Technically, Indiana doesn’t have an official state food, but if we did, there’s no doubt as to what it would be: the tenderloin. Tenderloins are more than just a food in the Hoosier state; they’re the stuff of legends. And while there’s always going to be debate surrounding the best places to get an authentic tenderloin, these 10 restaurants recently were voted the best in state by
VisitIndiana – and you’ll want to try them.
1. Nick's Kitchen - Huntington
Voted #1 in Indiana, this historic restaurant is rumored to be the place that started it all. Known as the unofficial home of the tenderloin, this beloved restaurant has been featured all over Food Network for their legendary tenderloin sandwich (and amazing homemade pies!). You'll find this hidden gem at 506 N Jefferson St, Huntington, IN 46750.
2. Dooley O'Tooles - Carmel
This staple in the city of Carmel has been quietly serving up one of the best tenderloins in the state for decades. This enormous sandwich will impress you with its size and delight your tastebuds. It's quite massive, so they also offer a smaller version worth trying. You'll find this pub at 160 E Carmel Dr, Carmel, IN 46032.
3. The Willard - Franklin
This historic restaurant and bar in downtown Franklin might not have the largest tenderloin you've ever seen, but it may in fact be the tastiest. It's both perfectly crisp and tender and packed full of flavor. While tenderloins are traditionally breaded, you can opt for their lighter, grilled version, as well. You'll find the Willard at 99 N Main St, Franklin, IN 46131.
4. Mayberry Cafe - Danville
This nostalgic cafe is famous for its home cooked food and Andy Griffith Show theme. Among their many beloved dishes is their incredible tenderloin, homemade daily and cooked to perfection. You'll find this charming eatery at 78 West Main Street, Danville, IN 46122.
5. Edward's Drive-In - Indianapolis
Pictures hardly do this massive tenderloin justice. This classic drive-in in Indianapolis has been serving up one of the best, no-frills tenderloins for decades and still proves you can get a great sandwich without breaking the bank. You'll find this must-visit Indiana restaurant at 2126 S Sherman Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
6. Lumpy's Cafe - Cambridge City
This tiny diner in Cambridge City is a local gem that offers incredible breakfast and classic diner foods. They're also home to a delicious tenderloin sandwich that people drive from miles away to try. These bad boys are absolutely massive and can easily be split between two people. You'll find them at 20 S Foote St, Cambridge City, IN 47327.
7. Nickel Plate Bar & Grill - Fishers
Editor's Note: Nickel Plate Bar & Grill is permanently closed.
This popular pub in Fishers has the typical bar fare you'd except - including a killer tenderloin. This huge sandwich will impress even the snobbiest of tenderloin lovers. It's not as thin as other tenderloins, but the crisp breading and subtle flavor more than make up for that. Try it at 8654 E 116th St, Fishers, IN 46038.
8. Out of the Ordinary Hickory Sports Bar - Nashville
This amazing restaurant in the artsy district of Nashville is an incredible find for unique twists on classic dishes. Their tenderloin, however, is perfectly traditional and hand-breaded on site every day. You'll want to come hungry for this sandwich! Try it at 61 S van Buren St, Nashville, IN 47448.
9. The Mug - Greenfield
The tenderloin sandwich at The Mug is so massive, it's almost impossible to fit it into a picture. This drive-in eatery only uses local, antibiotic and hormone-free pork. You'll absolutely fall in love with this epic sandwich (though figuring out how to eat it may prove difficult). You'll find The Mug at 117 Apple St, Greenfield, IN, Greenfield, IN 46140.
10. Oasis Diner - Plainfield
Last, but not least, we have the amazing tenderloin at the Oasis Diner in Plainfield. This epic tenderloin goes great on a bun or smothered in gravy (one of their breakfast specials). You'll definitely love their unique twist on this classic sandwich. Find them at 405 W Main St, Plainfield, IN 46168.
How many of these classic tenderloins have you tried in the Hoosier state? Which place has your absolute favorite?