910 W. 10th St., 317-602-3632
Follow the IUPUI students to this delightfully fresh fast-food spot just off campus. The scooped-to-order poke bowls have a rice base (sticky or brown) over which customers layer the Hawaiian raw-fish poke and a rainbow of add-ons. Fresh mango, edamame, avocado, pickled ginger, seaweed salad, and unagi sauce are just a few of the available toppings. Go crazy, or get yours “Island Style,” with just the rice and fish. Lunch and dinner daily.
Hedge Row American Bistro
350 Massachusetts Ave., 317-643-2750
Restaurateur Kimbal Musk (brother of rocket-launcher Elon Musk) brings his “real food” brand to Indianapolis—by way of Colorado, Memphis, and Chicago. The snug Mass Ave eatery features the work of Indy chef Brad Gates, who puts his solid Midwestern spin on traditional American dishes, like pan-seared trout paired with brown-butter cauliflower, and lamb meat-balls sweetened with a Moroccan-spiced tomato sauce. Lunch and dinner daily.
Moon Rabbit Ramen
4907 N. College Ave., 317-384-1048
Japanese restaurant Ukiyo’s lunchtime side hustle does a deep dive into the brothy cuisine with a trim menu limited to a few big steaming bowls of shoyu and shio, stocked indulgently with ingredients like pork belly, chicken oil, and cured egg. Easy-to-share starters like little servings of Japanese-style pickles and fermented vegetables as well as the dinnertime favorite, fried chicken bits dusted with matcha from the Neal Brown–steered kitchen, are equally hard to resist. Lunch Tues –Sat.
2727 E. 86th St., 317-757-5913
The ebony walls, gilded frames, and soft glow from pendant orb light fixtures set a dark and sexy scene at this decades-old Indy favorite that got a sleek update when it opened its Ironworks at Keystone redux. The food is still as luxuriously authentic as ever—a precise tribute to Italian pastas, from the show-stopping lasagna with both béchamel and marinara sauces to the delicately sauced linguini frutti di mare, a garlicky tangle of shrimp, calamari, mussels, and clams cooked in white wine. Dinner daily.