One of the best ways to explore the food scene of this state in the Midwest is by following the recommendations on this list of best restaurants in Indiana. This post will take you on a food tour to not just Indianapolis but also as far as Covington, Middlebury, Roanoke, & Jasper!
1. St Elmo’s Steakhouse
St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in Indianapolis has stood the test of time and become not just one of the best restaurants in Indiana, but also a celebrated steakhouse in the country. It’s been voted as one of the best steakhouses and some people will tell you that THIS is the best of the best.
This Steakhouse has been serving steak to Indianapolis since 1902, but that’s not all they have on the menu. There’s chop, chicken, & seafood as well. Apart from the steak the must-have at Elmo’s is their shrimp cocktail. They serve good soups & salads too, and their desserts have a lot of fans! Their cheesecake, cream brûlée, butter cake, double chocolate mousse pie, & chocolate blueberry bread pudding are some recommendations if you’re wondering what to treat yourself to.
St. Elmo’s is only open for dinner. So make sure you have your reservations in place before you go.
Another much-loved restaurant in Indianapolis is Bluebeard. Housed in a 1924 warehouse, Bluebeard serves contemporary American food and has both indoor & outdoor seating.
Bluebeard promises to use only fresh ingredients and this promise, it keeps. As such, the menu changes on a daily basis. This place is known for the consistency in the quality & taste of its food. When you’re there, check if their octopus, roasted cauliflower, & ginger Thai soup are on the menu for the day. The beet salad here is another special. This restaurant also serves some great desserts. Ask for their vanilla bean chess pie or bread pudding.
Bluebeard does not take reservations so whether you need to go for lunch, snacks, or dinner, plan to go early.
3. The Beef House Restaurant
If you are in the Covington area and would like some sirloin, filet mignon, t-bone, or New York strip, the place to go is The Beef House Restaurant. Open since 1964, this place is family-owned and run by 4 generations. It is considered one of the best restaurants in Indiana.
The beef is the biggest attraction here, but this restaurant also serves some of the best rolls. Beef House Restaurant is a no-frills place and the food here is home-made. The food, the prices, & the friendly service are what keep people returning to this restaurant.
For breakfast — when in Indianapolis, or near the city — you should try to get a table at Milktooth. It’s a modern, lively place; a ‘fine diner,’ they call it. The food here is a combination of Midwest & Southern flavors.
People go to this chef-owned restaurant for apple Dutch baby pancakes, waffles, grits, & fried chicken. Even though the menu changes here almost every month, these breakfast items are pretty constant. It’s usually the toppings & sides that change. The food is always fresh, colorful, & delicious. Milktooth is also known for its inventive combos. This place serves good coffee & cocktails, too.
It’s a good place to go with friends or family but it can get very busy especially on Sundays. So go prepared for a wait.
Another one of the best restaurants in Indianapolis where you can go dine as a group is Livery. This place serves Latin-American food in a 2-storied building, which is a historical one. There used to be an 1890s stable where the chic restaurant is now housed.
Livery has a wide spread of food and the dishes here are very well-liked. What brings people back here are chicken tacos, corn empanada, paella, Mahi Mahi tacos, and even the queso & margaritas. The restaurant’s 3-course Devour Menu is also much in demand.
Make sure to have some churros or tres leches for dessert before you leave Livery. They also have rooftop seating here and the service is friendly & professional.
6. Das Dutchman Essenhaus
Das Dutchman Essenhaus is in Middlebury, IN, and is said to be one of the best restaurants there. The reasons to go there include a pleasant setting, the fact that it dates back to the 70s, and most importantly, it serves American food cooked Amish-style.
You can pick things at a buffet or go for the a la carte option here. The Amish Noodles served here is a big hit with the diners. Also, don’t leave here without buying some baked goods, jams, apple butter, & Amish peanut butter to take home.
If you’re in southern Indiana, you’ll want to have lunch or dinner at Schnitzelbank in Jasper, IN. Schnitzelbank is a German restaurant & one of the best restaurants in Indiana. It goes back over 50 years and has been cooking up authentic German food for the area since then.
When you’re here, you might want to try their German Sampler Platter with sauerkraut balls & bratwursts, and also the potato pancakes made here. Another must-have is a giant pretzel & cheese dip. The portions served here are large and the tastes should not disappoint. Schnitzelbank’s got a good salad bar, too. And there’s a lot of beer!
If you’re not going as far as Jasper but would still like some German food, there’s Rathskeller in Indianapolis. Housed in a historical building, this place serves good Jäegerschnitzel, Spaetzle noodles, sauerkraut & German potato salad among other things. You’ll find German beer & local beer at Rathskeller.
As for the other dishes you can expect to see here, there’s pasta, steak, & seafood. Apple strudel and Black Forest cherry cake are some sweet treats you must have while you are here.
When you’re at Rathskeller your options are to eat at the dining room, the bar, or the beer garden. If you’re seated at the Biergarten, you might be able to catch some live music! This restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, & late-night food, and offers attentive service, too.
9. Caplinger’s Fresh Catch
For seafood, Indianapolis has Caplinger’s Fresh Catch, a fish market & a cafe that’s family-run. The idea of this place was to bring coastal food to interior Indiana, which has led it to become one of the best restaurants in Indiana.
The catch is fresh and you can either eat there or take home some of the day’s catch (and sauces & desserts). If you’re eating there, consider the lobster roll, hush puppies, tuna salad, po’boy, clam sandwich, even the collard greens.
This cafe is open for lunch & dinner. Know that Caplinger’s Fresh Catch does get very busy at times. They do have some outdoor seating but it’s limited.
10. Joseph Decuis
Yet another well-known place to dine at when in Indiana is Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, IN. It’s an upscale place, one you might want to go to for date night or a special occasion.
This family-run, fine dining restaurant is known for serving farm-fresh food & Wagyu Beef. Joseph Decuis does well in the food, service, & presentation departments. Within its beautiful surroundings are a farm and an inn, too.