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Michigan State football travel guide: Purdue University

November 5, 2021

Michigan State’s undefeated season is on the line this Saturday in West Lafayette, as the Spartans take on the Purdue Boilermakers.

If you are a fan making the drive to Purdue University, make sure to head down a little earlier to check out some of the restaurants, bars and landmarks on and near the campus. 

West Lafayette

If the Spartans are upset by the Boilermakers Saturday afternoon, there are plenty of bars that can help fans forget about the loss. 

Harry’s Chocolate Shop is perhaps the most iconic of Purdue’s bars. They don’t sell chocolate, but they provide an extensive cocktail menu and plenty of great food.   

“It’s everyone's favorite. It’s quaint on the inside — it feels very rustic, kinda homey. It feels like Purdue,” Natalie Fedor, managing editor of the Purdue Exponent said.

The 102 year old bar is an extremely popular stop on game day - be warned, the wait on a football Saturday is typically a few hours.

Fans looking for more of a club-like experience can make their way over to Where Else.

Fans can head over to Discount Den and try a “Den Pop.” The store has a collection of recipes on the wall that suggest unique combinations of fountain pops for unique flavor profiles. Some highlights include the “Gynecologist” (which is one-third Dr. Pepper, one-third red cream soda and one-third Mountain Dew Code Red) and the “Fresh Prince” (one-half blue Powerade, one-half Orange Crush and a splash of Sprite). 

A few of the recipes also call for a bit of alcohol to be added, such as the “Communist Threat,” which adds four shots of vodka to a red cream soda and Mountain Dew Code Red combination.  

There is a wide variety of restaurants for a pre or post game meal — anything from the authentic Irish cuisine of Nine Irish Brothers, to the more classic American diner meals of the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Mad Mushroom might be the move for those with late night pizza cravings - the local chain is open until 2 a.m. on Saturday nights. 

The Campus

Purdue’s campus has plenty of unique landmarks that are worth checking out on the way to Ross-Ade Stadium.

Engineering Fountain is a water sculpture in Purdue Mall, essentially the heart of the campus. It is tradition that Purdue students run through the fountain at least once before graduation (although with temperatures in the 40's and 50's this weekend, this might not be the best weekend to partake in the tradition).

Standing 160-feet tall is the Bell Tower, another photogenic landmark on the campus.

Of course, what would an article about Purdue be without mentioning its most famous alumni (other than Drew Brees), Neil Armstrong. There is a statue of the iconic American figure on campus that offers a great opportunity for some gameday pictures. Another American icon, Amelia Earhart, is commemorated on the campus with a statue.

On gameday, the band puts on the "Thrill on the Hill" at Slayter Hill on campus. 90 minutes before kickoff, the band previews the upcoming halftime show and of course, performs the fight song.

On the Friday before the game, you can catch the team making the "Boiler Bridge Walk," interacting with fans as they cross the bridge from West Lafayette to Lafayette (be warned, Purdue Pete will be there).

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