Indianapolis in a Day

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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Gray Brothers Cafeteria

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

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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.

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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.