Indianapolis in a Day


Food-Filled Day

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.


Shapiro’s Deli Cafeteria

Shapiro's of Indianapolis, Indiana, is a full-service kosher-style cafeteria best known for superb corned beef, in a sandwich or made into grand hash.


John’s Famous Stew

A bowl of John's Famous Stew is filled with huge clods of beef and chunks of vegetables. Down some beer with lunch in this friendly Indianapolis tavern.

Must Eats

Mug ‘N’ Bun Drive-In

Delicious root beer, dark and full of character, comes in frosty mugs alongside burgers, hot dogs, and pork tenderloin sandwiches at Indianapolis' Mug N Bun.


Gray Brothers Cafeteria

Gray Brothers cafeteria is a Hoosier heartland sampler, including fried chicken, four-star mac 'n' cheese, cornbread stuffing and butterscotch pie.


St. Elmo Steak House

St. Elmo's is the place in Indianapolis for a shrimp cocktail, martini & prime steak at dinner among local & visiting glitterati. Baked potatoes are legendary.


Hollyhock Hill

Skillet-fried chicken is wonderful at Indianapolis' Hollyhock Hill. With pan gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn niblets, hot breads & apple butter.