Credit for the city’s rise goes in large part to one local food family. Martha Hoover (owner of Cafe Patachou, Napolese, Petite Chou, and Public Greens) added to her restaurant empire this year with Crispy Bird, a fast-casual soon-to-be chain that serves fried chicken tenderloin sandwiches and has committed to giving back to the local community. Her son, David Hoover, also opened a 14-seat restaurant, Bar One Fourteen, that quickly became the toughest table in town.
These would be enough to shimmy into Indy proper the next time you’re on Interstate 74 (or 70, or 65). But you’ll want to plan a detour to the south-side suburbs of Greenwood and Southport, where a new crop of restaurants have sprung up in strip malls, offering one of America’s densest pockets of Burmese food. Indiana, already home to the largest Burmese population in the US, took on thousands of Rohingya refugees in 2017. They’ve largely settled just south of Indianapolis in an area that’s quickly being called Little Rangoon. Visit the family-owned Chin Brothers Restaurant, as well as Kimu Restaurant and Mimi Restaurant for staples, like Mohinga (a Burmese fish soup), as well as Singapore and Hong Kong-style noodles and Australian lamb stew. With this array of local and worldly offerings, it really should go without saying, but: truly, enough with the corn jokes already. -- Tim Ebner