Eating, drinking and cycling in Indianapolis: The Canal Walk 

Stops along downtown Indy's canal for any meal of the day

click to enlarge The Canal Walk all lit up at night - WIKIMEDIA
  • The Canal Walk all lit up at night
  • Wikimedia
Running through one of the most gorgeous and walkable areas of our city, the Canal Walk is a gem of downtown Indianapolis. While it is beautiful, it sometimes can be hard to find a place for some nourishment and libations. Here are a few spots on (or at least really close to) this wonderful waterside ride.

click to enlarge Don't miss out on the Alchemist
  • Don't miss out on the Alchemist
• Coffee – Quills: For years this was my favorite coffeeshop in Louisville and finally they opened a location here in Indy. The coffee is incredible, but if you’re going to do Quills right, you have to order the Alchemist; it’s a spicy, cinnamon-y treat.

• Breakfast – Osteria Pronto: Located in the massive JW Marriott, this Italian restaurant is not your average hotel restaurant. While their dinner is good, their breakfast menu is not to be trifled with. The local pastrami hash is second to none and they even have an omelet with crispy pork tenderloin inside. Is your mouth watering yet?

click to enlarge WRSP is full of public artworks
  • WRSP is full of public artworks
• Picnic – White River State Park: While you could have a picnic most anywhere along the Canal Walk, there is no substitute for this gorgeous expanse of green where the canal meets the White River. It’s easy to spend the day eating and then meandering around, taking in the art installations throughout the park. 

• Lunch – Farmer’s Market Café in Indiana State Museum: You should spend the day in the museum before eating here, but you don’t have to. The café offers a lot of locally-sourced options that represent Indiana’s heritage.

• Snacks – Fresco: This quaint, modern Italian café was one of the first canal-front eateries. While they serve lunch and dinner, the part to be most excited about (especially on a hot summer day) is their fresh, homemade Italian ice. 

• Beer – Burgerhaus and Fresco: Sometimes you need two places to get beer; on the Canal Walk, you have these two and they both have pretty extensive beer offerings. Cheers!

click to enlarge A little bit of Sushi Boss goes a long way! - CAVAN MCGINSIE
  • A little bit of Sushi Boss goes a long way!
  • Cavan McGinsie

• New – Sushi Boss
: You’ve never been to a sushi joint quite like this. You won’t be getting sashimi or nigiri here, it’s all rolls and the ordering process is similar to Qdoba — pick your toppings, have them all rolled up in nori and rice and drizzled in their selection of sauces. Don’t worry, if you feel too much pressure from creating your own rolls, they have a menu full of pre-crafted rolls. 

• Dinner – Burgerhaus: This isn’t the place to get a classic burger, hell, they even have an Ahi tuna burger on the menu. Try something new and get a side of chili cheese fries (well, maybe not if you’re planning on biking home); an added bonus is these burgers come with a view.

• Cocktails – High Velocity: Once again located in the JW, this is their sports bar and it is simply that, a sports bar. While you can go here anytime, the perfect time is if before or after attending an evening Indian’s game across the street at Victory Field

This is Part 4 of a series highlighting many trails around the city, keep watching for  and checkout Part 1 on the Monon Trail and Part 2 on The Cultural Trail, and Part 3 on the Central Canal Towpath.

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About The Author

Cavan McGinsie

Cavan McGinsie

I travel. I eat. I drink. I meet. I record. I'm the Food & Drink Editor here at NUVO and I'm always happy to chat with people about anything over a coffee, beer, or meal. Let me know your thoughts on Indianapolis.

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