Bars and Dining...
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Posted by xone0101

Super stoked to attend my first Gen Con and I’m wondering about the best places to eat and maybe grab an adult bevvy or two near the Con. Who has some favorites that I need to check out? (Also, I’m super allergic to seafood, so you can skip those, thanks)

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Posted by ryric

I'm sure others will chime in, but The Ram and Scotty's are two of the more popular bar/restaurants nearby. There will also be a couple dozen food trucks for lunch and dinner times. My group tends to like those for a quick lunch.

There are so many nearby restaurants that I'd basically recommend looking at downtown Indy on a online map search for restaurants. There are many chains, there's a mall with a food court, and so forth.

One protip: Lunch is busy all the time, but dinner gets super busy at 6 PM when the exhibit hall closes. If you can make yourself go to dinner at 5:30 or so, you can save a lot of time. I'm talking a 10 minute wait at 5:45 compared to 1.5-2 hours at 6. I haven't actually been in the convention at exhibit hall closing time in years, but we are done eating and ready for evening gaming by 7:30.

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Posted by father bloodlust

The Ram's definitely a good place, though of course it's incredibly busy. I also found a great pizza place last year called Giordano's (not sure if it's purely local or part of a nationwide chain, but it's good either way).

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Posted by andrewj.rager

Don't be afraid to go a little bit away from the ICC, you can get much better wait times if you do. Even as close as Champs in the mall was not busy during lunch time when we went.

Also the after 9PM deals at Primanti's is really good if you can wait that long. We walked to the Qdoba, hit up Noddles, and a couple other spots. We walked all the way to Bru burger, and it was OK. Didn't seem worth the price or walk. Try to avoid the food trucks and mall food court. These always seem busy.

Biggest tip is try to eat at non normal times. Lunch before 11AM or after 1PM, Dinner before 5:30PM or after 7:30OM.

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Posted by ryric

If you don't mind a bit of a hike, there's a fantastic breakfast place called Le Peep about 6-7 blocks away from the convention center. It's far enough that you'll stop seeing obvious gamers everywhere.

My group usually hits up Noodles & Company at least once for lunch. There's an Old Spaghetti Factory nearby that we usually go to once each Con.  

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Posted by jhs

There is an amazing variety of food both by type and price walking distance from the con.  The Ram and Scotty’s as mentioned above are basically part of the show now and have fine standard pub food, but there are many terrific places near by.  Buca di Beppo is great for big group meals, cafe patachou is great for breakfast, st. Elmo’s/Harry and izzy’s has wonderful steak...lots of terrific choices.

As everyone will tell you, though, normal meal times can be crazy busy, so plan accordingly.

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Posted by squirecam

Our group likes this place alot.

http://www.dicksbbq.com/Pages/Menu.aspx

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Posted by aldctjoc

Oh, I love Love LOVE talking food tourism. It's probably unhealthy for me, but dangit, I love it. :D

Anyway, some past threads, just to ensure you get the full range of opinions: 


  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/24-travel-housing-and-dining-2017/topics/7416-must-eat-restaurants#28693
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/24-travel-housing-and-dining-2017/topics/6783-favorite-breakfast-dining-location#21857
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/17-travel-housing-and-dining-2016/topics/325-downtown-restaurant-bar-review-hub#5822
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/17-travel-housing-and-dining-2016/topics/746-recommended-sit-down-restaurants#6904
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/24-travel-housing-and-dining-2017/topics/7066-best-places-to-get-a-drink#24494
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/17-travel-housing-and-dining-2016/topics/1299-close-food-options-to-stadium#12221
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/24-travel-housing-and-dining-2017/topics/12647-locals-fried-chicken#38764
  • https://www.gencon.com/forums/17-travel-housing-and-dining-2016/topics/689-restaurant-for-a-romantic-dinner#6568

... yeah, we loves us some foods, doesn't we? ;) :D

But seriously, there are some good choices out there, and a whole bunch within walking or short-drive distance too. If you want some decent upscale steak dining, there are a couple of places really close to the ICC: St. Elmo's and Ruth's Chris. A bit further away is Fogo de Chão, a Brazillian type churrascaria. It's a chain, but it's still pretty damn good. 

Italian? Someone already mentioned Buca di Beppo, which is another chain but still good. Real close by is Palamino; it's closer than some of the hotels, right in the Circle Center Mall. Granted, I'm unimpressed with them - I view them as too generic as well as overpriced for what you get, but I'm the first to admit there's nothing wrong with the food itself. That's a try-for-yourself place.

Latin? There's Nada, a higher end Mexican sit-down restaurant. They had an interesting craft brew selection when I was there last Gen Con. And it's easy to find: Exit the north-facing doors at the ICC, turn right, keep walking for two blocks. People who know where the Yard House is can help you find Nada's because it's right next door. 

German? The Rathskeller is a bit further out (Google Maps puts it at a 1.1 mile walk), but I've been aching to dive into a plate of their schnitzel for some time now. I was told I enjoyed the hell out of the last time I ate there, but that was for a bachelor party for an Indy resident I know, and I don't remember much besides waking up in the hotel the day after. ;)

Gah. This is too long already. Dive into those threads, and listen to other suggestions. Indy may not be the food town that big cities like San Francisco are, but it still has some good stuff worth indulging in.

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Posted by rutherfordr

I look forward to dinner at Ruth's Chris every year.

Fantastic food, and excellent service.

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Posted by aldctjoc father bloodlust

father bloodlust wrote:I also found a great pizza place last year called Giordano's (not sure if it's purely local or part of a nationwide chain, but it's good either way).

It's an export from Chicago. And the owners are trying to make it nationwide, but according to Wikipedia, success outside it's hometown is mixed at best. 

And that's kinda sad. They're definitely one of the top-tier places to visit when I'm in Indianapolis. That said, they don't even make my list when I'm in the Chicago area. But that's simply because Chicago's got too many other good places to choose from. There's certainly nothing wrong with them. 

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Posted by divachelle

Buca is a fave. We get takeout from there every year.

Giordano's is a must. Their pizza and appetizers are delightful.

If you're into typical fast food, there's a food court in the mall, as well as some other offerings: 
Mall Restaurants

I want to try the Irish pub this year, Claddagh's.

We typically do Scotty's on Wednesday before the herd arrives.

Our fave was the Colt's Grille, but, sadly, they closed.

Kilroy's was just a bit better than average, but they delivered to our hotel, so that was nice.

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Posted by helenbb

We tried Shula's (a steakhouse) last year for dinner. It was going to be a splurge. Then we got there and they had a GenCon menu for about $30 per person that was very reasonable, including an appetizer, entree and dessert. Great food and atmosphere for the price, plus it was super convenient, being right in the Westin. The best recommendation I can give is that we're going back there again this year. 

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Posted by ritorix

There's also a really neat beer tour event (I did it 2 years ago), they take you around to a handful of local breweries to sample the goods. Definitely a fun time.

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Posted by andrewj.rager

I feel like this is one of my favorite threads every year, just because I love to hear about what others like, so I can try 1 or 2 new things. The great thing is there is really a ton of options, and our hotel (Hyatt) is pretty close to most of it.
 

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Posted by xone0101

I'm just glad that I'm not the only one thinking about stuff like this 176 days in advance :P

Seriously, I can't wait!!!

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Posted by steffles

Patachou is a great breakfast or lunch place (like really great).  We like Barcelona Tapas and Nada.  I refuse to go to Palamino again...too expensive and not so great.   I'm looking forward to branching out myself this year:)

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Posted by lordnlkon

They always have the specialty gencon brew right out front of the main entrance where the food trucks are. There are also like 30 or so food trucks that line up outside. 

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Posted by brooks

Two or three years ago I remember walking past a southern-inspired restaurant named Georgia "something" and didn't have time to stop by. During GenCon 50 I was going to try it out, but couldn't seem to find the place/remember exactly where it was.

Has anyone been there?
 

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Posted by miked aldctjoc

aldctjoc wrote:
father bloodlust wrote:I also found a great pizza place last year called Giordano's (not sure if it's purely local or part of a nationwide chain, but it's good either way).

It's an export from Chicago. And the owners are trying to make it nationwide, but according to Wikipedia, success outside it's hometown is mixed at best. And that's kinda sad. They're definitely one of the top-tier places to visit when I'm in Indianapolis. That said, they don't even make my list when I'm in the Chicago area. But that's simply because Chicago's got too many other good places to choose from. There's certainly nothing wrong with them. 
I think part of the problem is the slow customer se vice.   To just getting your food to you but getting the hostess to seat you.  But they do have very good pizza and good chicken parmigiana 

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Posted by aldctjoc brooks

brooks wrote:Two or three years ago I remember walking past a southern-inspired restaurant named Georgia "something" and didn't have time to stop by. During GenCon 50 I was going to try it out, but couldn't seem to find the place/remember exactly where it was.
Has anyone been there?
 

Georgia Reese's? Unfortunately it closed. Even more unfortunately, the website's still up and looks current, so it's easy to get confused.

I never got a chance to go. I heard excellent things about it.

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