Indianapolis once was known for its superb cafeterias, and there is one glowing legacy of that fact, southwest of town: the magnificent Gray Brothers Cafeteria, where a dozen trips through the line aren’t enough to sample everything that’s good. Prior to lunch at Gray’s, we suggest breakfast at Shapiro’s Deli Cafeteria (also cafeteria style), a true Jewish deli where the corned beef hash (with house-baked rye bread on the side) is a plate of beauty. Other excellent lunch opportunities include John’s Famous Stew (justifiably famous!) and Mug ‘n’ Bun Drive-In near the Raceway for burgers and four-star root beer. For a big deal dinner, steak (and ferocious shrimp cocktail) at St. Elmo Steak House is a city legend, as is Hoosier fried chicken at the old-fashioned Hollyhock Hill.
Gray Brothers cafeteria is a Hoosier heartland sampler, including fried chicken, four-star mac 'n' cheese, cornbread stuffing and butterscotch pie.