Modern life gets busy, and most families have a lot they’re trying to juggle between work, school and home, so carry-out can be perfect on a night when the cupboard’s bare because the shopping hasn’t been done or you’re just too tired to cook.
It may surprise you, but 60% of American consumers grab carry-out (or get delivery) at least once a week. After all, carry-out means everybody can order what they want, no cleanup and more time to get other things done – or spare time to relax.
Fortunately, if you happen to live in Indianapolis, there are plenty of home-grown restaurants and adopted eateries from which to choose. Indy’s culinary scene is constantly evolving, so there’s no reason to go with something boring, like chicken nuggets and sauce. Instead, we recommend you try something from the take-out menus at these places:
Yaso Jamaican Grill – 1501 Prospect St.
With fall-off-the-bone ribs and jerk chicken so tender it could bring tears to your eyes, you can’t go wrong at Yaso’s. Their coconut curry shrimp and fried plantains are also local favorites, but don’t be afraid to branch out to more adventurous fare, like their curry goat or vegetable stew.
Root & Bone Indianapolis – 4601 N College Ave.
When you want a restaurant-style meal without having to wait for a table, Root & Bone could be the perfect solution. They specialize in traditional American fare, like braised short ribs and honey chicken with root vegetables – with a distinctly upscale twist, like fried chicken brined in sweet tea before frying.
Petos Authentic Greek Restaurant – 6020 E 82nd St.
If you want tons of taste and flavor, but all of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, Petos may be the perfect spot to grab dinner. Their lamb gyro plate, wrapped grape leaves and spanakopita are second to none, and the perfect treat after a long day.
Baby’s Indy – 2147 N. Talbott St.
Sometimes, nothing will hit the spot like a good, old-fashioned burger and a side of thick-cut onion rings. When that sort of food is just calling your name, Baby’s is one of the best places around to grab-and-go. Aside from burgers, you can get a variety of chicken sandwiches and even a veggie burger or two, so there’s bound to be something for everybody in your family to enjoy.
King Ribs BBQ — 3145 W. 16th St.
This place is known for its amazing ribs – and an aroma that will follow you home and make you feel like you’re standing right next to the grill while you eat. The staff at King Ribs is friendly, the service is quick, but the ribs are definitely the star (although you should also probably check out the chess pie – just saying).
Modita – 850 Massachusetts Ave.
If sushi bars, noodles and Pan Asian cuisine make your mouth water, Modita makes carry-out easy. They have a complete sushi menu, but you can also find delicacies like Bao Buns, tangerine chicken, tikka masala and kimchi fried rice. They’re open pretty late (10 p.m. or 11 p.m. most nights of the week and until 9 p.m. on Sundays) so this is a perfect place to grab dinner when you’re getting in late from work.
Ramen Ray – 5628 E. 71st St.
This isn’t the ramen of your college dorm days. Instead, this is Sapporo-style ramen, with a rich broth and beautifully chopped vegetables and assorted protein options, along with wonderful sides like pork gyoza and demi hash rice. The staff is also conscientious about the packaging, so you don’t have to worry about spills in your car!
Last Chance Pizza – 2535 S. Meridian St.
This place is an offshoot of the Barringer Tavern, but it specializes in carry-out with a compact menu featuring a few specialty pizzas and extensive build-your-own options. The staff at Last Chance works hard to keep the orders rolling, so you can expect “fast, hot and delicious” pizza pie, every time.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop – 55 Monument Circle
Who says “just a sandwich” has to be boring? When you want something short on fuss and long on flavor, Potbelly’s could be the way to go. They have everything from pizza melts to meatball subs, and tons of toppings – and you can even get a cookie for dessert.
St. Elmo Steak House – 127 S. Illinois St.
St. Elmo’s makes a lot of lists, mostly because it’s one of the city’s most well-known spots for romance – but you do have the option of bringing the food home with you. If you want a romantic dinner for two on a special night without worrying about getting a table or talking over a crowd, their carry-out menu makes it easy to transport the atmosphere right to your home.
Iozzo’s Garden of Italy – 946 S. Meridian St.
Iozzo’s has a full menu of Italian delights, from crispy calamari and basil cheese garlic bread – but the real star of their show is the homemade pasta and fresh seafood. When you’re craving authentic Italian but you want to curl up on the sofa to eat it, this is one of the best places in town to get take-away food.
The Eagle – 310 Massachusetts Ave.
This just isn’t your grandmother’s fried chicken – because it’s better. It can be hard to get a spot at The Eagle (because they’re so busy), but there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing dinner to go. Just make sure you pick up a few of their mouth-watering side dishes to go with it, like their southern-style hush puppies or iron-skillet spoonbread.
We’re not going to say that pizza from your favorite local hole-in-wall isn’t always an option (because pizza is always an option in our book), but we are going to say that you’re missing out on a lot if you haven’t explored at least a few of the options above.