The tenderloin sandwich is all but legendary in Indiana; and everybody has their own favorite haunts to find the perfect tenderloin. If you’re still in search of the perfect Hoosier tenderloin or up for a challenge to see if a restaurant can outdo your favorite sandwich, check out these 15 places for the best tenderloins in all of Indiana…listed in no particular order.
1. Nick's Kitchen - Huntington, IN
It would be impossible to write a list on tenderloin sandwiches without including Nick's Kitchen, the assumed legendary birthplace of the tenderloin. Dubbed the original tenderloin sandwich, this is one of the top contenders in the state and an absolute must try.
2. Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant - Indianapolis, IN
These tenderloins (naked or on a bun) are some of the largest, yet juiciest tenderloins you will ever taste. The buttery crust is the perfect finishing touch.
3. Ray's Drive In - Kokomo, IN
Let's all just take a minute to gawk at that tenderloin to bun ratio! Ray's has some of the largest tenderloins around and many Hoosiers swear this is the only place to go for the best tenderloin sandwich.
4. The Friendly Tavern - Zionsville, IN
The Friendly Tavern is another top contender for the best tenderloin with hand breaded and fried deliciousness. Most people who have tried the tenderloin here find it impossible to order anything else.
5. Mr. Dave's - North Manchester, IN
Mr. Dave's is a family owned restaurant in North Manchester that takes extra care in preparing their Hoosier tenderloins. Each piece is pounded extremely thin, hand fed into a cuber, dipped in eggs, salt, milk, and cracker meal, cooled, re-breaded, and then fried. The tenderloins here may be smaller than you are used to seeing, but the outstanding taste speaks to the quality of prep and work that goes into each slice.
6. The Brau Haus - Oldenburg, IN
The Brau Haus in Oldenburg has an excellent take on the Hoosier tenderloin. While the breading is not entirely traditional, since this is a German restaurant, but the meat is tender and juicy. You won't be disappointed with this choice!
7. Miles Lab - Elkhart, IN
Editor's Note: Miles Lab is permanently closed.
The breaded tenderloin found at Miles Lab is actually triple breaded to give you a great, crunchy, flavorful battered tenderloin. As one of the best places in northern Indiana for a great tenderloin, Miles Lab might be a contender for the best in the state. Try it for yourself and report back!
8. Steer-In - Indianapolis, IN
This city haunt was featured on the Food Network and is rumored to have the best tenderloin in the area. Is it good enough to top the others for best in state?
9. Gerst Bavarian Haus - Evansville, IN
This German restaurant tops the list of southern Indiana tenderloins, though many have driven throughout the state seeking this delicious, perfectly fried, and tender sandwich. They also have a fantastic selection of beers.
10. Courtney's Kitchen - Noblesville, IN
This tenderloin is huge and thin, just the way many Hoosiers like it. Many claim this small kitchen has the best tenderloin in the country, and a life altering sugar cream pie is sure to convince you that this kitchen has something wonderful going on.
11. Black Dog Pub - Fort Wayne, IN
Black Dog Pub has breaded tenderloins so large, they even made their own special bun to fit them on. You have to have a taste of this surprising sandwich.
12. Nickel Plate - Fishers, IN
Editor's Note: Nickel Plate Bar and Grill permanently closed in 2019.
Some claim that the Nickel Bar has the best tenderloin in the world. This massive, perfectly prepared piece of meat is truly a winner...but is it number one?
13. Shoreline Brewery and Restaurant - Michigan City, IN
This massive sandwich can be dressed up with specialty buns, like the picture pretzel bun. Served with a heaping helping of fries, this must-try tenderloin is sure to please.
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