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Taste Test: Indy’s Best Bread Baskets


Artisan Bread Basket

601 E. New York St., 317-420-2323

Pastry chef Hattie McDaniel’s recent creations have included pumpernickel biscuits and miniature Pullman loaves. Her streusel-topped version of Amish friendship bread paired with fried sage honey butter tastes like a nostalgic bite of Thanksgiving dinner.


Corn Muffins

Marrow Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins from Marrow

1106 Prospect St., 317-986-6752

Accompanied by rich East-meets-Indiana sorghum-miso butter, these muffins with a chewy edge make a great bar snack at the funky Fountain Square soul food spot.

Rush on Main

Bavarian Pretzel Sticks

Rush on Main

Bavarian pretzel sticks from Zionsville’s Rush on Main.

112 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-344-2416

A hybrid of soft mall pretzels and the kind you might get at Wrigley Field, these big, buttery sticks are as homey as they come, especially when dunked in gooey, straightforward nacho cheese.


Bread Service

Mesh Bread Service

Bread service from Mesh

725 Massachusetts Ave., 317-955-9600

There’s a charming formality to the bread service at this Mass Ave standard that hearkens to restaurants of old. A rustic loaf arrives tucked in a cloth napkin, then another server comes by to pour a little herbed olive oil.

Harry & Izzy’s

Dinner Rolls

Harry & Izzy's

The bread basket from Harry & Izzy’s

Three locations

You may come for the steaks and sliders, but you’ll be won over by these utterly comforting rolls that land somewhere between focaccia and the classic Parker House carb. By request at lunch and standard issue at dinner, these warm, herb-flecked hunks have a delectable buttery center.

Cafe Carib

Coco Bread

Cafe Carib

Co Co Bread from Cafe Carib

5603 E. Washington St., 317-602-8923

Despite their name, there’s no coconut milk in these soft, aromatic rolls at one of Indy’s newest food truck–to-restaurant conversions. But the sweet undertone definitely delivers a flavor of the West Indies.

The Rathskeller

Bread Basket

The Rathskellar

The Rathskellar’s bread basket.

401 E. Michigan St., 317-636-0396

Arranged alongside the pumpernickel and whole wheat is one of Indy’s best pretzels: warm, chewy, and topped with coarse salt. Slather it with butter or dip it in sinus-clearing, Wisconsin-made Silver Springs mustard. 

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.