Are you hungry? We hope so, because it’s almost time for Devour Indy Winterfest – and the number one requirement to participate in the annual gastric delight is an empty stomach!
Over the last several years, Indianapolis has attracted a lot of interest in the culinary world, largely thanks to the diversity and drive among its food entrepreneurs of all kinds. All over the city, restaurateurs are taking risks, pop-up restaurants are encouraging excitement around new flavors and food trucks are taking top-quality cuisine on the road.
In fact, the May 2022 issue of Food & Wine magazine even named Indy as one of the seven “next great food cities in America,” which has just highlighted the importance of the culinary scene to the city’s overall culture. In the words of the director of public relations at Visit Indy, visitors and residents “know it is a city where they can go and get a quality meal and not break the bank.”
When Is Winterfest, and What Does It Mean?
If you’ve been dying to sink your teeth into something new, Devour Indy Winterfest 2023 gives you plenty of options, whether you prefer to dine-in or carry-out. Brought by the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (INRLA), Winterfest is a city-wide dining extravaganza, with more than 100 restaurants all over the city offering three-course meals at a value price.
Winterfest runs from January 23 through February 5 this year, and no special tickets are required. To participate, you simply pick a restaurant from among those participating, head that way and ask for the Devour Indy menu!
Which Restaurants Are Participating?
With so many wonderful local dining establishments involved, it would be impossible to list them all here, but you can quickly check for a restaurant and menu you like on the Devour Indy website. (You can narrow your search down by area, food type, price ranges and even whether the business is minority-owned, if you like.)
That being said, let’s look at 10 of the highlights among this year’s offerings:
1. Pier 48 Fish House & Oyster Bar – 130 S. Pennsylvania St., Suite B
There’s a lot more than oysters to be found at this oyster bar! In fact, Pier 48’s Winterfest menu is packed with classics like clam chowder and chicken picatta, but you may want to investigate some of their more exotic fare, like the Drunken Mussels or their stuffed spinach salmon.
2. Vivante French Eatery – 1 Carmichael Square
Have you ever wanted to experience fine dining in an elegant French restaurant without breaking the bank? Don’t let the opportunity pass you buy when Vivante French Eatery is offering a beautiful three-course meal that features everything from goat cheese crostini to cognac short ribs with Swiss chard. (This restaurant also has gluten-free and vegetarian options available.)
3. FortyFive Degrees – 765 Massachusetts Ave.
Have you been looking for a new sushi place to try? Well, don’t wait: FortyFive Degrees is offering a pretty incredible menu for Devour Indy Winterfest, with a hearty mix of sushi rolls, chicken, pork and other dishes, so there’s truly something for everyone.
4. Ten Hands Social Bar & Eatery – 241 W. Washington St.
Tucked just inside The Westin Indianapolis downtown, Ten Hands offers a contemporary American menu in a very relaxed atmosphere that’s designed to encourage folks to spend time together. You won’t find a lot of fancy offerings, but you will find some amazing short rib tacos, a crazy-good wild mushroom pizza and more – all for your delight!
5. The Block Bistro and Grill – 115 W. Market St.
The Block Bistro and Grill specializes in American Urban cuisine, with an intimate and multicultural setting that’s perfect for gathering with friends or that special someone alike. During Winterfest, guests can share an appetizer and then pick from fish, chicken and steak entrees before topping the whole meal off with either Grand Marnier bread pudding or a piece of warm lemon cake.
6. St. Elmo Steak House – 127 S. Illinois St.
Have you always wanted to try the food at St. Elmo Steak House? Well, no time like the present! As Indy’s oldest original steakhouse, they’ve got a proud reputation to uphold, and they do it quite well. You can whet your appetite with their world-famous St. Elmo shrimp cocktail before dining on filet mignon, roasted chicken or crab stuffed shrimp as your main course.
7. Ramen Ray – 5628 E. 71st St.
Raman Ray’s bills itself as “the best place to enjoy traditional-style ramen outside of Japan” and we believe them! If you’ve never understood what all the fuss was about when it comes to ramen, you probably just haven’t had Ramen Ray’s – but now is your chance! They’ll also happily accommodate special diets, including vegan and dairy-free.
8. OP Italian – 10 S. West St.
Are you looking for a good Italian restaurant that honors the past without being stuck in it? OP Italian is dedicated to revitalizing the way people think about Italian cuisine, with its open-kitchen concept and shareable plates. Come try their crispy calamari, the vodka marinara rigatoni and some real tiramisu for dessert at this downtown favorite.
9. Kona Grill – 14395 Clay Terrace Blvd., Suite 180
This Northside restaurant offers a fusion of American and Asian food, with some of the best craft cocktails in the state — in an atmosphere that is decidedly laid-back. You may want to try the Kona Surf & Turf, but there’s no overlooking that New York Cheesecake with the raspberry sauce they’re offering, either.
10. Apocalypse Burger – 115 E. 49th St.
If you’re in the mood for some truly American delights with a “live for the moment” kind of flare, you don’t want to pass up the chance to try the Smashpocalypse Burger or the Smashed Reuben Melt at Apocalypse Burger, along with the fried pickles – but make sure you’re extra-hungry, because the burgers here are not for the timid.
Ready, Get Set – and Eat!
Regardless of where you choose to expand your culinary horizons, this year’s Devour Indy is primed to be the best ever – with your support.
With inflation rising and the ongoing staffing issues faced around the nation, many small restaurants are struggling. When you participate in things like Winterfest, you’re helping your local businesses and your own unique community thrive. So, with that in mind – let’s eat!