Indianapolis provides plenty of opportunities to delve into art, history, sports, and culture. But did you know it’s also home to some of the tastiest Italian food?
People typically think about Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco when they consider where the best Italian food is in the U.S.
But if you live in or are headed to Indianapolis and crave some delicious pasta, pizza, and bruschetta, you’re not out of luck!
The city has several fantastic Italian joints, from restaurant chains to authentic mom-and-pop shops. I’ll list some of the best Italian restaurants in Indianapolis so that you know exactly where to go and what to expect.
I’ll also include my favorite dishes, as we all know that restaurants tend to have their specialties! Without further ado, here are my picks for the best Italian restaurants in Indianapolis.
317 S College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202
If you’re ever in the area of Indianapolis’s magnificent College Avenue, make sure to stop by Iaria’s Italian Restaurant.
This place is perfect if you’re a student at one of the schools nearby, such as Butler University, as it’s a great place to grab some reasonably priced and tasty grub.
Iaria’s has been around since 1933, so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about Italian cuisine. The restaurant is owned and operated by the third generation of Iaria family members.
Some of the dishes I’d recommend include:
- Chicken piccata
- Fettuccini alfredo
- Cheese tortellini
- Spicy cajun pasta
And if you like seafood, don’t hesitate to get the grouper piccata.
946 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225
Iozzo’s Garden of Italy is a popular restaurant near Lucas Oil Stadium and the Wholesale District. The environment is sophisticated, perfect for a date night or special occasion.
The decor is simple and sleek, with a mix of traditional and modern elements. I enjoy the chicken marsala here more than anything because it’s tender and juicy, and the sauce is perfectly seasoned.
The lasagna, veal marsala, and antipasti options are also all points of pride for Iozzo’s. And if you’re a fan of ravioli, you must try the toasted ravioli to start your meal on the right foot!
1031 E 54th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220
If you’re looking for an upscale Italian eatery with a chic, Mediterranean vibe, look no further than Mama Carolla’s.
This restaurant is near Canterbury Park, so I think it makes a great date night option after a stroll in the park.
This 1920s restaurant is also romantic for other reasons; there’s an outdoor patio with a garden, cozy seating, and an intimate and warm atmosphere.
And of course, the food is delicious! I love the rosemary chicken lasagna, but I also recommend their fried mozzarella, manicotti, and rigatoni dishes.
The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, so you’ll always find something interesting to sip on while enjoying the authentic Italian cuisine.
2727 E 86th St #110, Indianapolis, IN 46240
The atmosphere at Sangiovese Ristorante is modern, sleek, and straightforward, but what makes this Italian spot is the:
- Cozy fireplace
- Pristine waterfront patio area
- Scrumptious dishes
I love going here on their jazz piano nights with my partner because it makes for an exceptionally romantic night out.
Their wine list is extensive, but if you’re not into wine, you can ask the bartenders to make creative cocktails to complement your meal.
When it comes to the food, I highly recommend the Penne Alla Emiliana with spicy meatballs and the calamari to start. You won’t be disappointed!
8031 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46217
Vito Provolone’s, in Hill Valley near Perry Park, is one of the best Italian restaurants in Indianapolis for a no-frills, relaxed experience that prioritizes the food.
You’ll feel right at home because of the easy-going vibe. Once seated, you’ll have an extensive range of incredible dishes to choose from, like the:
- Chicken marsala
- Spaghetti and meatballs
But the best thing to get here isn’t necessarily a specific dish, but their excellent vodka sauce. Anything that has their vodka sauce is a winner in my book because it’s the best vodka sauce I’ve ever tasted!
A good tip is to order their garlic bread on the side to wipe up any extra sauce left on the plate!
2602 Ruth Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46240
Capri Italian Restaurant offers an elegant setting to indulge in classic Italian fare. They have draped tables, a cozy fireplace, and portraits on the wall that make you feel tucked away in someone’s private home.
All of their food is incredible, especially their pasta dishes. They also have top-notch wine, and the staff will help you choose the best one to complement your meal.
The attentive service also makes this restaurant an excellent place for a large party or group celebration.
Plus, Capri is in a relatively busy area between Ravenswood and Clearwater, so it’s easily accessible for meetups. Everyone will be pleased with their food and experience at Capri.
There’s a Napolese restaurant in Keystone Crossing and East 49th street, and both locations offer artisanal pizzas, wine, and cocktails.
I love the straightforward, modern setting within the restaurant that encourages a friendly, easy-going atmosphere.
All of their brick-oven pizzas are incredible, but it’s a good idea to keep your order as simple as the settings by just ordering a Margherita pizza – my favorite menu item.
If you’re with a group and want to include some items to share, I recommend the baked goat cheese and Caesar salad.
Finally, this is the perfect place if you’re gluten intolerant, as they offer gluten-free pizzas that taste incredible!
5903 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220
Ambrosia is an upscale Italian restaurant with chic decor and a modern atmosphere. It’s one of the best restaurants in Indianapolis for date night because of the romantic setting, exhaustive wine list, and decadent desserts.
I love starting my meal with their delicious appetizers, such as meatballs, baby artichokes, and burrata salad.
But perhaps what I love most about Ambrosia is their excellent service. The staff is always particularly kind, attentive, and knowledgeable.
This stunning restaurant has a rich family history and offers private dining, which is perfect to celebrate a special occasion.
There are several Bazbeaux Pizza locations in and outside of Indianapolis, but the one I go to is the Westfield location in the Broad Ripple area.
This spot isn’t for you if you’re looking for traditional Italian pizza. However, I love Bazbeaux because you can order creative pies with lots of tasty toppings. It’s the perfect spot to go with a group of friends or for a family night out.
They have classic pizzas such as Quattro Formaggio – which is one of my favorite orders – as well as unique options, like a Mexican pizza and BBQ chicken pizza.
You can order for pickup or dine in. I enjoy dining in when it’s warm and sitting on the outdoor patio. Either way, don’t forget to order the tasty garlic cheesy bread!
Buca di Beppo is a great Italian chain restaurant with several locations in Indianapolis. The one in Mile Square is my top pick.
This spot is always lively and festive, with red and white checkered tablecloths, candles, and photos of Italy plastered on the walls.
Buca di Beppo is a great place to come with a large group of friends or family, as their servings are very generous and meant to be shared.
I always love getting their family-style pasta dishes, as well as their chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan.
Jockamo is another amazing pizza spot in Indianapolis, with several locations around the city, but I go to the one on Washington St near Ellenberger Park.
I love Jockamo for their delicious and unique pizzas, as well as their great selection of beers. Some of my favorite pizza options at Jockamo include the White Jock and the Lucy Bee, which comes with honey, sriracha, and bacon.
If you’re looking for something different, try out the Taco Pizza. Jockamo also has a great selection of appetizers, such as fried pickles and wings. As you can tell, this restaurant has something for everyone.
6235 Allisonville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46220
Some Guys is a convenient pizza and pasta shop with some classic choices like:
- Pesto garlic bread
- Vodka sauce
- Goat cheese bread
They also have Americanized meals, like BBQ chicken pizza and inventive, fusion dishes with Thai and Cajun toppings.
On the first weekend of the month, you can order lasagna, and it’s out of this world! It’s always so big that I always have leftovers the next day.
Located in Allisonville, Some Guys has a strategic position that makes it convenient to pick up a pie on your way back from running errands on the city’s northeast side.
340 W Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
As its name suggests, Fresco Italian Cafe on the Canal is located right on the canal in downtown Indianapolis.
In addition to yummy flatbread pizza and Italian sandwiches, they also serve gelato and Italian ice! These menu items make Fresco a great spot for a quick lunch or light dinner.
The ingredients are fresh and high-quality. I enjoy their Margherita pizza and Caprese sandwich the most.
But one of the best aspects about coming here for lunch is taking a relaxing gondola ride up and down the canal. It’s such a special way to start or end a meal!
Giordano’s is a Chicago-based chain restaurant with several locations in Indianapolis. The one on Illinois Street in the downtown area is my favorite, perhaps because I find it fitting and slightly amusing that you can get Chicago-style pizza on Illinois St!
I love Giordano’s for their stuffed pizzas, which are like no other pizza I’ve ever had. The crust is thick and doughy, and the toppings are generous and delicious.
My favorite pizza toppings at Giordano’s include:
They also serve excellent sandwiches, like the Italian beef sandwich and the chicken parmesan sandwich.
9 E Market St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Somewhat like Giordano’s, you can get thick crust pizza at Giorgio’s as well, but I prefer their thin crust dishes.
The chef at Giorgio’s was born in Italy, which shows in their food’s authenticity and quality. The pizza is wood-fired and has a crispy yet chewy crust that’s topped with delicious and fresh ingredients.
I always love getting their New-York style pizza, as they are classic, but I recommend trying their stuffed pizzas as well.
You can’t go wrong with their vegetable-stuffed pizza! They also offer other Italian dishes outside of pizza, such as lasagna, breadsticks, and spaghetti with meatballs.
Indianapolis has a lot to offer, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, and the unique Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
But this city also has its fair share of fantastic Italian joints. The best Italian restaurants in Indianapolis offer a range of mouthwatering dishes.
So whether you’re in the mood for lasagna, chicken parmigiana, or something else entirely, you’ll be able to find it. There are plenty of great vegan restaurants around town, too, if that’s more your thing!
Do you have a favorite Italian restaurant in Indianapolis? Let me know in the comments below!
- Iaria’s Italian Restaurant
- Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
- Mama Carolla’s
- Sangiovese Ristorante
- Vito Provolone’s
- Capri Italian Restaurant
- Bazbeaux Pizza
- Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
- Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza
- Some Guys
- Fresco Italian Cafe on the Canal
- Giorgio’s Pizza
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