One of the perks of traveling to conventions is the opportunity to venture out into a new city and sample the best that the local culinary scene has to offer.
This October 23-25, the International Conference heads to Indianapolis, and we are in luck. Condé Nast Traveler just claimed Indy “the most underrated food city in the U.S.,” naming this year’s host city to its list of Best Places to Visit This Summer, alongside Nepal, Croatia, New Zealand, and other international hotspots.
That accolade came on the heels of recognition from Travel + Leisure, whose readers picked Indy for the #17 spot on the America’s Favorite Cities list. Livability.com concurred, naming Indy #3 on their Top 10 Best Downtowns list.
Indy is grabbing the national spotlight for good reason. In the so-called “Oscars of food”, the James Beard Awards, more Indy chefs and restaurateurs were nominated this year than ever before. Martha Hoover of the ever-popular brunch spot Café Patachou and Napolese gourmet pizzeria made the list for “Outstanding Restaurateur,” prix fixe master Greg Hardesty was nominated for “Best Chef: Great Lakes,” and Alan Sternberg of Cerulean was recognized as a “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”
One of downtown’s six cultural districts, Fletcher Place is home to the city’s newest restaurant row, with the hottest chefs, local food markets, dessert aficionados, and craft breweries lining the street. The neighborhood attracts foot and bike traffic via the acclaimed Cultural Trail connecting the historic district with downtown hotels. Milktooth is home to Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef and James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” nominee, Jonathan Brooks. Residents and locals also enjoy Amelia’s Bread, which you can smell a mile away; Central Indiana’s first artisan distillery, Hotel Tango; a blue door dishing out organic popsicles; a Vonnegut-inspired Italian restaurant; Vietnamese street food; and more.
You could feast at a different steakhouse every day of your stay in Indy and still leave a few for your next visit. But to find the signature dish of Indianapolis, make reservations at the historic St. Elmo Steak House that still operates in its original 1902 location and was named a James Beard Classic. Their world famous shrimp cocktail is made with fresh horseradish ground daily and was recognized as “the world’s spiciest dish” by the Travel Channel. To tame the heat, select a glass of wine from their impressive 20,000-bottle wine cellar.
These award-winning favorites are among the more than 250 dining options within steps of our conference hotel, the JW Marriott.
Learn more at VisitIndy.com.
Lisa Wallace is the Senior Communications Manager for Visit Indy and loves promoting the city she has called home since 1986. Now with two kids in tow, she and her hubby love exploring all that the Circle City offers. You can find them at the world’s largest children’s museum, cheering on the Colts, shopping local farmers’ markets, and strolling the Monon Trail. Lisa is a graduate of DePauw University and has 10 years of marketing and communications experience.