Judge Thuma’s Guide to Indianapolis: Restaurants

Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma (D.N.M.) wrote the definitive visitor’s guide to his native city, Indianapolis. This installment of Judge Thuma’s Guide covers some of David’s favorite restaurants. A separate Blog post covers Judge Thuma;s Guide to bars, pubs and taverns.


Beholder. 1844 E. 10th St. East of downtown but not too far, this is a new restaurant near Woodruff Place that has gotten good reviews. A bit pricey I understand. Owned by the Milktooth people, which is a good thing.

Bluebeard Restaurant. 653 Virginia Ave. Located in Fletcher Place, this restaurant has a national reputation. Named for a Vonnegut novel, the restaurant occupies a former warehouse in a historic Italian neighborhood. My sister loves this place! Next door is Amelia’s bakery, which also is excellent.

Iaria’s Italian Restaurant. 317 College Ave. Iaria’s is an old-style Italian restaurant, established in 1933. You have to be in the mood for lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs. The building is funky, in a good way.

The Point on Penn. 605 N. Pennsylvania Street. A nouvelle cuisine restaurant located on the site of the former Elbow Room, an old tavern of some renown.

Shapiro’s Delicatessen, 808 S. Meridian Street (about 9 blocks from the hotel). Shapiro’s has been Indianapolis’ go-to deli since 1905. Bring your wallet because it’s not cheap, but the sandwiches are excellent.

St. Elmo Steak House. 127 S. Illinois Street. An Indianapolis landmark since 1902. There is nothing new or modern about it, but the steaks are good and the wine list is extensive.

Breakfast and Lunch

Café Patachou. 225 W. Washington St. A good breakfast and lunch spot, two blocks from the hotel. I understand I grew up in the same neighborhood as the owner.

The Gallery Pastry Shop. 1101 E. 54th St. Great for breakfast, brunch and pastries.

Milktooth. 534 Virginia Ave. A hipster-ish place for breakfast and brunch, in the Fountain Square neighborhood. I used to work at a plastic foam peanut factory in Fountain Square, back before it was gentrified.