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10 Indianapolis Restaurants That Are Much Less Expensive Than A Sweet 16 Ticket

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Like many in Kentucky, Eater is excited about the rematch between the Cards and Cats in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis this Friday, March 28. Louisville bars and restaurants are already preparing for the onslaught of Red and Blue (Eater has no idea what Lexington plans, but assumes it will involve monotonously chanting "Blue" and "White" over and over and over again). Tickets are available, but costly, with some going for upwards of $10,000. However, many basketball fans may still find the short route north up I-65 too tempting, and could end up in downtown Indianapolis getting hungry while harassing Hoosiers and trying to score some seats at Lucas Oil Stadium. Since there is no Eater Indianapolis (or Eater Lexington for that matter), Eater Louisville wanted to make sure both Big Blue Nation and L1C4 folk have the opportunity to eat well if they happen to find themselves in Indy, even if they can't get into the stadium. Here are 10 options for good eating near Lucas Oil Stadium, before or after what we hope will be a really, really good game.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Shapiro's Delicatessen

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808 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 631-4041
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It's not exactly Kosher, but it is an Indianapolis institution. Corned beef, pastrami, chicken soup with matzo balls and other deli delights are only about 1/2 mile from the stadium. Open 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2. Napolese Pizzeria

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30 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 635-0765
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Indianapolis Monthly "thoroughly adore[s] the pizza salon’s rustic-chic–meets–Type-A-perfection" about 1/2 mile from the stadium. Try Be-Bop's Pie (braised pork belly, shaved fennel, apple and provolone) or make your own (though "no more than three toppings on your freestyle creations" is recommended). Gluten-free crust available. Reservations available from 5 p.m. on.

3. The Libertine

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38 E Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 631-3333
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Promising the kind of comfort that makes one "melt into your chair," with dishes like the Bacon Flight (Smoking Goose lamb bacon, jowl and applewood bacon) and Roasted Bone Marrow with Celery Leaf and Herb Salad. Opens at 5 p.m. About 3/4 of a mile from the stadium.

4. Cerulean Indianapolis

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339 S Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 870-1320
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Though considered a little "out there" for the Circle City, Indianapolis Monthly raved about chef-owner Caleb France's "gorgeous repertoire of plates ... designed to be ordered in multiples and shared around the table." About half a mile from the stadium.

5. Bangkok Restaurant & Jazz Bar

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225 E Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 632-9000
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Yelpers love this "unique experience created by combining refined authentic Thai food combined with American live Jazz." Satay, Thai dumplings, Larb, Pad Thai and more, plus jazz. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. About 2/3 of a mile straight north from the stadium.

6. Bru Burger Bar

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410 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 635-4278
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This burger bar has an outpost in Lexington, but U of L fans still might want to check it out. Indianapolis Monthly says the Creekstone Farms-sourced burgers have "the all-important bun-to-burger ratio spot-on, thanks to a custom patty die mold (which also gives them that hand-shaped look)." Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Takes no reservations. 1.35 miles northeast of the stadium.

7. Bluebeard

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653 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 686-1580
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This "scruffy gourmet spot" was Indianapolis Monthly's Restaurant of the Year 2013: "The food is creative without trying too hard. The thoughtful servers earn your trust. The atmosphere is warm and humble, filled with old typewriters, vintage books, and other erstwhile trinkets." Opens at 5 p.m. for dinner. No reservations. Just over 1 mile from the stadium.

8. Rook

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719 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 759-5828
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The Indianapolis Star names this "hip" Virginia Avenue place one of the 10 best new restaurants of 2013. Try the Pig Face Hash with fried egg, pork cracklings, pickled peppers and lime. Just a little over 1 mile southeast from Lucas Oil Stadium.

9. R Bistro

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888 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 423-0312
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Just over 2 miles northeast of downtown, R Bistro has the same format that was "trendsetting" when it opened in 2001: a European-trained chef/owner, a listing of local farm sources and a menu that changes every week to reflect the season.

10. Black Market

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922 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 822-6757
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A little past downtown Indy off the Washington Street exit, Black Market is just 2-1/4 miles Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis Monthly says this is "the kind of restaurant that Indianapolis needs: a come-as-you-are, brick-and-wood charmer that draws you back time and time again with its evolving menu of innovative comfort food, dead-on beer list, and delectably offbeat cocktails." Open Fridays 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. No reservations taken.

1. Shapiro's Delicatessen

808 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225
It's not exactly Kosher, but it is an Indianapolis institution. Corned beef, pastrami, chicken soup with matzo balls and other deli delights are only about 1/2 mile from the stadium. Open 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
808 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

2. Napolese Pizzeria

30 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis Monthly "thoroughly adore[s] the pizza salon’s rustic-chic–meets–Type-A-perfection" about 1/2 mile from the stadium. Try Be-Bop's Pie (braised pork belly, shaved fennel, apple and provolone) or make your own (though "no more than three toppings on your freestyle creations" is recommended). Gluten-free crust available. Reservations available from 5 p.m. on.
30 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

3. The Libertine

38 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Promising the kind of comfort that makes one "melt into your chair," with dishes like the Bacon Flight (Smoking Goose lamb bacon, jowl and applewood bacon) and Roasted Bone Marrow with Celery Leaf and Herb Salad. Opens at 5 p.m. About 3/4 of a mile from the stadium.
38 E Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

4. Cerulean Indianapolis

339 S Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Though considered a little "out there" for the Circle City, Indianapolis Monthly raved about chef-owner Caleb France's "gorgeous repertoire of plates ... designed to be ordered in multiples and shared around the table." About half a mile from the stadium.
339 S Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

5. Bangkok Restaurant & Jazz Bar

225 E Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Yelpers love this "unique experience created by combining refined authentic Thai food combined with American live Jazz." Satay, Thai dumplings, Larb, Pad Thai and more, plus jazz. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. About 2/3 of a mile straight north from the stadium.
225 E Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

6. Bru Burger Bar

410 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204
This burger bar has an outpost in Lexington, but U of L fans still might want to check it out. Indianapolis Monthly says the Creekstone Farms-sourced burgers have "the all-important bun-to-burger ratio spot-on, thanks to a custom patty die mold (which also gives them that hand-shaped look)." Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Takes no reservations. 1.35 miles northeast of the stadium.
410 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

7. Bluebeard

653 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203
This "scruffy gourmet spot" was Indianapolis Monthly's Restaurant of the Year 2013: "The food is creative without trying too hard. The thoughtful servers earn your trust. The atmosphere is warm and humble, filled with old typewriters, vintage books, and other erstwhile trinkets." Opens at 5 p.m. for dinner. No reservations. Just over 1 mile from the stadium.
653 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

8. Rook

719 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203
The Indianapolis Star names this "hip" Virginia Avenue place one of the 10 best new restaurants of 2013. Try the Pig Face Hash with fried egg, pork cracklings, pickled peppers and lime. Just a little over 1 mile southeast from Lucas Oil Stadium.
719 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

9. R Bistro

888 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Just over 2 miles northeast of downtown, R Bistro has the same format that was "trendsetting" when it opened in 2001: a European-trained chef/owner, a listing of local farm sources and a menu that changes every week to reflect the season.
888 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46202

10. Black Market

922 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202
A little past downtown Indy off the Washington Street exit, Black Market is just 2-1/4 miles Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis Monthly says this is "the kind of restaurant that Indianapolis needs: a come-as-you-are, brick-and-wood charmer that draws you back time and time again with its evolving menu of innovative comfort food, dead-on beer list, and delectably offbeat cocktails." Open Fridays 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. No reservations taken.
922 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202