Dinner by candlelight and sumptuous wines followed by decadent desserts all provide the perfect ingredients for a romantic meal. In Indianapolis, visitors can enjoy international cuisine with authentic flavors from across Latin America, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. For a night cap, the city of Indianapolis hosts bars serving handcrafted cocktails, draft beers, and world-class wines.
1.Meridian Restaurant & Bar
© Meridian Restaurant & Bar
Located inside an 1880s log home, the Meridian Restaurant and Bar sits between Meridian Street and the Indiana Canal in Indianapolis. Locals and tourists come to enjoy a romantic meal while peering outside to enjoy views of neighboring historic homes and the lush green Alice Carter Park. The kitchen serves lunch and dinner. Couples can enjoy a delectable dinner beside the crackling fireplace. The award-winning restaurant specializes in fine dining American fare. The bar also invites guests to sip specialty cocktails and martini on date night. The private room hosts special events with in-house catering for parties up to 20.
5694 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-466-1111
© Capri Restaurant
Capri Ristorante brings traditional Italian cuisine to the heart of America. The restaurant first opened in 1951 on the northside of Indianapolis. Today, the kitchen continues to serve up authentic dishes from Italy. The antipasti selection contains salads, soups, and other starters. Onto the primi piatti (first courses) featuring mouth-watering homemade pastas. Diners should save room for the meat course, too, with different styles of veal, chicken, beef, and fresh fish. Capri takes reservations online or by phone. The restaurant also hosts private events like small family parties and even weddings. The catering service provides an extensive menu and experienced staff for events.
2602 Ruth Drive, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-259-4122
3.St. Elmo Steak House
© St. Elmo Steak House
St. Elmo Steak House has become an icon of downtown Indianapolis. The restaurant first opened in 1902 and represents the oldest steakhouse in the city. Its founder, Joe Stahr, named his business after St. Elmo, the patron saint of sailors. Much of the tavern still has its original classic Chicago-style saloon decor, although it has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation that added two private dining rooms, a wine cellar, bar, and foyer. On a romantic evening out, couples can indulge themselves in delicious steaks, seafood, and chops. The 1933 Lounge provides a place to sip cocktails in an intimate setting.
127 South Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-635-0636
4.Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
© Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Foodies and wine enthusiasts can indulge the senses at the Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. The winery has locations in various parts of the country. The Indianapolis restaurant sits at 3815 E 96th St and contains a dining room, tasting room, and bar. Visitors can tour the barrel room before enjoying handcrafted wines. Varietals include everything from sparkling wines and whites to robust reds and international bottles. The bar menu also has sangrias and specialty cocktails. Cooper’s Hawk hosts private events with pricing available online. Wine lovers can also join the various membership options to earn rewards and try new wines.
3815 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-574-9463
Delicia takes a modern approach to traditional Latin cuisine. Their menu features a fusion of dishes from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain. The restaurant’s passion for bringing new twists to classic dishes comes through in their menu selection. Diners can choose from a range of appetizers like crab and shrimp terrine, guacamole, or baked chihuahua and panela cheese with chorizo. Entrees include Latin American favorites like empanadas, enchiladas, and fish tacos. Patrons can also try sweet treats like churros, flan, and tres leches. Cocktail lovers can enjoy delicious mixed drinks mostly made with rum and tequila. Delicia also hosts a Sunday brunch as well private events.
5215 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-925-0677
6.Eddie Merlot’s Indianapolis
© Eddie Merlot’s Indianapolis
Meat-lovers looking for the perfectly cooked steak can enjoy a night of wining and dining at Eddie Merlot’s Indianapolis. Although on the pricier side, this high-end steakhouse chain has locations across the United States. A specialty cocktail menu features a range of handcrafted libations. The kitchen serves up prime aged beef along with seafood and king crab. The restaurant also has vegetarian-friendly options. The stylish ambiance makes Eddie Merlot’s a great venue for a special occasion. The establishment also hosts a Platinum Club offering rewards like loyalty points, birthday gift cards, and exclusive wine tastings for frequent customers.
3645 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-846-8303
7.Harry and Izzy’s
© Harry and Izzy’s
Harry and Izzy’s has three locations in Indianapolis: downtown, northside, and by the airport. All three establishments open for lunch and dinner as well for Sunday brunch. This local favorite serves up American cuisine with a Midwestern flare. The high-end steakhouse and American grill offers a lavish setting, making it the ideal place for a date night or special occasion. In addition to its dining rooms, Harry and Izzy’s also has a bustling bar and a curated list of white, red, and sparkling wines. Although the restaurant chain opened more recently, its sister restaurant, St. Elmo Steak House, was founded in 1902.
153 South Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-635-9594
8.Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
© Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
A trip to downtown Indianapolis feels more like a visit to an Italian garden at Iozzo’s. Hailed as one of the city’s best Italian eateries, Iozzo’s Garden of Italy offers a romantic atmosphere for lunch, dinner, cocktail hour, or a night cap. The facility dates back to 1930, and the interior exposed brick with hanging historical photographs create a classic feeling. Diners can also enjoy a meal outdoors in the courtyard. The bar has an extensive wine list as well as a speciality cocktails menu with recipes passed down through the generations all the way from Calabria, Italy. The kitchen cooks Italian fare like pizza, salads, pastas, and meats.
946 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-974-1100
Living in Indianapolis doesn’t mean giving up the opportunity to try flavors from around the world. Livery brings the tastes of Latin America to the Midwest. With two locations (one in Southbend and the other in Indianapolis), Livery serves up tasty traditional cuisine from South America. The restaurant’s modern, earthy design features elements of wood and stone. Couples looking for a romantic meal in a stylish restaurant/bar can snack on everything from oysters and ceviche to tacos and empanadas. The bar makes a mean margarita with other specialty cocktails from the Caribbean and Central and South America.
720 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-383-0330
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10.Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant
© Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant
Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant brings the taste of the old country to the Midwest. This highly rated eatery serves up traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The charming restaurant, reminiscent of an Italian villa, conjures up images of Tuscany, although the founder, Mama Corolla, comes from Omaha, Nebraska, herself. Mama brought her dream to life of revisiting her roots at the Old Italian Restaurant. Mama keeps a house wine list in half carafes, carafes, and bottles. Diners can delight in all kinds of pasta, meat, and seafood plates as well as Mama’s speciality dishes. USA Today Travel has listed Mama Carolla’s in its 10 Best Restaurants Indianapolis.
1031 East 54th Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-259-9412
© Mesh Restaurant
Mesh Restaurant serves up contemporary cuisine in a casual setting. Nicknamed Mesh on Mass for its location Mass Avenue, Hoosiers and tourists alike come to enjoy a romantic dinner. Mesh also opens for brunch and lunch and hosts special holiday events with pre-fixed menus. The dinner menu has something for everyone and breaks down each section into shared plates, salads, soups, sandwiches, land, sea, and garden. The kitchen also cooks vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals like spaghetti squash, risotto, and mushroom strudel. Highly recommended across different review sites, Mesh offers friendly service and consistently good food, perfect for date night or a special occasion.
725 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-955-9600
© Ocean Prime
Ocean Prime prepares contemporary American cuisine at this popular Indianapolis restaurant in the Keystone Crossing Corridor. Couples can share a romantic dinner of seafood and steaks washed down by handcrafted cocktails. With decades of experience, Executive Chef Branden Pegg brings his passion for food to the menu. His favorite dish: the Prime Roll. The dining room and bar open in the evenings only serving sushi, a raw bar, soups, salads, seafood, chicken, steak, and lamb. Wine Spectator Magazine recognized Ocean Prime’s wine list. In addition to its Indianapolis location, Ocean Prime has establishments across the country with its flagship restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
8555 North River Road 100, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-569-0975
Palomino takes the palette on a tour through the Mediterranean with a menu inspired by Spanish and Italian cuisines. For lunchtime, those in town can choose from the standard menu or get a deal with the feature sheet lunch or executive 3-course lunch. Palomino also serves dinner and dessert and hosts special menus for holidays. The bar menu presents a selection of speciality martinis and cocktails. The everyday happy hour lasts from 3 PM until close with discounts on food, pizzas, and craft cocktails. Other libations include beers by bottle or draft as well as a range of red and white wines.
49 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-974-0400
14.Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe
© Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe
Indianapolis might sit thousands of miles from the Middle East, but visitors in town can still enjoy the tastes of Turkey at the Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe. The award-winning restaurant has won dozens of distinctions like “Best Middle Eastern Winner” and consistently raving reviews from customers. The Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe opens for lunch and dinner. Its Lunch Special menu between 11 AM to 2 PM offers deals on two-course meals with an optional dessert. Diners can indulge in traditional Middle Eastern fare, from hummus and babaganoush, to doner and lamb kebabs. Baklava and rice pudding will satisfy any sweet tooth.
935 South East Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-974-1770
15.Prime 47-Indy’s Steakhouse
For a romantic night out, couples can enjoy USDA Prime beef and fresh seafood at 47-Indy’s Steakhouse. Housed in a historic building with its original tile floors, marble columns, and floor to ceiling windows, Prime 47 creates an elegant atmosphere for a date night. The Indianapolis steakhouse has won the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator in 2017 and 2018 for their superior wine list. The menu features a variety of prime cut and Wagyu beef, poultry, seafood, and pork with sides served a-la-carte. Located at 47 S Pennsylvania St, Prime 47 opens for dinner every night except Sundays.
47 South Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-624-0720
16.Rick’s Cafe Boatyard
© Rick’s Café Boatyard
Rick’s Café Boatyard overlooks a 120-boat marina. On a romantic afternoon or evening, couples can indulge in a range of dishes like pan seared duck breast, cuban chicken, wood fired pizzas, Blue Point oysters, calamari, and Maryland crab cakes. Each evening, live jazz serenades diners enjoying a meal while taking in sunset views by the waterfront. The wine list includes sparkling, whites, reds, and roses. The bar also shakes up classic, tiki, and signature cocktails. Rick’s Café Boatyard often hosts special events like scotch and wine pairing dinners. Guests can also arrange private events or host a wedding ceremony and/or reception.
4050 Dandy Trail, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-290-9300
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© Saffron Café
The scent of ginger, cumin, paprika, ginger, and cinnamon linger in the air at the Saffron Café. This Moroccan restaurant situated in downtown Indianapolis showcases flavors from the Middle East. Chef and owner, Anas Sentissi, puts passion into his menu serving up items like saffron mussels, hummus, almond chicken tajine, tajine lamb honey, lamb kebab, shawarma, and falafel sandwiches. Couples can also share a romantic experience and sign up for a cooking class with Chef Sentissi, during which he shares his expertise in nutrition and cooking. Saffron Café also offers catering, and customers can request a quote online.
621 Fort Wayne Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-917-0131
© Sangiovese Ristorante
What kind of experience does Indianapolis’ Sangiovese Ristorante create? Garnet-shaded red wine pours into crystal glasses. Bartenders shake and pour handcrafted cocktails. Guests sit in mahogany chairs in dimly-lit rooms with walls adorned by Italian portraits. Sauteed calamari rings arrive to the table piping hot over field greens. Scents of melted cheese and baked marinara sauce linger in the air from handmade lasagna. Grilled filet comes served over wilted spinach. Located in the Ironworks at Keystone, Sangiovese Ristorante provides a delightful dining experience especially for a romantic evening. The Italian restaurant opens for dinner only and accepts reservations by phone or through its website.
2727 East 86th Street Suite 110, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-757-5913
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© Seasons 52
With locations all across America, Seasons 52 brings Indianapolis locals and tourists a romantic place to share a meal. Situated in Keystone Indianapolis, Seasons 52 opens at 11 AM every day of the week. Diners can come in for lunch and dinner. The restaurant hosts happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 PM to 7 PM with special prices on beer, wines, cocktails, flatbreads, and small plates. Mains include entree salads, seafoods, pastas, and wood-grilled meats. Speciality drinks consist of bourbon, vodka, and tequila mixed drinks. Dishes accommodate all types of dietary preferences including gluten-sensitive, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy sensitive.
8650 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-846-5252
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20.Spoke & Steele
© Spoke & Steele
Serving up contemporary American cuisine, Spoke & Steele gives classics a new twist. The modern-designed interior provides the perfect atmosphere for a romantic meal or special occasion. On a date night, couples can share a charcuterie of locally-sourced meats and cheeses while sipping on wine. Spoke & Steele serves up local favorites like braised beef and noodles, pork chop, and sea scallops, The Executive Chef, Simon Pagenaud, comes from France and is 2016 IndyCar Series Champion. He personally developed the menu’s Pagenaud steak frites, a flat iron steak served with parmesan fries. The full wine selection covers domestic and international reds, whites, sparkling, and roses.
123 South Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-737-1616
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21.The Capital Grille
© The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille has locations across the country. The Indianapolis restaurant sits in the heart of the city’s downtown area. Whether out for romantic afternoon lunch or a special date night, The Capital Grille offers a warm, elegant setting to share a meal. Dining options include delicious steaks dry-aged for 18 days. Diners can also indulge in fresh seafood, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and other American classics. Guests can wash it all down with signature martinis and cocktails. The world-class wine list features sommelier selections, iconic reds and whites, and bottles of bubbly. Customers can conveniently make reservations online or by phone.
40 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-423-8790
22.The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant
© The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant
Situated on the rooftop of the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, The Eagle’s Nest is a rotating restaurant giving 360 views of the entire city lit up at night. The kitchen opens for dinner and serves a mix of classic American fare. Diners can treat themselves to prime rib, roasted chicken, pork chop, and pistachio-crusted sea bass with the option to add a lobster tail to any entree. Guests can finish off their meal with a selection of mouth-watering desserts including snickerdoodle cheesecake and chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. After dinner drinks like the chocolate express martini or an amaretto cin martini end any meal on the right note.
1 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-632-1234
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23.The Oceanaire Seafood Room
© The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Located in downtown Indianapolis, The Oceanaire Seafood Room offers high-end dining serving a selection of regionally inspired cuisine. The restaurant prints a daily menu so diners can order seafood fresh from the market. Couples can come in for a romantic meal for either lunch or dinner. Situated within walking distance of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, guests can catch a happy hour drink (or Admiral’s Hour, as they call it) during the week before heading to the Fieldhouse for a concert, hockey match, or basketball game. Every Sunday, The Oceanaire also hosts a $1 oyster happy hour all day long.
30 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-955-2277
© Tinker Street
Couples looking for a romantic, unique dining experience will find it at Tinker Street. The restaurant takes its name from the early days when its address on 16th Street was just a dirt road called Tinker Street back in the 1800s. Today, Tinker Street serves contemporary American dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. The dinner menu changes seasonally. Before or after a meal, guests can explore the surrounding historic neighbors of Herron Morton Place and the Old Northside. The restaurant offers a 3-course dining experience every Tuesday that costs $33 per person. The bar mixes classic cocktails like a French 75, gimlet, sazerac, and old fashioned.
402 East 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-925-5000
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Vida offers a casual dining spot in Lockerbie Square, Indianapolis serving a mix of international fusion cuisine. Guests can choose between the a la carte menu or the five course tasting menu. Menus change seasonally ensuring that all dishes consist of fresh, locally-source ingredients. An in-house sommelier suggests the perfect pairing with international, domestic, and regional wines. Vida won the prestigious AAA’s Four Diamond Award, a distinction that only 2% out of 30,000 restaurants receive. It remains the only restaurant in the state of Indiana to have received this award. Vida opens for dinner throughout the week except Sundays and Mondays.
601 E New York Street, Indianapolis, IN, Phone: 317-420-2323
25 Best Restaurants in Indianapolis
- Meridian Restaurant & Bar, Photo: Meridian Restaurant & Bar
- Capri Restaurant, Photo: Capri Restaurant
- St. Elmo Steak House, Photo: St. Elmo Steak House
- Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Photo: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
- Delicia, Photo: Delicia
- Eddie Merlot’s Indianapolis, Photo: Eddie Merlot’s Indianapolis
- Harry and Izzy’s, Photo: Harry and Izzy’s
- Iozzo’s Garden of Italy, Photo: Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
- Livery, Photo: Livery
- Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant, Photo: Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant
- Mesh Restaurant, Photo: Mesh Restaurant
- Ocean Prime, Photo: Ocean Prime
- Palomino, Photo: Palomino
- Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe, Photo: Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe
- Prime 47-Indy’s Steakhouse, Photo: Christophe/stock.adobe.com
- Rick’s Cafe Boatyard, Photo: Rick’s Café Boatyard
- Saffron Cafe, Photo: Saffron Café
- Sangiovese Ristorante, Photo: Sangiovese Ristorante
- Seasons 52, Photo: Seasons 52
- Spoke & Steele, Photo: Spoke & Steele
- The Capital Grille, Photo: The Capital Grille
- The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, Photo: The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant
- The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Photo: The Oceanaire Seafood Room
- Tinker Street, Photo: Tinker Street
- Vida, Photo: Vida
- Cover Photo: saschanti/stock.adobe.com