Taste Test: Fried Cheese with Real Curd Appeal

Straight-out-of Wisconsin cheese curds are anything but bland when batter fried and paired with a tasty dipping sauce.

February 2017Add a comment

It’s no stretch: Batter-fried cheese ranks among our all-time favorite bar snacks, especially when paired with a tasty dipping sauce.


Big Lug Canteen

1435 E. 86th St., 317-672-3503, biglugcanteen.com

Mild, citrusy Quintana wheat ale added to the batter gives these pillowy curds an extra richness and depth. Thoughtful dipping sauces—an herbaceous throwback Green Goddess dressing or a not-too-spicy chipotle purée—bring another layer of flavor.

Big Lug fried cheese



Twenty Tap

5406 N. College Ave., 317-602-8840, twentytap.com

It’s no wonder the softest, gooiest curds around enjoy a fierce following at this College Avenue craft-beer draw. Let them cool a few minutes, and they take on the characteristic snap of the best. Almost as fun is choosing from a long list of house sauces such as chipotle, roasted garlic, or creamy chimichurri.

Twenty Tap fried cheese



Broad Ripple Brewpub

842 E. 65th St., 317-253-2739

These tender, herb-flecked curds come with a rich tomato marinara that makes them the closest to those stretchy, decadent fried mozzarella sticks you loved growing up.

Broad Ripple Brewpub’s fried cheese



The Pint Room

110 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-571-8400, pintroomcarmel.com

Light and crisp with a golden coating, these beer-battered nuggets have a winning texture. Don’t worry: The Sriracha ranch sauce is milder than you might expect.

The Pint Room’s fried cheese



20 N. Delaware St., 317-685-5100, rebarindy.com

The curds at this pour-your-own suds spot depart from the crowd with a thicker, onion ring-style batter. A mild dill ranch comes on the side, but for more kick, try them with Rebar’s house ketchups, either the earthy curry or the tangy bloody Mary.

Rebar’s fried cheese



Alley Cat Lounge

6267 Carrollton Ave., 317-257-4036

Not technically curds but battered cubes of pepperjack cheese, these flavorful bites at Broad Ripple’s legendary dive are some of the richest of the bunch. A side of Southwest sauce—essentially ranch dressing mixed with salsa—ups the spice quotient.

The Alley Cat’s fried cheese



St. Joseph’s Brewery

540 N. College Ave., 317-602-5670, saintjoseph.beer

You can get your curds melted on some of the heartiest, most savory poutine topped with smoked beef and Porter gravy at this Catholic church-turned-brewery.

St. Joseph Brewery’s fried cheese


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