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Indianapolis, In - What's New?

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Greetings, Indy Chowhounders!

I am returning home for a visit with the family and bringing the boyfriend home with me. Since he's never spent time in the Indianapolis area, I wanted to brush up on what Indy has to offer. It's been several years since I've been home and had time to venture out for a tasty meal, so I'm hoping you can fill me in on what I've been missing. We'll be in town Friday - Monday and I'm looking for a few key things that the whole family can enjoy. We're staying in Hamilton, County in the Noblesville/Fishers area, but can hop in the car at a moment's notice, so location is not a barrier to good food! Any help is appreciated! Please let me know if you have recommendations for the following:
Brunch locales that serve morning cocktails
Light Lunches for salads or sandwich
Afternoon wine tastings
BrewPub-esque dinner spots with great beer selections (live music = extra bonus points)
Another option for coffee besides Starbucks
Unique open air markets or farmers markets

Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. Sorry for the late reply:
    BRUNCH: Taste Cafe and Zest are in the same general area of SOBRO.
    Light Lunch: GOOSE the MARKET, R BISTRO, SIAM SQUARE, SAIGON, SAFFRON CAFE
    WINE: MASS AVE. WINE SHOP (FREE TASTINGS EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT)
    BREW: CHATAM TAP, BROAD RIPPLE BREWPUB, BRUGGE, SUN KING
    COFFEE: HUBBARD and CRAVEN'S, MONON COFFEE HOUSE
    MARKETS: TRADER'S POINT CREAMERY, DOWNTOWN FARMER'S MARKET, BROAD RIPPLE FARMER'S MARKET
    UNIQUE TRIPS: check SLOW FOOD INDY website for events outside the city, TRADER'S POINT CREAMERY, BLOOMINGTON
    BURGER: WORKING MAN"S FRIEND
    I would say a must to do list should include lunch at R Bistro, a visit to GOOSE the MARKET and TRADER"S POINT CREAMERY. SAIGON and SIAM SQUARE are favorites for vietnamese and thai.

    4 Replies
    1. re: napolean

      Bloomington has many great food destinations, but Trader's Point is not one of them.

      1. re: pikawicca

        Yah, I should have mentioned Trader's Point for yogurt and chocolate milk, which can be bought at local groceries. I'm still in denial about Trader's Point not being a restaurant...maybe 10 years from now???

        1. re: napolean

          My point was that Trader's Point is in Zionsville, not Bloomington. I believe that they serve lunch Tuesday-Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.

        2. re: pikawicca

          Traders Point Creamery has the farmer's market every saturday in the barn, I believe.

      2. Brunch - I had a tough time thinking of a place - Cafe Patachou would be my first choice but I don't think they do cocktails. If you are up for a drive, Rick's Boatyard on the west side does a decent job and the view is very nice - it's right on Eagle Creek Resevoir.

        Light lunches - Meridian (also open for dinner) - nice menu and a decent wine list, Creation Cafe (downtown) - creative menu and a lovely space, R Bistro - one of the best independent restaurants in Indy, Alexander's on the Square (Noblesville) - an ice cream parlor with sandwiches too and you can walk around the square afterward with your ice cream. The new outdoor mall, Hamilton Town Center, has Stone Creek Dining - a local chain - with a nice menu.

        Brew Pub-esque - Brugge Brasserie - the Moules Frite is supposed to be excellent, Broad Ripple Brew Pub - umm it's a brew pub. The Jazz Kitchen (also in Broad Ripple) has live jazz... and good food.

        For another coffee option, Noble Coffee and Tea in Noblesville, on the square is very good. They roast their beans on site, have an excellent selection and have little snacks as well - I buy my coffee there.

        Hope that helps and let us know what you end up doing and how you liked it!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cookiefiend

          Tried Brugge Brasserie in Broadripple for the first time last night. It was a bit more casual than I expected, although I am learning that is the case almost no matter where we go in Indy! Started by splitting the spinach salad- very good, large enough to share, big chunks of bacon. I had the moules frite (they give you a choice of the mussels preparation- I chose the provencal style). Very good and an enormous serving- 2 lbs of mussels. The fries are addictive and come with dipping sauces. My DC had the steak frite- I did not taste it but it looked delicious and he was quite happy with it. Having just moved from Boston, I was happy to find a local spot for moules frite. Very good, inexpensive (1 salad, 2 entres, 3 glasses of wine, 1 beer= $55 not including tip) and would definitely return. YUM.

          1. re: mem53

            Mussels are all the rage in this part of the country, suddenly. If someone had told me three years ago that you'd be able to find delicious renditions of moules frites at three Bloomington restaurants (Tallent, Finch's, Farm), I'd have laughed in his face. Boy, have things changed (for the better) on the dining scene in parts of Indiana.

            1. re: mem53

              mem53

              Thanks for letting us know how Brugge Brasserie was - I'm so glad the moules frite lived up to it's reputation!