The Runcible Spoon has been around since the 1970s and, like the Bloomington locals and Indiana University students who frequent this cute coffeehouse, it has grown and matured through the years. Just a block off the busy Kirkwood Avenue main strip of bars and shops, the Runcible Spoon feels worlds away thanks to a location tucked into a quieter, mostly residential street. In the summertime, the gorgeous flower-strewn patio blooms into a colorful oasis for al fresco dining; when the weather is cold, the cozy dining room feels like hanging out in a favorite pub or independent bookstore.
Full of basic breakfast, brunch and lunch fare, the menu details eggs, pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, salads and soups (most items reasonably priced at $5 to $10). The biscuits and gravy, the eggs Benedict variations and the corned beef hash ($6.50, plus $2 to add on a couple of cooked-to-order eggs) get consistently good reviews, although we were a little thrown to discover the potatoes in the hash mashed instead of cubed. We also found the hash slightly dry; breaking a runny egg yolk over the top improved matters somewhat. Disappointingly, the standard drip coffee is nothing to write home about; java enthusiasts might be better off to order a latte or a cappuccino.
The college student waitstaff is efficient, if not overly warm, and the food is decent. It’s the charming atmosphere and sense of local tradition that make the Runcible Spoon worth visiting.