10 Local Restaurants You Must Try In Fort Wayne, Indiana

Photo of Michelle Combs
9 February 2017

Founded after the Revolutionary War as a trading post for European settlers, Fort Wayne has grown to become the second largest city in Indiana and a cultural hub. It is also home t unique restaurants that celebrate the city’s European heritage and American pride. We pick some of the best.

© Momoneymoproblemz/WikiCommons

The Window Garden Café

Cafe, American, $$$
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The Window Garden Café offers delicious, home cooked breakfast and lunch. The café has spectacular views of the city from its location on the thirteenth floor, making it the perfect place to begin the day and get the lay of the land. The food is served cafeteria style, with weekly and daily specials offering up tastes of Midwestern cuisine. Featured dishes have included Minnesota wild rice soup, BBQ brisket sliders, and fresh basil and tomato pizza.

Club Soda

Bar, Steakhouse, $$$
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Offering club soda, steaks, and cocktails Club Soda is part music venue, part restaurant, and all cocktail bar. Due to its nightclub atmosphere, guests must be 21 years old to dine and enjoy the speakeasy atmosphere. The menu offers the restaurant’s famous shrimp cocktail as well as pasta, fish, chicken and duck, all complete with sassy menu descriptions.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates

Candy Store, American
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DeBrand Fine Chocolates, Auburn Park Drive
DeBrand Fine Chocolates, Auburn Park Drive | © DeBrand Fine Chocolates
For those with a sweet tooth, look no further than DeBrand Fine Chocolates. Celebrity fans include Demi Lovato, Jessica Simpson and George Lopez. While described as a chocolate shop, DeBrand’s Auburn Park Drive location has the feel of a French patisserie. This location is also its corporate headquarters and warehouse, and true chocoholics can schedule a tour or a private party.

Eddie Merlot’s

A regional steakhouse chain, Eddie Merlot’s can be counted on to provide exceptional service and fine dining in a beautiful atmosphere. Specialising in prime-aged beef and seafood, diners will also enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday evening. This spring’s menu highlights include steak and wine from around the world, featuring Caribbean mojo steak and Argentinian churrasco, accompanied by native wine selections.

Eddie Merlot’s, 1502 Illinois Road South, Fort Wayne, IN, USA +12604592222

Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island

Restaurant, American
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Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island is truly a local landmark. The diner-style venue is small and simple, offering fast service in a very casual atmosphere. Its signature chilli can be enjoyed at the long counter that runs the length of the restaurant or at a table, prime real estate during lunch hours.

Cork ‘N Cleaver

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Steakhouse, Cocktails, American, $$$
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Cork'n Cleaver
Cork'n Cleaver | © Diego Delso/WikiCommons
Cork ‘N Cleaver is a unique restaurant that offers its gourmet food in a custom-designed dining room featuring American southwest décor. Originating in Arizona, Cork ‘N Cleaver brings its southwestern roots to the Midwest, serving lunch and dinner. The cuisine offers traditional steakhouse dishes with a unique twist, such as Hawaiian chicken or teriyaki filet mignon. Seafood offerings include seared tuna wasabi and Australian lobster tail.

The Oyster Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
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The Oyster Bar is one of Fort Wayne’s longest-running establishments. Keeping to its original purpose, the venue defines itself as a dining and drinking saloon. Oysters have been on the menu for sixty years and are served with a homemade cocktail sauce and fresh ground horseradish. For the adventurous, the oysters can also be served ‘jalapeno casino’. The Oyster Bar is open for lunch, dinner and drinks with a full service bar.

J.K. O'Donnell's Irish Ale House

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
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J.K. O’Donnell’s offers traditional Irish pub food and a drinks menu featuring 90 beers. The stars of the menu are Irish classics, such as corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew, all prepared with local ingredients. In addition to the traditional dishes, O’Donnell’s also provides a generous selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options. To top off a meal, the whiskey menu rivals the extensive beer list, and O’Donnell’s also tunes in its televisions to the best in international sports.

Casa Grille Italiano

Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Beer, Wine, $$$
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Casa Grille Italiano
Casa Grille Italiano | © DeBrand Fine Chocolates
Casa Grille Italiano is one of the two upscale restaurants showcasing Italian fine dining. The restaurant boasts a wood-fire grill and an open view brick pizza oven to cook its dishes to authentic perfection. The Casa salad is renowned locally and accompanies each entrée. Casa restaurants offer vegetarian and gluten-free options in addition to more traditional Italian pasta and seafood.