Unconventional Restaurants Around Indianapolis: Try Something Different Tonight

You can find almost anything you want at an Indianapolis restaurant. If you’re looking for authentic sushi, go to an Indianapolis Japanese restaurant; if burgers and fries are more your thing, head for an Indianapolis American restaurant. But if you want something slightly off kilter and a little unorthodox, Indianapolis has restaurants for that too. As a matter of fact, there are a number of unconventional restaurants around Indianapolis that can satisfy your curiosity as well as your appetite. Whether it’s a dinner theater, a shrine to music of days gone by, or a historically haunted Indianapolis hotel, unconventional Indianapolis restaurants give the Circle City a unique flavor all its own.

Below are a few unconventional restaurants in and around Indianapolis, each an Indianapolis attraction in its own right:

Beef and Boards Dinner Theater – The Beef and Boards Dinner Theater is a traditional high-end dinner theater with a first-class restaurant. Those who attend enjoy the best in Broadway and a lavish dinner buffet from their tables; Beef and Boards is famous for its scrumptious food and excellent performances.
Traders Cafe – Located in historic downtown Noblesville, Traders Cafe is designed to help customers fill their stomachs and build their portfolios. Instead of playing Indianapolis Colts games on the big screens, news networks display the New York Stock Exchange and other Wall Street figures; the restaurant offers networking, business courses, and workshops.
Miss Betty’s Dinner Theater and Restaurant – If you’ve ever been to a real down-home, homespun Midwest dinner theater, you already have a good idea of what a kick a visit to Miss Betty’s Dinner Theater and Restaurant can be. Specializing in home-cooked meals that everybody loves, Miss Betty’s expertise plainly extends to making stomachs happy, as well as hearts and minds.
The Eagle’s Nest – On the 23rd floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Indianapolis is a view with a room: The Eagle’s Nest restaurant. Not only is there a magnificent view of the skyline anywhere you sit, the restaurant rotates a full 360 degrees so you and your date can take in the entire cityscape of Indianapolis during the course of a gourmet meal.
Hard Rock Cafe – In some 42 countries all over the planet, there are 138 Hard Rock Cafe restaurants, casinos and hotels. Even though it’s not unique to Indy, the Hard Rock Cafe is still an excellent place to go for a heavy dose of rock n’ roll nostalgia; hundreds of rock mementos and memorabilia line the walls of the restaurant, and the food is deep fried bliss.
L’explorateur – Chef Neal Brown’s goal is to explore, discover and create unique entrees that are completely original. Tree sap is even used as an ingredient in Chef Brown’s kitchen, as he takes customers on a journey of new flavors. The interesting and new tastes that emerge from the restaurant are precisely why its name translates to “The Explorer.”
Woody’s Library Restaurant – Owned by Kevin Rider and former Scholar’s Inn chef and owner Richelle Rider, Woody’s Library is housed in the Andrew Carnegie Library in Carmel, built in 1913. The downstairs pub features a 225 gallon fish tank, video games, and shuffleboard, while the upstairs dining room has a seasonal menu of gourmet caliber dishes.
Heidelberg Haus Bakery and Restaurant – Pretty little cafe tables are scattered throughout a massive store containing what just might be the biggest collection of German items for sale in the nation. An entire wall, for example, is given over to the Heidelberg collection of beer steins, and another wall is covered with intricate cuckoo clocks. An antique bakery museum, a German grocery, and more add flavor to an already bustling destination restaurant.
Edward’s Drive-In Restaurant – Travel back in time to the sock-hopping 1950’s at Edward’s Drive-In Restaurant. This Indianapolis favorite is famous for its pork tenderloins, onion rings and coney dogs; customers at Edwards Drive-In Restaurant have the option of dining in or ordering carry-out curb service, a classic 1950’s tradition.
The Willard Restaurant – Housed in the haunted Willard Hotel in Franklin, Indiana, the Willard Restaurant is a beautiful, delicious restaurant with a creepy tint. You won’t find ghosts under the table cloth or monsters in the soup, but turn of the century architecture and the hotel’s eerie reputation will keep you on your toes.
The Mayberry Cafe – Go back in time with Andy Griffith as you enter the Mayberry Cafe in downtown Danville, Indiana. Recently renovated to include a second floor, this Danville restaurant does its utmost to provide total Mayberry immersion. You expect to see Aunt Bee come out of the kitchen any second, what with all the memorabilia. Three televisions even air the Andy Griffith Show throughout the restaurant, so you never forget where you are in time or space.
Rathskeller Restaurant – The Rathskeller (meaning “council cellar” in German) is suitably located in the basement of the historic Athenaeum Building in downtown Indianapolis. It is the oldest running restaurant in Indianapolis, and it is chock full of memorabilia, authentic German cuisine, a massive beer menu, regular polka bands, and an outdoor Biergarten.
The Melting Pot – An upscale, elegant Indianapolis restaurant that specializes in fondue, The Melting Pot offers something different and delicious for an exceptional night out. A typical evening at The Melting Pot includes private, spacious booths in a dimly lit, stylish atmosphere, attentive staff, and a four-course dinner designed to give you the best of each “type” of fondue.
Rick’s Cafe Boatyard – Rick’s Cafe Boatyard Restaurant has become an Indianapolis attraction  over the years because it offers a unique experience and fine seafood dining. If you thought you had to drive a thousand miles to enjoy all the freshness and good eats from the sea, think again. Rick’s Cafe Boatyard overlooks the water, and customers feel like they’re dining from a yacht on the ocean with a gorgeous view.
Harley’s Tin West Restaurant – Harley’s is one of the most fun restaurants in Indianapolis. They have a game room for the kids, a lounge for the adults, and a dining room for everybody under the sun, featuring not just great food, but a stage for sing-along karaoke and live Indianapolis music. Harley’s even invites you to bring your own board games to play with the kids.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria – Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria is not only the official caterer for the Indianapolis Colts, but it is also the largest cafeteria, catering and banquet facility on the face of the planet.  There’s so much variety that anyone who eats there will have to leave many delicacies untouched until their second, third, or sixteenth trip.

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