Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria

One of the best


Jonathan Byrd’s boasts that it is America’s biggest cafeteria. The serving line is eighty-eight feet long with a minimum of twenty entrees at any one time (serving continuously from 10:45 to 8:45 daily) as well as countless vegetable side dishes, Jell-Os, salads, desserts, breads and rolls. In need of comfort when we first stopped by, we dined on turkey pot pie and a bowl of chicken and noodles, the latter an especially salubrious bowl of thick, soft pasta and shreds of chicken in just enough broth to keep it all moist.

It happened to be a Wednesday, so the other entree choices for the day included wiener schnitzel, stuffed peppers, smoked sausage, fried cod, fried chicken, roast beef carved to order, turkey carved to order, meat loaf, and St. Peter’s fish. Each of the seven days a week has its own list of specials; and every day of the week, you can count on beef Manhattan, ham and beans, steak, shrimp, vegetarian vegetable soup, plus low-cal diet items from salad to no-sugar pies.

Among the memorable side dishes were macaroni and cheese with a good portion of crusty, chewy top-cheese mixed in with the creamy noodles from below, a buttermilk drop biscuit that was a textural joy and bread pudding laced with slices of cooked-soft apple and plenty of sweet caramel sauce.

The late Jonathan Byrd was a man on a mission from God. “I was impressed by how many significant biblical events involved people eating together,” he wrote for a story in Guideposts. As a matter of principle, he served no liquor in the cafeteria, not even in its banquet rooms, and even after his passing, the Jonathan Byrd function rooms regularly play host to gospel concerts.

Al & Janet Bowen | October 10, 2013

We make monthly trips to Indy and make a point of stopping at JB’s for lunch each trip. I second the positive comments on the Fried Chicken, although if we happen to be there on “Liver and Onion Day’ I will choose that entree. The Carmel Bread Pudding makes a great warm dessert for a solid meal.

Always spotless clean, and with a friendly staff, Jonathon Byrd’s serves up a good example of Hoosier Hospitality in a traditional atmosphere. We will continue to visit it in the future.

What to Eat
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, fried chicken
fried chicken
Hoosier sure know how to fry chicken. The crust on Byrd's pulls away in large, luscious strips.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, caramel bread pudding
caramel bread pudding
A serving of caramel bread pudding. One of about two dozen irresistible desserts along the Jonathan Byrd cafeteria line.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, Greens
Note the large nugget of pork at the heart of this serving of full-flavored greens.
turkey pot pie
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, Corn bread stuffing
Corn bread stuffing
Take your pick of corn muffins, sweet or regular.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, Sugar Cream Pie
Sugar Cream Pie
Word to the wise: if you get sugar cream pie, ask someone behind the counter to warm it up for you. Cool, it's sticky; warm, it's heaven.
Corn Muffin
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, Mac N Cheese
Mac N Cheese
Very cheesy mac n cheese. You can request crustier areas of the casserole, too.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10:30 am - 8 pm
Monday11 am - 8 pm
Tuesday11 am - 8 pm
Wednesday11 am - 8 pm
Thursday11 am - 8 pm
Friday11 am - 8:30 pm
Saturday11 am - 8:30 pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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