Where to Eat Well in Carmel, Indiana

Chloe Hay

Carmel, in the state of Indiana, is home to a vast array of classically American restaurant with a few internationally-themed restaurants popping up here and there. With so many places offering such similar fare, it’s important to know which restaurant does the best hamburger, which the best steak and which ones to avoid altogether. Here are our 10 favourites to help you decide.

Courtesy Divvy

1. Bub’s

Cafe, Restaurant, American, Tea , Vegetarian

Known for its fantastically juicy burgers and deliciously creamy ice creams, Bub’s is everything an authentically American fast food style joint should be. Diners can expect swift service, crisp fries and generous portions whether they’re popping in for a quick lunch or staying a while for a three course dinner. In tune with the eating challenge crazes that have taken over American burger bars, anyone that finishes one of Bub’s largest burgers such as ‘the big ugly one pound’ or ‘the big ugly elk one pound’, will get their picture on the wall of fame. Diners with a more restrained appetite may prefer the ‘not so ugly half pound burger’ or the mini bub burger.

2. Charleston’s Restaurant

Restaurant, American

Charleston’s Restaurant, Carmel
Courtesy Divvy
A casual restaurant serving top quality dishes, Charleston’s Restaurant is loved for its upbeat and lively atmosphere. A typical three course meal at this classically American restaurant would begin with an appetizer of tortilla chips with a cheese dip, followed by an entrée of chicken fried steak, grilled pork chops or a slow roasted prime rib steak, complemented by sides of fried okra, burgundy mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes before being finished off with a perfect dessert of chocolate chip cookie and ice cream. Great for large families and fussy eaters, dishes are kept simple but beautifully cooked to suit all palates.

3. Divvy

Divvy

The perfect dining choice for loved up couples and sociable groups of friends, Divvy features an abundance of tapas-style sharing plates on its menu. Enabling its diners to sample a variety of dishes and enjoy an array of flavours all in one sitting. Keeping the atmosphere sophisticated, only patrons of at least 21 years of age are permitted to dine in Divvy. There are over 90 incredible dishes on the menu and guests are also encouraged to sample different wines or beers throughout their lunch or dinner. ‘Taster tours’ can be ordered in place of an ordinary drink choice and three different wines, bubblies or craft beers will be brought to the table for sampling.
Divvy, 71 City Center Drive, Carmel, IN, USA, +1 317 706 0000

4. J Razzo

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Italian

An Italian restaurant and wine bar, J Razzo is a simple yet elegant restaurant that serves fantastic authentic Italian dishes and superb wines. The menu is packed full of different appetizers, soups, pasta dishes, pizzas, meat entrées, fish entrées, sides and salads. For a romantic dinner for two, order the olives, calamari and risotto balls to start, followed by the gnocchi and rigatoni taurino (pasta in a tomato, white wine and goat cheese sauce) and then finish with cioppino (a spicy fish stew) and the wood oven baked rack of lamb. An ideal choice of restaurant, when the traditional American fare starts to get too heavy, J Razzo also offers all of its diners a half price bottle of wine every Wednesday. Adding a spot of culture, diners can admire local artist Anastasia Comb’s works as they wait.

5. Matt the Miller’s

Matt the Miller’s

An upscale tavern-style haunt that is as passionate about its food as it is its craft beers, Matt the Miller’s is the perfect blending of casual atmosphere and high end food choices. The dishes are simple American and European-influenced fare, always enhanced with an extra special Chef-innovated twist. The beer, wine and cocktails menus are even longer than the already extensive food menu but the staff are always on hand to offer suggestions for anyone struggling to make a decision. Amongst the array of fine foods on the menu are dishes such as Matt’s mussels, spicy tuna wontons, Bavarian pretzel bites, California chicken burger and filet mignon steak.
Matt the Miller’s, 11 City Center Drive, Carmel, IN, USA, +1 317 805 1860

6. Max + Erma’s

Diner, Restaurant, American, Gluten-free

A neighbourhood favourite, in many ways Max + Erma’s may appear to be a stereotypical American hamburger joint complete with mountainous burgers, buffalo wings, nachos and seasoned fries. At a closer glance, it is so much more than a hole-in-the-wall diner. Meals don’t come in red baskets, there’s not a milkshake in sight and fake cheese isn’t squirted over the fries. Instead guests can tuck into their hand-crushed burger topped with cheese, bacon, onions, mushrooms or a fried egg. Or, if they’re after something fancier still, there’s plenty of dishes on the menu, the spicy Cajun tilapia, grilled Tuscan chicken and blue cheese-topped sirloin steak, are all perfect examples.

7. Mitchell’s Fish Market

Restaurant, Seafood, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

Mitchell’s Fish Market, Carmel
Courtesy Mudbug's Cajun Cafe
Famed for its unbeatably fresh fish and seafood, the staff at Mitchell’s Fish Market boast that if their fish was any fresher, it would still be swimming in the sea. All of the fish and seafood options on the menu, from the mussels to the snapper, are delivered to the restaurant daily. Lovers of food from the ocean will enjoy sharing a selection of starters including wild sea scallop and shrimp ceviche, seared ahi tuna, and jumbo lump crab cake. For main course diners can choose any one of seven fresh fishes, cooked in a choice of six styles. A tasty example would be to order the Chilean sea bass, styled in a balsamic glaze and served with grilled zucchini, sautéed asparagus, goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto. Diners that would prefer something meaty will be more than satisfied by the four carnivorous options on the menu, including filet mignon and jerk chicken.

8. Mudbug’s Cajun Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Tea , Cajun

The go-to restaurant for authentic, home cooked, Cajun food, Mudbug’s Cajun Café is a popular choice for speedy lunches and dinners. An unpretentious and classically simple restaurant, all of the dishes served here are exceptionally good value and the flavour combinations are exquisite. Choose between the black-eyed pea jambalaya, the crawfish casserole, the pulled pork po boy sandwich and the chicken courtbouillon to experience true Cajun flavours. The restaurant itself is colourfully decorated with bright purple walls and a patchwork techni-coloured carpet.

9. Prime 47

Restaurant, Steakhouse

Prime 47 Carmel, Carmel
Courtesy Woody's
Carmel’s restaurant of choice for truly exceptional steaks, Prime 47 is renowned for its thick and juicy top quality cuts. Diners can choose between a variety of different steaks including dry-aged KC strip, delmonico ribeye, bone-in filet mignon and wagyu filet. To make the steak that little bit extra special, there is also a generous choice of sauces to top the meat; snow crab, asparagus and hollandaise sauce, brandy and peppercorn, and black truffle butter are just three of the delightful options available. Diners are also able to choose a selection of ‘accessories’ to accompany their steak, such as lobster mac ’n’ cheese, truffle fries and asparagus. For anyone who can somehow resist the meaty glare, the menu also features a number of other dishes including sesame crusted tuna, Australian lobster tail and vegetarian campanelle.

10. Woody’s

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

Situated within an old library from the early 1900s, Woody’s is often referred to as Woody’s Library amongst locals. Owned by a local husband and wife duo, Woody’s has that old-fashioned American charm and community spirit that is only tangible in family run joints. A split-level building, upstairs is reserved for sit-down dining whilst downstairs is used more of a meeting spot and locals’ pub. Woody’s menu caters for a medley of dietary requirements, including vegans, lactose intolerant and coeliacs. The cuisine is American in style and dishes on offer include chicken tenders, cheese fondue, bison meatballs and blackened shrimp.

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