A Vegan Guide to Indianapolis, Indiana

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Last week, I spent six days exploring a new state and a new city. Well, I won’t say a new state. I’ve been to Indiana tons of times as a kid because my dad is from there but we didn’t really explore. We just visited family so I don’t think it counts. So, when I found out I’d be attending BlogHouse this year – an intensive, intimate travel blogging workshop – and that it was being held in Indianapolis, I was pretty excited.

I did the first thing I always do when I’m traveling somewhere new. I started researching the food.  Because, you know, food.  At first, I didn’t think Indy was going to be too vegan friendly and that I was going to have to do some serious searching.  There wasn’t a ton of information to be found online it seemed.  However, once I got there and got to know the area a little bit better, I was more than surprised.  Just like with the South, you don’t think vegan when you think Midwest but St Louis surprised me and Indy followed suit.  Maybe the Midwest is for vegans after all.

For a large part of my trip there, I ate with my fellow bloghouse-ers but I had a little downtime to search out the best vegan options in the city and while I didn’t get to them all, I think I did a pretty good job for my first time there.  Everything is separated by neighborhood for user friendliness.


Broad Ripple


Public Greens | 900 E 64th Street

Public Greens is a farm-market inspired cafetaria restaurant.  The food is amazing with an emphasis on fresh and wholesome non-processed foods.  It is the only restaurant in the region devoting all of the profits and crops to The Patachou Foundation.  The Patachou Foundation’s mission is :

To feed wholesome meals to food-insecure school children in our community and teach them to create healthy habits.

Public Greens was probably my favorite find for overall food, mission and sustainability.  I’ll be writing a more in depth post on them later on so check back!

As for the vegan options, they have fantastic and delicious ones.  I got the vegan chili, fried taters (seriously some of the best potatoes I’ve ever had) and a chocolate muffin.  They had several other options including salads, pasta dishes and more.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


The Sinking Ship | 4923 N College Ave

The Sinking Ship was such a fun and refreshing find.  A bar open until 3am, you’ll find craft beers, amazing vegan “bar food”, hilarious decor and televisions showing only hockey, wrestling and weird movies.  A serious must for your Indy trip!

I got the stoner fries [with seitan bacon and vegan cheese], the seitan wings [with asshole sauce], vegan mac n cheese and a sack of balls.  Yes, those are the real names although I can understood why you think I’d make them up seeing how mature I am and all.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


BRICS | 901 E 64th Street

I definitely just realized that BRICS is an acronym for Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station.  We had already eaten Public Greens and drunk a flight of beers at Broad Ripple Brew Pub, but that wasn’t stopping me!  Next, we popped into BRICS and I was so delighted to see the words ‘vegan gelato.’  They had four vegan flavors and they were all delicious.

Oh, AND it’s located in the old train station.  And, I like trains so win-win.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Mass Ave


The Flying Cupcake | 423 Massachusetts Avenue

Who doesn’t love a good cupcake?  Why do cupcakes taste better than cake when they are cake?  We’ll never know.  The Flying Cupcake is an adorable local brand with several locations in Indiana.  They usually have a few vegan options on hand.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Best Chocolate in Town | 880 Massachusetts Avenue

I got wind that there were vegan chocolates somewhere and I was there.  Head down Mass Ave and you’ll find the ‘Best Chocolate in Town’ where they have a few vegan options – a couple vegan truffles, dark chocolate covered pretzels and a few others.  Be careful though because there are a few items that have honey so make sure you ask – for instance, the dark chocolate covered graham crackers have honey.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Mesh on Mass | 725 Massachusetts Avenue

For one of our events, we ate at Mesh on Mass where they have a vegetarian cauliflower dish.  You can have it made without the buttermilk and it is vegan!

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Fountain Square


Pure Eatery | 1043 Virginia Avenue

I headed over to the Fountain Square neighborhood purely to eat at Pure Eatery and I’m glad I did because it might be my favorite area of Indy!  Very eclectic and unique neighborhood with swing dancing, record shops and more.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t totally sure about the options when I looked at the menu.  Looking at the vegan tacos, it wouldn’t be stuff I would normally put in a taco but I went for it anyway and I’m so glad I did.  They were incredibly amazing and I can see why they are a big hit – even for omnivores.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Nine Lives Cat Cafe | 1315 Shelby Street

By heading to Fountain Square, I stumbled upon a cat cafe!  It was ahhhh-mazing.  I’ve never been to one and had really been wanting to so I was more than excited.  They have coffee + tea with plenty of vegan syrups and they just signed on a vegan bakery from Muncie, Indiana to do all their baked goods.  Look for a post on my experience soon!

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Downtown


Three Carrots | 222 E Market Street

Three Carrots is located in City Market in Downtown and they are opening up a brick + mortar in Fountain Square.  While it says vegetarian cuisine, everything is actually all vegan.  Everyone will tell you THE Indiana dish to eat is a pork tenderloin sandwich.  Obviously, I don’t eat pork and if you’re vegan, you don’t either.  Well, here is where to get a vegan (seitan) pork tenderloin sandwich.  It was so good!  My boyfriend said it was the best vegan meat alternative dish he has ever had.  That’s saying a lot.

I also got the seitan and dumplings soup and yuuuuum.  Go here!  Also, City Market was a vegan haven that is super accessible from all of downtown.  I’ll be writing a post soon on why.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Twenty Two Juice | 222 E Market Street

Twenty Two offers lots of juices, smoothies and acai bowls – twenty two to be exact.  Also located in City Market, you can grab a juice or smoothie while you walk around decided where to eat lunch or grab it and go sit outside in the sun!

Napolese | several locations

Naopolese is a lovely artisanl pizzeria that is also part of the Patachou Foundation.  Their crust and sauce is vegan and you can have no cheese with lots of veggies.  They also have focaccia bread and salads that can be made vegan.

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS

VEGAN INDY

Photo by Lisa Lubin of LL World Tour


High Velocity | 10 S West Street

High Velocity is located within the JW Marriott – the hotel I stayed at – and one night, I got super hungry.  I decided to head down to see if there was anything at all I could eat – even if it was just fries.  I was delighted to see the word veggie burger on the menu but I knew veggie burgers usually have eggs in them so I asked the hostess to talk to the chef.  They informed me the patty was in fact vegan!  So, I just asked for the cheese and mayo to not be on the burger and to not butter the bun and voila!

I can actually say this veggie burger was one of the best ones I’ve had anywhere and I’m pretty picky!  Would definitely suggest if staying or visiting the JW!

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


Great American Donut Co | 827 S East Street

I found an adorable little coffee and donut shop on my first morning in Indianapolis.  They always have vegan options, have plant based milk for coffee and they were served on a cat plate so it’s pretty much the best.

They’re located kind of in between Downtown and Fountain Square!

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS


OTHER VEGAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS

I did not have time to visit these places but did note they had vegan friendly items with clearly marked menus.

  • Circle City Soups
  • Soupremacy
  • Spice Box
  • Ezra’s Cafe
  • Duos Kitchen
  • Cafe Patachou
  • SoBro Cafe
  • 3 Sisters Cafe
  • Yats
  • Spice Nation

Still craving more Indianapolis? Check out posts from fellow Bloghousers ↓

What are your favorite vegan restaurants in Indy?  Where should I head on my next visit?

PIN FOR FUTURE USE!

VEGAN INDIANAPOLIS

OTHER VEGAN DESTINATION GUIDES :
Vegan Guide to St Louis

Vegan Guide to Louisville

Vegan Guide to Nashville

A big, big thank you to Visit Indy, Visit Indiana, and JW Marriott for hosting our stay and making our time in Indianapolis amazing.  All opinions are, as always, my own.

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

16 Comments

  1. Kara

    July 3, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    Great info, as always Ashley! I didn’t realize your boyfriend went. That was cool. Or maybe you brought back a leftover goody box for him.

  2. Andi

    July 4, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    Wow you found some seriously good spots, I am very sorry I missed out on vegan gelato – never had it and am so curious! I really want the fries with seitan bacon and cheese – post diet of coure, but I want them!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      July 4, 2017 at 5:04 PM

      I did but I missed so many too! The fries were amazing! How is the diet going!?

  3. Sarah

    July 6, 2017 at 4:46 AM

    Came here from Visit Indiana’s twitter link: https://twitter.com/VisitIndy/status/882616313734156289

    You got a few restaurants from Broad Ripple, but you missed the Brewpub! http://www.broadripplebrewpub.com/from-the-kitchen/ They offer Vegetarian and Vegan options that are quite tasty!

    I hope you get a chance to visit Indy again!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      July 6, 2017 at 6:27 AM

      I know I missed several! I was running around like a crazy woman trying to fit it all in haha. I’ll definitely be back again and will definitely check out the Brew Pub’s options! 🙂

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  5. Harmony, Momma To Go

    July 7, 2017 at 8:03 PM

    I have felt similarly about the Midwest but I think the hipster community helps Influence the vegan restaurants! Sounds like you are very well!

  6. Ruth | Tanama Tales

    July 9, 2017 at 1:22 AM

    Wow! You had a feast every day. Love to explore the food every time I go to a new city. I have to go to Indianapolis! #WeekendWanderlust

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  12. Anne Lowrey

    July 25, 2017 at 6:30 PM

    I really loved meeting you Ashley! And I’m not even Vegan but totally appreciate this post. I wouldn’t expect there to be so many Vegan-friendly options!!

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