10 Great Places For Food In Anderson, Indiana

(c) TownePost/Flickr
(c) TownePost/Flickr
Photo of Matthew Keyte
20 September 2016

The county seat of Madison County, Anderson, Indiana isn’t far from the state capital of Indianapolis. The historic city dates back to 1827, when it was first settled and was named after an Indian chief who also had Swedish blood. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat if you’re traveling through or visiting.

Lemon Drop

It may be small, but Lemon Drop is recongnised as the best place to eat in the whole of Anderson. It has a real classic Americana feel to it and has been serving up food to Anderson locals for over 60 years now. Mike Lemon set up shop here in 1954 before Lemon Drop was bought by Bill Pitts, who still runs things. It’s a tough place to miss, with its old-style neon sign and bright yellow exterior. The menu is full of classics too, with plenty of milkshakes available, and dishes like toasted cheeseburgers, onion burgers and pork tenderloins.

Lemon Drop, 1701 Mounds Road, Anderson, IN +1 765 644 9055

Becky’s Happy Mule Café

Cafe, Restaurant, American
Downtown | Anderson via Wikimedia Commons
Becky’s Happy Mule Café is the place to head for a great breakfast or lunchtime feed. Open from five in the morning till three in the afternoon, the Happy Mule Café has been nominated for awards in the Best of Madison County rundown of local newspaper the Herald Bulletin. The Café isn’t far from the Hoosier Park Racetrack and Casino and Mounds State Park in east Anderson. On the menu are dishes like breaded pork tenderloin, beef and cheese burgers, and tempting homemade pies to follow, including blackberry, strawberry with rhubarb, butterscotch, and peach.

Cabbage Rose Eatery

Restaurant, American, $$$
The Cabbage Rose Eatery has been open since 1997 and is owned and run by Gary and Beth Yeary. You can find the restaurant in central Anderson, and it’s ideally located if you’re visiting the Paramount Theatre Center and Ballroom or the Anderson Center for the Arts. The Cabbage Rose has excellent reviews and a menu that includes freshly made soup of the day, fried or grilled chicken salads, beef and chicken nachos and entrees like chicken breasts and turkey burgers made with a homemade blend of herbs and spices, and tenderloin slicers.

Tommy J’s Pizza

Restaurant, Pizzeria, Italian, 0
Tommy J’s Pizza in north Anderson is an independent restaurant that serves up food that’s far superior to any big Italian chain restaurant. Despite the name, there’s plenty more on offer than just pizza. There are craft beers to sample like Gumballhead from the 3 Floyds Brewing Company based in Munster, northern Indiana; and to go with it there are Italian classics like calzone, spaghetti and meatballs, fettucine alfredo, ravioli, lasagne, baked ziti, and bruschetta. For pizza toppings, you can mix and match bits and pieces like provolone, goat cheese, gorgonzola, ricotta, sausage and pepperoni.

The Nile Restaurant

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
For something a little different in Anderson, head to The Nile Restaurant, where you can sample the flavors of Egypt, Lebanon and Greece. Established in 1990 and just a stone’s throw from the banks of the White River and Anderson University in the center of town, The Nile offers an extensive menu of exotic cuisine. Enjoy plates of gyros, taouk and koshary. Main entrée courses include grilled salmon with Greek salad, dolmades, baked tilapia, shish kebabs, and lamb chops cooked with a garlic seasoning.

Bonge’s Tavern

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
Bonge’s Tavern has been an Indiana institution since 1934 and serves quality food and drink. You’ll find the Tavern just outside Anderson at the small community of Perkinsville if you follow W 8th Street out of the city. It’s the ideal stop-off to sample some classic American fare. On the menu are things like Perkinsville Pork, New York strip, beer-braised brisket, and Applewood smoked prime rib. The Tavern has also been featured in local publications like Indianapolis Monthly and Dine Magazine, and chef Tony Huelster had his recipes included in the Indiana Cooks! cookbook.

Grace Place

Grace Place is a friendly, relaxed stop-off for coffee and cake on Broadway Street in north Anderson. It’s open from early morning through to early afternoon, making it the perfect place to go for breakfast, brunch or a spot of lunch. You can expect great coffee, freshly made pastries and light bites like homemade soups and Caesar salads, or entrée platters of chicken salad on a croissant with chopped walnuts and cranberries, ham with Swiss cheese and tomato on fresh wheat bread, and smoked turkey with Havarti cheese on potato bread. Open Wednesday to Saturday only.

Grace Place, 2100 Broadway Street, Anderson, IN +1 765 643 6688

Toast Café

Cafe, American, Tea
The Toast Café is another Anderson landmark. It’s an excellent place to start the day before heading to work. You can find the Café in central Anderson just off Main Street and close to the Anderson Public Library. The food is highly rated for the simple reason that it’s high-quality uncomplicated American fare. Expect lots of omelettes, tasty onion burgers, pancakes, bacon or sausage with eggs, and waffles all served, of course, with a few rounds of toast.

Good’s Candy Shop

The Good family have been Indiana confectioners since the 1940s, and their Anderson store is now run by the fifth generation of the family. Originally, they had their shop in Kennard before moving to Anderson, where it’s the go-to place for delicate, mouth-watering treats. You can pick up homemade ice cream in curious flavors like malted milk ball and coconut almond fudge, and sample the Good’s own brand coffee roast. Then there are the boxes of treats to ogle and sample: chocolates, toffees, fudge and brittle, and pralines. Inside the milk, dark or white chocolates you will find centers of caramel, orange, vanilla, cinnamon, crème de menthe, or maple cream.

Good’s Candy Shop, 1423 W 53rd Street, Anderson, IN +1 765 642 7247

Pittt BBQ and Grill

One of the best barbecue restaurants in Anderson, the Pittt BBQ and Grill sits on Martin Luther King Boulevard and is open from Thursdays through to Sundays, making it perfect for a weekend meal. The menu is a classic Alabama style BBQ with slabs of ribs, rib tips, half or quarter chickens, pulled pork, and Angus beef brisket available. There are, of course, sides of baked beans, mac n’cheese, slaw, French fries and onion rings to keep everyone happy.

Pittt BBQ and Grill, 425 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Anderson +1 765 643 1309

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