Sign up for trip ideas, opportunities to receive prize packs, and more!Sign Up For Email
Indy was named the most ‘Underrated Food City in America’ by Condé Nast Traveler, and for good reason. Indy’s culinary scene is booming, from tried-and-true eateries to some newcomer favorites. And because we know every memorable trip begins and ends with a great meal, we asked locals to vote for 25 locally owned restaurants that best represent Indianapolis. The results are listed below.
St. Elmo Steak House is Indy’s award-winning old-world style restaurant that proves great service and classic cooking methods make for a timeless menu worth visiting again and again.
Photo by: @motherfoodiefairy
Since 1986, Bazbeaux has served signature pizzas with traditional and exotic toppings on handcrafted crusts alongside salads and sandwiches.
Known for: Pizza Alla Quattro Formaggio featuring rich dollops of ricotta cheese, as well as cheddar, mozzarella, bacon, and mushroom. Their house-made creamy basil dressing is a must for any salad.
Drink menu: Several wine and local beer options.
Atmosphere: The downtown, Broad Ripple, and Carmel locations offer vibrant colors indoors and outdoor seating. Be part of the Mass Ave buzz downtown or enjoy the views of the canal through the heart of Broad Ripple and the Monon Trail in Carmel.
Open for: Lunch and dinner
Photo by: @homeispenrose
Martha Hoover’s Café Patachou is a must visit for both the farm-to-table sustainable menu and the impact of food and social change in Indianapolis.
Bru Burger Bar’s chef style and classic burgers, sandwiches, and salads are crafted with bold flavors to satisfy any burger enthusiast’s craving.
Yats keeps Indy’s food scene alive and spicy with fast Cajun and Creole dishes that rotate on and off a daily menu.
Shapiro’s Delicatessen has served sandwiches, soups, and Jewish favorites in downtown Indy since 1905.
Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza is a family-friendly neighborhood pizza place that caters to all appetites.
Mama Carolla’s is a Broad Ripple bungalow-turned-restaurant that serves classic, hearty Italian dishes in a relaxed dining experience that feels like being at your Italian grandmother’s home.
Harry & Izzy’s is the casual version of its sister restaurant St. Elmo that bridges steakhouse with modern American cuisine.
Indy’s oldest neighborhood is home to a daily rotating menu derived from local farms at Bluebeard, named after a Kurt Vonnegut novel.
Photo by: @foodofindy
Horse stable turned Latin-inspired restaurant, Livery relies on bright colors and dark furniture to transform your Indy dining night out into a southwest culinary experience.
The Rathskeller is Indy’s authentic German restaurant and biergarten located inside the historic Athenaeum on Mass Ave.
Photo by: @indianapoliseater
Workingman’s Friend is a cash-only, 21+ establishment that caters to your fried food needs. You may be surprised that the clientele is a mix of downtown businessmen and neighborhood locals, all looking to escape into a plate of onion rings or fries.
Photo by: @_just.jen_
Milktooth, named one of the "best restaurants in the world" by Condé Nast Traveler, is a unique brunch, coffee bar, and cocktail spot that’s worth the wait for a table.
Photo by: @ashleyymcfarland
The modern neighborhood grocery and butcher shop caters to both ambitious home cooks in need of unique and select ingredients and hungry diners who want to bite into crusty bread sandwiches.
Photo by: @ricks_boatyard
Rick's Café Boatyard specializes in seafood, prime steaks, and pastas with inside and outdoor dining overlooking Eagle Creek Reservoir.
Photo by: @caplingersfresh
This family-owned business has more than 125 years experience in the seafood business and serves a variety of fish sandwiches - both grilled and fried - as well as lobster, octopus, calamari, scallops, and more.
Photo by: @snacksnstuffindy
A fast staple with locations on Indy's westside, The Tamale Place takes the hard work out of making masa and wrapping tamales in corn husks.
Photo by: @erik.75
Time hop back to the 1950s at this family-owned Italian restaurant nestled in the Fletcher Place neighborhood.
This South Broad Ripple (SoBro) brunch favorite is the perfect place to start your day.
East Street’s Union 50 is a restaurant and bar fancy enough for date night and casual enough for game night with a group of friends.
Update: Sahm's Tavern and Café has closed since original publish date.
Serving Indianapolis since 1986 through 10 locations across the city, Sahm’s is the comfortable neighborhood restaurant where you feel like part of the family.
Photo by: @djeccles
A legendary, no-frills drive-in restaurant, Mug 'N Bun is a family favorite for anyone on the westside of Indianapolis.
Photo by: @feedmyindy
The northside’s Big Lug Canteen combines the casual atmosphere of your favorite neighborhood restaurant with the quality food and menu items to inspire a night out.
Photo by: @eating.always
Update: Napolese has closed since original publish date.
Napolese Pizzeria takes everything you love about Café Patachou and serves it up as a pizza in a fine dining and farm-fresh approach.