6 Best Restaurants in Indianapolis

With a population of almost a million people, Indianapolis has a plethora of intriguing things for visitors to do and see. Whenever you visit somewhere new, or return to a favorite place, one of the first things you want to explore is the food. Good food will give you the measure of a city like nothing else will. When you’re in Indianapolis and have a craving, be it for Italian or a cut of steak, try one of these best restaurants.

St. Elmo Steakhouse

Image via Flickr by gnutar

This restaurant has made more than a few “Best of Indy” lists during its tenure at 127 Illinois St. St. Elmo Steakhouse is a sophisticated location bringing delicious cuts of filet mignon and other favorites to the table. The upstairs 1933 lounge is perfect for your after dinner drink. Expect white tablecloths and impeccable customer service.


Though also a steakhouse, CharBlue is the opposite of St. Elmo Steakhouse. CharBlue is a totally modern atmosphere, with picture windows and a creative menu. Your entrée comes with either Alligator Gumbo or Caesar Salad, and while you can get traditional steak cuts and seafood options, you can also get clever appetizers and sides like lobster pops and sweet potato soufflé.

Cafe Patachou

Cafe Patachou has several locations across Indianapolis. This “student union for adults” has a menu full of omelets, granolas, sandwiches, and salads. It’s a combination of comfort food and healthy food; you’ll find salads full of delicious green things, vegan omelets filled with beans and tofu, and some truly decadent offerings like Apple Fritter Cinnamon’ed “French” Toast.

Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant

This 1920s-style restaurant has traditional Italian dishes in a stunning atmosphere. A big wine menu, upscale versions of your favorite Italian foods, and a gorgeous garden all contribute to this romantic setting. This is the perfect date night restaurant before you head back to your Indianapolis hotel with your sweetheart. Under no circumstances should you leave without trying the tiramisu.


Festiva is exactly what it sounds like: an exciting Mexican restaurant with delicious food, good drinks, and affordable prices. Find favorites like quesadillas, build your own tacos out of ingredients like zucchini and chicken, or go for an entrée of snapper filet with tomatoes, potatoes, and olives. Festiva is usually only a dinner place, but Sunday brunch is worth a visit, especially since you can get a Bloody Mary pitcher.

The Loft at Trader’s Point Creamery

This farm-to-table restaurant is at an actual creamery which produces its own dairy products. Some of the ingredients come from the restaurant’s garden, and others are sourced locally. With a transparent supply chain and a rotating menu, this is the perfect spot for people who love local, organic food. You’ll always find artisan cheese and fresh produce, no matter what’s on the menu.

Starting or ending your day in Indianapolis with any of these restaurants will put a smile on your face. Always plan to seek out great food that the city is known for when you visit Indianapolis.

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