Best Places to Drink In Indianapolis
Pull up a barstool and make yourself at home – from swanky, refined venues to creative and classic libations, you can't go wrong. So stay, sip and linger, after all, this is the land of Hoosier hospitality.
This one-time carriage repair shop (est. 1890) is now an airy warehouse outfitted in brick and stone. Drink from one of their own house brands –including Golf Gin and Romeo Rum, the latter of which is used in the cheekily titled, “One Time In College” featuring rum, cold cider, lemon, ginger syrup and walnut bitters.
The Ball & Biscuit
Flanked by a copper bar, this dimly-lit downtown lounge, whose name hails from a 1930’s microphone, offers a rotating pubby list of craft beers, wines and classics like the Moscow Mule and Champagne cocktails amid moody candlelight. For salty bites, try the warm artichoke dip or creatively doused “Sazarac” popcorn. Sundays should be dedicated to margaritas and micheladas ideally served on the patio with friends.
Situated in the Historic Irvington neighborhood, this no-frills, 75-seat taproom retains its lighting fixtures from repurposed growlers and reclaimed wood. Outdoor seating is perfect for groups. If you can, try to grab a pint of one of their stouts off the rotating tap list.
This happening, newly-minted spot doubles as a coffee-and-wine bar and slings a variety of spritzy and boozy cocktails like the Junglebird with Campari, black strap rum, lime and pineapple. For the caffeinated set, coffees from Tinker Coffee Co and Madcap serve as worthy sips, including a nice tea sprawl by Metolius Apothecary.
Plat 99 at The Alexander
Designed by Cuban-born Jorge Pardo and under the bright, vibrant kaleidoscopic hue of 99 pendant lamps, the mixology bar at the Alexander Hotel serves as a chic gathering place for a meld of Cubans, grilled cheeses and of course, cocktails (circa 1850 to the present). Commence with the “Green Hour” flaunting St. George Absinthe and raw sugar cube.
On a hip corner in Fountain Square, you will find the perfect night’s prescription of live music, food and booze. To drink, Lincoln County Regulator uses Pusser’s and Angostura 7-year rum, grilled pineapple and mint. There’s also a whiskey flight of Backbone, Wild Turkey Rare Breed and Booker’s Bourbon to contend with. The hot pimento crock with Amelia’s bread makes a nice late evening snack.
On Massachusetts Avenue, this dark, moody spot from chef Layton Robers doles out sticky chicken wings on seaweed salads and mussels in a broth of chorizo and fingerlings. Start with one of the cheese or charcuterie boards and make your friends happy with a few rounds of the hand-cut fries in assorted toppings like truffle or manchego and bacon. The cheekily titled cocktail names are aces, give the ’67 Vette (vodka and spicy pickled brine) a whirl or the refreshing, boozy Snake Pit 1984 with tequila, Aperol, lemon and agave.