Best Of Cluck
Whether dressed up with nuts and grapes, cranberries and curry powder, or just plenty of crunchy celery and creamy mayo, chicken salad has never gone out of style at Indy’s cafés and delis. From blue-plate classics to more modern twists, here are some of the tastiest such fillings that local restaurants are stuffing into croissants and spreading between slices of well-toasted bread.
Patachou Chicken Salad
The addition of bacon gives the straightforward salad of free-range chicken at Indy’s most iconic lunch draw a smoky, salty edge that is particularly addictive, especially when it comes spread on slices of Cafe Patachou’s signature thick-cut sourdough. Subtle bits of celery and a luxurious amount of mayo give this version a creamy decadence, which is balanced by the cut of fresh fruit served on the side.
Spring Chicken Salad
The Lemon Bar
95 E. Pine St., Zionsville, 317-344-0472
At Kate Bova’s bright and cheery bakery cafe, the chicken salad punched up with a host of savories such as Capriole goat cheese, pickled onions, pistachios, and herbs lends a modern flair to a lunchtime classic that will win over even the staunchest traditionalist.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
653 E. 52nd St., 317-920-8121
Those who like their chicken salad heavier on the meat and lighter on the mayo will appreciate the refreshing version from this eclectic spot. Pecans, dried cranberries, and a subtle touch of Gorgonzola let the poultry shine. Crisp greens and earthy multigrain bread help deliver plenty of flavor without so much guilt.
Sage Aioli Chicken Salad
City Market, 317-632-3644
A savory hit of sage alongside shreds of deeply roasted chicken gives the salad at this City Market brunch favorite all the character of Sunday dinner at Grandma’s. Nutty Asiago and crunchy pistachios round out one of downtown’s richest sandwiches, served on fresh Circle City Sweets bread.
3443 E. 86th St., 317-757-8006
Chicken salad doesn’t get more classic than the lunch favorite at this cozy Keystone at the Crossing cafe. Big chunks of moist roasted chicken, chopped grapes, celery, and cashews are held together perfectly with just enough mayo and topped with a slice of Havarti so it doesn’t spill out of the toasted challah.