See what’s going on in your neighborhood and explore the city.
- Restaurants -
After their first location in Bloomington became a success, Adam and Alicia Sweet decided to expand their brick oven pizza to Indianapolis’ Holy Cross neighborhood. With a wide variety of both classic and unique pizza creations as well as delicious salads and appetizers, this is not your average pizza place.
Opened in 1960 as “Laughner’s Steer In”, then changed to “Harold’s Steer In” in 1964, and finally “Historic Steer In” in 2007, you can’t get much more traditional Hoosier eating morning, noon, or night than at Steer-In. Voted amongst the top burgers and tenderloins in the state, you can’t go wrong here!
Born out of their original catering business, Fitzgerald’s Lunch House offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides for anyone wanting a solid lunch to get you through the rest of the day. If you find yourself in Lawrence around lunchtime, check them out!
If you’re in the mood for traditional German food and other wares, look no further than Heidelberg Haus. Originally modeled after a traditional German cafe, Gabi and Jurgen Junbauer opened their home away from home in 1968 and have been running it ever since. Today not only is it a cafe and restaurant, but you can also enjoy their bakery, pastry shop, and German grocery and gift shop.
As Indy’s first 21+ pizza joint, the family behind The Missing Brick believes that pizza should be communal, shared with the people you love. They want to bridge the community through collaborations, and their pizzas reflect the popular flavorful dishes that come from their community, collaborating with other brick and mortar restaurants in the area.
Open “11 AM to Close” Tuesday through Sunday with specials every night, Jail Bird is the perfect place to go next time you’re in the mood for some drinks and good old bar food. You won’t find anything fancy on their menu, but you can get a $3 hot dog and a Budweiser + Shot for $5!
Born and raised in Indianapolis, some of Chef Oya’s earliest memories are learning how to peel and devein shrimp at the kitchen sink. In 2016 she started a seafood delivery service, bringing “Floriday style” seafood to Indy, and eventually opening up a restaurant of her own. Not only does she serve delicious food to her neighbors, but she also brings fresh, locally grown produce to one of the largest food deserts in the nation. And you absolutely have to try some of that Trap Buttah.
For some of the best soul food this side of the Ohio River, you have got to head to His Place Eatery. From chicken and waffles to smoked meatloaf and rib tips, to made-from-scratch chicken and dumplings, this is truly stick-to-your-ribs good food. Located on the east side of Indianapolis, the restaurant is the brainchild of a husband and wife duo who simply want to bring good food to Indianapolis.
If you thought you couldn’t get a picturesque, waterfront seafood dinner in Indianapolis, you thought wrong. Overlooking Eagle Creek Reservoir, when you step into Rick’s Cafe Boatyard you’ll think you’ve been transported to a coastal town; with fresh seafood flown in daily, you won’t be let down. Plan your next outing to Rick’s Cafe Boatyard and you won’t be disappointed.
Get your choice of some of the best tacos, burritos, and tortas from this side of Chicago at the corner of Morris and Tibbs. Fill up for less than $10 Tuesday through Sunday (closed on Mondays) for lunch or supper at The Burrito Joint, but make sure to bring cash along because they don’t take debit or credit cards.
If you’ve never had traditional Indian food, you’re in for a treat at Clay Oven. Choose how adventurous you want to be as well as the spice level you want; it’s one of the best places to try something new! For those of you who are more familiar with Indian fare, you’ll find all the traditional dishes you love, plus maybe a few you haven’t had before!
The self-proclaimed “Best eats on the eastside”, Rock-Cola offers a step back in time at their 50’s style cafe. They revived their own Yoo-Hoo style canned Choc-Ola that you can currently only get at Rock-Cola Cafe and a few smaller spots nearby. Enjoy all the classic diner foods you could want, and of course, they have a giant grilled tenderloin sandwich perfect for any Hoosier.
You may be hesitant to go to a sushi place in land-locked Indianapolis, but trust us on this one, Sushi Club will hit the spot. Choose from a variety of rolls, both cooked and raw, and sashimis a la carte. For the real sushi lovers out there, they even have an all you can eat menu!
If you’re in Speedway and craving great steaks, fresh seafood, local craft beer, or (of course) one of the best Hoosier tenderloins on the west side, Dawson’s on Main is the place for you. Just across the street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dawsons on Main has been known for friendly service and tasty food since they opened in 2006.
At Mug n Bun, you don’t even have to leave your car to get a tasty meal! For nearly 50 years, the ‘Bun has been serving traditional drive-in fare on Indy’s west side with burgers, dogs, and baskets. And you know it wouldn’t be an Indiana joint if they didn’t have a tenderloin sandwich on the menu! Wash it all down with some homemade rootbeer, and don’t forget to save room for a milkshake!
Established in 1850, the Slippery Noodle Inn is the oldest bar in the state of Indiana. They’ve also been praised as one of the nation’s top blues bars by Rolling Stone magazine and everyone from Harrison Ford to Dave Matthews has stopped by at some point. Pop in for live blues seven days a week and enjoy a full menu that won’t disappoint either.
The family-owned and operated Caplinger’s Fresh Catch boasts over 125 years of combined experience that you can taste in each dish. Operating as both a seafood market and a restaurant, they receive fresh seafood daily and have knowledgeable staff that can answer any questions you may have. They also have three locations across the Indy area, so no matter where you are you can get fresh, delicious seafood within minutes!
If you’re ever craving a good-quality deli meal in Indianapolis, Shapiro’s is the place to go! Their original location opened in 1905 and ever since they’ve been serving sandwiches piled high with locally-sourced meats (fresh, never frozen) and vegetables as well as homemade dishes like macaroni and cheese, matzo ball soup, rye bread, bagels, and delicious desserts. Dine-in, carry out, or have them cater your next event!
Some of the best Vietnamese food in town! A large menu showcases a plethora of choices including pho, noodle bowls, sandwiches, fish, clay pots, and stir fried entrees. Whether you dine-in or pick take-out, leave room for their specialty! Every tropical shake they offer perfectly round off any meal.
One of the first Mexican restaurants in town, La Hacienda has been serving delicious dishes for over twenty years. Every dish is prepared with fresh ingredients the whole family will love. With generous portions, an extensive menu, colorful interior design, and outside patio, everyone is ready for a great experience!
Small building, big food! This taco shack is a tiny house that cranks out the best hand-holdable Mexican food in western Indianapolis. Featuring tortas, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, this is a go-to lunch spot! Picnic tables outside are available for those who wish to eat their take-out on site. We recommend calling ahead with your order if you’re short on time.
- Entertainment and Destinations -
Madam CJ Walker is one of the truest examples of achieving the American dream. The daughter of a former slave, Madam Walker worked her way up from the bottom and eventually became one of the most successful and wealthiest women in the 20th century. Explore history, learn more about social justice, cultural education, and the empowerment of today’s and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, business owners, and civil leaders at her legacy center in downtown Indy.
Established in 1889, Garfield Park is the oldest park in Indianapolis and offers fun for the whole family year-round. Catch a concert at MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts, or enjoy summertime at the outdoor pool, picnic shelters, and various sports courts and fields. Explore the conservatory itself as well as the sunken garden or take a walk or jog along the trail. They even have a sledding hill to get outdoors during the winter months.
Even if you don’t know the history behind it, Indianapolis City Market is a great place to stroll around on an evening or lazy weekend. Enjoy over 30 local artisan booths with food and wares available for anyone. Look just a bit harder and you’ll also catch a glimpse of history, as the Market was first opened in 1886 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can even tour the Romanesque underground catacombs, a long-hidden ruin beneath Whistler Plaza.
When thinking about fun or interesting places to go in Indy, a cemetery may not be first on your list, but Crown Hill Cemetery has become a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. It’s the nation’s third-largest cemetery with 555 acres and was founded in 1863, so you can imagine it’s full of history. Notably buried in the cemetery are Pres. Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, Col. Eli Lilly, three U.S. Vice Presidents, and many others including John Dillinger (infamous bank robber). Attend a scheduled guided walking tour or simply roam around and enjoy the scenery yourself.
One of the area’s premier comedy clubs, Crackers has been operating in Indy for nearly four decades and has attracted big names like Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, and Ray Romano, but you don’t have to wait for a nationally-known stand up to have a great time at Crackers! Stop by for weekly Open Mic Night or get on board for an up-and-coming comic just before they hit big!
Known by many as “The Greatest Race course in the World”, IMS is best known for hosting the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. It also hosts the Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR, LPGA, and many other forms of racing and events. Any Hoosier should attend a race at least once in their lives, and as the Racing Capital of the World, IMS offers several to choose from. More devoted fans can also enjoy the IMS Museum or check out their gift shop. Check out their website to see concerts and non-racing related events as well.
Fans of Young Adult literature may be familiar with Newfields’ sculpture titled “Funky Bones” thanks to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The campus also holds 152 acres of gardens and grounds with over 50,000 works both inside and out, as well as 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park (home of Funky Bones and many other sculptures and works of art). Certain areas of the Newfields campus are even free, or you can get an updated list of ongoing and traveling exhibits on their website.
Tons of fun for both children and children-at-heart, you’ll be awed as soon as you walk through the doors and revel at the 30-foot water clock (try to plan your trip to watch it go from 12:59 to 1:00--trust us on this one). From there you can explore five stories of interactive learning with both permanent pieces and seasonal and rotating exhibits. You’re guaranteed to be hooked from the first visit.
Open year-round, the Indianapolis Zoo offers 64 acres of indoor and outdoor animal attractions as well as three acres of outdoor gardens. Explore, view, and learn more about more than 1,200 animals of around 230 species as well as 47,000 plant specimens. Always expanding, you can also enjoy the MISTery park and Extreme Snakes attractions, both opened May of 2019. During the holiday season, bundle up and experience Christmas at the Zoo, a must-see tradition when the zoo is decorated with twinkling lights and other holiday attractions.
Anyone who grew up within an hour or so radius of Indianapolis will have fond memories of elementary school field trips to Conner Prairie. Located in Fishers, Conner Prairie is a nationally-acclaimed history destination. The interactive, outdoor history museum was created by Eli Lilly in 1934 and since then has been dedicated to hands-on history with several historically themed areas, most including actors to bring you back in time as you learn and explore Indiana’s natural and cultural heritage. You can also enjoy a spooky Headless Horseman haunted hayride in October and other seasonal experiences throughout the year. If you’re looking for something to do during the warmer months, check out their annual Symphony on the Prairie lineup held at the amphitheater.
A great weekend activity, Butler University opens up their observatory to the public. Boasting Indiana’s largest telescope, visitors can view a constellation show and even see different moon phases at night. Completed in early 2019, the planetarium underwent a $200,000 renovation that has brought state of the art technology to the Indianapolis area.
Founded in the 1930s, this mini golf establishment (not putt putt, know the difference) was originally named Rustic Garden. Great for family outings or a first date, this well beloved seasonal spot is an Indianapolis favorite. Stop by to play either the 9 hole course, 18 hole course, driving range, or fish.
Hop behind the wheel of Indy’s racing cars! Challenge your friends on an interactive simulation to see who has the fastest qualifying lap. Explore the three wind tunnels and box cart simulators equipped with iRacing. Hands-on exhibits get children excited about the science and technology behind racing.
With 60,000 feet of space, this state of the art track has options for both kids and adults! Racing is not just for the professionals with both junior and adult cart races options. After a quick safety instruction period, everyone is ready to hit the road! Stay after your race to satisfy your appetite at the attached restaurant called 1911 Grill.
Located in Eagle Creek Park, this zipline adventure bring adventurers 40 feet up in the air to zip from tree to tree! Book in either 2 or 3 hour increments, this experience has wobbly bridges, tricky crossings, rope ladders, and a 305 foot long zipline that will satisfy thrill-seekers.
Found on the National Register of Historic Places, The Benton House was built in 1873 and is the only house on the registry in east Indianapolis. Once the home of Allen R. Benton, twice the president of Butler University in Irvington, this house represents the best of Second Empire style of architecture. The ten-room brick house is maintained by The Benton House Association volunteers as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.