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May 14, 2013 01:31 PM

Chef coming to Indy 500........ but

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all in advance!!!

I (Chef) am heading out to the Indy 500 with Dad (Retired Mechanic) Brother (Mechanic), and Brother in law( Mechanic). see the theme? not really foodies either. anyway....

I have never been to the city, and I am very excited for the race, but I started thinking that really want to check out the dining scene also.... well thats not gonna happen this I wanted to try to make everyone in the group happy.

This is where I need your help

My likes

mom and pop restaurants no chains please, I really wanna support local chefs, bar owners and store owners.

good fresh food

They love

wings, burgers, sandwiches, italian food, american food

I am hoping that someone can help me pinpoint a few restaurants that fall in between those requirements

we need

dinner saturday night
breakfast and dinner sunday night
breakfast and lunch monday ( holiday)

i hope all my rambling made sense, i really dont wanna head out there and have no plan and end up eating a chain restaurants, and garbage food..


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  1. Given that you're looking at several days and meals, I would think you could choose a variety of places and make everyone happy, no? I can't imagine that people would hate a place offering multiple choices of great food, even if it's not the style of food they're familiar with, as long as it's not too far "out there".

    Also, keep in mind that the entire city is packed for the race. Reservations are essential. And you may be limited by those that have availability, which may prevent you from dining at places you might otherwise prefer. Make your reservations NOW.

    You also don't mention where you're staying. Downtown? Or an outlying neighborhood or town? And will you have a car?

    My favorite restaurant in Indy is Oakley's Bistro, serving terrific contemporary American food on the far north side (86th Street). Also excellent is R Bistro, about a mile and a half northeast of downtown at the end of Mass Ave (Massachusetts Avenue, a street lined with restaurants and bars). There's also a cluster of restaurants in the neighborhood called Broad Ripple, a bit closer in on the north side. One highly-lauded place in that area is Recess, however that may be a risky choice for your companions because they serve a fixed menu with no choices.

    Most of the nice restaurants in Indy are closed on Sundays, and you may find the same thing on the holiday. My favorite place in Indy for dinner on Sundays is the Oceanaire, which is downtown and serves outstanding seafood.

    I'm sure others here will chime in with more, including breakfast recommendations.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy


      thank you!!!

      we are staying around 38th and shadeland, near mass ave.

      we do have a car. and the reason I was trying to find a place to eat was o make a rese now and not have to scurry around.

      oakleys looks great, i think they can find something .

      any great pizza out there??

      thanks agaion for everything.

      1. re: WFG_JR

        I'm not that familiar with the east side, where you're staying, or with pizza in Indy. Hopefully others can help you out. But since you have a car, it won't take terribly long to get to Oakley's, or downtown, or other parts of the city and suburbs. Or to the Speedway.

        Incidentally, when I mentioned that Mass Ave "ends" at R Bistro, that's because of the expressways (I-65 / I-70) which created an interruption in the street. Obviously it keeps going out to Shadeland and beyond (as Pendleton Pike).

        One more tip - if you decide to go to the Oceanaire, there's really cheap parking in the underground Circle Center garage on the same block as the restaurant. The entrance to the garage is on Maryland between Illinois and Meridian, on the left, directly under a pedestrian overpass. The Circle Center is an indoor shopping mall occupying several blocks downtown; the Oceanaire is on one of those blocks, but the entrance to the restaurant is from the street (Meridian), not from the mall.

    2. Mass Ave. has some fun places. Good (upscale-ish) bars. R Bistro is probably my favorite place in Indy. Black Market on Mass ave is sort of a gastropubish place. Very good food.

      Oakley's is an Indianapolis standard and it is very good.

      Downtown: Lots of chains. Though Oceanaire is very good. You also have Libertine (independent) Liquor Bar downtown. Creative and well executed menu as well as cocktails, beer & wine.

      Indianapolis will be packed so take extra time getting places and ressie up now.

      1. Check out "Charlie Browns" for breakfast. I've been going there since I was a kid. Only open for breakfast and lunch. It's actually right across the street from the racetrack, so I'd see if they take reservations. I'm not sure if they do.