Restaurant Guide for Downtown Indianapolis

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As a fan of downtown Indy, I love to be able to introduce people to restaurants in Indy. Contrary to what I sometimes hear, Indianapolis DOES have a variety of one-of-a-kind locally-owned restaurants, as well as some unique restaurants with only a few locations nationally.

Our restaurant guide represents a small portion of dining options available in the downtown area; if you have questions about particular ones, other ethnic cuisine options, etc., please leave me a comment, or stop by the Hospitality table at the conference!

I also highly recommend checking out the map from the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association:

This is a great 2-page document with a map showing locations of many landmarks and restaurants in downtown Indy, as well as contact information for those places. I’m a visual person and seeing a location of something on a map is more helpful to me than only written directions.

“Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!”

New baby elephant Kalina!

(the following information provided by our local zoo expert)

The Indianapolis Zoo is just down the street from the NCAA Hall of Champions, location of the Sunday night gala event. We have a dolphin amphitheater, touchable sharks and even a botanical garden. Our female baby elephant, Kalina (just born on July 20th), is a real cutie pie and not to be missed. Check out the zoo at, or just ask me. I’ll happily talk your ears off about our wonderful facility.

Sue London (zoo volunteer naturalist)

Knitting Shops

Mass Ave Knit Shop, Fountain Square

Looking for a LYS (local yarn shop) in Indianapolis? There are several, but I’ll start with my favorite (and the one closest to the conference hotel):

Mass Ave Knit Shop, 862 Virginia Ave., 46203 (1.5 miles from the hotel)

Yes, the name hearkens back to when the yarn shop actually was located on Mass(achusetts) Ave., but I’ve only known the shop in its current location in the Fountain Square area of Indianapolis. This is a great yarn shop with good selection of all types of yarn; this is also the place I go when I need my size 2 26″ circular knitting needles that I can’t find at a more mainstream craft store.

Other locally-owned knit/crochet/craft stores in the area:

Broad Ripple Knits, 6267 Guilford Ave., 46220 (7.7 miles from the hotel)

Knit Stop, 3941 E. 82nd St., 46240 (12 miles from the hotel)


Village Yarn Shop, 40 N. Main St., Zionsville, IN, 46077 (17.5 miles from the hotel)

Need a little culture (besides the Cultural Trail)?

Yes, I already extolled the virtues of the Cultural Trail, but what if you are looking for culture–as in performing arts? Indianapolis has a year-round performing symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO), and the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT).

Image courtesy of the ISO

The ISO’s world premiere performance of the program “Do You Hear the People Sing” happens our conference weekend their Pops series. More information can be found here:

The ISO is located in the historic Hilbert Circle Theater located on Monument Circle, 0.5 miles from the Downtown Marriott (exit the hotel onto Washington Street).


Indiana Repertory Theatre
Image courtesy of Carl Van Rooy

The IRT’s Going Solo Festival of three intimate one-actor plays returns for its third year of audience acclaim. During your time in Indianapolis, you could attend of three different one-actor plays (or more!):

I Love to Eat: Cooking with James Beard by James Still
Lost: A Memoir by Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum
Nobody Don’t Like Yogi by Tom Lysaght

The IRT is located in the beautiful 1927 Indiana Theatre located at 140 W. Washington St., 0.2 miles (~3 blocks) from the Downtown Marriott (exit the hotel onto Washington Street).