It's been a great year with lots of things to celebrate. The downside? Your body is wrecked, and not in a small way. It's time to detox — no, not by drinking maple-lemon water, you nut, but by eating whole, responsibly-produced food. We cannot recommend a juice cleanse in good conscience (for the health and safety of your family and friends), but we do recommend a cup of the green stuff to kick off this adventure. Happy New Year!
This is a no-brainer. No matter how much damage you've done to your body over the past year, the folks at Natural Born Juicers can help you. They've been slinging juice long before it was trendy, and their quaint Mass Ave shop is inviting to your vitamin-deficient pallor. Grab something green and guzzle that bad boy down. You can also mix your juice flavors for a little "cocktail" of sorts, or get some pre-made food from the cooler.
865 Massachusetts Ave., 797-4254, naturalbornjuicers.com
If you're interested in trying a wholesome, "green" eatery, this eco-friendly, American bistro features seasonal breakfast and lunch menus packed with healthy, organic options that will please the stomach and the wallet, too. Except for the sandwich bread, all items, from soups to salad dressings, are prepared on-site with natural and organically certified ingredients. Now they've got a new juice shop sidekick, with Le Nectar having opened this year. You can either get whole foods to chew or to drink. Either way, they'll set you on the path to nutritional righteousness.
1224 W. 86th St., 848-5252, tulipnoircafe.com
There are any number of reasons to love this Broad Ripple staple. The location is great, the staff is friendly and the food is always good. In particular, vegetarians and vegans will find plenty to eat at this charming and affordable Victorian home converted into a restaurant. Known for its fresh and delicious food, 3 Sisters is making a healthy mark on the Broad Ripple area; go for a walk on the canal after your meal for an added perk. 3 Sisters is a great option for breakfast and lunch, offering great vegetarian and vegan alternatives to the classics. Plan to make a day in the Broad Ripple area as meals usually go on for a few hours.
6360 Guilford Ave., 257-5556, 3sisterscafein.com
Chefs Joshua Henson and Mark Cox each have 21 years in the restaurant business. But it wasn't until over five years ago that they became interested, perhaps mildly obsessed, with fermented and cultured foods. They are both certified healing-foods specialists who can tell you all the reasons their food is good for you. The business partners are fiercely loyal to local foods — their meats come from The Smoking Goose or Rhodes Family Farm, and they have a "one-state-away" policy for all cheeses. Stop in for a bite to eat, and you can also taste one of their on-draft pours of kombucha (fermented tea) or water kefir (cultured flavored water — like a mild tart soda).
222 E Market St. (City Market), 493-1652, facebook.com/fermentiartisan
SoBro Café offers a relaxing oasis in which to re-energize and enjoy some made-to-order sustenance at almost any time of the day. Pleasantly devoid of attitude or pretense, this smartly appointed eatery caters to a wide range of tastes, from vegan to carnivore, with a strong emphasis on freshness. The menu is short, but well thought out. The house specialty is the pannekoek, or Dutch pancake, which comes in a dozen or so preparations, some sweet and some savory. The chai tea, rich and complex, takes a few minutes to brew, but it's absolutely worth the wait.
653 E. 52nd St., 920-8121, sobrocafe.com
Started as a food truck, DUOS has moved into a permanent kitchen in the medical office building on 29th & Meridian. If you're not familiar, DUOS has, far and away, some of the best vegetarian dishes available in Indy. They have lots of hot plates and sandwiches available without meat, but we at NUVO HQ are the biggest fans of the DUOS Kitchen salad bar. You could call it "slow, whole food" done fast for working folks. Every day the menu changes (and the salad bar remains awesome), so expect something fresh each time.
2960 N. Meridian St., duosindy.com
As part of the Patachou family of restaurants, Public Greens is turning out the fresh, thoughtful fare that Martha Hoover's family of restaurants is known for. There's a twist though: all of the profits from the restaurant will go to fund their charitable Patachou Foundation, which feeds meals to food-insecure kids around the city. The self-service, organic and whole-food location has a staff farmer and sources from their micro farm just across the Monon from the restaurant. The location also has a knockout patio, which will be used for live music and seating in the warmer months. But no matter what you order on the menu or from the beer taps (yes, it has those, too), you'll be helping feed hungry central Indiana kids.
Monon Trail in Broad Ripple, 317-202-0765, publicgreensurbankitchen.com
It's been a banner year for raw and vegan enthusiasts in Indianapolis. Ezra's opened over the summer in Broad Ripple, bringing a whole foods, raw vegan revolution with it. They serve everything from pizza to soup, all of it organic and minimally processed. To call it "superfood" is the understatement of the century, and even the most "rabbit food"-opposed diner can find something they like at Ezra's. During cold season, we highly recommend making regular stops to the juice bar to power up your immune system. They've got the edible cure for what ails you.
6516 Ferguson St., 317-255-3972, ezrasenlightenedcafe.com