Any recommendations for a good pizza?
The best pizza is the slice in your hand before you have to be at your next event.
Edit: Also I literally cannot stress enough how important it is to seriously consider skipping lunch. Stuff yourself silly at your breakfast buffet (if you have one, just breakfast otherwise if not), bring some granola bars or a sandwich or something in your bag, and keep on trucking until dinner. Virtually guaranteed to miss 90 minutes or more of primo convention time if you stop for lunch.
Also, try not to hit dinner at that 6-7pm time, either aim at before or later. Many people start thinking of dinner once the Exhibit Hall closes and EVERYWHERE is crowded at that time.
Right now we’re at the Candlewood near the medical center. They don’t offer free breakfast, and we will be Uber/lyfting to the ICC. Are there places close by that hotel to grab breakfast or would we be better off getting close to the ICC then grabbing something and walking the rest of the way?
That hotel is on White River Parkway, right? If so, then yeah, that spot's sort of in the middle of a restaurant-free zone, at least walking-wise.
My opinion is to take that Uber/Lyft to one of three restaurants nearby: Le Peep, First Watch, or Cafe Patachou. The reason is that the first two are not far out of the way at all on Illinois St. and for many are walkable, so you may not need another ride in. Depending on consumption ;). Seriously, check a map first; my "walkable" might be other's "need car". Anyway... Cafe Patachou: That's even closer, just a single block away. It's closer than the Embassy Suites, Conrad, or Hilton hotels. Many folks park farther away than Patachou, so you're basically right there.
On the other hand, if you're doing rideshares, you won't have to be limited to just places near the ICC. So you can go wild. If you're willing to do the distance (around 4 miles from the Candlewood Med Dist.), then Milktooth on Virginia is worth a trip. I won't ever call a place "must go", but it is unique, even compared against Patachou, and it's gotten national foodie attention. So for many, it's worth trying.
Thank you! This is rather what I figured based on my limited experience with the area (I lyfted to Eskanazi after I broke my arm at the con last year was also starving and looking for breakfast foods when we left the hospital, but saw nothing).
We are doing rideshares because the cost of a rental car (about 400) gas, and parking. We’d basically have to spend an extra $250 on rideshares beyond getting to/from the ICC and getting from/to the hotel before we equal the cost of car rental.
Unless you have limited mobility, are carrying a ton of stuff, or are extremely pressed for time, I would not consider Milktooth and Rook places that need to be driven to from the ICC. Rook is less than a mile away and Milktooth is like 0.1 mile further around the corner. One of my rituals is that I walk down to Amelia's, which is a block down the street from Rook, for breakfast at least one morning. They have baller bread and pastries. If you're in that area, Bluebeard and Three Carrots are also good. As others have mentioned, Kuma's is a little further down still, but the burgers are awesome.
Personally, I prefer getting apps and drinks at St. Elmos' 1933 lounge way better than my experience in the main dining room. It was not terrible (issues with wine service, steak overcooked but not enough to send it back), but when you're paying like $50 for a steak, "not terrible" doesn't really cut it, and I have had nothing but good times in the lounge.
It's not unique to Indy, but I've ended up at the PF Changs at least once a Gencon for the last four years- food is consistent, service is good, and never had to wait for than five minutes for a table. While everyone is out waiting in line for the food trucks or Mikado, I can sit at real table with AC and free water, stat. Other sit-down chains in downtown Indy that are consistent and decent quality that I've personally tried are Fogo de Chao, Weber Grille, Yolk, and Punch Bowl Social. I would include Oceanaire too, but since you're from New Orleans you probably don't want to eat seafood in Indiana. :)
If you drink alcohol and like craft cocktails, I recommended The Libertine on Mass Ave, which incidentally happens to be on the way to the aforementioned Yats. If you drink beer, the beer tour is also fun- it takes you to breweries outside of downtown, and you're with a group of other con-goers, so you already have something in common. The only drawback is that it's a little expensive; the one I did two years ago was $30-35 and that was pretty much for your ticket onto the party bus. Some of the breweries had free samples, but the cost of the event ticket did not include any full-size drinks.
I was able to snag a table most days at the Ram, just around the corner. Nothing too fancy, but very tasty. Most of the time you're going to want to circle the bar area waiting to snipe a table as people leave, rather than wait for one to open up in the main area.
If you're willing to take a Lyft, I highly recommend the Inferno Room for a change of pace: it's a gen-u-ine tiki bar, fully themed out and everything. Food is limited, but drinks are plentiful. They can get busy though--but it's going to be tough to find any place where you can just walk in and get a seat during Gen Con weekend!
I always do a meal at Spoke and Steel at least once during the week.
I'll throw in another recommendation for Burger Study. It's owned by the Elmo's/Harry & Izzy's people, and they do a lot of great burgers there. Very creative, not too expensive, and super-delicious. They also have a bourbon chocolate milkshake that one of our group absolutely adores.
Thursday morning only for me (Café Patechou) which was mentioned. I also like Yolk.
I just want to pitch Virginia Ave. because Tappers arcade bar is there. :D
I've not been to Amelia's yet, but I've been taken to that Mexican tortas place on that block. Wasn't bad at all. Not Blow Your Socks Off level good, but solid. And speaking of Virginia Ave places: I'm sad that South of Chicago was forced out by the short-thinking property ownership company. I intended to go there for the longest time, and the choice was taken away back in 2018.
Damn, it's too bad the topic is downtown, or "reasonably Uberable". I just now had a co-worker stop by and rave about a joint in Indy called "His Place". Problem is, Google maps puts it at 9 freakin' miles from the ICC, on E. 30th street right close to Shadeland Ave. :(
This guy had pictures and everything. The food looked great. Casual southern cooking: Fried chicken, barbecue, etc. The restaurant's smack dab in the middle of what feels like an industrial wasteland, so calling it "casual dress" would be understating things. Someone could probably show up in flip-flops and a torn tank top and feel right at home. But yeah, I'm going to go just because the food looked - and according to my friend, tasted - so damn good. 9 mile trip, though... between that and my desire to go to a favorite pizza place outside of Indy, I'm probably going to do a lot of driving around when I'm there for the con. :-S
But I do also sometimes moderate when I'm with people who don't want to make a big deal. (But not at $50 :)