It’s been tough for all of us since March 2020. The Indianapolis food and beverage scene did better than many other markets, but we lost a few favorites during the pandemic.
However, things are looking up with sporting events like March Madness and the Indianapolis 500 driving fans and catering options for restaurants near stadiums.
Popular burger and chicken salad chains (yes, they are) are finding the Indianapolis area attractive, and locally-owned, temporarily closed eateries are coming back online.
We know you want to keep getting out and supporting restaurants and getting great food. We are here to help. With news of new restaurant openings and expansions, and even the ability to say goodbye when long-running restaurants decide it’s time to close.
We’ll be updating all summer so be sure to check back soon.
If you would like to open a location, please let us know.
– IndyStars Food and Dining reporter Cheryl V. Jackson. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.
WHERE SHOULD WE EAT:
6 restaurants opening in the Indianapolis area in June: We’re getting new places for tacos, steaks, and Hawaiian food in the Indianapolis area next month. People in Castleton will see a new delivery option.
The new menu on Tinker Street is convincing: The popular Herron-Morton Place restaurant and wine bar for ages 21 and up, which has been closed to on-site service since March 2020, reopened on May 18. The new menu includes carrot gnocchi, chickpea ravioli, ricotta donuts, and corn bread for dessert.
Here’s where to eat on Indy 500 race day and beyond at the speedway: If you’re looking for a place to eat – before, during, or after the Indy 500 – we’re here to help. There are plenty of places around Indianapolis Motor Speedway to buy pork tenderloin, burgers, and more on race day. Here’s where to eat on race day, depending on what you crave.
Try These Authentic Mexican Restaurants In Indianapolis: Mexican food is always popular. And although there are many places where the kitchen is served, people are increasingly interested in food that is as faithfully as possible prepared in the country. Check out these places for some of the most authentic Mexican dishes in the Indianapolis area.
This is what awaits you in the restaurant and bar of the Wahlberg brothers: Wahlburgers, the full-service restaurant and bar chain under the direction of chef Paul Wahlberg and the entertainer brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, has opened in Carmel. There’s no doubt that it has what it takes to entice blockheads as well as those who didn’t grow up with Donnie Wahlberg’s New Kids on the Block or Mark’s Funky Bunch.
5 Indianapolis restaurant openings in May: Places for Pakistani food, chocolate-dipped fruits, and healthier meals are all on tap as new restaurants plan their debut in May. You even want to serve dinner and soulful performances under one roof.
These Indianapolis dishes pack 3, 4, or even 6 locally sourced ingredients into each bite: It is a win-win for gourmets when local food companies support each other. Some of the best items on the menu offer the taste of multiple local foods in one bite. Here is a round-up of some for you to try.
5 restaurants to (re) open across Indianapolis in April: From escapes to the California coast to supportive venues in Midtown, a number of restaurant openings across the area this month offers some pretty different experiences. Hell, one place is going to offer dozens of specialties and maybe spark some innovation on your part.
Restaurants near some Indianapolis sports venues: Indianapolis restaurants near Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler University Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at Indiana State Fairgrounds are ready to feed fans.
What are black chefs cooking in Indianapolis ?: Over the past year there has been increased interest in identifying and patronizing black-owned companies in order to economically empower black communities. Here are over 50 places to try.
OPENINGS, MOVEMENTS AND CLOSURES:
Lil Dumplings Moves to Downtown Indianapolis from Fisher’s Test Kitchen: Owner and chef Carlos Salazar moves from Fishers Test Kitchen to Garage Food Hall in the Bottleworks District. With the move planned for late August, Salazar is changing Lil Dumplings’ focus from Filipino-inspired dishes to a noodle bar with VIP seating.
Another Shake Shack is coming to Indianapolis this year: Soon, Indy Mall Shack Shack buyers can get hold of it. The Keystone Fashion Mall welcomes a shake shack to its food court area.
The beloved Peppy Grill on Fountain Square is moving to a new location: Peppy Grill, a staple in Fountain Square for seven decades and home to hordes of night owls looking for “Hamburgs” or breakfast, is moving from its place along the historic Virginia Avenue corridor. Here’s what we know
The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe is closed: After 18 years, The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe has finally closed. The last day for the family-run spot in the Irvington neighborhood was April 30th.
Pizza, salads and café in the AMP Food Hall: AMP, the 40,000-square-foot European-style market at 1220 Waterway Blvd., will eventually sell food, beverages and products from local retailers operating on seven restaurant stalls, 14 shipping containers, an open-air bar and a full-service offering Restaurant.
Donatello’s in downtown Carmel is permanently closed: The co-founders Patrick and Beth Aasen are retiring. The Aasens opened the restaurant together with their son Adam in 2010. Patrick Aasen was the chef / owner of the now closed Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano and was the chef in the late Macri’s Italian Village. Beth Aasen gives up baking cakes, ordering schnapps, waiting tables and cooking in the restaurant.
Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles is moving from their longtime home on East Street: The family-run soul food restaurant, which has been located at 132 N. East St. since it was founded in 2008, is moving to the first floor, where Circle City Sweets and Circle City Soups were housed in 222 E. Market St. building.
Chain of a dozen types of chicken salads with 4 restaurants in Indianapolis: Get ready for a barrage of chicken salad. Chicken Salad Chick opens four fast-casual restaurants in the Indianapolis area and brings a dozen types of chicken salads.
In memory of some of the restaurants Indianapolis lost in 2020: Indianapolis diners had to say goodbye to a number of restaurants this year, from a chain of sports bars owned by Super Bowl winner Colt to a 109-year-old stew restaurant. Most have linked their deaths to the coronavirus pandemic.
THE INDY RESTAURANT SCENE:
Speedway restaurants look forward to welcoming racing fans again: After a fanless racing day in 2020, speedway companies are eager to serve the Indy 500 spectators.
How Indianapolis Mexican Restaurants Prepare for One of the Busiest Days of the Year: 2021 was the first Cinco de Mayo with local restaurants open for dinner since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Locally Grown Gardens put Monon Station on the map. Now the disease has closed its doors: The people who approach Ron Harris to greet and chat with the friendly, laid back reggae enthusiast have remained constant lately. Harris has run Locally Grown Gardens, a midtown mixed goods stand and restaurant since 2008, serving salmon dinner, front-of-the-building roast pork, and back-baked apple and cream pies.
Friends remember St. Elmo’s bartender Michael Gaines: Colleagues remember the bartender who served at St. Elmo Steak House for 16 years as a man who always smiled, loved music, and enjoyed a lot of inside jokes with different people. Michael Gaines was a big presence in the restaurant and was usually found behind the upstairs bar in St. Elmo.
In Indy, the black chefs go beyond the soul by adopting traditions or finding their own alley: While soul food is still popular, some African American chefs are developing the tradition of soul-food fusion or making a name for themselves in completely different kitchens.
New Mass Ave. Modita Restaurant to ‘give Indy something that has never been tried’: This Asian vibe coming from Mass Avenue is thanks to a new restaurant that offers diners the taste of the continent with dim sum, sushi, noodles and rice and appetizers cooked according to an old Japanese grill style.
How restaurants in the Indy region that have recovered from COVID closings have weathered the pandemic: In March 2020, Indiana closed restaurants due to COVID. So some establishments have recovered from the closings and how they continue to adapt.
The pandemic leads to a boom in new pizzerias in Indianapolis: Pizza has done well in these COVID times. But a lot of the excitement about pizza in Indianapolis has been tied to brands being born out of people’s homes during the pandemic. You can find these cakes anywhere from brick and mortar stores to pop-ups to porches.
This is what a program that helps black Latinx chefs run “pandemic-proof” virtual restaurants looks like: A new culinary program aims to create more Black and Latinx food entrepreneurs with virtual restaurants. The Melon Kitchen Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator will support delivery-oriented companies with a ghost kitchen from the 40,000 square meter AMP Food Hall in the 16 Tech Innovation District.
1 in 5 restaurants in Indiana closed during the pandemic, the industry report said: Indiana has lost more than 1 in 5 restaurants since the US coronavirus pandemic began, and operators in the state say more could close in the next six months.
This Mass Ave cocktail bar in Indianapolis, a bistro run by 3 generations of Thai women: Bodhi: Craft Bar & Thai Bistro serves Asian-inspired cocktails along with Thai cuisine. It is run by three generations of Thai women.