The 10 Best Bars In Indianapolis, Indiana

Photo of Anna T. Wilson
9 February 2017

Some of the bars below are the first of their kind in Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana. History has been made with having a bar that is pedaled around town, and a bar that offers one-of-a-kind cigars to go with their fabulous drinks. These bars celebrate their uniqueness and stay true to their personal craft of serving fine liquors while retaining originality. Below are the top 10 bars in downtown Indianapolis and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Indianapolis skyline | © Jimmy Baikovicius/Flickr

The Handlebar

Bar, Pub Grub
Map View
The Handlebar is a bar on wheels – but the bar’s best novelty feature is one where guests can sit down at the bar stools and at the bottom of each stool are pedals. The only way to make the portable bar travel is to actually use these pedals. This unusual but fun bar is called a pedal pub; it seats up to 16 passengers and once it gets rolling, its director can lead your group through a two-hour tour of Indianapolis’ breweries and historical sites. In total, there are six handlebar bikes that operate within downtown Indianapolis and are ready to put the pedal to the metal.

Tomlinson Tap Room

Bar, Pub Grub
Map View
This bar does not disappoint with their large variety of craft beer. They only feature tap Indiana craft beer and comes in two sizes – pint and growler. Their special beers change daily on their drinks menu and often include the deep oatmeal stout, pumpkin ale, cone crusher, and Belgian black ale. The Tomlinson Tap Room is located in the east market, so visit some of the vendors before trying an amazing Indiana craft beer.

Foyt Wine Vault

Wine Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
The Foyt Wine Vault serves an exclusive variety of wines from vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. Its atmosphere is like that of a homely go-to pub but with a twist; it has a race car theme. Their wines are made into what they call a ‘retro-Burgundian’ style; the small amount of new oak barrel exposure and little fermentation highlights the fruit of the wine and tasters even get a hint of the environment that the wine was made in. There is also a functional bar so that those who are not wine drinkers can enjoy a drink of their choice as well.

Alley Cat Lounge

Bar, Pub Grub
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Draught and pipe
Draught and pipe | © Fernando Badiali/Flickr
Alley Cat Lounge is Broad Ripple’s oldest neighborhood bar and known as ‘Indy’s Favorite Dive Bar’. Their full bar and extensive drinks menu is among the things that make this place amazing. Their reasonable prices keep guests coming back for more as does their charming staff and welcoming atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, its location is a major attraction as well.

The Sinking Ship

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
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The Sinking Ship Bar
The Sinking Ship Bar | Courtesy of The Sinking Ship
The Sinking Ship is more afloat and operational as ever. This ship is a vegetarian and vegan American bar and restaurant. Here, they love hockey, comics, and watching sci-fi. This combination of fun entertainment and diverse foods will definitely go well with their drinks selection and overall lively atmosphere. They thrive on the energy of Indianapolis on College Avenue with their live music, delicious menu, and draft selections with all of the must-haves. Their draft beers include St. Louis Fond Tradition Kriek from Belgium and Two Deep KnightStick Cream Ale from Indiana.

The Ball & Biscuit

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Ball & Biscuit is called Indianapolis’ original cocktail bar, and their cocktail menu is a testament to this. They have over 25 cocktails to choose from, with drinks like the Frankenstein made with Cabrito Blanco Tequila and Cobra Mezcal. Smoke & Mirrors is another drink popular with the patrons, and is among the many options at the bar, which also includes on draught and bottled beers.

Bru Burger Bar

Bar, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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Top of a Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer
Top of a Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer | © Ben Sutherland/Flickr
Bru Burger Bar features a very large drinks menu. Every corner of it is filled with selections of their draught beers, bottled beers, table beers, cocktails, bourbon, whiskeys, gins, red wines, and white wines. There is even a gluten-free beer section which includes Omission Pale Ale from Portland, Crabbie’s Ginger beer from Scotland, and Ace Pear Cider from California. It is not everyday that you can find a place that has so many options.

Blend Bar Cigar

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Blend Bar Cigar is not a typical bar or lounge. It is one of seven stores in the United States with a premier cigar selection and is home to the rarest cigar by Davidoff called Oro Blanco. There are also cigars by people like Mike Ditka, AVO Uvezian, and Winston Churchill. To pair with these exquisite cigars is the selection at the equally outstanding 40-foot long bar, which includes handcrafted bourbon from 1792, rye, vodka, Irish whiskey, and more, totalling to more than 70 exclusive brands and blends.

The Rathskeller

Rathskeller has a beautiful rustic dining room that perfectly accompanies their award-wining menu, which is filled with German cuisine and other delights, such as steak and vegetarian options. The Kellerbar is a welcomed addition to the Rathskeller establishment and includes its 12 imported beers and over 50 imported bottled beers from Germany, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. For wine drinkers, they have a long list of white wines, red wines, and champagne from countries like Italy, Argentina, and Spain.

401 E Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN, +1 317 636 0396

The Rathskeller dining room | Courtesy of The Rathskeller

The Rathskeller dining room | Courtesy of The Rathskeller

The Libertine Liquor Bar

Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
With a drink named after the film Pineapple Express, The Libertine Liquor Bar is a very popular bar with a menu that consists of wonderful cocktails and wine, as well as beer selections are very light, fresh, and tasty. Their food menu even has delicacies like fresh farmed oysters, Belgian waffles, and milkshakes made with house-made ice cream, gin, lemon, and lime.