Food and Social

Students game

Your Official Guide to a Social Life

Although you may not find the time this year, there are plenty of fun and exciting places to go and see in Indianapolis. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are some of the so-called “hot spots” most commonly visited by us, your fellow classmates. As you’ll find out, some of the best places to eat are little corner restaurants and greasy spoons so go out and explore (and remember that if it tastes good it is probably really bad for you).


Circle Centre Mall

This is located in the center of downtown Indianapolis. The parking garage is relatively inexpensive: $1.5 for three hours (sometimes more expensive on special occasions). You can get your ticket validated at the United Artists Theater on the 4th floor of the mall or the large department stores. Meters on the streets are free after 6pm and on weekends.

Keystone at the Crossing Mall

86th and Keystone Ave. Great place for upscale shopping and dining. (Saks, Bebe, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Arden B, Crate and Barrel, Cheesecake Factory)

Castleton Mall

82nd and Allisonville Rd. One of Indy’s most popular shopping centers and has most standard stores (Macys, Sears, JCPenney, Von Maur, Dicks). This is one very close to the Keystone mall and the whole area has lots of restaurants, stores, etc – basically everything you could ever need.

Glendale Mall

Keystone Ave. and Westfield. This is near downtown and not crowded, though limited in its selection.

Greenwood Mall

On US 31 South, just south of County Line Road. This is the biggest mall in Greenwood (the city south of Indy). It’s known as the “Castleton of the South side” because of the large selection of shops and restaurants.

Clay Terrace Outdoor Mall (317-566-0011)

US 31 and 146th street in Carmel. This is a pretty new mall, and a great fair weather place. Some of the stores are a bit high end, but the mall makes a nice outing non-the-less. There are also many restaurants in association with the mall.

Thrift Stores

Thrift shops and Goodwill stores sprinkle the Broad Ripple area as well as downtown (Massachusetts Ave.). Check listings and ask around for specific locations. Unique Thrift Store on Lafayette Rd is recommended.


Indy may not be Chicago or LA but we don’t have that much time for fun anyway! For the time you do have, there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy.

Performance theaters
  • Murat Theater (downtown) –Broadway musicals, music artists, and comedians frequently come through, and student discounts are available.
  • Indiana Reperatory Theater (downtown,
  • Clowes Hall (at Butler)
  • American Cabaret Theatre (
  • Indianapolis Civic Theatre (oldest continuously operating theatre in the US,
  • Phoenix Theatre (cutting-edge theatre company that focuses on contemporary theatre and issue-oriented, politically-savvy pieces,
  • Theatre on the Square (created to explore contemporary, classic, and lesser known plays and musicals,
Sporting events

If for some crazy reason you weren’t aware, Indy is home of the 2007 Superbowl Champs!

  • Indianapolis Colts (football; ticket office: 262-3389)
  • Indiana Pacers (basketball; ticket office: 916-1712)
  • Indianapolis Indians (baseball; ticket office 239-5151)
  • Indiana Ice (hockey; ticket office: 925-4423)
  • Indiana Fever (women’s basketball; box office 916-1712)
  • Indianapolis Firebirds (arena football)
  • Indianapolis Tennis Center (RCA Championships in August: 278-2100)
  • Your IUPUI Jaguars! (Mid-Continent Conference; tickets: 278-2599)
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1800-822-4639): The Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the US Grand Prix.

    The Indy 500 infield is a must at least once in life – guaranteed entertainment of some sort and tickets are only $20!
  • Children’s Museum (not just for kids, trust us! 300 N. Meridian; 334-3322)
  • Indianapolis Zoo (1200 W. Washington, 630-2030)
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (1200 W. 38th Street; 923-1331)
  • Indiana Medical History Museum (in a large old house at 3045 W. Vermont; 635-7329)
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame (cars from throughout the eighty year history of the track; 16th and Georgetown; 484-6747)
  • James Whitcomb Riley Home (528 Lockerbie; 631-5885)
  • Conner Prairie (authentic pioneer settlement; call for directions at 776-6006)
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art (500 W. Washington; 636-9378)
  • NCAA Hall of Champions (700 W. Washington St., 916-HALL)
  • Indiana State Museum ( discover Indiana’s natural cultural history, 650 W. Washington St., 232-1637)
  • Indiana Historical Society (fascinating exhibits of our state’s past, 450 W. Ohio St., 232-1882)
Classical music concerts
  • Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra: 639-4300. (Symphony on the Prairie over the summer at Conner Prairie)
  • Verizon Music Center: An excellent concert venue if you are around in the summertime.
  • Easley’s Winery- 205 N. College Ave, Tours and Tastings (636-4516)
  • Deano’s Vino- 1043 Virginia Ave (, 972-VINO)
Miscellaneous fun
  • Ice skating (downtown), bowling, duck pin bowling (Fountain Square), golf (Eagle Creek, Riverside, and TONS of others).
  • Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W. 56th Street
  • In Eagle Creek Park, there is the reservoir where you can rent all kinds of boats, including sailboats, and cruise around the lake. In addition, there are bike trails, nature trails, and swimming areas available. There is also a great and inexpensice 36 hole golf course in the area.
  • Fort Harrison State Park (IN), in Indianapolis, 5753 Glenn Road (Northeast side of town)—features a golf course, bike and hiking trails, picnicking, horse rides
  • Brown County (IN) 1.5 hours south, near Bloomington
  • Indiana Dunes (IN) 3 hours north
  • Turkey Run (IN) 1.5 hours west
  • Mammoth Cave (KY) 3 hours south
Theme parks
  • Cedar Pointe (OH) 4 hours, near Cleveland(aka: The Mistake on the Lake)
  • King's Island (OH) 2 hours, near Cincinnati
  • Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (KY) 1.5 hours, near Louisville

“Remember to take time for yourself but also remember that while your are relaxing some jackass is working to ruin the curve on the next Physio exam.” -Dan Green

Movie Theaters:

United Artists Circle Center- 4th floor of the downtown mall

IMAX 3D at White River- 650 W. Washington St., just around the corner from the med school campus

Kerasotes Theatres Showplace 16- 4325 S. Meridian St.; just a short drive from downtown, great stadium seating and usually has all the new movies playing

United Artists Eagle Highlands- 3901 Shore Dr.; off 38th St. on Indy’s Westside

Plus many more – check the phone book.

Comedy Clubs

Cracker’s Comedy Club: Broad Ripple (255-4211), Downtown (631-3536) – this place is hilarious and a ton of fun!

ComedySportz- “The Interactive Improv Experience”: 721 Massachusetts Ave (951-8499)


Downtown: Circle Bar, Jillian’s, Have a Nice Day Café, Tiki Bob’s, Gators, Flashbaxx, Ike and Jonesy’s, Lotus, Club 6

Broad Ripple: Vogue, Rock Lobster, CT Pepper’s, Seven, Mine Shaft, Landsharks, Jazz Kitchen

AND if you’re looking to learn a little salsa/latin dance, many of us HIGHLY recommend IntoSalsa studios. They have classes downtown and in broadripple, good class prices and great instructors. The 1 hour once a week is a great study break!!

Live Music

Downtown: Rathskeller (with outdoor Biergarten on Michigan), Slippery Noodle, Nicky Blaine’s, Howl at the Moon (dueling piano bar on Georgia)

Broad Ripple: The Vogue, Monkey’s Tale, Rouge, CT Peppers


Verizon Wireless Music Center: outdoor music venue in Noblesville

Conseco Fieldhouse


Of course you will spend plenty of time and money at the Riley Hospital cafeteria the adjacent McDonalds, but in case you need more options:

The Patio in Riley Hospital has GREAT wraps, salads, sandwiches. The lady who runs it has delicious daily specials, and calls everyone sweetheart. I highly recommend going there at least once a week.

Here are some that are just off campus around 10th and Indiana. Perfect for lunch in-between classes!

Taco Bell




Papa Johns Pizza

Pizza Hut

Pizza Express

Pizza Magia

Au Bon Pain


China Buffet


Saisaki Grill

Nothin’ But Noodles


There are almost as many restaurants and bars in Indy as pages of notes you’ll have your first year. So, we picked some of our top favorites, focusing on downtown and Broad Ripple. For more info, check the yellow pages for the “restaurant locator guide”, pick up “DINE” magazine for lists and maps, or check online at

$$$$ = average entrée more than $20

$$$ = average entrée $10-20

$$ = average entrée $5-10

$ = average entrée less than $5


BARcelona Tapas Restaurant (downtown: 317-638-8272) This is one of Indy’s newest restaurants and it is amazing. Has great Spanish food which is good for sharing and incredibly refreshing sangria. It is located on the corner of Ohio and Delaware. $$

Bazbeaux Pizza (downtown: 636-7662, Broad Ripple: 255-5711) Indianapolis’s most famous gourmet pizza place. Choose from a variety of crusts and unique toppings to create your own favorites. Bazbeaux Pizza is located in Broad Ripple on Westfield Blvd. and downtown at 334 Massachusetts Ave. $$

Bertolini’s (638-1800) Located on the bottom floor of Circle Center Mall, this restaurant serves hearty, flavorful fare in a sophisticated-casual atmosphere. Wood-fired pizza, seafood pastas, and homemade gelato and sorbet are just some of the many tasty dishes Bertolini’s has to offer. $$$

P.F. Changs China Bistro (downtown: 947-5747, Keystone at the Crossing: 815-8773) The menu features traditional as well as innovative Chinese dishes that blend influences of Southeast Asia with modern Chinese cuisine. They offer take out, which often beats waiting for over an hour for a table. $$$

Palomino’s (974-0400) European-inspired regional American with hand-blown glass chandeliers and a Mediterranean décor, this upscale restaurant is one of the nicer restaurants downtown. It is located at the corner of Illinois and Maryland right across from Circle Center Mall. $$$$

St. Elmo’s Steak House (635-0636, 127 S. Illinois St.) Steakhouse Since 1902 St. Elmo’s has been one of Indy’s premier steakhouses, a favorite of visiting celebrities. Each room in the restaurant has its own history and charm. Plan on spending a good deal of your student loan, but it will be worth it. $$$$

Steak and Shake (359-1102) Famous for steak burgers and milkshakes. Great for those late nights of studying or partying, Steak and Shake is open 24 hours. Located at Illinois and Maryland next to Circle Center Mall. No guarantees it will be the best meal you’ve ever had, but it beats ramen noodles. $


Bourbon Street Distillery (636-3316) Located just minutes from campus at 361 Indiana Ave., this bar stays open until 3am every night of the week, making it a great place to hang out on weekday nights after tests. Look for $1 draft specials on Mondays!

Chatham Tap (917-8425) Located on Mass Ave, this is one of the better pubs downtown. If you’re into soccer, this pub is pretty dedicated to playing all the big games.The Claddagh (822-6274) A great Irish pub located on S. Meridian St. Good food as well.

Nicky Blaine’s (638-5588) This is where to go if you’re looking for Indianapolis’s Best Cocktail Lounge. Nicky Blaine’s specializes in martinis and fine cigars, and offers a great selection of wine, port, single malt scotches, and vodkas. They have live jazz twice a week. Plan ahead and make a reservation for a couple of their couches, as it gets crazy busy on most weekends. (20 N. Meridian St.)

Rock Bottom (681-8180) A local brew pub comparable to Alcatraz Brewing Co. This is a favorite on Thursday nights with $2 specials plus they usually have free chips, wings, or soft pretzels until 11pm. (10 W. Washington St.)

Slippery Noodle Inn (631-6974) Located south of Union Station on Meridian St., this is one of Indy’s best blues clubs. Nice balcony section to sit, groove, and enjoy some good food. Call ahead and find out who is playing. Cover ranges from $3-6.

MacNiven’s (632-7268) On Massacusett’s Ave. This is a nice Scottish bar with a wide beer selection, over 100 to choose from.

Scholar’s Inn (536-0650) On Massachusett’s Ave. This is a restaurant and wine bar. Thursday nights, they have half price martini’s. Outside sitting.

Howl At The Moon (955-0300) A dueling piano bar touted as “the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” Cover is usually $3. (20 E. Georgia St.) Look on the website to win a party – makes a great class social event!

Broad Ripple

Ambrosia (255-3096) Casual Italian Located in the heart of Broad Ripple at 915 E. Westfield Blvd., this family owned restaurant prides itself on its wine selection, offering a variety of unusual Italian vintages. Popular dishes include the Ravioli della Mamma, and the Filetto al Chianti. Reservations are recommended, especially on the weekend. $$$

Broad Ripple Steakhouse (253-8101) Steakhouse A Chicago style walk-up establishment which houses a subdued steakhouse, an energetic bar, and a secluded, after hours hang-out called Upper Room. The menu offers a variety of choices other than steak as well as a number of fine wines. (929 E. Westfield Blvd.) $$$$

H2O Sushi (254-0677) Serving some of the freshest, high-grade raw fish in Indy, this restaurant combines traditional sushi techniques with French influences. A modern atmosphere and reasonable prices make this a must visit for sushi lovers. (1912 Broad Ripple Ave.) $$$

Corner Wine Bar- This restaurant is great for taking dates or small groups. The food is pretty excellent. Also has a large and well polished wine list. $$$

La Jolla (253-5252) Mexican Restaurant. This place is okay from our experience, so suggest somewhere else if someone wants to go there. The margaritas are pretty good though. $$$

Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant (259-9412) . EXCELLENT food, good for sharing. It is a pretty good date, family or small group place. The outdoor area is nice in the spring/summer. $$$

Mezzaluna (255-9300) Mediterranean. This casual restaurant serves up Mediterranean influenced dishes in a jeans and t-shirt setting. Outdoor seating is available in the spring and summer. The menu offers both hearty and light dishes, so there is something to please everyone. And to top it off, it’s located at 927 Broad Ripple Ave. on the main drag so go enjoy dinner and then head out to the bars. $$$

Yat’s (Broad Ripple: 253-8817, downtown: 686-6380) A spicy little gem that serves hearty helpings of Cajun and Creole inspired delicacies. A bright and airy ambience with lots of color makes this an attractive spot at 54th and College in Broad Ripple and on Massachusetts Ave. downtown. Jambalaya and Gumbo are standard dishes, but Yat’s also has created some unique treats, such as the Artichoke Etouffee. $$

Thai Cafe (722-1008). The food is very authentic, not a watered-down Americanized version of Thai food. The flavors are blended well, and the portions are generous. The menu has great variety. Also, this is a family establishment, and if you go in more than once, they will recognize you and treat you warmly. (1041 Broad Ripple Ave) $$$

Shalimar (465-1100) The menu features the finest Northern Indian entrees and their specialty Tandoori (Clay Oven) dishes. Shalimar is elegant, relaxed, and affordable, inviting guests to enjoy the hospitality that reflects the Indian heritage. Shalimar comes highly recommended for vegetarians. The lunch buffet is delicious and very affordable at only $6.99. (1043 Broad Ripple Ave) $$


Broad Ripple Tavern (257-6030) This is the bar twenty-somethings flock to in Indy. If you went to IU or are from the Indianapolis area, you are almost guaranteed to see someone you know. Expect to wait in line if you get there after 11pm.

Chumley’s (466-1555) This is a nice pre-dancing or sports party scene. There are large screen televisions all around and the place is packed during major sporting events. They have over a hundred different beers including a few special brews and many on tap.

C.T. Peppers (257-6277) Two floors with a bar on each. In the basement are the pool tables and video games, and the band is on the first floor. Nice atmosphere, usually a little older and yuppier crowd. Get there early in the winter or stand in a long line in the cold. Don’t forget about the back entrance!

Old Pro’s Table “OPT’s” (255-5417) This place has pool tables, darts, big screen TV, video games, and a juke box. There are usually plenty of places to sit but can get crowded on weekends.

Rock Lobster (253-5844) Great place for late night dancing. They play mostly popular rock and club music. It can get very crowded inside, but one can escape to the outdoor bar when it is nice out. Watch out for the disco ball, it can make you pretty dizzy.

Vogue (259-7029) One of Indy’s most popular dance clubs. Wednesday night “Retro Rewind” is a popular among the younger crowd. Expect to get there early or else wait in a long line. If you go early and get stamped, you can go hang out at another bar and go back later and not have to wait in line.

Red Room (257-1344) This is more of an up-scale martini bar. There is plenty of seating and a nice relaxing atmosphere. Drinks can be expensive, unless you are a girl of course. Club 7- Owned by the Pacer’s own Jermain O’Neal. Dance club that tries to replicate an ultralounge from a bigger city. Be prepared for the steep cover. I think it might close soon though.

635 N Barnhill Dr | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Ph: (317) 274-1965 | Fax: (317) 274-4309