Best Places to Eat in Indianapolis

So I decided that I would write a little about some of places that I have eaten while I was home for the holidays.   When I was a kid – I wasn’t a good eater.  I ate, I was – at times – annoyingly picky, but my greatest fail was that I couldn’t stop talking


This is a photo of me with some of my closest friends.  As you can see, they are eating and their plates are almost empty. My plate? Mainly full and my mouth is open as I was obviously talking…incessantly.

I always knew that my mom was a good cook but I didn’t enjoy eating at the time.  It was something that I had to do.  I really didn’t appreciate how awesome her cooking really was until I went away to college.  I was fortunate to study in Bloomington, Indiana simply because of the huge array of food offered there (I heard it said that there are 200+ pizza joints in B-Town alone!! And that’s just pizza!).  I am referring more to 4th street.  When I lived there, I could choose between Thai, Tibetan, Italian, Vietnamese, Afghani, Creole – and that’s just off the top of my head.

I became a foodie and my waist-line quickly reflected that.  But that’s ok – I love food!

So one of the important things to do while back home in Indiana was eating my favorite foods that I knew I couldn’t get in Germany. (It’s not a very long list, you’d be surprised how many Peruvian dishes I can cook up without all the authentic ingredients).

But I wanted to share my favorites (in case you ever find yourself in Indiana). These are in no particular order.  Ok they are in the order that I visited them throughout the week, only because it was the easiest way to organize them.  You will see that they fall into an array of different cuisines.  You really can’t ask me to pick a favorite.  It would be like picking a favorite child!


I started frequenting this place in high school (my boyfriend at the time became friends with the owner and introduced to me to the delicious food).  Though back in high school, there was only one location and it was in Broad Ripple.  Since then I have seen four other locations (one in Bloomington that was shortly bought by another company and the name was changed to Dats  – but let’s be honest, the food is the same). You can imagine my delight when they opened a location literally minutes from my parents’ house.

Yats is southern creole food joint brought to Indiana. They always have a set menu that you choose from and they literally pile your plate with the yumminess and all for a good price! They also throw in these delicious homemade garlic breads (I’m salivating as I am writing this). I always order the Chili Cheese Etouffee (with Crawfish). Everytime I come home, I try to organize eating here with meeting with friends. It’s always been a win-win situation 😀

But T had yet to eat there so this last time, I made sure he also got to try it

Left Back: Jambalaya Left Front: Spinach and Mushroom Etoufee Right Back: Chili Cheese  Etoufee with Crawfish Right Front: Curry Chicken
Left Back: Jambalaya
Left Front: Spinach and Mushroom Etoufee
Right Back: Chili Cheese Etoufee with Crawfish
Right Front: Curry Chicken

2. Steak ‘n Shake

So this is simply a burger joint. You can only find it in Indiana and along the borders of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.  It’s nothing spectacular but it does have a lot of meaning to me.

You see, Steak ‘n Shake is open 24 hours and there is literally one next to every high school in the state.  As a result, high school students would frequent there after sports games or musical performances because of how late it was open.  I spent much of my four years at Pike at Steak ‘n Shake.  As I grew older (and became legal to drink), it was still a place to frequent because where else were you going to get a good burger at two or three in the morning?

T is also a big fan so always to make sure and go at least once while we’re in Indy.  Nothing beats a good burger!

mmmmmmm double bacon steakburger with frisco sauce.....
mmmmmmm double bacon steakburger with frisco sauce…..

3. Don Juan’s Peruvian Sandwiches

Now this place is actually new – to me.  I found out about it because my family frequents this place a lot (the latin side….obviously).  This place takes sandwiches to a whole new level. We stopped here for breakfast one day before our big open house (we figured we should get stuffed before getting the house ready for our guests).  It was definitely a great way to start the day.  The locale is a little far out from downtown but it is worth the drive.

3720 E Raymond St.

Indianapolis, IN 46203

Left: Fried pork with sweet potatoes and onions Right: Lomo Saltado
Left: Fried pork with sweet potatoes and onions
Right: Lomo Saltado

4. Mama Irma

I have been a fan of this place for years – it also helps that I know the owner and literally get spoiled every time I walk through the door. My family also frequents this place a lot and also get the same treatment (we Peruvians gotta stick together!) While Don Juan is technically a sandwich joint, Mama Irma is more traditional in Peruvian cuisine.  That’s why I can’t really pick a favorite.  I love sandwiches but Mama Irma’s Chupe de Camaron (Shrimp Chowder) is mind blowing.

I am so glad that I got to come here.  There are Peruvian restaurants in Germany but the one we went to in Nuremberg gave us European size servings and not Peruvian Family style.

1058 Virginia Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46203

Right Back: Rice and Shrimp Left Back: Chupa de Camaron From: Fried Chicken and Yuca
Right Back: Rice and Shrimp
Left Back: Chupe de Camaron
From: Fried Chicken and Yuca
Ceviche mmmmmmm
Ceviche mmmmmmm

I also do have a few honorable mentions, but honestly, they’re in Chicago….which is not in Indiana so they don’t count. I do wish I took more photos.  T and I ate a lot of food during our trip, but these were the ones that were important so I am glad that I have them so I am frequently reminded to go there again when we come back.

What’s your favorite place to eat in your hometown?

Bis nächste Woche!

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