Best Food Downtown?
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Posted by marsdnd

Can any of the more worldly GenCon goers name their favorite place to sit down for lunch/dinner Downtown or in reasonably Uberable distance?

I'm not picky on cusine, just quality. Too use to New Orleans food I guess. Thank you in advance :)

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Posted by brooks

Sugarfire on West Washington has outstanding barbeque. While it's a (small) chain, I'm also fond of Claddagh Irish Pub on South Meridian. Both offer something different from the usual burger bar & grill fair found in most other restaurants in the area. 

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Posted by pshep999

The Sinking Ship

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Posted by squirecam

My group usually wants to go to Dicks Bodacious BBQ.

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Posted by jedijawa74

+1 for Dick's BBQ. It's just off the beaten path so that it isn't madness to get a seat.  We have had some great dinners there.

Granite City Brewing is also good.  It's hard to say what will still be in business by the time we get back there. So many places have closed or changed.

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Posted by captain 10beers

Gotta make a trip to the Slippery Noodle.

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Posted by njseahawksfan

We took an uber up to The Eagle Mass Ave for Fried Chicken one night last year to celebrate my son's 21st birthday.  It was incredible.  

https://www.eaglerestaurant.com/

Also Granite City has great beer specials during the afternoons.

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Posted by casien

We ate at the Eagle's Nest last year, its a spinning restaurant located at the top of the Hyatt Regency, next to the Convention center. The food we pretty good, the service was great, and the view was nice. 

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Posted by chaoticneutral262

If you like your meals rowdy and raunchy, and enjoy watching your friends being heckled by the wait staff, there's always Dick's Last Resort.  The food isn't too bad either.  It about a block east of the convention center.

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Posted by quarex

I will start by agreeing and disagreeing with Brooks' starter post, as I think Sugarfire Barbeque is so great that it would be considered great just about anywhere, whereas Claddagh is so, like, decent-at-best that I am shocked to see it mentioned here (particularly since they are prone to running special limited menus during Gen-Con that barely includes their already-minimal Irish cuisine, and much of their seating is shockingly inadequate for anyone over about 200 pounds).

Hard to go wrong with St. Elmo's Steakhouse or its attached (cheaper) sister restaurant Harry & Izzy's.  Supposedly Burger Study is also the same conglomerate, but it definitely seemed a step down in quality from the other two based on my experience.

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Posted by aldctjoc

Ok, for quality, there's stuff to find around the convention center, but honestly, some of it will require a bit of an Ubering/Lyfting. 

Very nearby, like just a couple of blocks or so:


  • St. Elmo's. Pricewise, it's in line with other steakhouses in other cities, but that means that it's damn, damn pricey to most convention crowds (even beyond Gen Con). But quality-wise, it's one of the best if not the best in Indy. Across from the RAM, so real close. 
  • Burger Study - This isn't just some cheap burger joint - although their prices are honestly not bad at all - but rather, it's sort of a take on how to make burgers something special. YMMV on whether they achieve that or not, and I've only been there once myself, but when I went it was damn good. And I haven't heard complaints from anyone else. Just a bit further down on Georgia Street than St. Elmo's/Harry & Izzy's.
  • Nada - High end mexican. Really good, but if you're a big eater, you'll likely be disappointed in the portion sizes. I'd still recommend it, though, because it's cool to see an upscale take on tacos. A couple of blocks down from the ICC on Maryland. If you've stayed in the Hampton Inn, then you will have walked right by it before.
  • Cafe Patachou - Breakfast spot. Crowded as HELL, but gets super high ratings all the time. Personally I pass them by for Le Peep or Yolk, but those aren't anywhere near as close to the convention center as Patachou. It's literally a single block away, just a short walk east from the Westin. It's almost as close as the connected hotels.

A bit further out, walkable for many, but considered a drive for others:

  • Shapiro's. Totally a deli/cafeteria type experience. Unpretentious to the max. But damn, those sandwiches. Couple of blocks southwest of the stadium (not the ICC, the football stadium). I haven't heard a single bad word about the place even outside the context of Gen Con, plus I like it personally (although I've only been there once). 
  • Nicky Blaine's. Necessary info up front: This is NOT a restaurant. It's a cocktail and cigar bar. So you're not eating meals there, you're eating finger foods and appetizers. But, those finger foods and appetizers were actually pretty good last time I went. If you're just looking to snack while drinking, this is a good place. Near Monument Circle. 
  • Bazbeaux. Pizza joint, one of the well respected ones in Indy. Northeast of Monument Circle, it's about a mile walk. 
  • Tamale Place - It made Food Network (not this specific location, but it's still all the same ownership). They serve the obvious (it's in their name!) as well as tortas, tacos, etc. I've yet to go, but friends in Indy tell me I'm only screwing myself by not going. Also northeast of the Circle, just not as far as Bazbeaux. 

You're driving. Or at least someone else is:

  • Rook - This is a weird one, because I personally didn't end up enjoying it. But, I appear to be the only human being with a pulse that thinks this way. As an Asian, I was big on Asian fusion cuisine until I actually tried it... but people I know in the city can't say enough great (not merely good) things about the place. I recognize I'm in the extreme minority here, so I'll list it on the strength of everyone else's reviews. Just don't expect "Asian", expect "Asian inspired". Virginia Ave., southeast of the ICC.
  • Milktooth - You can look up my prior reviews here in this forum, but in sum: Hipster enough to make you want to punch someone. Good enough to compel you to risk the arrest. Their maple bacon slice (yes, one. One's more than enough) is a heart attack on a plate, but after having it, I'm willing to die happy. Just down the street from Rook. 
  • Yats - Cajun & Creole cooking. Since you're from New Orleans, this'll probably feel right at home. In fact, it might feel too familiar, so there's that warning. But it's good. Even more unpretentious than Shapiro's - you get a plastic plate and grab your own utensils and drinks - but it just tastes damn good. At least to me; I'll love to hear what a native New Orleaner thinks if you end up going. Google for this, since there are 2 locations roughly equidistant from the ICC. Mass Ave location might be easier to find, 10th St. location is a touch closer but will appear to be harder to park at (hint: There's a parking garage around back. It appears to belong to the apartment complex nearby, but it's also for patrons of the restaurants right there. It's very un-obvious parking). 

I have many more that I simply haven't thought of, but this'll do for now. I think they're all quality. Others can disagree or agree as they want :). And of course, others will cite ones I know I've missed. 

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Posted by breye

Maxine's Chicken and Waffles is far enough to maybe want to Uber to, but close enough to be able to walk back from.
And you'll want to do so to walk off that food.

Other then that, the food trucks really have been the stars of Gen Con eating to me over the last few years.

ReBar was an awesome find a couple years ago with good pub grub, excellent bar tenders and a beer tap wall pour-your-own-by-the-ounce.  But last year it looked like it was closed.

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Posted by jhs

One more vote for shapiros.  Great pastrami.  Lots of classic New York deli food, and all that I have tried good.  

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Posted by klaron

if you're going to Shaprios, then you should walk just a little bit further to the Greek Islands (they are practically next door).  For years it is our starting spot to Gen Con with our friends from around the country on Wednesday night and we always visit once more before leaving Indy.  Great family run restaurant and belly dancing on Fridays, at least when we've been there. 
https://www.greekislandsrestaurant.com/

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Posted by dgoodchild

If you're willing to splurge on an expensive meal out, I love Fogo de Chão

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Posted by dgoodchild

Double post. 

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Posted by cosmicpower

Has anyone tried kuma's? They seem to have a hell of a burger menu. They are not downtown though only like a 5 min drive from downtown. 

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Posted by chrisbuddha

The food truck chow offers a huge variety of culinary delights and I'm glad they're there.  A few drawbacks to them though...

1) the food is pretty expensive.  The cost of chow and drink could easily reach into $15+. 

2)  the lines are pretty long and some are VERY long, you could be waiting a while.

3)  Its HOT in late July, so you'll be waiting in the heat and glaring sun.

4)  very few places to sit, you'll probably end up sitting on the ground.

One afternoon last year when I saw how long those lines were, I bailed and went over to one of the hotel restaurants.  Sat in an air conditioned dining room, enjoyed free ice cold water, and grabbed a sandwich for about the same price as would have paid at food trucks. 

 

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Posted by monkeyknifefight

My favorite restaurants the last time I was able to make it were Scotty’s and Noodles & Company. 

St Elmos was great as well but a once a trip type meal.

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Posted by chrisbuddha monkeyknifefight

monkeyknifefight wrote:
My favorite restaurants the last time I was able to make it were Scotty’s and Noodles & Company. 
St Elmos was great as well but a once a trip type meal.
Actually both Scotty's and Noodles are closed now.  St. Elmo's is great, but we only go on our 1st day at GC, too expensive otherwise.

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