4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2013 8:32 PM by Donivan Porterfield

    Best Restaurants & Watering Holes in Indianapolis

    Christopher McCarthy

      As we gear up for the 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in a few weeks, do any Indy locals or foodies who've visited the city before have advice on great places to eat and drink?

        • Re: Best Restaurants & Watering Holes in Indianapolis
          Christopher McCarthy

          The following tips came in via Twitter:

           

           

          • Re: Best Restaurants & Watering Holes in Indianapolis
            Robert Pribush

            Within 5 minutes of the convention center, Ram and Rock Bottom are two of my downtown favorites for beer.  Granite City just opened last Wednesday, and I was also impressed by it.

            • Re: Best Restaurants & Watering Holes in Indianapolis
              Donivan Porterfield

              I found the following when trying to locate some information on one of the properties for the Indianapolis meeting:

               

               

              Dining & Bars

               

              Wholesale District 

               

              The Wholesale District is Indianapolis' bustling city center, so amongst all the big-draw attractions are littered numerous exciting food and drink options both historic and not so historic. The Slippery Noodle Inn is as historic as they come. In operation since 1850, it's seen never a dull moment, and continues to win awards of excellence as both a bar and restaurant and a live blues venue. A few blocks south is Shapiro's Delicatessen, a vibrant slice of Indy like not other. Diners grab a tray and line up at the counter to bellow their orders at the staff. Pastrami on rye is a classic done absolutely right, but here (unlike at similar delis in New York) it's not about tourists ordering "classics," it's about locals ordering the comfort food they love. So you'll hear requests for "beef stew... and a hamburger bun," and they'll warm your heart. 

               

              Closer to the commercial heart of the neighborhood, chains big and small, regional and otherwise, dot the landscape, from White Castle and Steak n Shake to Le Peep, Morton'sand the Weber Grill. Liquor stores are few and far between in this neck of the woods, so if you're looking for a bottle of bubbly or a six pack of local beer to bring back to the hotel, head straight for John's Fine Wine & Spirits, a modest storefront with a killer selection. 

               

               

              Mass Ave 

               

              From the southwest end of diagonal Massachusetts Avenue to the northeast, every single block boasts a dining or drinking destination. First up is Bazbeaux Pizza, an absolute institution known for its crusty pies and laid-back vibes. The next block's big winner is the Old Point Tavern, a corner watering hole in a flatiron-style building with plenty of patio seating, plenty of cheap drinks, and plenty of heartwarming pub grub. Further up is the world-famous Rathskeller, a multifaceted German-themed restaurant, bar and all-around hot spot in the cellar of a striking building designed by Kurt Vonnegut, Sr. and friends. 

               

              Next up is Yats, an exemplar of perfectly tuned simplicity. Yats serves Cajun-creole food, with few bells and whistles. Food is ordered up front and picked up at a pick-up window. The menu is a sparse one, different everyday, scrawled on a chalkboard by the front door. Five items tops, with maybe a couple extra for vegetarians. Everything is a stew or a curry and everything is served over rice with a hunk of crunchy bread on the side. No alcohol. It's the bare minimum, but sweetly so. The food warms the heart and soul, and you're in and out in a flash. The next block up is home to the Chatham Tap, an inviting British-style pub with a lengthy beer list and authentic eats. 

               

              And finally, at the apex of such a happening drag, there is R Bistro. Chef Regina Mehallick loves to innovate, bringing wild new ingredients and daring preparations to the Indianapolis dining scene. From warm goat-cheese salads to crispy goat-meat tacos, everything's just fresh enough to warrant a curious taste. And for dessert, naturally, lemon sorbet topped with a shot of Campari. Mass Ave in a nutshell: zesty and exciting. 

               

               

              Fountain Square 

               

              The Fountain Square Theatre Building alone houses a variety of eateries. Shelbi Street Cafe & Bistro is a good place to start, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, all bistro-style staples with the occasional bit of fancy thrown in for good measure (think Grand Marnier sauce on the French toast). The Fountain Dineris a throwback to the soda fountains of the 1950s. If you've got a special occasion to celebrate, reserve the whole place for a sundae party! At Smokehouse on Shelby, it's all about the ribs. St. Louis-style ribs to be exact, to be consumed alongside a cold beer and followed by a game of pool. 

               

               

              Lockerbie Square 

               

              Lockerbie Square is a quiet, pleasant little old neighborhood, but that doesn't preclude it from being home to a raucous dive bar and some of the best fine dining in the city. Lockerbie Pub is that dive bar, and they traffic in live music, greasy eats, cheap beer and good conversation. Around the way is Amici's Italian Restaurant, famous for home-style Italian meals and its true neighborhood spirit. Chef Josie's chicken livers are perfection on a plate, and her pizzas are maybe the best in the Midwest. She even sells handmade jewelry, much of which is truly dazzlin'. 

               

               

              Broad Ripple 

               

              As a suburban cultural center, Broad Ripple has its share of fine dining. And as a renowned party spot, it has a heap of beer parlors to choose from as well. Brugge Brasserie is a little bit of both. The kitchen delivers Belgian specialties like frites and crepes, and there's plenty of beer to wash it all down. Here, it's beer of the Belgian variety as well -- heavy on sour notes and fruity flavors. For something more familiar, Broad Ripple Brew Pub has American-style microbrews and all the burgers and sandwiches you can eat. 

               

               

              Little Mexico 

               

              It's something of an accepted axiom that the Midwest is devoid of good Mexican food. Little Mexico begs to differ. La Posada Mexican Food is a humble little hole-in-the-wall taqueria, but it serves up the real thing. Both the carne asada and chorizo are as choice as anything in even the famed burritos of San Francisco's Mission District. For dessert, pick up a bag of cookies at Mama Ines Mexican Bakery.