Have you ever driven or walked by a dining establishment and decided not to eat there because of the way the exterior looks? While it is normal to feel the urge to judge a restaurant by its appearance, some restaurants focus more on the quality of their food than the exterior of their building. I’ve done some digging and I found restaurants in Indiana that do not look like much, but WOW they have good food! Some of these restaurants are also considered to be hidden gems in the state.
1. The Vine (214 S Main St, Elkhart)
The Vine is described by customers as a casual, yet upscale dining experience. Pizza, lots of wine choices, and steak are just a few options waiting for you at this tasty bistro. Don’t let the name full you, their “Garbage Salad” is to die for.
2. Willie's Sports Café (19325 Schmarr Dr, Lawrenceburg)
Willie’s Sports Café claims to have the best happy hour in the entire tristate area. While this is a sports café that was once booming with six locations in the tristate area, it appears that most of them have closed down. (At least, that’s the conclusion I’m making based on yelp and their websites not existing anymore.) Daily specials and delicious food are waiting for you here.
3. Saigon Restaurant (4760 W 38th St, Indianapolis)
This is a very popular Vietnamese restaurant in the Indianapolis area. From the outside of the restaurant, it really doesn’t look like they have much to offer. In my opinion, even the design of their sign is a little on the basic side, but what they lack in exterior pizzazz they make up for with their incredible food.
4. Beef House (16501 IN-63, Covington)
Premium choice aged beef at prices any Hoosier can afford. This is why they are called the BEEF HOUSE. They are proud of the meet they sell to their customers. Located in Covington, this is actually one of many hidden gems I included in this list. This restaurant is great, but it isn’t one you really know about unless you live in the area.
5. Bonge's Tavern (9830 W 280 N, Anderson)
Customers agree this is one of the best and most unique places to eat in the central part of the state. Again, this is a restaurant a lot of people don't know about or just tend to overlook. It's well-worth going inside and having a meal because their food is incredible.
6. Das Dutchman Essenhaus (240 US-20, Middlebury)
Das Dutchman Essenhaus is an Amish style restaurant that's known for its folky setting. From the food to the environment, there isn’t anything you aren’t going to enjoy about this place! Everyone has to try eating here at least once.
7. Joseph Decuis (191 N Main St, Roanoke)
This is the name of an upscale American restaurant that serves Wagyu steaks along with seasonal entrees that are made fresh using ingredients from their very own farm. If you're in the mood for a fresh and locally grown meal, you can get that at this place. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the cooks are also incredible.
8. Joe Huber Family Farm and Restaurant (2421 Engle Rd, Starlight)
Joe Huber Family Farm and Restaurant is recognized as a comfort food restaurant. Many customers are not ashamed to admit that they come here for a meal when they need to feel better. With fresh produce from the farm, it's fine to eat your feelings here. They even have a pick your own produce farm, so you can take some of the delicious fruits and veggies home with you.
9. Sara's New Harmony Way Coffee House & Wine Bar (500 Church St, New Harmony)
This restaurant is recognized as the coziest spot in New Harmony for you to eat, grab a coffee, and/or a drink. They have comfy leather chairs and delicious wine you can sample.
10. The Schnitzelbank Restaurant (393 3rd Ave, Jasper)
The Schnitzelbank Restaurant is a place you can go when you want to taste some dishes that are commonly served in the southern part of Germany. I actually have a family member (an in-law on my husband’s side) who is German and this is one of her favorite places to eat when they're in Indiana. Whether you’ve had German food before or not, you won’t regret eating here!
Have you ever eaten at any of these places? I’d love for you to tell me about your experiences in the comments! Sorry if I made you hungry!