If you’re at all familiar with Indianapolis restaurants, you know that many of them like to batter and fry their entrees into submission. But as delicious as such comfort foods may be, they aren’t exactly conducive to eating light. Thankfully, plenty of fresh, healthy alternatives have arrived on the scene in recent years, making it easier to eat light in Indianapolis than you might think. Local produce fills the tables at the city’s farm-to-table restaurants, and other culinary hot spots specialize in filling, well-balanced meals. Here are some of our favorites:
R Bistro | Chatham ArchFor fine dining in Indianapolis, try R Bistro. Executive chef and James Beard semifinalist Regina Mehallick uses her European experience to create homey, rustic dishes.
Perfect for: A classy dinner.Don’t miss: One of the well-balanced starters, such as the arugula and Bing cherry salad with parmesan and shallot vinaigrette. Follow it up with the soft-shell crab with yukon potatoes, lemon-caper vegetables, and a scallion biscuit.The good stuff: Chef Regina designs a new farm-to-table menu every week, focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farms.Revery | GreenwoodHead out to the suburbs to try this New American restaurant, which sources ingredients locally and experiments with flavor combinations such as grapefruit with golden trout.
Perfect for: Lunch while you’re on a weekend drive or dinner and drinks with friends.Don’t miss: Unique appetizers such as the crab-cake bruschetta with lemon jam.The good stuff: Revery uses locally grown produce and livestock, as well as Indiana-sourced wild game, to create progressive dishes with balanced and unique flavors.Brugge Brasserie | Broad RippleThis Belgian restaurant brews its own beer, but it’s not all about the suds. In fact, VisitIndy.com named it one of the 25 best restaurants in Indianapolis.Perfect for: Lunch or dinner in a laid-back environment with sophisticated ingredients.Don’t miss: The crepes, which include varieties filled with pan-seared duck breast, shaved brussels sprouts, or grilled artichoke.The good stuff: Every option comes with a side of mixed greens, making it easy to eat healthy.The Garden Table | Broad RippleThis eatery’s dishes are focused on sustainable ingredients from Indiana and some of its neighboring states.
Perfect for: A light breakfast or lunch, especially if you have visitors you want to impress.Don’t miss: The Mediterranean quinoa salad or grilled veggie open-faced sandwich for lunch, or the “hummingbird mush”—polenta squares with coconut oil and cinnamon—for breakfast.The good stuff: The Garden Table’s fresh ingredients are blended into dishes with a healthy balance of protein, vegetables, and grains.Forty Five Degrees | Chatham ArchNamed after the angle of the intersection of Mass and College Avenues, Forty Five Degrees features its own angular design elements. The restaurant also serves up some of the best sushi and Japanese food in Indianapolis.
Perfect for: A dinner date or late-night meal.Don’t miss: The Playboy roll, which features spicy tuna, asparagus, jalapeño, and shrimp tempura, plus a topping of salmon, shrimp, and three sauces. It’s served on fire.The good stuff: Fresh, natural ingredients season the tender cuts of meat and fish. You’ll have no shortage of options, with more than 40 sushi, sashimi, and nigiri rolls to choose from.