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What 8 Indiana restaurants are the best of the Midwest?

A group of friends enjoying a dinner together. (WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In their quest to compile the “Top 100 Restaurants in the Midwest,” a dedicated team from Yelp HQ explored a dozen states, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This carefully curated list ranks businesses based on factors like review volume and ratings between January 2021 and May 2023. As an additional criterion, all businesses featured on the list boast a passing health score as of May 1, 2023. So, which Indiana restaurants made the cut?

No. 4: Livery, Indianapolis, Indiana

Cunningham Restaurant Group’s Latin American restaurant concept Livery, is a popular restaurant known for its exquisite empanadas and churros. Their menu showcases small plates inspired by diverse Latin American flavors, with empanadas stealing the spotlight.

Seasonal fillings like truffle and jalapeno crema add variety, alongside favorites such as steak, chorizo, lamb, and chicken, paired with house-made sauces and salsas for dipping.

With its spot in Yelp’s “Top 100 US Restaurants 2023,” Livery’s popularity has led to new locations in Indiana and Ohio. The original Indianapolis site, housed in a former police horse stable in Chatham-Arch neighborhood, exudes a cool urban-hip ambiance while honoring its historic roots.

Their signature Carriage House margarita, infused with orange brandy, exemplifies their delectable cocktail offerings. Livery’s standout dishes include the juicy and tender skirt steak with Manchego polenta slices, and the out-of-this-world red drum, enhanced by chorizo chutney and chimichurri. For appetizers, Yucca fries with queso blanco and sweet plantains with pineapple slaw are excellent choices.

Yelpers rave about Livery, hailing it as a must-try in Indianapolis, praising their fantastic Latin food. The steak, cheese, and corn empanadas, along with the impressive tacos, garner high accolades. And of course, their incredible margaritas and a diverse range of cocktails elevate the dining experience to new heights.

No. 26: 9th Street Bistro, Noblesville, Indiana

Nestled in Noblesville, 9th Street Bistro welcomes guests to an intimate 35-seat dining room, where they can relish in globally inspired comfort food crafted with fresh, hyperlocal ingredients. The culinary delights at this bistro are meticulously prepared, with nearly everything made from scratch, including the luxurious burrata ball, bread, and desserts.

No. 29: Vida, Indianapolis, Indiana

Originally conceived as a test kitchen for other Cunningham Restaurant Group establishments, Vida soon established its unique identity within a magnificent Lockerbie Square building. The ambiance exudes a European lodge vibe, complemented by artful and meticulously crafted plates. Indulge in offerings such as pristine bluefin tuna and salmon filets paired with flavors of the land like pork belly braised greens and chanterelle and maitake mushrooms. Moreover, the kitchen’s hydroponic wall provides a steady supply of crisp salads, becoming a cherished staple of the dining experience at Vida.

No. 34 Che Chori Foods, Indianapolis, Indiana

Che Chori, an Argentinian restaurant and fresh meat counter, stands out with its striking red exterior along the bustling West 16th Street in a former Rally’s double drive-through. The menu celebrates meaty street-vendor cuisine found in Argentina. Alongside these flavorful offerings, the restaurant also presents American classics with a gaucho twist, such as the choripan—a butterflied link of Argentine chorizo accompanied by chimichurri, tomato, and lettuce on a baguette. In addition to this mouthwatering creation, patrons can enjoy burgers, hot dogs, and Argentine pizza, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that blends the best of both cultures.

No. 35: Delicia, Indianapolis, Indiana

Delicia stands out as a unique Latin spot with its distinctive white-glazed brick walls and exposed woodwork, creating an upscale ambiance. The culinary offerings at Delicia beautifully blend various styles from the Americas, Caribbean and Spain, showcasing a harmonious fusion that goes beyond representing a single country or cuisine. Among the rotating dishes, certain delights have emerged as clear winners. The rich and delicious queso fundido, served with a delightful tomato-poblano sauce, is a definite crowd-pleaser. Equally enticing is the pan-seared snapper, accompanied by smoked pickled potatoes, delivering a burst of flavors. To round off the culinary experience, the Spanish-style cheesecake, topped with a granola crumble and accompanied by raspberry sorbet, serves as a perfect conclusion to a memorable dining experience at Delicia.

No. 37: Chris’ Ice Cream, Indianapolis, Indiana

Chris’ Ice Cream offers an authentic Mexican dining experience coupled with rich homemade ice cream. While the menu may be modest, the focus is firmly set on delivering exceptional taste. The team at Chris’ Ice Cream invests considerable effort into ensuring every dish reaches its peak flavor. Savor a delightful selection of tacos, tortas, enchiladas, flautas, quesadillas, and more, complemented by an array of enticing homemade ice cream flavors.

No. 59: Omoni Fresh Fast Korean Grill, Carmel, Indiana

As per their website, “Omoni” translates to “mother” in Korean, embodying the essence of the restaurant’s inspiration. Omoni proudly presents a bold and satisfying menu, showcasing the best of Korean cuisine, all influenced by the owner’s mother’s traditional recipes. Among their highly favored dishes, the sizzling dolsot bibimbap stands out as a crowd favorite, featuring crispy rice, marinated grilled beef, and a selection of crunchy veggies, crowned with a jammy egg. For an extra burst of flavor, a side of tangy ssamjang red sauce is available upon request to enhance the dish further.

No. 73: Haru Sushi Izakaya, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne’s Haru Sushi Izakaya has earned a remarkable distinction as the only non-Indy-area Indiana restaurant featured on Yelp’s coveted list. This Asian fusion eatery has garnered acclaim for its standout sushi offerings and attentive wait staff. A highlight of the dining experience is their lunch roll special, available on Tuesdays through Fridays, where diners can savor a selection of mouthwatering sushi rolls of their choice. Haru Sushi Izakaya’s dedication to providing a memorable dining experience has secured its place as a top destination in the vibrant Fort Wayne dining scene.

For the full list of Yelp’s “Top 100 Restaurants in the Midwest,” click here.