With Mideast Qualifiers (MEQs) just around the corner, consider this the ultimate insider's guide to enjoying the best Indianapolis has to offer (all with larger groups in mind — because, let's be real, we tend to travel in ginormous packs).
F O O D
I don't know if you've heard, but Indianapolis is one of the hottest food cities in America. And while I absolutely love the restaurants you'll see on those lists, they're not always the most practical choice for large groups. Here are my more realistic picks to still get you into the yummy local food scene.
Bru Burger - Mass Ave
In the mood for burgers, salads and french fries? Bru Burger on Mass Ave is your go to. Word of warning: they don't take reservations, but if there is a wait, have them take your phone number and definitely check out the walk-up Starbuck's window next door, grab some local souvenirs and quirky gifts at Silver in the City, and take advantage of all the Instagram worthy photo ops in this area, too! Enjoying the scene on Mass Ave is part of the whole experience.
Iozzos Garden of Italy
Don't fall into the Old Spaghetti Factory trap again! Get your carb-loading, pasta-loving fix at local favorite Iozzos Garden of Italy, the first full service Italian Restaurant in Indianapolis, originally opened in 1930. The atmosphere is great, the food is delish, and they take reservations. Enough said.
Fountain Square / Fletcher Place has become the mecca of all things foodie in Indianapolis, as home to critically-acclaimed and headline-grabbing restaurants Bluebeard and Milktooth. But my heart belongs to the chips and guacamole at La Margarita (for you parents and coaches, the margaritas and beer list are top notch, as well).
Love love love breakfast / brunch spot Cafe Patachou. But there could be a wait, so don't be afraid to send one person over to put your name in while the rest of you finish pulling yourselves out of bed or ref'ing that final match of morning pool play.
D O W N T I M E
If you have any down time to burn after you finish eating, sleeping and playing volleyball, here are a few team activity suggestions.
Action Duck Pin Bowl
Check out the vintage eight-lane duckpin bowling alley at Action Duck Pin Bowl in Fountain Square. It's like bowling, only way cooler.
The Fashion Mall at Keystone
Wanna get away from downtown? Take the 15 minute drive north to The Fashion Mall at Keystone where you'll find a way-too-tempting mix of your favorite shops, a great food court, and even a movie theatre with what always seems like better than normal popcorn (is that even possible?).
You know when you're hanging at the hotel and you all of a sudden wish you had a bag of really good breadsticks. Get Hot Box — they're all over the city. And be sure to order sides of cheese and ranch sauce for dipping. OMG.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
It's a qualifier — we can all use any extra help we can get. Luckily St. John's is right across the street from the Convention Center. Service times: Saturday 6:30 p.m., Sunday 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 7:00 p.m. Feel free to worship in your uniforms and kneepads, God won't care.
Uber isn't as much a destination as it is a way to get around, if you find yourself in need of transportation. They're all over the city and if you're new to the service, it looks like MEQ has hooked you up with a first time ride code VOLLEY17 worth up to $20 (which is more than enough to get you around downtown, Mass Ave, Fountain Square). Download the app and apply the code at uber.com/app.
We hope you enjoy our city while living #MEQ volleyball dreams!! Please follow us on Instagram and feel free to shoot us a message if you're in need of any more tips — consider us your local volleyball family!
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