Hi all, I'm an Indy native, gonna give you a few tips.
First here is the list indy wants you to know about
Now here are my personal recommendations:
Best steakhouse, St. Elmo's right downtown. Get your reservation asap, it is always full.
Goose the Market (http://www.goosethemarket.com) Mario Batali has something to do with this eatery. I'm not sure what. You'll need a car from downtown. Bus service, but Indy bus service is awful.
(Listed under the link above, but needs special mention) Shapiros Deli.
I know ex-pats from NYC who adore this place and when their guests come to town they go back home to NYC with huge boxes of stuff from here. (I know, I was astonished too) An Indy tradition.
Best donuts in town: Long's bakery, 2 locations, original on the near west side - rough neighborhood, but if you love donuts, this is the place. Southside location ( near my home) much safer, but not as close to the "action" of the Superbowl.
There are many microbreweries in town, but the only one I've been to is in Noblesville. (north suburb) But I've heard nothing but good things about the ones downtown. There is a winery near downtown, Easley's. The wine there is OK, but the really good stuff is at Chateau Thomas (west of Indy, suburbs, Plainfield) and Oliver (near Bloomington). Both have several award winning wines. Oliver has my very favorite Port in the world. Divine.
Sadly the best Italian/pizza place was closed down b/c the owner didn't pay the withholding on his employees. How stupid was that? It was very good, and I can't really recommend another place - all depends upon what you like, I guess. I used to like a place on Market street, right off the circle, but it has been a long time - went there before symphony concerts. But an Indy tradition and with good Calabrisi style spaghetti is Iarias, again downtown, very near to the "action". VERY low key, with stainless steel and plastic tables, etc. Used to have a bowling alley attached. Up the street is the Milano - different style of Italian. Still very low key. Some people prefer it to Iarias.
Several of the better rib/grill/barbeque places, including Squealers. are setting up operations in kiosks down near Lucas stadium, all along the street between it and the Fieldhouse (a few blocks)(was Conseco, another insurance co name this year as Conseco went bankrupt). FYI, "Indiana style" barbeque is pulled port smothered in sauce, NOT grilled with rub/sauce only on the outside of the sliced meat. If you want that kind, be sure it isn't "Indiana style".
Very good creamery, suburbs again, Zionsville. Trader;s Point Creamery. Best wine and cheese plate in town, IMO. Lot of people like Cold Stone Creamery, but I'm not so fond of it, I like Trader's Point better. (There is an even better organic one in Terre Haute, but too far to drive. Memorable cheese, though)
If I think of any more stuff, I'll post it. Or you can ask me and I'll do my best to find out for you. I'm trying to think of the ham sandwich place. I had one of the sandwiches when I was downtown last time, and it was great, but I can't think of the name of the place.
Plenty of stuff along the canal downtown (just east of White River), including new walk of fame with unique statuary, There are restaurants there too, but mostly overpriced touristy types of places.
Edited by IndyGal - 1/17/12 at 5:49pm