Broad Ripple Brewpub, Oktoberfest:
This annual addition to the Brewpub’s stellar roster of dishes is a fan favorite and perfectly represents the best the season has to offer. It’s a bowl filled with spiced red cabbage, Granny Smith apples, onion, smoked sausage topped with mashed potatoes and scallions. There truly are few dishes that embrace the season as wholeheartedly as this one.
842 E. 65th St., broadripplebrewpub.com
Stuckey Farm, Apple Cider Donuts:
You can waste your time pickin’ apples, diggin’ through a pumpkin patch looking for something to rot on your porch, getting lost in a goddamned maze made of corn, or you can enjoy your day and go straight to the line for these fresh, warm, sugary, cinnamon, amazing donuts. Sure you drove 30 minutes north and paid $10 just to get in, but these tasty morsels are the true attraction. I’m pretty sure Legends of the Fall
was about these donuts.
19975 Hamilton Boone Road, Sheridan, stuckeyfarm.com
No country’s cuisine is more autumn-esque than that of Germany and this Mass Ave establishment does German cuisine better than anywhere else in Indy. Whether it’s a plate full of sausages, the nearly perfect dish of sauerbraten or just a mess of the accompaniments (sauerkraut, German potato salad, spaetzle, etc.), it all feels like fall. The traditional Märzen style beers available also are very much of the season, it is the one place in the city where it feels like fall all year long.
401 E. Michigan St., rathskeller.com
Conner Prairie Apple Store, Bicentennial Gourmet Apple and Apple Slushie:
For more than 30 years this seasonal establishment has been the perfect place to take your kiddos for some sugary fall treats. This year they’re celebrating our state’s Bicentennial with a new gourmet caramel apple, but they have so much more than that, including their famous apple slushies. It may seem a little chilly out for a slushie, but it’s well worth being a bit colder to get a taste.
13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, connerprairie.org
The Legend, Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream:
Another cold fall treat that you can’t help but try at least once this season. The Legend is a place that feels like it was made for fall, as does nearly all of historic Irvington. There is no better time to stop in than for a quick food break during the Irvington Halloween Festival. Even if you’re not into pumpkin spice, the other food options here are phenomenal and fit within the fall foods realm.
5614 E. Washington St., thelegendcafe.com
Big Lug Canteen, Pumpkin Spice Duck:
By far one of the most unique fall dishes you’ll come across anywhere, Big Lug has concocted this divine creation. It’s a mix of a savory pancake with apples sautéed in brown butter and bourbon. On top of this you get sliced duck breast, onion straws and the coup de grâce is the pumpkin spiced bone marrow butter. It’s almost over-the-top, but it’s definitely worth trying, especially if you pair it with an ice cold Lugtoberfest.
1435 E. 86th St., biglugcanteen.com
Central State Brewing, Polyjuice Potion:
This one just released this past weekend and, much like its namesake, it will change your tastebuds. It’s a malty, sour blend of elderberries, plums and according to the label, a few other “magical bits and bobbles.” The cans sold out in less than a day, but you can still get a taste on tap at Central State’s taproom, The Koelschip.
2505 N. Delaware St., thekoelschip.com
Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen & Tea Room, Scones w/ homemade jam/jelly and clotted cream and tea and all of it:
This is the cutest freaking place in Indianapolis. Step through the doors and you’re transported to a true English tea room. The aroma that hits you when you walk in is a mesmerizing blend of fresh baked goods, various teas and whatever the fresh-made soup of the day happens to be. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try a scone with clotted cream (don’t let the name deter you), then you’ve been missing out on one of the keys to happiness. Add to that Tina’s homemade jams and jellies and a hot cuppa and you have a perfect afternoon snack.
30 N. Rangeline Road, Carmel, tinastraditional.com
Steer-In, Turkey or Beef Manhattan:
Pretty much the epitome of comfort food, the Manhattan is like fall in food form. Bread, mashed potatoes and your meat of choice all slathered in rich, delicious gravy. It truly is warming to the heart and the soul and will leave you feeling all happy inside. The Steer Inn takes many NUVO “Best of Indy” awards every year and if we had one for Manhattans, there is a really good chance they would take that one to the Eastside as well.
5130 E. 10th St., steerin.net
Hollyhock Hill, Fried Chicken Dinner:
Nothing feels like quite like fall more so than a homemade meal and Hollyhock Hill is as close to Grandma’s house as you’re going to get in Indianapolis. It’s an old homestead that has been converted into one of the most unique and tasty restaurants in the city and the reason to go there is for the fried chicken. Fried chicken itself isn’t necessarily a fall dish, but the family-style meal in a home is and that’s why Hollyhock Hill is a place to go this fall.
8110 N. College Ave., hollyhockhill.com