In the early 1900s the city of Indianapolis got its unoffical nickname, Naptown, due to its sleepy, ghost town-esque nature. Nestled deep in the midst of the crossroads of America, the capital of the Hoosier State has more recently gained national acclaim for its world class ability to host mega-events.
In just the last 10 years, Indy has flawlessly played host to the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the World Cup of Basketball. However each Memorial Day Weekend, the Circle City hosts perhaps the largest and most iconic of all American sporting events, the Indianapolis 500.
Downtown Indy is tailor made to host megaevents due to a vibrant downtown district that includes countless bars, hotels, and restaurants within walking distance from its largest sporting venues. Below I have included some of my favorite grub spots in Indy (along with a watering hole or two to wash it all down with).
Check out these spots next time you find yourself in Naptown, you can thank The Mayor later.
Ali Babas – I’m a Greek from Chicago, we invented the gyros. So you can bet I was skeptical when a college buddy brought me here last time I was in Indy with a guarantee that this sleepy downtown Middle Eastern restaurant had a gyros so incredible it would blow my mind. Enter the Spicy Gyros: without a doubt one of the top five gyros I’ve ever had in my life. Want to know the key to my heart? Try mixing experly seasoned beef and lamb with homemade tzatziki, hot sauce, and hand cut potatoes and you’re well on your way to finding it.
Bourbon Street Distillary – Don’t let their delicious wings distract you from what locals call “a top-5 Buffalo Chicken Sandwich in North America.” Draft beer is cold and cheap.
Kilroy’s – The downtown Indy location of the legendary IU-Bloomington bar serves some of the best appetizers you will find anywhere. The breadsticks and onion rings are a sight to behold. The wing’s are crispy, meaty and well-sauced. Most importantly order a few AMFs (Adios Mother Fucker) and you’ll be sufficiently hydrated to do just about anything but drive on the brickyard.
MCL – Best homemade food in Indy. Fried Chicken is to die for and the ranch dressing is stupid good.
Bru Burger – Best burger in Indy
Chatham Tap – Best fish & chips in Indy
Front Page Sports Bar – Insanely good fried pickles. Great fish and chips
Shapiro’s – Best deli/cafeteria in Indianapolis. Outstanding pastrami and corned beef
Cadillac Ranch / Martini Bar – best bar in Indy hands down. Go here, stay here you’ll love it.
Kilroys: AMFs and over 100 other types of Long Island Iced Teas.