Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Jan 14, 2008 04:54 AM

Indianapolis - Downtown

I want to plan a romantic getaway for DH and myself. With Indy only being an hour drive from here I think it would be a perfect place for us to escape to.

Would like to locate a beautiful place to stay for a night or two. We love to stroll and pop into little shops.

I could use some ideas for amazing little places to eat for lunch and a really nice place for dinner. I'm more adventurous where as DH is more of you meat and potatoes kind of guy. He's leary to try anything too much outside the box. Are there any places in the downtown area that can accomodate both my husbands and I's taste.

Any ideas of things we could do or see in the downtown area also?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you are willing to go to the north side of Indy for dinner, the best dinner I have had in Indianapolis was at Oakley's Bistro. Oakley's has an added bonus of "fun factor", with a playful menu. It's the kind of place that will please just about anyone. As for downtown Indianapolis, my two favorite places there are 14 West and the Oceanaire. The Oceanaire is primarily a seafood restaurant, so 14 West might be a better bet for your husband. Both restaurants are on the same block as the Circle Center, a large indoor mall downtown, but entrances are on the street, not in the mall. You can read my detailed reports (and see links to the restaurant websites) in the topic at

    The Chowhound Team discourages discussions of things to see and do, unless they are related to food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thank you so much for you advice. I truly appreciate it.

    2. Hi IndianaGirl ~

      It sounds like Massachusetts Avenue Arts District is what you are looking for - lots of little shops, nice places for lunch and several places for an amazing dinner. My two favorite restaurants on Mass are Elements and R Bistro. Both serve fabulous food.

      The Villa on Delaware is a beautiful home that's been renovated into a sort of B & B/spa/restaurant. It's a gorgeous place.

      There are also several hotels right in the center of downtown, the usual suspects as well as The Canterbury Hotel. The Canterbury has a very nice restaurant Danelli (I think that's the name) and it's right next door to St Elmo's, Harry & Izzy's and the Circle Center Mall - lots of shopping there! Other restaurants are all around that area - Palomino, Ruth Chris's, Oceanaire, 14 West, Weber Grill... there's a ton of places around and lots to do.

      It's also close to Massachusetts Avenue should you want to go there as well.

      Have fun!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Cookiefiend

        Thank you so much for you advice. I will def. check out Mass. Ave.

        1. re: IndianaGirl

          Don't know where you are starting from, but you might also think about Bloomington -- a wonderful town for strolling with lots of great little shops, romantic B&Bs and fabulous restaurants.

          1. re: myplateoryours

            i need ideas for good places to eat in bloomington. actually, i need a place for rehearsal dinner. In Indy, we like Iron Skillet, is there anything in bloomington similar?

            1. re: nursedeb

              We have some wonderful restaurants in Bloomington, but nothing like The Iron Skillet. What's the size of the group for the rehearsal dinner?

          2. re: IndianaGirl

            If you are going to stay in Indy, go along Mass Ave. and check out Elements or R Bistro. I would also highly reccommend Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington which is just off of the downtown square with lots to see and do. Hope your adventure is enjoyable.

            1. re: napolean

              On Mass Ave I would suggest Scholars Inn and you can't beat Yats for cheap, authenic cajun. And don't forget Bazbeaux for some good pizza.

              1. re: IndyBeaner

                Just to inform everyone: Scholars Inn is closed for a few months while they work to change their concept. Hopefully, they've finally come to grips with the ridiculous menu which (I believe) has put many humans lives at risk. I've only heard people brag about half price martinis at this place called a restaurant?@?!???!!? I hope they change the decor also: a little overkill for me! I think the menu suggested more heating food up with stupid garnishes rather than actually cooking. anybody can take crap out of the box and squirt away as their hearts desire. so, IndyBeaner, what did you actually have that was good at this place?

        2. St. Elmo's, mentioned in another post, is a serious steakhouse. Atmosphere is very nice, with very good waitstaff. Anything they serve is excellent. They have wonderful, huge shrimp cocktails to start off with, and the there's steak. I and several others got the strip steak, but others in our (large) group got fillets. Everyone but one vegetarian (well, he liked his salad anyway) went away happy.

          About a mile south of St Elmo's on south Meridian is Shapiro's, a fine Kosher style deli, served cafeteria style. No atmosphere but great food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: paoconnell

            If you do get to St. Elmo's, you will come to realize that atmosphere is all you'll probably enjoy...along with the shrimp cocktail, MAYBE. I hear the shrimp are so fiery that you can't taste anything (of course that may be a good thing). Just read a # of posts and the majority of the foodie population will talk about how bad the steak is at this place. It's all in the name and it's tradition at St. Elmos...which may be all you need (just stay in the bar if there is any room). Good luck!

            1. re: napolean

              agreed, if you want an expensive steak, try morton's over ruth's chris or st. elmo's. also, check out the capital grille.