Indianapolis eats! Bars and restaurants highlight Hoosier cuisine
February 3rd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
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Jessica Williams-Gibson writes for the Indianapolis Recorder

Visitors in town for Super Bowl XLVI will get a chance to taste what we Hoosiers get to feast on. Indiana is known for its pork, but our restaurants serve avant garde dishes and cool drinks that can go head to head with any large city.

We do a lot of things well, but many restaurants stand out from the pack with signature food items and drinks. Here are a few downtown restaurants and bars that have menu items that you gotta have.

St. Elmo Steak House
127. S. Illinois St.

St. Elmo Steak House has been a landmark in downtown Indianapolis since 1902, serving steak, seafood and chops to residents and visitors. Named after the patron saint of sailors, the restaurant has earned a national reputation for its exceptional food, drinks and service. As a traditional steak house, diners must order their favorite cut of meat. But before the entree, be sure to sample the restaurant's signature shrimp cocktail, which was ranked by The Travel Channel as the "world's hottest meal." Also this weekend, make sure to take advantage of their award-winning, 20,000-bottle wine cellar and eclectic cocktails inspired by the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts Grille
110 W. Washington St.

Sports fans will absolutely love the Indianapolis Colts Grille. It is said to be the first restaurant connected to the Indianapolis Colts. This food-focused restaurant is more like an upscale sports bar offering creative and flavorful food. Sure, they offer wings, nachos and pork tenderloin sandwiches, however, Indianapolis Colts Grille provides awesome, creative food for hungry fans.

The TV show "Man vs. Food" needs to come to Indy to check out its "Ginormous BLT Double Grilled Cheese Ranch Burger," which is an all-beef half pound burger topped with ranch dressing and stuffed between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. To wash down this or any burger, salad, sandwich or steak, they have approximately 40 draft beers, 32 wines and 32 specialty drinks, sangrias and martinis that pay homage to sports and the city. Try a specialty drink like the XLI, Lucas Oil or Soldiers and Sailors; the Hoosier martini; or the White River litre shot.

Get the rest of the list at

Catch up on all our Super Bowl food madness and read Super Bowl in Indianapolis? Get ready world

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Carn E. Vore

    Obviously some of you can't read. Right at the end of the article there's a hyperlink at the end of a sentence stating "Get the rest of the list at".


    February 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  2. Vol-ume-amatic

    BBQ Heaven...

    February 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  3. Vol-ume-amatic

    No BBQ Heaven? WOW!!

    February 5, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  4. rich

    The Weber Grill Restaurant is right downtown and near the stadium. Best. Grilled. Food. Ever.

    February 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  5. studdmuffins

    As if there will be seats available. Maybe after a 90 min to 2 hr wait but with 80,000 people converging on Indianapolis, the restaurants will be swamped for miles around. Good for a couple days of Indy's economy.

    February 5, 2012 at 6:18 am |
  6. 66Biker

    The absolute best place to eat in Indy is Golden Corral on Emerson Street. It's cheap and greasy. Just like Momma used to make.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  7. tam

    Love Broadripple Brew Pub and for downtown the Old Point Tavern!

    February 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  8. Anon

    great article, covered two whole restaurants in the entire city! Indy sounds like a great place to visit for half a day!

    February 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  9. IndyResident

    I can't believe one of my fellow Indy residents even mentioned Buca di Beppo. Why on earth would you talk about that chain of crap restaurant when this city boasts The Milano Inn, Iaria's, Mama Carolla's, Amici's, Capri, Amalfi's, and many others. You might as well have said to check out the Fazolis.

    February 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  10. L

    It's been a while since I lived in Indy, but I second The Rathskeller. Also, I always loved The Iron Skillet on the west side. For a bar, the Slippery Noodle Inn has always been fun.

    February 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  11. Bill

    St. Elmo's is horrible, never had so much grissle in an overpriced steak. The waiters were incredibly rude.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • amax

      Let's be fair Bill. St. Elmo's is not terrible. It's a very good restaurant with some of the best waiters anywhere. It is a bit of tourist attraction and certainly not the best, but always a classic and a fun time. Too bad you got gristle. And since this article seems very short on the subject, don't forget the always first-rate quality food of Shapiros and so many more good restaurants. check out far more at this cool websiite....

      February 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • Erin in Indy

        thanks for the shout out!

        February 5, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Bruce Webb

        My 83 year old Mom is a sixth generation Hoosier, fourth generation born there with another two immigrants from Virginia moving to what was appropriately known as Indian-a. Though my ancestors took care of that by killing or evicting actual Native Americans and cutting down all the trees to plant corn. (visitors to N Indiana hardly believing a squirrel could travel from modern Ohio to Illinois without touching ground). And my grandmother was an excellent cook of Hoosier food, hmm, hmm, I have fond memories from my various stints in Noblesville (just N of Indy). But truth be told it is just a northern version of Southern comfort food that works on the principle that any food is improved by cooking (and over cooking) in lard or other saturated oils and having the resulting product liberally topped with salt and butter. Good for you if you spent your days working the farm with a horse drawn plow, but near deadly for anyone born after 1950.

        Real Hoosiers know good food.and you get it at the all you can eat cafeteria/buffet off I-I whatever or in that local cafe that specializes in pork tenderloin sandwiches (which share only a word with beef tenderloin) or chicken-fried steak (which similarly would not be recognized as 'steak' at Morton's or Delmonico's. I love Hoosier home cooking bit it is telling that most commenters here are recommending Italian, Irish, or Scottish restaurants (except maybe for that restaurant in Westfield). Because while I would put Central Indiana up against anyone if you wanted to have Thanksgiving Dinner with ALL the trimmings including three dressings, two cranberry sauces, and four types of pie. and then watch the Lions or Cowboys on TV, well except for nasty looks from your cardiologist, there is nothing better. But any fine dining is recent and/or imported Because from 40 years ago back to pioneer days Hoosiers were either farmers or later factory workers. Both populations which believed in heaping plates. Smothered in salty gravy and butter or both. Now that's eatin'

        February 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • Bill

        appearantly you have never eaten at a real staek house. Indianapolis is also is dump.

        February 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  12. chemmajor

    Is there real food available anywhere in the Midwest? Super Bowl crowds tend to be multicultural and cosmopolitan. That does not mean a gringo burrito served in a Japanese restaurant run by Nigerians in an Irish neighborhood.

    February 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  13. TheLeftCoast

    Any organice restaurants there?

    February 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  14. IndyFoodie

    If you are interested in reading about the *truly* good restaurants in Indy (there are a lot), try Erin Day's blog:

    February 4, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Erin in Indy

      thanks for the mention! I appreciate it. And I am happy to make recommendations to anyone looking for good food in Indy!

      February 5, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  15. curlykat

    what about classic indy spots? my fav mann's

    February 4, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  16. Greg

    The Meridian is personally my favorite restaurant in Indy. Black Market has food that's hit or miss, but great atmosphere. The Goose Market has to be mentioned here as well – amazing sandwiches. For some reason, I've gotten addicted to Revolucion tacos in fountain square. Meaty bites of goodness mixed in with a swig of your favorite beer.

    February 4, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  17. Oz

    Black market is a great gastrpub, bru burger is new but fantastic and also like r bistro. All are on mass ave. a short walk from the heart of downtown.

    February 4, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  18. JMVJY

    I'll second the vote for Shapiro's. I can't believe that the reporter didn't mention this Indy favorite. That's the one place that we always have to visit when we're in town.

    February 4, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  19. augustghost

    Also Bucca de Bepo great italian food with huge portions and the atmosphere in there is awesome

    February 4, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Anon

      wow you guys have a Buca di Beppo in Indy too?!!!

      February 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • soul68

      There's this great Scottish restaurant in Indy.... Mc... McDougals...McDonnels.... I can't remember the name.. big yellow arches..... that's what you want to look for.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  20. augustghost

    The" santorini kitchen" on prospect street is truely authentic greek food...highlt recommend

    February 4, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  21. john

    Asian Diet Food
    Such a nice article which i never read in my life.I am really happy to see here.Please keep on sharing with us such great articles.

    February 4, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  22. Allie

    Check out Keltoe's in Westfield. Just a short trip from Indy. They have exceptional food. I would know having eaten at 3 star Michelin restaurants throughout the country. Trust me on this one.

    February 4, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Allie

      Keltie's* my bad.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  23. Sally

    Welcome to Indy... I suggest one our wonderful chain restaurants in the countless strip malls throughout the metro area

    February 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Chris

      As a former resident of Indianapolis, nothing could be more true. I like how someone above suggested Bucco De Beppo. Hysterical.

      February 4, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  24. sybaris

    Why would you try to hit one of those places NOW?

    February 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  25. Bill

    Indy offers so much more beyond steak. Go to 86ht street for Oakley's Bistro – my pick for the city's best restaurant. There is R Bistro, Capri, Mana Corrollas. Oh, and for the oldest active brewery in Indiana, go to the Broad Ripple Brew Pub!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  26. Hungry

    St. Elmo's is overpriced indigestion for people who don't know any better. Indianapolis has plenty of great places to eat for those who are adventurous enough to look for them!

    February 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  27. Andrew

    St. Elmos is overrated and overpriced.

    Yats, MacNivens, Bazbeaux, Bourbon St. Distillery, Shapiros, Mama Carollas, are all unique to Indianapolis and have great food to match the prices (Yats and the Distillery are SO CHEAP!!!). You really can't go wrong with them.

    Bars- The Chatterbox, MacNivens, Whistle Stop, The Distillery, Slippery Noodle are all great places to check out that aren't too commercial. The Claddagh is always a great time.

    For cougar hunting, hit up Ike and Jonesys.

    Nicky Blaine's is cool, but be prepared to spend a lot of money there.

    Broad Ripple bars: Avoid Brothers. Chumley's and the Wellington are great. If you don't mind carrying cash, definitely go to the Alley Cat- perenially voted one of the best dive bars in the country. Closes at 3am, opens at 6am.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      you pretty much should have wrote this column as you definitely have a handle on the Indy restaurants. In agreement 100%

      February 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • IHEG


        February 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dave in Indy

      Another Hoosier glad to agree – this person knows what they're talking about (I'd add Peterson's in the far northeast corner of the city – but I think this is intended to be a list of restaurants close to the city center).

      February 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Geoff

      The biggest thing is to know what atmosphere you are looking for. I knew what Nicky Blaines was and went as an after dinner lounge. There are also some great spots down on Mass ave but it has been too long since I've been to remember the names.

      February 5, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  28. JB

    Bazbeaux, Claddagh, any of the brewpubs (Ram, Alcatraz, Rock Bottom) Redeye Cafe was great downtown, I haven't been there since it moved.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  29. Jon

    They didn't even mention a "bar". There are plenty of great places to visit when they are near the Super Bowl Village. Howl at the Moon is always a good time and if you are looking for a good German bar hit the Rathskeller up great beer and a good time.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Dave in Indy

      YES! A great bar (restaurant a little less great ... ) – IMO the best all around bar atmosphere in the city.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  30. Sal " MO " Nella

    Last time I ate at ST. Elmo's in Indy I was on the terlit all the live long day.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dobie

      I've eaten there, and thoroughly enjoyed it every time. I have never had a bad experience there.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  31. Dahllywood

    You only picked 2 restaurants? Shapiro's, Oceanaire, mama carolla's, rathskeller, bazbeaux are all Delicious!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      The rest of the list is linked at

      February 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  32. Charlie

    Don't miss Shapiro's Deli. There are several locations, but the one downtown at 808 S Meridian St., is within walking distance of "the Big Game"!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
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