BestofIndy 17

Sometimes you go in a place or hear about a place and you immediately recognize it’s special. It may not be the most popular or the most well-known, but there is something that keeps it in the back of your mind all the time. For me these are some of those spots around town that I know are special and deserve to be praised. And so here I am, giving them the praise I think they deserve. 

Best local farm that gives away all of its produce every year — Brandywine Creek Farm

Jonathan and Amanda Lawler and their family have created a truly magical organization based at their Greenfield farm. In the few years that they have been around they have given out well over a million pounds of food, including 560,000 pounds this year, to Indiana’s food insecure population and they continue to grow and push our community forward with such light positivity into a brighter future of food access. Brandywine Creek Farm truly is a champion in helping change our food and agricultural communities and is constantly fighting against the question that led Lawler down this path, “As a farmer, why am I sending my fresh, Indiana-grown produce across the country instead of feeding the hungry people right here in my backyard?”

Best local food spot to get healthy food to take home and change your life — HercuLean Meal Prep

This new meal prep spot just opened a few weeks ago near Keystone at the Crossing, but the team behind it has been prepping meals and sending them out around Indianapolis for quite a while now. After making personal changes to their own lifestyles, losing weight, raising energy and just feeling better overall the team started this company so other people could experience the same results and live a happier healthier life. While food is wonderful, sometimes we have to focus on just how good it is for us and HercuLean makes that really easy for us.

Best bar to bring your own records and spend an evening escaping real life — Bar One Fourteen

This intimate lounge bar and listening room from the Patachou is truly unlike any other spot in the city. The 14-seat room is luxe and cozy, allowing for a perfect date night and with the specialty sound system built by Klipsch, you can rent a vinyl locker for a yearly fee which allows you to play your own records when you visit the bar. Sip on cocktails and dine on some of the most lush, decadent bites that you’ve ever had. Make sure and make reservations as seats fill up fast.  

Best place to throw anything between two bagels and call it a sandwich — Ripple Bagel Deli

There isn’t quite any other place like the Bagel Deli, from the crowd-sourced sandwich recipes to the slightly inefficient yet always fun ordering system this place is really a one-of-a-kind stop in Broad Ripple. The fact that they happen to make one of my all-time favorite sandwiches is just an added bonus; it’s not on the menu, but a stoney fella once made it for me when I ordered The Lottery and I now affectionately call it the hot mess. Get a pumpernickel bagel topped with turkey, salami, provolone, pepper jack, jalapeños, spicy mustard and hummus. I got it as a sophomore in college and it’s never left my mind or my heart. 

Best local place for cheap meals

We had a little glitch in the system and this category didn’t go out to the world to be voted on, so we’re saying just go eat at all these places. Why wouldn’t you? You can eat these ten meals for less than one meal at other places: Elena Ruz Cuban Cuisine, Goodfellas Pizzeria, La Mulita, Peppy’s Grill, Sawasdee, Tex Mex, Three Carrots, Whit’s Inn, Workingman’s Friend, and last, but not least, Yats.

Now for your picks:

Best Indiana brewery

Best Indiana beer

Best local beer fest

Best local special, seasonal or limited-release beer

Best spot for cheap pitchers of beer

Best Indiana wine

Best Indiana winery

Best Indiana wine fest

Best Indiana food fest

Best local distiller

Best local coffeehouse

Best local coffee roaster

Best local ice cream

Best local farm-to-fork restaurant

Best local grocery store

Best local farmer or farm

Best local Chinese restaurant

Best local Japanese/sushi restaurant

Best local Thai restaurant

Best local Indian restaurant

Best local Italian restaurant

Best local Mexican restaurant

Best local Mediterranean restaurant

Best local African restaurant

Best local British/English/Celtic restaurant

Best local Cajun/Creole restaurant

Best local soul food restaurant

Best local deli/sandwich shop

Best local craft burgers

Best local cheap burgers

Best local artisan pizza

Best local cheap pizza

Best local wings

Best local pork tenderloin sandwich

Best local steak

Best local seafood

Best local breakfast/brunch place

Best local vegetarian/vegan restaurant

Best local small plate/tapas restaurant

Best local place to have a romantic dinner

Best new local restaurant

Best local restaurant for those late-night munchies

Best local place for upscale dining

Best local pub food

Best local bartender(s)

Best sports bar

Best local dive bar

Best service at a local restaurant

Best outdoor dining

Best local food truck

Best local place for a picnic

Best local chef

Best overall local restaurant

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