Shapiro’s Delicatessen is one of the restaurants Butler students recommend trying. Shapiro’s is known for New York style deli sandwiches. Photo by Lauren Gdowski.
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Indianapolis is a haven of great restaurants. It has actually been named one of the “next great food cities in America” by Food & Wine Magazine. Need a new local spot to try? Venture off campus to one of these delicious local restaurant recommendations. They may not take flex dollars, but one of these establishments may become a new favorite.
This Mexican restaurant is located just off of the main road in Broad Ripple. The owners are from a village called La Piedad in Mexico and have brought their authentic dishes here to Indianapolis. La Piedad also has outdoor seating to enjoy when the weather gets warmer. Their dishes range in spice levels, and they feature a vegetarian menu. La Piedad offers dine-in or takeout options.
Junior choral music education major Kelly Kirk highly recommends La Piedad.
“I would consider it authentic Mexican, especially because it’s a smaller restaurant,” Kirk said. “It’s very family friendly and definitely better quality Mexican food than other [inauthentic restaurants]. I love the arroz con pollo; it is good every single time I get it. Their horchata is also really good.”
Thai Papaya serves authentic Thai cuisine on 86th Street. They make great traditional Thai curry and stir-fry dishes. The majority of their menu items are below $15, and any dish can be altered by spice level. Thai Papaya also offers dine-in, pickup and delivery options.
Thai Papaya is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Google reviews rave about the great quality of the food and staff. The reviews recommend their green curry, pad thai, pad see ew, lemongrass soup, sticky rice and more.
Shalimar Indian Restaurant is junior arts administration art + design major Frances Anderson’s favorite Indian restaurant in the city.
“I love chicken tikka masala, and you have to get the garlic naan,” Anderson said. “It’s quiet, but the staff is really friendly, and the food is really good.”
Shalimar is located in the strip mall towards the end of Broad Ripple Avenue. Some dishes the restaurant features are butter chicken, samosas, saag paneer and more. Any dish can also be altered by spice level for those with more delicate palettes. The restaurant may be small, but the food is amazing and the staff are great. Shalimar offers dine-in, delivery and pickup options.
Sakura is a Japanese restaurant located on Keystone Avenue. The restaurant was opened in 1987, so it has been serving the Indianapolis community for decades and is one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in the state. They are known for their sushi, noodles and rice dishes. Sakura has also been featured by JASI, the Japan-America Society of Indiana.
They offer delivery, pickup, dine-in and catering options for customers. Sakura is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and open for dinner on Sundays. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for specials and menu updates.
Junior motorsports engineering and physics double major Henry Williams loves going to Homey Hotpot & Sushi Buffet with his girlfriend.
“She took me there for my birthday,” Williams said. “There’s an area where you go to get food and bring it to your hotpot. You grab whatever you want, put it into the broth, then it cooks and then you can eat it. I put dumplings, shrimp, bok choy and other veggies in mine.”
The restaurant is just a short drive from campus and offers dine-in, pickup and takeout options. For hotpot, going in person would probably make for the best experience. Homey is open for lunch and dinner every day.
Williams loves the food, but his favorite part is the atmosphere.
“It’s a family-style restaurant,” Williams said. “Everybody is there with their kids eating together, and it has a communal atmosphere. The waiters were also super nice. They do a great job explaining the process to people who don’t know about hotpot.”
Looking for an old fashioned Kosher-certified, cafeteria-style New York deli? Try Shapiro’s Delicatessen, located in downtown Indianapolis. Shapiro’s offers amazing bagels and breads along with their extensive menu of delicious dishes.
Anderson was introduced to Shapiro’s by her 80-year-old neighbor, Thelma.
“I trust her judgment,” Anderson said. “I love a good Reuben sandwich. I like the coconut cream pie as well. It’s lovely. I always go whenever my parents come to visit.”
The deli is also a market, so grab some pastrami to take home on the way out. Shapiro’s is open for breakfast through dinner seven days a week. They also have another location inside the Indianapolis Airport for a good pre-flight meal.
Students should explore outside of Atherton Union, and these recommendations are great places to start. The restaurants are inexpensive, close to campus and delicious. Skip the chains and fast food, and give a new place a try.