"Best of Indy--Local Restaurants" Top 5 Page for this destination Indiana Travelogue by pabertra
Indiana Travel Guide: 2,582 reviews and 5,705 photos
This "second generation" Gourmet Cafe and Wine Bar is a historic renovation gem. The century old 2-story building is located in downtown Indianapolis' Massachusetts Avenue arts district, an active corridor of galleries, theaters, shops, restaurants, and bars.
Whether it be for lunch, dinner, late night desserts or their Champagne Sunday Brunch, at the Scholars Inn, it?s all about having a great time while you dine.
In a nutshell, Scholars Inn Gourmet Cafe and Wine Bar is eclectic (menu mix of influences), gourmet (staples from meatloaf to chops prepared uniquely), art (food presentation, atmosphere), and value (entrees $13 - $36 including starch and vegetable; not a la carte). Further add hard working employees, an award winning wine list and a fun, unpretentious setting and you get one of the best locally owned restaurants in Indianapolis.
Well this is Indy's best known restaurant. Conventioneers and tourists flock to experience this upscale Chicago style steakhouse that is just as famous for its steak as it is for the succulent shrimp cocktail. St. Elmo has been a landmark since 1902 and through the years has found itself in a prime location in the Wholesale District amongst other trendy and high end restaurants.
Through much of its history, St. Elmo was considered a dining bastion for men. It was, and still is, a place where salesmen and tycoons came to seal the deal, where attorneys and politicians strategized and plotted, where coaches and players celebrated wins and lamented losses, where celebrities came to unwind from a show.
Today you can still hobknob with the who's who of Indy and tons of tourists while enjoying the most famous steakhouse in Indy.
NOTE:This is not my favorite steakhouse in Indy, that distinction would go to Sullivan's, but it is the best Indianapolis original steakhouse.
This family owned restaurant was established in 1912, but a recent shift in the power grid closed the doors temporarily. With the fourth generation securely at the reins, the secret family recipes that made Iaria's popular are flowing out of the kitchen again. You'll find locals working their spoons and forks in heaping mounds of Iaria's classic spaghetti and meatballs, while lapping up the famous sauce with huge hunks of fresh Italian bread. Make sure to get the full experience including a delightful dish of spumoni for dessert! Also if you are trying to do a little star watching this may be your place, hundreds of celebrities have dined here and make special stops here when they are in town. Want proof? Autographed pictures line the walls in the bar. This restaurant was recently featured on Food Network's Best of Family Restaurants Show.
Don't be fooled by the simple appearance, Yats serves up the best cajun/ creole in town for an unbelievable $5 a plate. The atmosphere is tacky over the top Mardi Gras style and the food is served on a styrofoam plate with plastic silverware, but people keep coming back to get their fill of this no frills cajun cooking. All meals are served with delicious crusty bread and can be topped off with your choice of hot sauce.
Menu items change daily and include things like Chile Cheese Etoufee, Pazole Stew, Gumbo, Maque Choux, and Red Beans and Rice.
This is another Indy original you'll absolutely adore!
Bazbeaux's Pizza combines eclectic flavors and ingredients from around the world. It became the first in the state to offer a whole wheat crust, exotic toppings and freshly prepared sausage. Housed in a 150-year-old historic building, the downtown Bazbeaux is a bit upscale though it maintains a casual vibe. Medieval Italian murals line the walls, while local photographs decorate the wine cellar. Consistently voted the best pizza in Indianapolis, Bazbeaux's highlights include the Garden Pizza (a vegetarian's dream with artichoke hearts, avocado, spinach, green pepper, black olives and ricotta), the Pizza Alla Quattro Formaggio (delighting cheese aficionados with cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, bacon and mushrooms) and the American-style BBQ Pizza (featuring Deb Berman's homemade BBQ sauce, barbequed chicken or shrimp, green peppers, onions and cheddar). Bazbeaux's also offers a hefty selection of antipastos, salads and baguette sandwiches.
Cafe Patachou serves high-quality, made-to-order and made-from-scratch gourmet breakfast and lunch items in a unique atmosphere. Enjoy a menu that includes award-winning three-egg omelets, thick slabs of homemade cinnamon toast, homemade chicken salad and a rotating selection of homemade soups. The cafe was featured in Bon Appetit's neighborhood restaurant's issue as one of the 10 Best Places to Have Breakfast. It also consistently wins local awards like the best place to get caught with Sunday afternoon bedhead.
Eagle Creek Reservoir serves as the backdrop for this spacious jazz and seafood hot spot where magnificent sunsets are a nightly occurrence. On the inside, Rick's whitewashed wood interior and breezy open floor will make you feel almost as if you're dining in La Jolla, not Indy.
The hefty menu boasts a large selection of surf and turf entrees, steaks and pasta dishes. Brunch is a popular option on weekends when the stroller set and yuppie crowds all vie for an outside table. If you strike out, regulars say the indoor/outdoor bar featuring Souza martinis and margaritas on tap can help to heal the rejected. A roster of Indy jazz musicians play nightly, taking the stage around 8PM (music starts at noon on Saturdays), which is a good thing in case you are still singing the ''can't see the reservoir blues.''
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