An Orr Fellow’s Guide to Indy’s Food Scene
Known as a sports city or affectionately as “Naptown,” when you think of Indianapolis the first thing to come to mind probably isn’t the food. But if you know where to look, Indy is full of hidden gems. Whether you enjoy international cuisine, American food, or a trendy brewery Indianapolis has it all. Here are a few local spots that Fellows recommend.
- Location: 902 E 64th St.
- Price Point: $10-$15
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Warm Grain Bowl
Claire Linn’s favorite place to grab a bite is Public Greens in Broad Ripple. The casual atmosphere and ability to dine on the Monon Trail adds a sense of community to the restaurant according to Claire.
She appreciates the garden to table recipes and loves supporting a restaurant that gives 100% of their proceeds to the Patachou Foundation.
“I just love their food. I think it’s super tasty,” she said. “It always feels good to give back to local businesses like that.”
- Locations: 5363 North College Ave., 885 Massachusetts Ave., 910 West 10th St., 5650 West 86th St., 1420 West 86th St., other locations in Fishers, Greenwood, Noblesville, Carmel, and Avon
- Price Point: $8-$10
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Drunken Chicken
There’s no question for Kendall Miyakawa that his favorite restaurant in Indy is Yats. He’s been to 10 locations and even made a Spotify playlist full of songs that he thinks would be played at a Yats restaurant.
Yats features a rotating menu of creole inspired sauces and stews served on rice with a side of garlic bread.
“I think that every dish there is good. I don’t think you can go wrong,” Kendall said. “When you walk through the door you’re hit with a wave of culture that is wrapped in a sequence of smells, and it makes you excited about something you didn’t know you would be excited about.”
- Locations: 811 Westfield Blvd., 333 Massachusetts Ave., 111 W. Main St., Carmel
- Price Point: $8-$20
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Pizza Alla Quattro Formaggio
Lucy Wehlage often walks to Bazbeaux’s Pizza from her downtown apartment. The friendly atmosphere and delicious pizza keep her coming back.
“[It’s] super affordable, but still really great quality,” she said. “I would describe [the pizza] as very rich and creamy, but not to the point that you’re done after one piece. You still want to keep eating.”
- Location: 946 South Meridian St.
- Price Point: $12-$30
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Meatballs
Iozzo’s is Taylor Fisher’s go to Italian restaurant. On her first visit, she met the family of the owner and learned how they immigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. The family even has a secret recipe for meatballs.
“The food is to die for. We loved our meal,” she said. “I had no idea meatballs could be that good, but ever since I had that meatball I have not had a meatball that has even been satisfactory for me.”
- Location: 720 N. College Ave.
- Price Point: $10-$25
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Churros
Alea Rashid recommends dining at Livery. Located in a remodeled horse stable from the 1890s, the restaurant features a mix of bold Latin American flavors and an elegant atmosphere.
“It has incredible Latin American food,” Alea said. “They’re flavors that you’re not expecting to be mixed together like spicy and sweet. It makes you feel like you’re actually getting the authentic experience.”
- Location: 1501 Prospect St.
- Price Point: $8-$17
- Fellow’s Favorite Dish: Plantains
Yaso Jamaican Grill is another favorite restaurant of Alea’s. Growing up, she didn’t have a lot of exposure to Jamaican cuisine, and she thinks everyone should try it.
Yaso is family-owned with roots in Belmont Westmoreland, Jamaica. The goal of the restaurant is to blend cultures and create a space for friends and family to experience the flavors of Jamaica.
“They just have phenomenal food,” Alea said. “[The owners] came out to ensure that their dining experience was good, so I really appreciate that, and they have a really cool story.”
- Location: 702 Virginia Ave.
- Price Point: $11-$14
- Fellow’s Favorite Drink: S’mores Seasonal Cocktail and Pretzel Bites
One of Jaqui Fernandez’s favorite places to sip a cocktail is Hotel Tango, a craft spirits distillery. She enjoys the unique drinks and homey, community-centered atmosphere.
“There’s something for everyone too, just the whole spectrum,” Jaqui said. “The community there just really gets together and is engaging.”
- Location: 140 S. College Ave.
- Price Point: $3-$15
- Fellow’s Favorite Drink: Wicked Pawesome
For Kyle Mettler, there’s no better place to grab a beer than at Metazoa Brewing Co. The brewery features craft beers, a rooftop bar and donates 5% of their profits to animal and wildlife organizations. Although the brewery doesn’t sell food, Thursday through Sunday the Old Gold Barbeque food truck parks at Metazoa.
“It’s very entertaining and awesome to have dogs all around,” Kyle said. “You have a great view of downtown, it’s in a cool up and coming part of the city and they have great beer.”
- Location: 303 E. 161st St., Westfield
- Price Point: $6-$20
- Fellow’s Favorite Drink: Lime Wine-a-rita
Annah Van Gheem loves heading to Urban Vines when she needs a getaway outside of the city. The winery has fire pits, picnic tables and plenty of great wines. For Annah, there’s nothing better than spending the day enjoying the scenery and relaxed atmosphere at Urban Vines.
“It’s a fun, casual place to go grab a drink and catch up with friends and family,” she said.
- Location: 1042 Virginia Avenue
- Price Point: $3-$5
Bovaconti is a favorite among Orr Fellows. Located in Fountain Square and owned by Amy Balcius and Justin Jones, the coffee shop features a variety of delicious coffees all exclusively from Indiana roasters.
Amy Balcius shared her inspiration for the shop and her career journey with Orr Fellowship at June’s Business Leadership Speaker Series. Amy wanted to honor the roots of the shop and the history of the neighborhood by naming it after the family that owned a jewelry shop at the location previously.
Stop by for a classic drink or try something a little more adventurous like the Spanish Latte made with espresso, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon and steamed milk.