Indianapolis has steadily been climbing up the list of culinary hotspots in the nation for the last several years. Indy’s food scene has recently gained recognition by the likes of Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler and the national restaurant guide Zagat — and the new restaurants and dining experiences keep on coming.
Take, for example, The Garage: Part of the Bottleworks District development downtown, The Garage Food Hall is a highly-anticipated hub of food, entertainment and art that’s scheduled to open in January.
What can you find at The Garage after the first of the year? Check out these:
La Chinita Poblana
Is it Mexican food or Asian? Does it matter? La Chinita Poblana is an Asian-fusion Mexican restaurant like no other. We’d recommend the blackened tilapia taco with chipotle lime mayo, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here if you love good food with plenty of flavor.
J’s Lobster & Seafood
There’s absolutely nothing bad you can say about soft, toasted buns filled with lobster meat and drizzled with butter — but you can also find seafood salads, lobster mac and cheese, and all other sorts of seafood goodies here. J’s started as a food truck, but it’s claiming a permanent home at The Garage.
Crispy fries, extra-thick shakes and 100% pure ground beef are the staples at Clancy’s. If you’re looking for old-school American burgers and fries, this is definitely the place to come. Clancy’s started out in nearby Noblesville in 1965, but it’s since become a favorite all over Indiana.
The husband-wife team behind Gaucho’s Fire specializes in Brazilian street food like chimichurri fries smothered in shaved steak, provolone cheese and chimichurri sauce. You can also find regional dishes from all over Brazil. Gaucho’s Fire also started as a food truck, but Indy residents can hardly wait for it to open in The Garage.
If you’re ready to broaden your tastes and experience the wonders of Venezuela’s culinary scene, come to Azucar Morena and check out their griddled and stuffed corn cakes and papelón con limón. The dream creation of a Venzezualian native, this is the place to go when you want a truly authentic dining experience.
Abbiocco means “stuffed and satisfied” in Italian, and that’s definitely what you’ll be when you get done eating at this restaurant. Located inside the 670-square foot Bottleworks, Abbiocco offers an upscale dining experience with handmade pizzas, authentic Italian sauces and creative pasta dishes for your delight.
Pakistani-Indian inspired restaurant, Chapati Beta, will bring lively, spicy fare made for modern day dining to The Garage. Bold flavors meet a new fast-casual concept for this restaurant’s second location, where guests will be able to feast on a menu inspired by the owner’s family — his mother’s spice blends, flavorful sauces, and best recipes and a mango lassi drink, perfected by his father.
Looking for an Asian-fusion twist on the traditional Hawaiin poké bowl? This uber-healthy, fast-casual offers delights like tuna and salmon poké bowls with crispy wontons and cucumber, and made-from-scratch barbecue sauces and dressings. Poké Guru is the place to go when you need healthy food done fast.
If you’re looking for a pub with a relaxed atmosphere, great drinks and a combo of Scottish and American fare, you won’t be disappointed at The Harbour. An offshoot of MacNivens, the popular restaurant and bar on Mass Ave., you can expect the same delicious favorites on the menu, including haggis, breaded fish, calamari and vegetarian dishes.
Blu Point Oyster Bar
When seafood is your thing, you won’t be disappointed at the Blu Point Oyster Bar. If you’re looking for a place to take a date, this is a great spot to find raw oysters, luscious lobster rolls, rich chowders, homemade linguine with clams and more.
Daredevil Brewing Co.
Hoosiers do love a good brew or two, and Daredevil Brewing is happy to oblige! Widely acknowledged as one of the most creative and successful craft beer makers in the area, Daredevil is expected to open a 70-seat taproom with a rotating array of their finest blends.
Hard Truth Distilling Co.
If you’re looking for something a little stiffer than beer, you may want to check out Hard Truth Distilling. This company specializes in spirits using Indiana-grown rye, corn and wheat. You can find delights like cinnamon vodka and toasted coconut rum here, along with experimental drinks and one-of-a-kind creations at the bar.
Certain Feelings Coffee Co.
From the masterminds behind local Coat Check Coffee, Provider, and Strange Bird brands comes Certain Feelings, the newest addition to Indy’s coffee scene. Get your caffeine fix from a variety of traditional drinks and treats on their menu, or try one of their unique, cocktail-inspired specialty beverages instead. You can’t go wrong!
Lick Ice Cream
There’s ice cream and then there’s the ice cream you can get at Lick, and the two don’t compare. In operation since 2010, Lick is relocating to the Bottleworks with all their wild (and delicious) ice cream flavors, including Balsamic Dark Chocolate and Whiskey — so don’t skip dessert when you’re in the area.
Shopping and More
The Garage isn’t just restaurants, breweries and bars, however. You will also be able to find all kinds of unique places to shop or spend some time. Square Cat Vinyl will offer records and coffee. Pins Mechanical will have alcoholic drinks, pinball, foosball and other games. YogaSix will be there to offer a full sensory experience and classes. There are salons, barbershops, galleries and more on the way!
More than ever, area businesses are hoping that people will continue to support the restaurants and shops that make Indianapolis so unique and contribute to the city’s vitality. If the days following the holiday season start to feel a little colorless and unexciting, consider checking out everything The Garage has to offer.