Indianapolis Monthly

Restaurant GUIDE



Recently opened establishment.

Open for more than five months but making its first appearance in the guide.

Recently revisited and reevaluated.

Restaurants included in this guide are selected at the discretion of the Indianapolis Monthly editorial staff based on food quality, innovation, atmosphere, service, value, and consistency. IM does not accept advertising or other compensation in exchange for dining coverage. Price symbols indicate the average cost of a meal per person (without tax, tip, or alcohol). Due to limited space, this list does not cover every evaluated restaurant. For a more comprehensive guide to Indianapolis dining, visit Feedback? Please email


INCLUDES Fletcher Place, Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Mile Square

Amberson Coffee & Grocer

COFFEEHOUSE The cinderblock shell of a former service station houses this neighborhood coffee spot with grocery cases, outdoor seating under the awning, and a drive-up window. In addition to expertly poured vanilla-date lattes and a signature Summer Dandy with Onyx Coffee Ecuadorian espresso, plum reduction, and oat cream sweetened with maple syrup, the shop offers a small daily selection of baked goods, like a tasty “bisquet” grilled up with fig jam and butter, and a scone enriched with Asian pears and maple. Heartier fare comes in the form of an avocado toast topped with goat cheese crumbles or an equally fine toast with ricotta and poached nectarines. 401 S. College Ave., 562-293-8962,


PIZZA We haven’t forgotten where we first found artichoke hearts and goat cheese on our ’za. Bazbeaux has changed little since 1986, when it opened in Broad Ripple, and it hasn’t really needed to. Flat crust baked crunchy. Toppings you won’t find at Domino’s, like pine nuts and prosciutto. And the cheese—mounds of mozzarella blended with provolone and pecorino. 333 Massachusetts Ave., 317-636-7662,


CONTEMPORARY A former car-repair shop sets the stage for daring performance art that has featured pig-skin noodles and granita-topped uni designed to melt on the tongue, as well as buttermilk fried chicken with wildflower honey. The labor-intensive cocktails are smart and spot-on. 1844 E. 10th St., 317-419-3471,


CONTEMPORARY Bluebeard opened in 2012, and crowds still roll in for chef Abbi Merriss’s take on seasonal comfort food, a category she dominates in town as evidenced by her vast collection of national media mentions. Start with the bread baked next door at Amelia’s—it’s especially delicious slathered with anchovy butter—and build your meal from the everchanging menu of small and large dishes. Fried morels may show up on a spring picnic plate, while winter nights call for a comforting butcher-shop Bolognese. For a special-occasion meal, rent out the private upper-level dining room. 653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580,

The Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe

TURKISH This cozy, colorful cafe in the Holy Rosary neighborhood has been one of our most consistent ethnic restaurants, introducing local diners to the aromatic cuisine of the Middle East, Greece, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Silky, tahini-rich hummus is a must, alongside exemplary falafel, creamy eggplant salsa, and borek—buttery phyllo stuffed with feta and parsley. 935 S. East St., 317-974-1770,

Bru Burger Bar

GOURMET BURGERS The patties combine sirloin, chuck, and brisket and are paired with craft beers in a stylish spot off the Cultural Trail. The signature Bru Burger reinvents the bacon cheeseburger with Taleggio, sweet tomato jam, and porter-braised onions. 410 Massachusetts Ave., 317-635-4278,

Cafe Patachou

CAFE The original Meridian-Kessler “student union for adults” continues to draw in the morning crowds and has inspired citywide offshoots, such as this sleek downtown location, a huge hit with the business and weekend hordes alike. The cinnamon toast remains as thick as a brick; the produce is still locally sourced; the massive omelets continue to have cheeky names; and the broken-yolk sandwiches are a perennial lunch favorite. 225 W. Washington St., 317-632-0765,

The Capital Grille

CLASSIC A theme of rich decadence permeates this downtown steakhouse adjoining the equally posh Conrad hotel, from the gilded-framed pastoral paintings that hang on its dark-paneled walls to the selection of elaborate steaks (one of them drenched in a Courvoisier cream sauce, another sauced with aged balsamic—and some of them dry-aged). The servers are exquisite, of course. 40 W. Washington St., 317-423-8790,

Chatham Tap Restaurant & Pub

PUB GRUB This energetic establishment with a vibrant, pleasantly hectic interior blurs the line between neighborhood pub and restaurant. On any given game day (or morning), footie fans crowd around the TVs, enjoying pub grub washed down with a pint (or two) of beer. The fish sandwich—a fresh filet blackened with lemon-pepper seasoning and served inside housemade bread—lives up to the hype. The range of burgers includes a highly regarded black-bean version as well as The Heartstopper, two burgers topped with three cheeses, mushrooms, bacon, and a fried egg. 719 Massachusetts Ave., 917-8425,

Chuck’s Coney Island

CHEAP EATS Natives of Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan will wax nostalgic at the offerings from Detroit native Charles Lovelady’s hot dog walk-up. He and son Charles Jr. even drive up to the Motor City every few weeks to load up on authentic chili for their Coneys and piled-high cheese fries. But don’t discount the pair’s original creations, such as the three-cheese Boom Bang Burger layered with corned beef on Texas toast. Seating is limited, so be prepared to make off with your bounty. 2932 E. 10th St., 317-426-4945


LATIN FUSION Food truck–style fusion in the form of General Tso’s chicken tacos and char siu pork burritos are some of the tasty globally influenced choices at this counter-service spot. Breakfast scrambles and pastries from such local sources as Saraga International Market start the day alongside espresso drinks. Street-food favorites, such as beef and chorizo empanadas, “flaming hot” corn-and-mayo elotes, and Korean-inspired bulgogi nachos, make great choices for lunch. 43 E. 9th St., 317-426-4392,

Condado Tacos

TACOS This flashy Mass Ave outpost of the Ohio-based chain offers a paper menu of build-your-own taco options, from tortilla to sauces. Customers fill in the dots next to their preferred fixings, like the Firecracker hard shell, the housemade chorizo, and the Thai chili tofu. 530 Massachusetts Ave., 317-222-5999,

Conner’s Kitchen + Bar

CONTEMPORARY At this relaxed restaurant inside the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, a glowing wall of alcohol separates the dining room from the bar, and deep, all-seasons sofas made for lounging sit on the sidewalk-side patio. Cocktails like the Prickly Pear Margarita and the Peppered Paloma elevate after-work drinks, and a simple upscale-casual menu focuses on chopped salads and basic dishes done well, like a grilled five-cheese sandwich and a little pail of black-truffle potato chips too addictively light and crispy to share. Whatever dish you choose for weekend brunch, it calls for cereal milk–infused cocktails garnished with Cocoa Puffs. 350 W. Maryland St., 317-405-6100,

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