South Side Dining–Indianapolis: Anyone? Anyone?

August 14, 2008

I moved to Indianapolis in March of 1998 and in the decade between then and now I have lived in ten different residences, which makes me sound far more like a vagabond than I actually am. For most of that time I have lived and worked on Indy’s north side–normally within a stone’s throw of 86/82 Street.

I was especially lucky to have worked in and then lived very near 86th Street and Ditch which, as many Indianapolis residents will tell you, is one of the best intersections in the city. But whether I was there or living nearer Nora, or off of 38th and Lafayette, or in/near Fishers, I have always had access to a hefty portion of Indianapolis’ best restaurants.

Not any more though.

Although I work downtown, I have lived in Indianapolis’s south side for the last 14 months and finding interesting fare near the house is substantially harder. It’s not that there aren’t some options, Yat’s is open down there now, that’s nice. And I’ve always been an on-again/off-again fan of La Bamba’s since attending Ball State in the mid 90s–I just heard the one on the north side has started selling vegetarian tamales, so I’m hoping against hope that’s true at the south side location too.

Thai Spice, near the Greenwood Park Mall, is the new consensus favorite Thai place amongst my friends with whom I eat Thai cuisine (that’s fancy French talk for “food”). And, for a big chain, Stir Crazy at the mall has a tasty menu with a lot of vegetarian options.

And Douglas Karr recently informed his blog readers that The Bean Cup is the place in Greenwood to go for good coffee and although I haven’t tried it yet, he seems like a man who knows what he’s talking about.

I found great chilaquiles on Madison Avenue once (maybe in a dream), somewhere near the KMart but I haven’t been able to find them again.

Of course part of the problem is I don’t live in Greenwood and I don’t eat beef or pork which means that one of the (supposedly) best places near my house is essentially off limits: GT South’s.

And while this is an off-topic comment I’ll just quickly note that on the recommendation of the Best of Indy issue of Nuvo I just tried the pizza and Cheestyx II at Gusto’s in Fountain Square and…holy  moly!…it was excellent. It totally deserves the recognition. Really.

So, if you happen to live or visit Indy’s south side, by which I mean Beech Grove, Greenwood, Southport and thereabouts, feel free to send me your favorite places to eat–but Beech Grove/Southport stuff is rarer and so more appreciated.


  1. Thanks for the link love! And if you do stop by the Bean Cup, be sure to ask for me. I’d love to buy you your first cup!

  2. You can bet I will. I am physically and philosophically unable to turn down an invitation to coffee. And thanks in advance.

  3. Acropolis is a greek place off of Southport road just west of Madison Ave.

    Long’s bakery is also off of Southport road just east of Madison Ave. (I’ve never been but I hear good things. It’s famous for its doughnuts apparently)

    China Garden is really good and is also at Madison and Southport Road.

    Augustino’s is a super tasty Italian restaurant off of Emerson in Southport (across from St Francis in the shopping center behind Ritter’s Frozen Custard)

    Cheeseburger in Paradise is also really good. It’s in Southport right near the on/off ramp at 65. Also Carrabba’s right in the same area is very good.

    Vito Provolone’s is on Meridian a little south of Stop 11. Pricey but good Italian.

    Brozinni Pizza is really great pizza and calzone’s and such at Emerson and County Line in Greenwood.

    Another good coffee shop is called Strange Brew. It is at Smith Valley and Morgantown Road in the Center Grove area.

    That’s just a quick list. There really are some great places on the south side if you know where to look.


  4. Also Thai Spice in Greenwood off of County Line across from the Greenwood Mall.

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