We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray to Indianapolis, IN. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of local breweries, putting your cooking skills to the test at a Nestle Inn cooking class, or trying the “world’s spiciest” shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo Steak House, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~2 hours from downtown Louisville
Est. population: 869,387
Avg. high in August: 83°
🎟️ Things to do
Featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal and Bon Appetit Magazine, this tour group offers pub crawls, culinary scavenger hunts, and dine arounds — formal, high-end foodie tours
Located one block off Mass Avenue, this six-room bed and breakfast offers cooking classes on Saturdays, contactless check-in + is in close proximity to The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, shopping, and restaurants.
Download a mobile passport that will take you to the best breweries, distilleries + craft beverage producers in Indianapolis. Check in at eight participating locations and score an Indy Craft Pass t-shirt.
Pedal your way around downtown on this BYOB bar + stop at The Rathskellar to refuel with Bavarian goodies in the biergarten.
🍲 Memorable eats
Established in 1902, this is the oldest Indianapolis steakhouse in its original location. It is known for its steak and seafood — particularly its shrimp cocktail, which the Travel Channel deemed to be the “world’s spiciest dish.”
Dubbed “one of the best bars in the US” by Esquire Magazine, this luxe microbar offers cocktails and elevated bar fare from six-time James Beard semifinalist Martha Hoover.
Head to Indiana’s oldest bar (established in 1850) to catch a Colts game + sample six different wing flavors — spicy buffalo, garlic, Bar-B-Que, teriyaki, mango habanero, and cayenne pepper.
Enjoy a fresh brunch of savory croissant bites, burrata salad, ribeye and eggs + top off your meal with a charcuterie-style sampling of desserts. Bonus: You can also book a class with a chef to up your pastry skills.
Book a private dining experience in The Rosewater Room — a 19th century dining room that can accommodate 40 guests — at this James Beard semifinalist restaurant that specializes in scratch-made dishes + experimental cocktails.
For empanadas, street corn, and yuca fries, look no further than Livery. Savor a cerveza outdoors during patio season.
🏨 Accommodations with noteworthy cuisine
Bottleworks Hotel, 850 Massachusetts Ave., Ste. 100
Located on the site of what was once the world’s largest Coca Cola bottling plant, this swanky art deco spot is just steps away from The Garage Food Hall.
Le Méridien Indianapolis, 123 S Illinois St.
Nestled inside this modern hotel is Spoke & Steele, one of Indianapolis Monthly’s best restaurants of 2020.
Ironworks Hotel Indy, 2721 E 86th St.
Guests at this industrial-inspired hotel have their choice of three dining options. Enjoy brunch at Rize, sample sushi at Blue Sushi Sake Grill, or have an upscale experience at Provision.
Downtown Indianapolis Marriott, 350 W. Maryland St.
Conner’s Kitchen + Bar is a hidden gem offering elevated comfort food. It is also Trip Advisor’s number one restaurant in Indianapolis.
The Alexander, 333 Delaware St.
Sample local cuisine at Market Table, an open kitchen with fresh, seasonal produce and locally-sourced meats.
Hungry for more? Head to the link below for seven more mouthwatering recs. Plus, catch up on the last two months’ Hit the Road features: An outdoor adventure to Red River Gorge and A day trip getaway to Cave City.