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“A South Bend Tradition” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rocco's

Rocco's
537 N. Saint Louis Blvd., South Bend, IN 46617
574 233-2464
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Ranked #18 of 266 Restaurants in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
Restaurant details
South Bend, Indiana
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A South Bend Tradition”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Tourists and locals a like make this place what it is! From every corner of the U.S. and beyond, people have found their way to Rocco's. And with good reason, Rocco's features the best classic Italian food in the area. It can take a while to get a table, so be patient. Everything is made to order and delicious! My daughter's love the meatballs, my mom is a fan of the lasagna, I love love love the pizza! The owners welcome you in and treat you like family. That explains why it's been around for more than 60 years!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    15
    6
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lebanon, Tennessee
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
“Real Italian Restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

On the corner not in the best part of South Bend... This a local favorite that entertains alot of known stars, and athletes. We walkes into this establishment you are greeted by the owners that are really nice make you feel like family. My lady had the pizza (wonderful), Daughter had pizza (wonderful as well) I had the mushroom pasta wonderful as well... Local landmark go visit and enjoy the hospitality and look at the pictures and articles on the walls and enjoy their history. If i am ever in town again this is my go to spot for Italian food

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“a notre dame favorite!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

our second favorite pizza join in south bend. nice and close to campus. the owner and staff are incredibly friendly, the pizza excellent and with ample toppings. gets crazy busy on ND event weekends, so plan for a lengthy stay!

Visited April 2013
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Oak Forest, Illinois
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Good food, but a long wait in line.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

long waits, big crowds says that the food is good. But they really could use to make the place a little bigger. The waitresses are carrying large trays and trying to squeeze through all the tables. Service is slow on busy days of course. Guess it would be better to go on a week day

Visited April 2013
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Clearwater, Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“"The Emporer Has No Clothes"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Side Salad and Coke: $17.10-

I ALWAYS HOPE a new reastaurant will be great so I have another good place to eat- unfortunately that did not happen today.
This is one of those reviews I genuinely hate to write. But I have to be honest.

Rocco's is famous around South Bend. Just in terms of sheer longevity you have to respect the fact that they have been in business since 1951!
They have pictures of some minor celebrities on their walls (Regis Philbin, etc.) and seem to be always busy.
I've never been here before- I had to give them a try.

I LOVE good spaghetti so I ordered that with meat sauce and an extra "snazzy" salad ($4.00) as the waitress called it.
As I waited for my food I noticed that the owner and his wife were at the door greeting everybody, smiling, glad-handing with many of the customers who were clearly regulars and the owners genuinely seem to care about customer service.
The place has genuinely cozy, family friendly feel to it - a real "Mom and Pop" atmosphere.
You can tell this restaurant is their whole life.

I received my salad in due time and was a little disapointed that this $4 extra salad was mostly just lettuce. There were 4 pepperonis on top, 1 tomato wedge, a few carrot shreds and some cheese- but it did not seem to be a $4 extra salad.

As soon as she brought the spaghetti I new it was not going to be very good.
The sauce did not have that dark, rich, thick appearance of good, long-simmered sauce.
It did not smell all that great- no zesty seasonings and garlic wafting up through the steam.
The sauce looked cheap and unremarkable. And so it was.
The sauce tasted tomatoey in a bad way- like Campbells Tomato Soup without the flavor.
I literally picked through the sauce 3 or 4 times with my fork to be sure it WAS in fact MEAT sauce!
The "meat" was such tiny little bits of flavorless "whatever" that I honestly could not tell by tasting that this was supossed to be meat sauce.
All in all, VERY disappointing!
AND expensively disappointing- $17.10 for spaghetti and a salad?
Olive Garden has MUCH better sauce and all you can eat salad or soup and breadsticks for about $5 less!!!
As I ate (because I was hungry!) I thought about the decades of customers who believe this is actually good sauce, who believe that this restaurant has special food!
Maybe this is all they know- maybe they never leave South Bend's city limits.

As I paid the bill ($17.10!), the owner asked how everything was and I managed half a smile and said "Fine".
I generally speak my feelings no matter what when it comes to food and service- but like I said the owner seems like the nicest guy in the world and I couldn't tell him his food wasn't very good.
The place has been here 60 years- they're not gonna change their recipes because I don't like their food, so what would be the point of hurting the guys feelings.
I would be lying though if I said I liked the food- it was not good and I doubt I will ever go back.
When a restaurant becomes a "tradition" or "legendary" or a "landmark" sometimes they start selling something other than good food- sometimes they believe they can just sell "the experience".

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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