Eat and Run on the Monon

Mapping out what’s good and good for you along the fitness trail.


Back on the Monon after a long winter, you’ll want to find some wholesome eats and fuel up for the jog home. New spots along the north stretch focus on healthy, locally sourced options, and even breweries and old standards are tipping their toques toward clean living.


Locally Grown Gardens0515_MONON_LOCALLYGROWN1

1050 E. 54th St., 317-255-8555,

Ron Harris’s cheery garage-turned–country market also peddles some of Indy’s best salmon, which you can pair with either baby greens or ginger coleslaw. It’s such a simple treatment, loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, that you might even go in for a slice of housemade sugar-cream pie.


Bent Rail Brewery0515_MONON_BENTRAIL

5301 N. Winthrop Ave., 317-737-2698,

Housed in the former location of Monon Fitness, Craig Baker and Derek Means’s spacious new hangout offers retro features (exercise your wrist with a game of Pac-Man) and wholesome pub fare, including one of the best hummus plates in town and vegetarian sandwiches such as a roasted-poblano torta with black beans.



1300 E. 86th St., 317-706-0900,

The Nora location’s deli runs through its raw kale salad as many as five times a day. Why such a crowd-pleaser? It comes tossed with tangy dried cranberries, pine nuts, and a bracing citrus dressing. Bike racks, in-store seating, and a smoothie bar make this a perfect refueling spot. Bring your bike basket and grocery list.



110 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-581-9496,

Antioxidant-rich acai berries star at this trendy franchise’s only location outside of California. Take a bowl of berries mixed with coconut or soy milk and add fruit and energy-boosters such as flax and bee pollen. The result lands somewhere between alt-froyo and the healthiest lunch you’ll eat all week.



900 E. 64th St., 317-964-0865,

Martha Hoover has the “student union” concept down pat. Chef Tyler Herald’s daily features on this cafeteria line have included such guilt-free fare as a buckwheat flatbread loaded with fruits and veggies, a lentil salad topped with salmon, and a yellow couscous bowl with a rainbow of add-ins, like golden raisins.


The Garden Table0515_MONON_GARDENTABLE

908 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-737-2531,

Don’t roll your eyes at all of the kale and hemp on this menu. The elegant plates steer clear of hippie food, especially a hearty quinoa breakfast bowl with housemade pesto, chia seeds, and two stand-up poached eggs. Cold-pressed juices, such as the surprisingly savory Emerald Elixir, are a must.


Big Lug Canteen (coming soon)

1435 E. 86th St.

Slated to open in early September, this casual spot from restaurateur Eddie Sahm and brewer Scott Ellis will feature classic concession-stand eats. What’s healthy about that? Vegetarian walking tacos, for one. Plus, there will be beer.


Biscuits Cafe 

1035 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-202-0410

Better known for its post-hangover cuisine, this beloved breakfast-and-lunch hangout features some good alternatives to the gravy-topped biscuits, pancakes, and waffles. Try a Fiesta Pollo salad, with grilled chicken, black beans, corn, and tortilla strips. The shrimp salad and turkey-cranberry sandwich are also good bets for powering up.


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