Basketball fans and foodies, unite.
Indianapolis restaurants near the March Madness game venues – Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum at Indiana State Fairgrounds – are ready to feed the fans . Some, which have been closed since the pandemic began, even planned to reopen to accommodate the big dance participants.
Whether you’re one of the lucky few fans to be there in person or just want to be close to the action, here are a few favorites that are within walking distance of the tournament venues:
RESTAURANTS NEAR LUCAS OIL STADIUM AND BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
Bangkok Restaurant & Jazz Bar
225 E. Ohio St., 317-632-9000, bangkokthaiandjazzbar.com
The Seafood Madness – a type of wok with prawns, scallops, calamari, and clams ($ 17.95) – and the salmon mango ($ 17.95) are special this month. If you’re looking for seasoning, try the Bangkok seafood – prawns, scallops, calamari, and clams, but with a green curry paste.
Handcrafted drinks are on the menu. The Basil Bliss Martini, a blend of vodka, fresh basil, and pineapple juice, costs $ 8 and is only available this month.
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Michael’s soul kitchen
115 E. Ohio St., 317-855-6161, facebook.com/michaelsoulkitchen
After Michael closed for most of the pandemic, he reopened without his popular $ 25 soul food buffet. Some of the most popular items – meatloaf, catfish, smothered pork chops – are back as part of the plate meal. But the restaurant also offers many sandwiches and has expanded its vegetarian options (eggplant meatballs with spaghetti squash and peppers with quinoa staff).
30 S. Meridian St., 317-635-0765, napolesepizzeria.com
There’s no shortage of vegetarian options at this pizzeria, which has been on the scene again after it closed in March.
Dinner can start with glazed carrots and end vigorously with a dessert of flourless chocolate cake. In between pizza, rocket or new potatoes or leeks.
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339 S. Delaware St., 317-643-7400, nesso-italia.com
The short ribs dish with olives, kale, crispy potatoes and balsamic cipollini is one of the mainstays.
Those on a budget will appreciate the $ 15 three-course takeaway menu. Think rigatoni with ribs, peas, parmesan, mint and basil. booked with Caesar salad and a dessert made from cheesecake with orange cello and candied orange.
333 Massachusetts Ave., 317-636-7662, bazbeaux.com
Indianapolis loves its bazbeaux – especially the pizza alla quattro formaggio with layers of romano, cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella and provolone with bacon and mushrooms. The colossus lives up to its name and is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, mushrooms, red onions, green pepper and black olives.
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Gallery pastry shop
110 S. Pennsylvania St., 317-820-5526, gallerypastryshop.com
The Gallery Pastry Bar plays with the party atmosphere, selling sandwiches out the windows this weekend and pitching tents of bars to accommodate basketball fans on the following weekends of the tournament. Lunch, valued at $ 10-15, includes croissant sandwiches, fries, and hard seltzer.
A tender, pan-fried salmon is a must for dinner. Neither do the crispy French fries, which come with a selection of innovative dipping sauces such as avocado mousse and apricot mustard.
Some cocktails contain elements of gallery desserts. Check out the Reclaiming Mai Time drink, which is used to make orgeat syrup from broken macaron pods to flavor the pineapple rum.
534 Virginia Ave., 317-986-5131, milktoothindy.com
Despite some recent controversy, this restaurant is one of the most popular in the region.
It reopened this month with a Jewish deli-inspired menu that includes, for example, a Benedict sandwich with smoked salmon eggs. The Loyalists were no doubt happy to reconnect with their Dutch baby pancake. This stream contains apples, cinnamon and whipped ricotta as well as grilled cheese on cranberry and walnut bread, smoked Gouda cheese, sunny duck egg and truffle honey.
St. Elmo Steak House
127 Illinois St., 317-635-0636, stelmos.com
A hidden gem in what is arguably the city’s most prestigious steakhouse is the $ 40 three-course Sunday meal with filet mignon as a starter. Most people look to special restaurant weeks to pick up the deal.
225 W. Washington St., 317-632-0765, cafepatachou.com
Everything here revolves around breakfast and lunch between the croissant French toast with pecans, the California Dreamer omelette with avocado, white cheddar, sour cream and jalapeños, and chicken salad sandwiches on mild sourdough.
Mikado Japanese restaurant
140 S. Illinois St., 317-972-4180, indymikado.com
This family run restaurant offers a wide variety of sushi. Manager Connie Lee is whipping to-go boxes this week to keep fans moving.
Prime 47-Indy’s Steakhouse
47 S. Pennsylvania St., 317-624-0720, steakhouseindianapolis.com
Prime 47 not only offers cuts of meat, but also the local steakhouse, which receives the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for its 90 assortments.
Hinata Japanese Fine Dining
130 E. Washington St., 317-672-4929, hinataindy.com
In Hinata, there is no rush through meals. The multi-course dinners last about three hours. The menu is updated every month. For March, the $ 69 dinner includes egg pudding, sashimi, fried fish, cubed washugyu steak, seasoned rice, miso soup, and dessert. Other courses include the more expensive meal, which costs up to $ 120.
Harry & Izzy’s
153 Illinois St., 317-635-9594, harryandizzys.com
Harry & Izzy’s is setting up a beer garden on the terrace, where guests can hang out at high tables and order beverage cans and the famous shrimp cocktail from the St. Elmo Steak House.
The restaurant also offers a daily three-course lunch worth $ 24 with a choice of sliders, shrimp cocktail, salad, and a brownie with ice cream. and a $ 40 three-course meal on Sundays, typically on offer during dining weeks.
RESTAURANTS NEAR HINKLE FIELDHOUSE, BUTLER UNIVERSITY
114 E. 49th St., 317-202-0765, napolesepizzeria.com
Just like on Meridian Street, you can’t go wrong here.
Illinois Street Food Emporium
5550 N. Illinois St., 317-253-9513, eatincarryout.com
Breakfast lovers must try the Avocado & Bacon Scrambler: two scrambled eggs mixed with smoked apple wood bacon, avocado, colby and Monterey Jack cheese.
Fat Dan’s Deli
5410 N. College Ave., 317-600-3333, fatdansdeli.com
Chi-town ex-pats will find love here with their native-style dog, Italian beef, and polishes. But don’t sleep on the three-hour hickory-smoked jumbo wings.
5406-08 N. College Ave., 317-602-8840, Twentytap.com
Of course, a few dozen beers on tap – mostly brewed in-house or locally – are the draw. Who would miss a chance at Black Acre Killer Robot’s blackberry-ginger-wheat flavor?
They also display a wide variety of foods, from shrimp and semolina to burgers and poutine.
Hoagies and Hops
4155 Boulevard Pl., 317-426-5731, hoagiesandhops.com
Philly all day. Philadelphia native Kristina Mazza imports bread and meat from the region for an authentic cheesesteak and hoagie experience. She even ships in Herr’s chips.
Half a liter of BBQ
5301 Winthrop Ave, 463-212-8180, halfliterbbq.com
So that’s a bit of a hike – about 1.4 miles – but the pint is a must-do for the Indy grill.
This is Texas style. There are platters, chilli, burgers – something for every meat lover. You can also be inventive, as shown by the smoked shrimp Sammie, which is topped with honey jalapeno mayonnaise and sliced peppers and kimchi fries.
RESTAURANTS NEAR INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM, INDIANA STATE FAIRGROUNDS
Root and bone
4601 N College Ave. 317.602.8672, rootnboneindy.com
The “Top Chef” alums of Bravo TV, Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, enjoy fine Mediterranean cuisine and offer fried chicken with sweet tea for dinner. It won the IndyStar 2020 Best Things Award for Best New Restaurant.
4390 N. Keystone Ave., 317-377-4132, pacostaqueria.com
Come here and find huge burritos and fajita quesadillas full of meat. And why settle for a single protein in your nachos when Pacos Bomb Nachos Mazatlan is just the thing with chicken, steak, and shrimp and boiled vegetables?
King Ribs Bar-BQ
4130 N. Keystone Ave., 317-543-0841, kingribsbbq.com
It is only done at this location in King Ribs, a favorite of the local grill aficionado. You should try the mac and cheese and mixed greens.
The Garage Food Hall
906 Carrollton Ave., 317-556-1252 garageindy.com
There’s more fun in the Bottleworks District Garage Food Hall, which opens its doors to tournament events.
The shiny new dining room with two bars and tenants serving a wide range of food – from lobster rolls to burgers to ice cream – offers outdoor seating and pop-up experiences as part of the Bottlework BBall Bash, which is open to the public. March. A couple of outdoor bars are also sold.
20-foot LED screens set up on the closed Carrollton Avenue will broadcast the tournament and other flat screens will be placed around the hall. Masks are required and Bottleworks follows social distancing and other state, local, and federal COVID-19 guidelines.
345 Massachusetts Ave., 317-686-9713, slapfishindiana.com
The fish restaurant Slapfish is giving away a face mask with every lobster roll, which can be ordered by telephone on 317-686-9713 or via slapfishindiana.com by April 5, while stocks last.
Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at [email protected] or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.