Local Dining Treasures: 10 Must-Order Menu Items

Nacho Boat from La Revolucion:  Nachos as big as your head!

Nacho Boat from La Revolucion:
Nachos as big as your head!

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Indianapolis.

Over the years, I’ve cultivated a few favorite menu items from each local restaurant. I know there is so much out there, I should really be exploring new food and restaurants instead of constantly ordering the same thing. But our favorites are just so good and impossible to resist whenever I’m in the area.

We have local favorites in downtown Indianapolis, Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, and Mass Ave. My must-have items are mostly desserts or cocktails.

There’s always a signature cocktail. Plus, local restaurants all seem to have a signature dish — one amazing item they’re well known for. If you want to get a real taste of Indy, here are 10 must-order menu at local restaurants:

  • Nutella Pizza from Napolese Artisanal Pizza

    Nutella Pizza from Napolese Artisanal Pizza

    Nutella pizza, Napolese: That’s right — Nutella pizza. Hazelnut-chocolate sauce is drizzled over pizza crust and sprinkled with chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Do not forget to get a scoop of gelato to go with it!
  • Omelet of the day, Cafe Patachou: There are a lot of amazing options at Patachou, but the omelet of the day is always a good choice. It features fresh ingredients with a seasonal focus, and a new option every day. (I also really like the BLT here, with fresh mozzarella.)
  • Breaded tenderloin, The Aristocrat: Is there anything more Indiana than a breaded tenderloin? Stop by Broad Ripple Village for a breaded tenderloin and your choice of 60 rotating draft beers in the new Aristocrat Pub.
  • Hot Chocolate from 3 Sisters Cafe

    Hot Chocolate from 3 Sisters Cafe

    Hot chocolate, 3 Sisters Cafe: This is my all-time favorite spot for brunch or lunch. And I always order a hot chocolate, winter or summer. It is delicious, rich, and covered with whipped cream for days. The hubby would likely also suggest the fish tacos, but seriously don’t forget your hot chocolate.
  • Nacho Boat, La Revolucion: You guys, this is a nacho boat as big as your head. Seriously. I’ve never gotten past the nachos, so I couldn’t even tell you what else they serve. Well, except margaritas. (Have one for me, please.)
  • ‘Merica Fries, Ralston’s Drafthouse: I love me some loaded French fries, and they don’t get much better than bourbon-barrel cheese and bacon. Pair your fries with one of several draft beers tapped nightly.
  • Harvest Crepe, 3 Days in Paris: I don’t think you can go wrong with any crêpe choices at this City Market counter, but the Harvest Crêpe is a good, all-around option with several fresh ingredients and raspberry Chipotle sauce.
  • Chocolate Mousse from Blue Spatula

    Chocolate Mousse from Blue Spatula

    Chocolate Mousse, Blue Spatula: Inside City Market at Jumbo’s Cafe, you’ll find the newest dessert stand in Indianapolis. The specialty is fresh pies, cupcakes, and other baked goods, but I live for chocolate mousse days! It is rich, creamy, and completely irresistible, especially when paired with the homemade whipped cream.
  • Shrimp Cocktail, St. Elmo’s: If you ask a non-Hoosier about dining in Indianapolis, you’ll likely hear about St. Elmo’s. It’s one of those places everyone has to check out for themselves at least once. Have the famous shrimp cocktail (and clear your sinuses at the same time). They make a pretty smooth martini, as well.
  • Fried Pickles, Scotty’s Brewhouse: Exclusively a Midwest delicacy, the fried pickles at Scotty’s Brewhouse are a good choice to sample a taste of Indy. Personally, I prefer Lucy’s Cosmopolitan, but food is always a good thing to go with it.