Downtown Indianapolis Eats
I'm going to Indianapolis in October for a weekend and was looking for some great places to eat (breakfast, lunch & dinner) in downtown, where we'll be staying. I'd like to keep the cost on the low side, but if it's amazing food, then I don't mind paying extra. Any suggestions?
There are two places I really like in downtown Indy: the Oceanaire and 14 West, both of which are located on the same block as the Circle Center, but with entrances from the street. The Oceanaire specializes in seafood; 14 West is more contemporary American. Both have amazing food; although not exactly inexpensive for dinner, they are worth it. Lunch may be more reasonable (and the Oceanaire has a three-course special up until 4:30 pm, I believe). 14 West has an outdoor area along the sidewalk for al fresco dining as well as the indoor dining room. You can read my report on 14 West in the topic at www.chowhound.com/topics/348586
14 W. Maryland St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
30 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis IN 46204
For lunch downtown, I would suggest Yats on Mass Ave., the Elbow Room on Pennsylvania Ave., the newly reopened India Garden on Delaware, Claddagh Irish Pub on Meridian, and the Bourbon Street Distillery on Indiana Ave. Many of these serve dinner as well but lunch is more reasonable regarding price. Some are smoking establishments, if you are sensitive you might want to check before you go.
For breakfast, I like Patachou because their offerings are unusual but it is expensive.
I am going to emphasize avoiding St. Elmo's I don't know how it stays in business. Go in for tradition's sake and have a drink at the bar and maybe one of their sinus clearing shrimp cocktails. I don't think I have ever had a worse steak in my life. I don't even think the meat is "choice" "select" probably what they are serving. None of it is prime or well aged.
I would highly recommend Elements. The menu changes daily, based on what produce is available, so you know what you eat is fresh and in season. A large majority of the ingredients are grown by local farmers, which is a bonus if you are into that sort of thing. I believe Elements is the best that Indy has to offer.
I agree with Elements and would add R Bistro. Both are on/off of Massachusetts Ave - not too far from the center of downtown.
The chef at R Bistro also changes her menu weekly to reflect what's in season and has several local purveyors, she also has a vegetarian option each week.
Le Peep is downtown and their breakfasts are yummy. Oceanaire doesn't get a lot of press, but it is definitely worth checking out. If you are on Mass Ave, skip Yats and go get some great pizza at Bazbeaux. Clauddaugh is good, but is overpriced pubgrub. I'd rather take my chances at the market over by the city county building. Shapiro's has great sandwiches...and cheesecake.