Inside Lava Lips, a tiki bar stands surrounded by shelves of endless hot sauces, barbecue sauces, dry rubs, and other zesty liquids. In addition to tongue-testing hot sauces, the shop also stocks soup mixes, caramel sauces, and preserves.
Inside the family-friendly Aristocrat Pub, dark mahogany wood, large antique gold-framed paintings and dimly lit tables provide the British eatery with all the style and ambiance of a true Dublin drinking hole. Despite the heavy interior, a newly-renovated dining room offers a much more open layout, with more seats for patrons to relax with their favorite pint. A large covered patio surrounded by greenery remains a focus of the building’s exterior. The pub stocks 60 beers on tap, featuring favorites from local breweries like Flat 12, Sun King, Brasserie and The Bier Brewery. Regulars praise the Icelandic jumbo cod fish and chips, breaded or grilled Hoosier tenderloin, smoked turkey on marble rye, crab cakes and baked brie. The brunch menu includes six varieties of frittatas, a delicate crab cake eggs Benedict, French toast with seared bananas sautéed in brown sugar and chicken and waffles.
Good Morning Mama’s owners turned an abandoned gas station in southern Broad Ripple into a charming breakfast and lunch-only diner, complete with bright yellow paint and Formica tabletops. The building’s former purpose still lives on in the form of images of 1950s cars and waitresses that grace the walls of the brightly colored eatery. Of course, Good Morning Mama’s serves the customary breakfast foods, along with more original options like an Elvis-inspired peanut butter and bacon sandwich; coffee-flavored French toast made with Challah bread; whole wheat spaghetti scrambled with eggs, cheese and toast; and a fried Spam, onion and potato omelet topped with sausage gravy. Creative lunch options include a pizza burger, but all of the plates are served with a side of sunshine and a smile from the effortlessly nice waitstaff. Champagne mimosas, wine and commercial beer keep the beverage list as playful as the surroundings.
A bright red canopy and classic black lantern lights mark the front entrance to Oh Yumm Bistro, a quaint neighborhood eatery in the Butler Tarkington area a few minutes north of downtown Indianapolis. Inside, guests will find tan-colored walls offset by dark, wall-mounted light fixtures lining a long and narrow dining area, though sidewalk café-style dining that overlooks Illinois Street is also an option during warm-weather months. Open every day but Monday, Oh Yumm Bistro specializes in contemporary cuisine for lunch, dinner or a Sunday brunch, letting guests linger over a menu that features a variety of American, French, Italian and Mediterranean dishes. For the kiddos, many of the mains come mini-sized, including a petite hamburger, grilled cheese sandwich and fried chicken breast fingers.
Quietly nestled in the heart of the Meridian/Kessler area, a few minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, is a restaurant that combines a fine-dining atmosphere with a casual neighborhood feel. The Meridian Restaurant & Bar blends into its surrounding residential landscape perfectly, thanks to a slightly faded olive green exterior and modest external signage. The structure, a one-time private residence with parking on its south and west sides, also allows for patio dining near an outdoor fireplace, from spring through fall. With mostly wooden floors, periodic stone wall accents and candle-style lighting, the interior of the Meridian has a cozy cabin feel to it. Soups, salads and select entrées are served during lunch hours. In the evening, an expanded menu allows for a variety of possibilities including sea scallops, seafood risotto, chicken schnitzel, pork chops, short ribs and New York strip.
Perhaps it’s only appropriate that Big City Grill and Lemonade is located less than five minutes from the Indiana State Fairgrounds, seeing as how the small eatery offers such a large selection of popular sandwiches commonly found at the state fair itself. Whether guests choose to dine in, carry out or take advantage of the facility’s delivery service, they’ll certainly find a variety of menu options hanging on the wall inside this colorful, is spare eatery. From gyros, Italian beef and tacos to Philly steak salads, classic burgers and wings, Big City offers their entire eclectic array for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Dessert options include various cake flavors as well as peach cobbler and banana pudding, though visitors often rave over the lemonade variations as a sweetened finisher instead.