IndyStar’s Guide to Food and Dining in the Indianapolis Area

It’s been tough for all of us since March 2020. The Indianapolis food scene has held up better than many other markets, but we still lost some favorites during the pandemic.

Things are improving, however, with sporting events such as March Madness and the Indianapolis 500 fans and dining options at restaurants near the stadiums.

Popular hamburger and chicken salad restaurant chains (yes, that’s one thing) are finding the Indianapolis area attractive, and locally owned places that had been temporarily closed are coming back online.

We know you want to keep going out and supporting restaurants and eating great food. We are here to help you. With news on new restaurant openings and expansions and even a chance to say goodbye when longtime restaurants decide it’s time to go out of business.

We will update throughout the summer, so be sure to come back.

If there’s a place you can’t wait to open, let us know.

– Cheryl V. Jackson, food and beverage journalist for IndyStar. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.


Opening of 6 restaurants in the Indianapolis area in June: We’re getting new places for tacos, steaks, and Hawaiian food in the Indianapolis area next month. Residents of Castleton will see a new delivery-only option.

Tinker Street’s new menu is mind blowing: The popular Herron-Morton Place restaurant and wine bar, 21 and over, closed for on-site service since March 2020, reopened on May 18. The new menu includes carrot gnocchi, chickpea ravioli, ricotta fritters and cornbread for dessert.

This is where you should eat at Speedway on Indy 500 race day and beyond: If you’re looking for a place to eat – before, during or after the Indy 500 – we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of places to get your pork tenderloin, burgers, and more around Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day. Here’s where to eat on race day, depending on your mood.

Try these authentic Mexican restaurants around Indianapolis: Mexican cuisine is still popular. And although there are many places serving cuisine, people are increasingly interested in foods that are as close as possible to those prepared in the country. Check out these places for some of the most authentic Mexican food in the Indianapolis area.

Here’s what to expect at the Wahlberg brothers’ restaurant and bar: Wahlburgers, the full-service restaurant and bar chain run by chef Paul Wahlberg and artist brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, has opened in Carmel. There’s no doubt that he has what it takes to attract Blockheads and those who haven’t grown up listening to Donnie Wahlberg’s New Kids on the Block or Mark’s Funky Bunch.

Chicken Salad Chick Classic Carol Chicken Salad

5 restaurant openings around Indianapolis in May: Places for Pakistani food, fruit dipped in chocolate and healthier meals are in the spotlight as new restaurants plan to debut in May. We even plan to serve an emotional dinner and performances under one roof.

These Indianapolis dishes contain 3, 4 or even 6 local ingredients in each bite: It’s a victory for foodies when local food businesses support each other. Some of the best dishes on the menus offer a taste of several local foods in one bite. Here is a look at a few to try.

5 restaurants that (re) open in Indianapolis in April: From California coast getaways to supportive venues to play in Midtown, a batch of restaurant openings in the area this month offer quite a diverse experience. Damn, one place will offer dozens of specialties and maybe spark some innovation on your part.

Where to eat near some Indianapolis sports venues: Indianapolis restaurants near Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Indiana Fairground are ready to feed the fans.

What are black chefs up to around Indianapolis up to? : Over the past year, there has been increased interest in identifying and patronizing black-owned businesses to help strengthen black communities economically. Here are over 50 places to try.


Lil Dumplings is moving from Fishers Test Kitchen to downtown Indianapolis: Owner and chef Carlos Salazar is moving from the Fishers Test Kitchen to The Garage Food Hall in the Bottleworks district. With the move, slated for late August, Salazar changes the focus of Lil Dumplings from a Filipino-inspired kitchen to a noodle bar, with VIP seating.

Another Shake Shack is coming to Indianapolis this year: Soon, Indy Mall shoppers can hang Shack Shack. Keystone Fashion Mall hosts a Shake Shack in its food court.

Beloved Peppy Grill in Fountain Square is moving to a new location: Peppy Grill, a seven-decade staple in Fountain Square that has hosted hordes of late-night revelers looking for “hamburgs” or breakfast, is leaving its location along the historic Virginia Avenue corridor. Here is what we know.

The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe has closed: After 18 years, the Legend Classic Irvington Cafe has closed for good. The last day for the family spot in the Irvington neighborhood was April 30.

Pizza, salads and coffee at the AMP food hall: AMP, the 40,000-square-foot European-style marketplace located at 1220 Waterway Blvd., will eventually feature food, drink and produce from local retailers across seven restaurant stalls, 14 shipping containers, an open bar. air and full service restaurant.

Donatello’s in downtown Carmel has closed permanently: Co-founders Patrick and Beth Aasen are retiring. The Aasens, along with their son Adam, opened the restaurant in 2010. Patrick Aasen was the chef / owner of Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano, now closed, and had been chef at Macri’s Italian Village. Beth Aasen gives up baking, ordering alcohol, serving tables and cooking in restaurants.

Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles is leaving her longtime home on East Street: The family-run soul food restaurant, which has been located at 132 N. East St. since its founding in 2008, moved to the first-floor stall suite that housed Circle City Sweets and Circle City Soups at 222 E. Street Building of the market.

Chain offering ten kinds of chicken salad opening 4 restaurants in Indianapolis: Get ready for a deluge of chicken salad. Chicken Salad Chick is opening four quick and casual restaurants in the Indianapolis area, bringing with it a dozen flavors of chicken salad.

Remember some of the Indianapolis restaurants lost in 2020: Indianapolis diners have had to say goodbye to a slew of restaurants this year, from a chain of sports bars owned by a Super Bowl-winning Colt to a 109-year-old stew restaurant. Most have linked their disappearance to the coronavirus pandemic.


Speedway restaurants delighted to welcome racing fans once again: After a day of fanless racing in 2020, Speedway companies are eager to serve Indy 500 spectators.

How Mexican restaurants in Indianapolis prepare for one of the busiest days of the year: 2021 marked the first Cinco de Mayo with local restaurants open for food service since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally Grown Gardens has put Monon station on the map. Now the disease has closed its doors: People approaching Ron Harris to greet and chat with the friendly, easy-going reggae enthusiast in his shop have been stable recently. Harris has operated since 2008 Locally Grown Gardens, a hybrid produce stand and restaurant in Midtown, which prepares dinners with salmon, roast pork in front of the building, and baked apple and sugar cream pies in the back.

Friends remember St. Elmo bartender Michael Gaines: Colleagues remember the bartender who served at St. Elmo Steak House for 16 years as a man who always smiled, loved music, and loved a lot of jokes inside with different people. Michael Gaines was very present at the restaurant and was usually located behind the upstairs bar in St. Elmo.

Embracing tradition or finding their own way, black chefs go beyond soul in Indy: While soul food remains popular, some African American chefs are shifting the tradition towards soul food fusion, or making their mark in entirely different cuisines.

The new Modita restaurant in Mass Ave. will give Indy “something he’s never tasted”: This Asian atmosphere that emanates from Mass Ave. is courtesy of a new restaurant allowing customers to taste the mainland via dim sum, sushi, noodles and rice and dishes made with an old style of Japanese grilling.

Food entrepreneurship accelerator Melon Kitchen will operate a ghost kitchen in 16 Tech's AMP food hall.

How Indy-area restaurants that rebounded from COVID closures weathered the pandemic: In March 2020, Indiana closed restaurants due to COVID. Here’s how some establishments have bounced back from the closures and how they continue to adapt.

The pandemic is causing a boom of new pizzerias in Indianapolis: Pizza has worked well in these COVID times. But a lot of pizza enthusiasm in Indianapolis has been around the brands born in people’s homes during the pandemic. You can find these pies everywhere, from brick and mortar stores to pop-ups to porches.

What a program looks like to help black and Latino chefs run ‘pandemic-proof’ virtual restaurants: A new culinary program aims to create more black and Latin food entrepreneurs with virtual restaurants. The Melon Kitchen Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator will support delivery-oriented businesses through a ghost kitchen in the 40,000 square foot AMP food hall in 16 Tech Innovation District.

1 in 5 restaurants in Indiana closed during the pandemic, according to an industry report: Indiana has lost more than one in 5 restaurants since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and state operators say even more are at risk of closing in the next six months.

This Mass Ave cocktail bar in Indianapolis, a bistro run by 3 generations of Thai women: Bodhi: Craft Bar & Thai Bistro will serve Asian-inspired cocktails as well as Thai cuisine. It will be operated by three generations of Thai women.

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