43 E. 9th St., 317-426-4392
Food truck–style fusion in the form of General Tso’s chicken tacos and char siu pork burritos are some of the tasty globally influenced choices at this counter-service spot that opened in early 2019 in the former home of Plow & Anchor and The Taco Shop. Breakfast scrambles and pastries from such local sources as Saraga International Market start the day alongside espresso drinks, and street food favorites such as beef and chorizo empanadas, “flaming hot” corn-and-mayo elotes, and Korean-inspired bulgogi nachos make great choices for lunch. Don’t pass up a hearty dinner of the fragrant paella-like Gran Castigador with pigeon peas, chicken, and mussels or sabor sabor, a rich and spicy mélange of linguine with guajillo peppers and manchego cheese. Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner Tues.–Sat., lunch Sunday.
Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar
209 S. Main St., Fortville, 317-747-4242
Named for the picturesque Tuscan hometown of co-owner Simone Lucarini, this street-side trattoria in Fortville was packed from the moment it opened in late 2018, serving regional specialties and unusual twists not typically found at local red-sauce pasta houses. Crispy calamari is a standout among antipasti, but try a pizza baked in the wood-fired oven, such as a pie topped with gorgonzola and speck or one with artichokes, mushrooms, and olives. Lush cream soups and fresh-tasting salads are good intermezzos before such hearty dishes as pasta al fumo with a rich tomato cream sauce and pancetta or hearty veal-stuffed ravioli in a brandy cream. Entrées include veal scallopini in either a traditional marsala sauce or a sweeter treatment with prunes, and fish specials such as mahi mahi with a caper sauce are good bets. End with a chocolate-drizzled cannoli or a smooth house coffee. Reservations are a must, but the especially chummy, knowledgeable staff will make you feel like you’re a guest in Big Night. Dinner Tues.–Sun.
1001 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-389-5555
The latest in a growing number of Broad Ripple taquerias occupies a two-story spot near the Monon with a patio that’s especially good for margarita-sipping in warm months. District Tap owners Bob Kort and Michael Cranfill recruited former Livery staffer Maxi Cortez Sierra to help add creative authentic touches such as outsized tostadas piled with flavorful pork carnitas, beans, crema, and Oaxaca cheese—a Mexican pizza of eye-popping proportions topped with shredded cabbage and pico. Tacos on housemade tortillas include such unusual fillings as fried cauliflower and charred Brussels sprouts, as well as rich and tender slow-cooked beef, battered cod, and marinated pork al pastor with pineapple and chipotle salsa. Drinks, both at the bar upstairs and the laidback tiki bar on the lower level, are smooth and well-shaken, and an impressive beer and tequila list, as well as a festive weekend brunch, make this a fun draw throughout the week. Dinner Tues.-Sat., brunch Sun.
2721 E. 86th St., 317-757-2888
A food-centric companion to the Speedway brewery, this family-friendly Ironworks establishment focuses on robust dishes, like sausages and embellished spaetzles, that pair well with Daredevil’s like of mainly German-style beers. Restaurateur Neal Brown, of Ukiyo, Libertine Liquor Bar, and Pizzology, oversees the menu and kitchen, adding smart culinary touches to burgers, salads, and more substantial plates. Beer-braised mussels and the massive Midwest Fish Fry are worthy headline acts, but diners also zone out in front of the flat screens with plates of hot pretzels and beer cheese. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.–Sun.