Taste Test: Indy’s Best Pickles

Brine and Dandy

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From the Hoosier cupboard to the big-city deli barrel, house pickles add a sour power that deserves its own hallowed spot on the charcuterie board. We crunched into seven versions that represent the preserved cucumber at its finest.

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Big Hoffa’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

800 E. Main St., Westfield, 867-0077, bighoffas.com

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Thick and sturdy enough to be eaten with a fork, these snappy chips with a fresh crispness are homemade in the all-American concession-stand tradition.


Hoagies & Hops

414 N. Dorman St., 296-8430, hoagiesandhops.com

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The sandwich counter inside Flat 12 Bierwerks sources these hefty, mildly tart garlic pickles from East Coast deli staple Dietz & Watson. 


Bluebeard
Bluebeard outdoor seating

Photo by Tony Valainis

Bent Rail Brewery

5301 Winthrop Ave., 737-2698, bentrailbrewery.com

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These mildly flavored house spears soaked into submission give the slightest hint of sour and bite.


Twenty Tap

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

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Flecks of fresh dill and coriander seeds float in the brine of these refreshing, summer-style pickles that boast the essential combination of garlic, vinegar, spice, and snap.


Taste Cafe & Marketplace

5164 N. College Ave., 925-2233, tastecafeandmarketplace.com

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Liltingly delicate chips pack a potpourri of flavors—a somewhat sweet combination of allspice, clove, and cinnamon that reminded us of Christmas.


Bluebeard

653 Virginia Ave., 686-1580, bluebeardindy.com

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Fans of funky-sour pickles will favor these vinegary chips that sometimes get lost amid the Fletcher Place restaurant’s housemade kimchis and crudite. “The aftertaste is like a good malty beer,” one tester remarked.    


Indiana Pickle Co.

indianapickle.com
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We tried the company’s Moonshine Pickle, brined in local distillery Hotel Tango Whiskey’s Mike Moonshine. The flavor registers as sweet at first. Then the profile shifts to a deep, lingering heat. “It’s making me sweat a little bit,” said one sampler.

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