The birthplace of the legendary Garfield cartoon strip, Muncie Indiana is a charming mid-sized city with a large emphasis on local history and culture, from its extensive range of public art to its various local festivals. This emphasis on the local is carried through into its dining scene, with a number of unique local restaurants to choose from. Here we profile Muncie’s top 10 local restaurants.
Amazing Joe’s Grill is the perfect option for those who want a relaxed, casual dining experience in a no-frills setting. The interior of the restaurant is spacious, with stripped back decoration and classic rock songs playing in the background adding to the old-school American dining experience. The menu reflects the authentic American diner feel; choose from a range of melt-in-the-mouth burgers, crispy fried chicken or juicy, chargrilled steaks, all served in generous portion sizes and alongside a range of tempting sides. For a truly relaxing evening, visitors can accompany their meal with the restaurant’s own brewed beer Joe’s Brew, or a freshly made margarita served on the rocks.
The Barn Brasserie puts high emphasis on the importance of quality dining through its eclectic menu, as well as it’s its farm-to-table approach. Sourcing the freshest possible ingredients and local, sustainable produce, Barn Brasserie offers delicious interpretations of French–American cuisine, including maple bacon Brussels sprouts, a lamb burger served with goat cheese and rosemary aioli, and an apple Brie dumpling topped with caramel sauce. Located in a large, spacious setting, the restaurant is filled with charming, rustic touches, such as wood panelled walls, chalkboards colourfully displaying the day’s specials and the drinks menu, overhead lights designed from old wagon wheels, and colourful work by local artists covering the walls.
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Owned and run by Muncie natives Frank and Lauren Reber, The Caffeinery overflows with local, personal charm. The café is located in the historic Murray building in downtown Muncie, a picturesque, old-fashioned building filled with other local business, and features an airy, light interior and floor to ceiling windows which provide an excellent view of the bustling downtown street. The café offers a range of gourmet coffees and loose leaf teas from across the world, with friendly baristas on hand to help to narrow down the selection process. For those with a larger appetite, The Caffeinery also has a bakery section filled with tempting cakes, cookies and bagels.
Concannon’s Pastry Shop is a Muncie institution, run by the same family for two generations. The interior is charmingly designed, and is split into two parts, the bakery and a café area with a friendly, open atmosphere. The highlight of Concannon’s Pastry Shop however, is its delicious range of baked goods. Doughnuts are airy and soft, with just the right amount of glaze to add an extra sweet, gooey kick. Their cream filled long-johns remain one of their most popular items, while their freshly baked, flakey croissants can be customised with a variety of sweet or savoury toppings, making it the perfect spot for a lazy breakfast or lunch.
A charming, contemporary coffee shop, The Cup is the perfect spot to relax with friends, grab a bite to eat and soak up the local culture. The atmosphere is modern and quirky, with bright neon signs, leafy plants, chalkboard menus, and light fixtures in the shape of coffee cups. The food, ranging from sandwiches and paninis to more hearty fare, is home cooked, freshly assembled on location, and memorably named: try the Boo Radley bagel sandwich or the turkey, ham and bacon Fight Club. A regular spot amongst college students for its casual, study break atmosphere and unlimited coffee supply, The Cup also hosts regular music and poetry evenings, as well as a monthly art show.
Domo Japanese Steakhouse is a family owned and run Japanese restaurant, which has been serving the people of Muncie authentic Japanese cuisine since 2005. The interior is sleek and contemporary, with dark wood seating, crisp white tablecloths and a beautiful glass fish tank adding splashes of colour to the otherwise muted setting. The focal point of the restaurant is the famous hibachi grill, where visitors can enjoy seeing their food be freshly prepared before them with a dramatic flair. As well as hibachi, the restaurant offers a wide variety of Japanese cuisine; highlights include their sushi range and the house special Domo Roll, a deep fried salmon and cream cheese roll.
The Downtown Farm Stand began life as a delicatessen, providing the people of Muncie with fresh, local fare across the year. The small grocery store has links with over 40 local food suppliers and sustainable producers, such as nearby farms and creameries which provide fresh eggs, locally pastured meats, home made cheeses and organic vegetables. The Downtown Farm Stand has expanded its business to include a small restaurant, which offers a range of sandwiches and soups throughout the year based on seasonal ingredients and the same local produce found in its store. Bread is freshly baked on site, and sandwiches are freshly assembled according to whatever takes your fancy.
Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders prides itself on serving the freshest, most authentic Italian-style pizza in the area. All the dough for the pizza is made daily on location, and hand tossed to create a crisp, delicious base. Each pizza is made to order, with guests choosing the exact toppings they wish from a range of fresh ingredients. The restaurant also specialises in grinders, a New York delicacy consisting of bread rolls filled with meats and cheeses, then baked in an over and topped with salad. The restaurant itself reflects this authentic environment; the floors are chequered black and white, vintage signs and posters cover the walls, and the chairs and lamps have a red and green colour scheme, giving the impression of stepping into a 1950s Italian neighbourhood pizzeria.
Savage’s Ale House has everything you could want for a fun, laid-back evening out. The bar has a casual, lively atmosphere, with comfortable seating and a pool table in a corner. There is an excellent beer selection, with a range of local, imported and micro brew bottles, as well as speciality and seasonal beers available on tap. The menu, meanwhile, offers a variety of excellent pub food to accompany the drinks: highlights include their made-to-order burgers, nachos smothered in cheese, sour cream and chilli, and jumbo sized corndogs served with ketchup, mustard and French fries.
Vera Mae’s Bistro is one of the top choices for upscale dining in Muncie. The restaurant has a stunning, romantic aesthetic reminiscent of an old-fashioned Parisian bistro, with dark green walls, ambient lighting, a decorated fireplace, and gilded mirrors and decadent artworks decorating the walls. The menu complements this ambiance, with a rich, varied menu filled with unique twists on French classics, including baked Brie topped with pear and jicama chutney, or a juicy New York strip steak finished with a peach bacon glaze. Vera Mae’s Bistro also features a beautifully stocked bar with freshly made cocktails to begin the evening and a range of wines to accompany your meal.