East Asian, Japanese, Sushi
304 N. Walnut
Japonee has reincarnated into a smaller, sleeker venue. Semi-private booths create an intimate vibe. The extensive list of specialty rolls is only matched by the countless sake options. Shelves are lined with bottles of flavored sakes, many served warm. • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: Mon.–Wed. 4 p.m.–1 a.m.; Th.–Sat. 4 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sun. 4 p.m.–midnight • Bar: Sake, wine, beer • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: No
Afghan, Buffet, Fair Labor, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian
100 W. 6th St.
Located on the north side of the downtown Square, Samira features Afghan dishes in an elegant, relaxing atmosphere. Specialties include kebabs and dumplings as well as a wide array of vegetarian dishes. Do not miss the samarok (a spicy mushroom appetizer) — you’ll want to sop up every drop of sauce with the chewy and delicious flatbread. Great baklava. • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: Lunch: Mon.–Fri. (buffet and lunch menu) 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner Mon.–Th. 5–9 p.m. and Fri.–Sat. 5–10 p.m.; Closed Sun.; Reservations recommended. • Bar: Beer, wine • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes • Fair Labor Decal
American, Brunch, Fair Labor, Steaks
717 N. College
Chef Drew Nickless’ eclectic menu emphasizes fresh food and offers specials every day in this romantic, 150-year-old brick mansion complete with fireplaces and an outdoor dining deck. The café serves creative dinners, burgers, and shareables. Definitely a place to bring a date! • Prices: $–$$$$ • Hours: Sun. brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner daily 5–11 p.m.; Desserts and appetizers until midnight; Reservations recommended. • Bar: Full • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes • Fair Labor Decal
Read our review of Scholars Inn Gourmet Café & Wine Bar here!
American, Fair Labor, Gluten-Free, Pub Food
302 N. Walnut
All ages are welcome at this relaxed sports bar, with its extensive menu featuring creative salads, sandwiches, burgers, and huge desserts. Dill chips made from fried pickles, Buffalo-Breaded Chicken, and Scotty’s German Chocolate Cake are specialties. • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: Sun.–Th. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; No reservations. • Bar: Beer, wine • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc., Campus Access • Outdoor Seating: Yes • Fair Labor Decal
Read our review of Scotty's Brewhouse here!
Serendipity Martini Bar and Restaurant
American, Pub Food, Small Plates
201 S. College
This sleek lounge offers more than 20 martinis, an extensive wine list, and a variety of savory tapas and entrées. Don’t miss the Petite Fleur, an herbal gin cocktail. Tapas, or small plates meant for sharing, round out the menu. Snag one of the few couches to take in the free live music on weekends. Half-priced martinis on Mondays. • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: Mon.–Th. 6 p.m.–midnight; Fri. 6 p.m.–1 a.m.; Sat. 6 p.m.–2:30 a.m. • Bar: Yes • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes
South/Southeast Asian, Thai, Vegetarian
430 E. 4th St.
The 90-item menu was one of the first local restaurants to list vegetarian options using healthy, fresh foods. Specialties include pad thai, curries, combo seafood platters, spicy Thai and coconut-milk soups, and miang kom (fresh spinach leaves folded into a cone and filled with ginger, peanuts, coconut, etc.). • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (lunch buffet 11 a.m.–2 p.m.); Sat. noon–10 p.m.; Sun. noon–9 p.m. • Bar: Beer, wine • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes
Smokin’ Jack’s Rib Shack
505 W. 17th St.
Chef Jack Cody—“Smokin’ Jack”—specializes in (what else?) smoked ribs, but be sure to try the pulled pork, too. He offers five different sauces: regular, Jack’s sweet barbecue, Louisiana hot, barbecue hot, and Jamaican jerk. Collard greens and cornbread salad are among the sides. Monday is buy-one-get-one-free night for seniors from 4–9 p.m. Specials are offered every day. • Prices: $–$$$ • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Sun. • Bar: Beer • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes
East Asian, Korean
1811 E. 10th St.
This casual joint serves up fast Korean fare. Walk up to the counter and order off the large menu board, and in a few minutes you’ll have a tray of steaming Korean cuisine. For some comfort food with a twist, try the bibimbap. This traditional dish is served in a stone bowl, filled with rice, veggies, slices of meat, and a fried egg. Mix it all up and enjoy. • Prices: $–$$$$ • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.– 2:30 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. • Bar: No • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: No
Soma Coffee House & Juice Bar
Cafés, Fair Labor, Juice Bar, Sweets, Vegan, Vegetarian
322 E. Kirkwood • 812-331-2770
1400 E. 3rd St. Suite C • 812-333-7334
Serving up the best latte in town, Soma works magic with coffee beans and an espresso machine. A prime downtown location and another in Jordan Square means more to love. Constant traffic means the coffee is always fresh. • Prices: $ • Hours: East Kirkwood Mon.–Fri. 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sat. 7 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; East 3rd Street Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat.–Sun. 7 a.m.–9 p.m. • Bar: No • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc., Campus Access • Outdoor Seating: Yes • Fair Labor Decal
531 N. Walnut • 812-337-0100
3866 W. 3rd St. • 812-333-2799
Drive to the North Walnut location of Square Donuts to get your morning doughnut fix straight through your car window. Yeast doughnuts are light, airy confections that make it far too easy to go back for seconds. Night owls can score freshly fried doughnuts through the pickup window starting at 1 a.m. • Prices: $ • Hours: Tu.–Sun. 6 a.m.–2 p.m. and midnight–4 a.m. at North Walnut location.; Closed Mon.• Bar: No • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes
Stefano’s Ice Café
Cafés, Sandwiches, Sweets
Fountain Square Mall, Mezzanine Level
Located in the heart of Fountain Square Mall, Stefano’s offers a variety of made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Panini sandwiches are grilled with crisp cucumber slices inside, held together with melted provolone and tomato on basil focaccia. For a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, try the glazed almonds, toasted and spiced with cinnamon. Breakfast offerings include custom omelets and eggs, along with a selection of pastries. • Prices: $ • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun. noon–7 p.m. • Bar: No • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: No • Accessibility Decal
Story Inn, The
American, Fine Dining
6404 S. Ind. 135
Homey and quaint, this gem of a restaurant with wood floors and folksy memorabilia on the walls serves fresh food made from local ingredients. On weekends, live chamber music is featured. • Prices: $–$$$$ • Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.; Dinner reservations always required; reservations at other meals required for parties of six or more. • Bar: Full • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes
Chinese, East Asian
1143 S. College Mall Rd.
Dine-in or carryout, the east side’s Sunny Palace (find it near Kroger in Jackson Creek Shopping Center) offers a tempting array of Asian cooking — mostly Chinese but with a smattering of Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Try the delicious scallion pancakes, the boneless spare ribs, and the fried dumplings. Kung pao chicken and orange beef are also good choices. • Prices: $–$$ • Hours: 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily • Bar: Beer, wine • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: No
East Asian, Japanese, Sushi
2522 E. 10th St.
There’s karaoke on weekends at Sushi Bar, which offers regular $1 sushi specials. The Birthday Roll includes tempura shrimp, eel, spicy shrimp, avocado, and crab. • Prices: $–$$$$ • Hours: Lunch: Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Sun. noon–2:30 p.m.; Dinner: Mon.–Wed. 4:30–10 p.m., Th.–Sat. 4:30 p.m.–3 a.m., Sun. 4:30–10 p.m. • Bar: Beer, wine, sake • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: No
Sweet Grass Restaurant
American, Fair Labor, Pizza, Southern
405 W. Patterson Dr.
Fried green-tomato BLTs, pimento-cheese sandwiches, shrimp and grits, collard greens, and Carolina slaw washed down with a cold sweet tea will satisfy your craving for food with a Southern accent. • Prices: $–$$$ • Hours: Mon.–Th. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (bar open until 10 p.m.); Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (bar open until midnight); Closed Sun. • Bar: Beer, wine • Credit Cards: Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc. • Outdoor Seating: Yes • Fair Labor Decal