The Best Food Truck-to-Restaurant Conversions in Indianapolis
A few roaming restaurateurs who have recently dropped anchor for a more permanent spot.
Some of them still rumble through the streets feeding hungry fans. Some have retired their trucks entirely. But all of these roaming restaurateurs have taken the kernel of a culinary idea and recently settled down in brick-and-mortar spots that allow their followers to find them day or night—whether they have a Twitter account or not.
The sting of Rook’s temporary closing while it moved to the Slate building last fall was tempered considerably by the opening of Nitin and Mo Naidu’s spacious iteration of their popular Indian-fusion truck in Fletcher Place. And while their City Market counter remains open, you now have a lot more weeknights and weekend hours to enjoy delectable Bombay Box combos of rice, chicken, and chutneys or goat and chicken tikki tacos. 719 Virginia Ave., 317-220-8590
Mississippi native and New Orleans culinary- school grad Daniel Carter worked through a series of high-profile cooking gigs before he started a food truck in 2011. But his Irvington cafe, which he opened last year, has all of the hominess you’d expect from a Cajun and creole joint, perfect for enjoying perhaps Indy’s top catfish po’ boy, delectable boudin balls, and the best banana pudding north of the bayou. 5539 E. Washington St., 317-737-1801
Restaurateurs Adam Perry and Kari Nickander traded in their popular Asian-fusion food trucks Pho Mi and Taco Lassi for the funky space on East Street where they now fry up French toast doughnuts with maple syrup, a raspberry-filled donut with Key lime frosting, and a croissant-and-donut hybrid. And since they had lots of food truck experience, they recently returned to the streets with their new concept (a truck you can find by checking the website). 827 S. East St., 317-964-0744
Irvington’s international dining options expanded this past summer when Larry and Peta-Gay Wharton, operators of the popular Taste of the Caribbean truck, turned their attentions toward renovating a Washington Street storefront and refining their versions of Jamaican curries, jerk specialties, and playful takes on American comfort classics such as Buffalo chicken mac and cheese. Coco bread, conch fritters, and curried goat all hit the mark here, and frequent live music makes this a festive spot that’s way more than a lunch cart. 5603 E. Washington St., 317-602-8923
Local pizza lovers got to know Byrne’s crispy, charred slices from the truck’s stops at the Saturday Broad Ripple Farmers Market and breweries such as Flat 12 Bierwerks. But when the former site of Oh Yumm! Bistro in Butler-Tarkington sat empty for a few months, the Reinstrom family, which started the truck, began dreaming of a hardwired location. Now offering an expanded menu of salads and classic combos such as the meaty Big Momma and the veggie-friendly Byrne’s Special, the place is no longer pie in the sky. 5615 N. Illinois St., 317-737-2056