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Indianpolis Cheap Eats?

Hey, i'm gonna be in downtown indianapolis for july 4th - 8th and i wanted to know if there are any delicious burger joints around. also, does indianapolis have a specialty? like is there any one place i HAVE to go to or experience while i'm there? i'm on a budget, so any recommendations should be cheap to moderately priced. Thanks!

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  1. If you are going to be downtown and are looking for a burger, I think I would recommend the Elbow Room (they are a smoking establishment) located on the corner of Pennsylviana and Ft. Wayne. I would also recommend the Distillery at Indiana Avenue and Senate Avenue. Mentioning Ft. Wayne reminded me of the Canary Cafe which is good and inexpensive. Definately hit Mass. Ave. - starting with the Beergarden at the Rathskeller and just make your way up the street and you will find many great choices.

    This is all based on your indication of downtown and does make any recommendations in the Fountain Square area, Broadripple Village or any other part of the City.

    I'm sure others will chime in with even better ideas than mine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bonmann

      Yats! Great cheap cajun fare. Mass Ave, Broad Ripple, and Carmel/northside locations. Yummy and cheap. I miss it.

    2. The specialty in Indianapolis is the deep fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Since you are looking for burgers and are on a budget I think I would recommend the Bourbon Street Distillery. I don't think you would be disappointed. Here is my blog report...

      http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/P...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Davydd

        I'm going to peek in on this thread, as we will be in Indy this weekend - downtown to be exact.

        Are any of the places mentioned kid-friendly? We'll be in town for a family wedding and we're looking for spots all of us out-of-towners can enjoy.

        1. re: mamamia

          There are two versions of El Sol de Tala. The original is at 2444 East Washington. There's another one tucked away in Union Station right down town. Excellent Mexican food (really yummy guacamole) and both places are kid friendly. Cheerful colorful places to go.
          For Italian go to Iaria's which is on South College Ave. Very good food (I prefer it over Milan Inn a couple of doors north) and also kid friendly.

      2. McGinley's Golden Ace Inn- it's a tavern in a really bad neighborhood, but they have fantastic basic hamburgers for like $3 and really cheap drinks. They're not fancy, just burgers like Mom used to make, but they are yummy! They're on the right hand side of East Washington (heading out of downtown) across from Domino's, like a mile and a half from the circle between Blue's Auto and Auto Sales and Service (that's all that's on the sign) (between Keystone and Rural aves). The Ace is a family owned Irish bar- it's one of the places I miss most in Indy!

        There's a diner on the left hand side like halfway to the Ace from downtown that does tenderloins (I can't remember what it's called)- they've always been decent, but it's nothing special, just mentioning it in case you don't find them anywhere else.

        And I would like to second Yats! too.

        1. Not a burger joint exactly but great food at Ralph's Great Divide. It's on New York St just east of College Ave, so about 7 blocks from downtown. It's a tavern but everyone goes for the food. Really good tenderloin skewers, an excellent cheesey potato soup and good sandwiches. The homemade desserts are terrific. I first had the coconut cream pie thinking it would be just ok, since it's not my favorite. It's now top of the list. I have ordered full pies for serving at home.
          Also look up Working Man's Friend which is near downtown for good lunch counter burger food. It's at 234 N Belmont. Go west on Washington a little past White River.

          1. Fountain Square - southeast of downtown - The Fountain Diner or the ShelBi Street Cafe
            If you go to Iaria's your not too far.... but Iaria's has lost it's luster over the years.
            Santorini for excellent Greek food and if the Peppy Grill is still open - it's a winner too. Be prepared to smell like grease though.
            There's alot to do in FS - antiques, art galleries and Duck Pin bowling.