Checking out Indie for possible move....
My boyfriend and I will be in Indianapolis for a few days checking out areas for a possible move from Chicago...we'd like to also check out some restaurants while we are there...can you give us some help on great neighborhood restaurants, bakeries, maybe some hints on neighborhoods to check out?
Would agree with previous suggestions for the most part (esp. neighborhoods that appeal to 20-30 year olds) and would add Yen Ching at 96th & Michigan Road for Schezhuan Chinese, Thai Taste at 82nd & Allisonville Road for, obviously, great Thai food and Ocean World at 86th Street & Ditch Road for superb sushi and seafood. Luxor in Fountain Square and Cairo Cafe on Lafayette Road quite good Egyptian fare. And nice new Mediterranean restaurant in Broad Ripple called Canal Bistro. And Taste at 52nd & College should not be missed -- mmmmm! Try the pommes frites. Haven't found the perfect Italian yet but there are a nice number of independents. For a great bakery, try Renes in Broad Ripple. Cakes, cookies and pastry to die for. Breadsmith does good challah. (And by the way, good eating nearby in Bloomington -- Uptown Cafe, Little Zagrebs & Restaurant Tallent) Welcome to Indianapolis!
Indygirl gave you some great suggestions. Here's a few more. Trader's Point Creamery is on the northwest side. They have great lunches made from the organic products they make and sell. They also have an organic farmer's market on Friday evenings and the best ice cream around! That's also a part of town you may want to explore as a possible place to live. To me its the prettiest part of Indy, some hills and lots of trees.
There's a very good Thai place on 86th (near Ditch) called Sawasdee Restaurant.
For fancier restaurants, downtown there's a bunch, Oceanaire for fresh seafood, St. Elmo's for steak. R Bistro on Mass. Ave for creative food. The city market has a variety of vendors at lunch time and a farmer's market on Wednesday mornings.
I moved to Indy from Boston and although its not Boston (or Chicago), I liked a lot of things about it--not a lot of traffic, a slower pace of life, and plenty of cultural events. I just moved north to Lafayette and I miss all the fun things to do in the summer in Indy and the restaurant scene, which is improving every year.
Oh yes, Oceannaire! Very upscale and pricy, but good. I'm a veg and so don't know about steakhouses. R Bistro is very good. I'm just seconding knielson, really. Trader's Point also sells their yogurt at various local grocery stores including the TWO trader Joe's Indy boasts!
That Viet restaurant I mentioned also has a market next door, wherey ou can find great deals on fresh herbs like mint, thai basil, and HUGE bunches of cilantro. The woman who works there is very nice--her little girl is always hanging around, and speaks English so can translate for her mom. Her mom showed me how to make Viet iced coffee with the help of her daughter.
BTW, for other city questions you can also feel free to PM me. We loved our neighborhood and miss it a great deal.
Broad Ripple is the "hip" area, along with certain parts of downtown (esp. along the canal). Mass Ave is one of the cool streets downtown. Both have lots of good restaurants.
Love Yats (cajun) for lunch, and there's one in Broad Ripple and on Mass Ave. Three Sisters Cafe for lunch or breakfast is great (Broad Ripple), as is Cafe Patachou, also in BR. There's a great Vietnamese place called Saigon Restaurant at 30th and Lafayette, which is also near a really cool huge international grocery storee called Saraga (just head north up Lafayette a bit). We love Saigon--the owner/main worker's name is Peter, and if you decide to head there, PM me and I'll tell you who we are so you can say hi from us! :) He'll treat you well because we were regulars when we lived in the area (we just moved).
Great sushi can be had at the Mikado (downtown), Wasabi (east 86th street/northside), and another place just north of Broad Ripple called Sakura. Great asian fusion food can also be had at Shanghai Lil's, west 82nd street (sushi and fusion chinese).
Let's see, what else? Indy gets a bad rap for too many chains, but like most places you can eat well if you search things out for yourself.
PLEASE feel free to PM me for other questions. We loved Indy.