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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indy Burger Battle has begun, and three organizers — Roger Martin, owner of Ralston’s Drafthouse; Chris Laque, sous chef at Spoke & Steele; and Jose Salvador, sous chef, Spoke & Steele — were on Indy Style on Monday to share what’s in store!

The event ends Sunday, and it’s all for the great cause of supporting education in Uganda.

This is Spoke & Steele’s third year participating in the Indy Burger Battle, and it is currently the reigning “People’s Choice Champion.” it is featuring its Hoosier Corn Queso Slider with Charred Poblano and Queso Fresco-infused Fischer Farms Beef topped with roasted corn pico, pickled tomatillos, crispy tortilla chips, avocado aioli, and Indiana “corn queso” with a Turano brioche bun.

This is Ralston’s first year participating in the Indy Burger Battle. It is creating two sliders for the event: The Poco Santa, which has a red quinoa patty, jicama-corn mix, microgreens, and avocado-lime crema, and the Recession, which has a ground beef patty, Nueske’s smoked bacon, bourbon-barrel beer cheese, microgreens, and spicy stout mustard.

Building Tomorrow, an Indy-based nonprofit international development organization supporting education in East Africa, is organizing the eighth annual Indy Burger Battle presented by Red Gold. Due to COVID-19, organizers decided to change things up this year to ensure the safety of all participants as well as to help support Indianapolis-area restaurants in a challenging time.

Rather than host an in-person, one-day grilling competition on Georgia Street, as has happened in the past, Building Tomorrow is making the 2020 Burger Battle a 10-day, “passport”-style event where ticket holders can safely dine in or carry out from participating restaurants anytime now through Aug. 9.

For just $35 per ticket, ticket holders can enjoy two free sliders at all of the 10 participating restaurants over the course of the competition. They can then go online to vote for their favorite, with the winner being crowned the People’s Choice best burger on Aug. 10.

Each ticket purchased will teach two children how to read, write and do basic math.

To make the event as safe and accessible as possible, restaurant-goers can also participate by carrying out from the participating restaurants by placing their orders over the phone.

The ten restaurants competing in the Burger Battle are: Binkley’s, Broad Ripple Brewpub, Burgerhaus, Flamme Burger, Gallery Pastry Shop, Kilroy’s Bar N Grill, Ralston’s Drafthouse, Rush on Main, Smokehouse Catering Company, and Spoke & Steele. Some of these restaurants are participating at multiple locations; visit to learn more.

This event benefits two great causes, Building Tomorrow and the Indianapolis-area restaurant scene. All ticket proceeds benefit Building Tomorrow. All additional revenue from beverages, sides, desserts and other food will benefit participating restaurants in the greater Indy metro area, including Downtown, Broad Ripple, Brownsburg, Carmel, Zionsville and Greenwood.

Last year, the event sold out with more than 1,000 participants and raised a record $40,000 for Building Tomorrow.

Please visit to buy tickets, check out all of the restaurants and their featured burgers, and learn more. 

Building Tomorrow Key Messages

COVID Response

In Uganda, an estimated 1.2 million children were out of school before COVID. Currently all schools are closed, affecting some 20 million learners. We expect that many children who were in school before the pandemic will not return. Moreover, we know severe learning reversals are taking place as we speak.

We have established a program called Tomorrow is Now, which will scale up our Community Education Volunteers and Roots to Rise programs to help bring all out-of-school children in five districts back to school, and improve literacy and numeracy.

For more information on Building Tomorrow, visit their website or Instagram.

For more about Ralston’s, visit their Instagram.

For more about Spoke & Steele, visit their Instagram.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.