls, smoothies and organic coffee. The Instagram worthy hot pink pitaya bowl takes center stage on their menu, with their less pretty but equally delicious acai bowl coming in at a close second. You can even smother your bowl in Nutella if you want to be a little bit naughty and still (mostly) healthy.