I’ve found that my children are always more adventurous and willing to try new food or restaurant if there’s something interesting behind the location.
Sometimes, the place gives off a 1950s vibe, and we talk about drive-ins and diners. Maybe the owner is doing something special to help others through their business. Perhaps critics have dubbed this place the best pizza in town and we have to judge for ourselves.
In any case, creating adventure and curiosity behind the meal often leads to fun family experiences, and even sometimes finding our new favorite place to dine.
Here are some unique Family-Friendly Restaurants in Indianapolis!
5226 Rockville Rd., Indianapolis
Angela Green and Vladimir Ronces opened The Tamale Place in 2014, featuring half-pound tamales filled with beef, chicken, pork, black beans and more. They also offer sweet tamales with pumpkin, pineapple and raisin, chocolate and apple with pecans. The Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives visited the Mexican restaurant, showing viewers that the tamales are with freshly ground corn every day, the way tamales were made in Mexico hundreds of years ago. They only make a certain amount per day, so be sure to call ahead to check on stock and options.
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2126 S. Sherman Dr., Indianapolis
Serving homemade pork tenderloins, hand-dipped onion rings and homemade root beer for more than 50 years, Edwards Drive-In has served their food car-hop style since 1957, and have added a 165-seat dining room. In 2011, they added a food truck to their repertoire — the Dashboard Diner — and have participated in local events, such as Indianapolis 500 events, Gen Con and others.
210 W. Main St., Carmel
Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream offers cooked to order hamburgers, elk burgers, sweet potato fries and hand-dipped milkshakes. The kids may particularly appreciate “The Big Ugly,” a one-pound burger served in a pie tin. Finish the Big Ugly and get your photo posted on Bub’s Facebook page and on the Big Ugly wall in select locations. If you still have room, Bub’s offers an ice cream shop for a fun dessert.
2147 N. Talbott St., Indianapolis
Baby’s Indy is the best of both worlds: It’s a casual and fun restaurant suited for families, and it’s also a great place to grab draft cocktails and boozy milkshakes. The colorful playground that sits in front of the restaurant is a sight to behold. It’s like a modern art piece that kids can climb on to get their wiggles out while waiting for the food to get to the table.
3355 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis
An acronym for Toward Restoring food Access to the People, Chef Oya’s The Trap was placed on Indy’s A-List, making Chef Oya Woodruff and her restaurant the go-to for seafood delicacies. Crab legs, shrimp, salmon, lobster and more were originally offered for delivery when they opened in 2016, but popularity and a fan following led Chef Oya to open a storefront restaurant shortly after. The family atmosphere and delicious cuisine make The Trap one to visit.
6516 Ferguson St., Indianapolis
This organic café speaks to those interested in dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free and vegan meals. Ezra’s works with local farmers for fresh produce and the lunch menu changes daily. They also offer monthly classes for families to learn how to make similar meals at home. The menu includes soup, sandwiches, salads and smoothies for a healthy and organic option.