a VirtualTourist member from Matthews
I am going to a conference in Indy from about April 19-22. My days, except Saturday, will be pretty full. I will be staying at Keystone Crossing. Would appreciate any suggestions for evenings and Saturday. Should I rent a car?
As you probably are aware, the Keystone at the Crossing area is home to the upscale mall by the same name and numerous commercial centers running east for miles along 86th street and merging into the older and even larger Castleton Square commercial area (home to the huge mall by the same name). There are numerous nice restaurants, movie theaters, and upscale bars in the area. However, the area is similar to any newer upscale commercial area you would find in any major city. If you want to visit an area with more character and more unusual and interesting places to patronize, then I would suggest driving 10 minutes south to the numerous restaurants and nightclubs of the lively Broad Ripple area or drive a little farther (less than 20 minutes from Keystone at the Crossing) and go to the thriving and interesting downtown Indianapolis. If you go to Broad Ripple, you might try the following: (1) Ambrosia is an exceptional upscale Italian restaurant at 915 E. Westfield Blvd., (2) the Broad Ripple Seafood Shack serves good seafood with some nice outdoor dining options along the water at 832 E. Westfield Blvd., (3) The Midtown Grill serves very good contemporary American cuisine in an elegant but comfortably causal setting at 815 E. Westfield Blvd., (4) H20 Restaurant and Sushi is a very chic spot serving excellent sushi and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. If you go to downtown Indianapolis, you might try the following (1) The elegant American cuisine of Elements at 415 N. Alabama St. off of the interesting and trendy Massachusetts Avenue corridor, (2) The stylish Agio with its classy Italian and Mediterranean cuision 635 Massachusetts Ave., (3)The superb Mediterranean and traditional cuisine (steak, etc.) of the ultra-elegant Dunaways at 351 S. East Street, (4)the delicious and colorful Cuban-Carribean cuisine of the fun and funky Decadent by Design located just southeast of downtown in the Fountain Square neighborhood at 1043 Virgina Ave., (4) the very stylish 14 West serving delicious eclectic food at 14 W. Maryland., (5) the innovative small plate menu of the funky 6 Lounge served late into the night at 247 S. Meridian St.
Many major roads and highways connect the Keystone at Crossing area to the rest of the city. If you avoid going too far into the congested Castleton Square area to the east, you should find driving fairly easy. While there are some city buses running through the area, the Indianapolis public transportation system(while improving)is notorious for running infrequently and being rather slow. Also, you will have a rather long wait if you call a cab to get you at your hotel. I would suggest you rent a car, unless you plan just to just hang out in the mall or walk along the sidewalk to visit the surrounding retail strip centers.
If you don't want to go far, the following are some good restaurants in the Keystone at the Crossing/Castleton area which offer alternatives to the typical chain restaurants: (1)Asaka is a first-rate and authentic Japanese restaurant at 6414 E 82nd St., (2)Cafe Santa Fe is the place to go for very good Southwestern food served late into the night, (3)Capri restaurant tucked away at 2602 Ruth Dr. off of Keystone Avenue serves delicious traditional Italian meals with excellent service, (4) Jasmine Thai serves excellent Thai food in a classy space at 4825 E. 96th St., (5) Le Peep serves excellent brunches at 8255 Craig St., (6) Shapiro's (the "Northside location" as opposed to original one on the near Southside) is an excellent Jewish delicatessen at 918 S Rangeline Rd., (7) The Loon Lake Lounge offers delicious and hearty American fare (meat and fish selections) in a funky and interesting hunting lodge setting at 6880 E. 82nd St.
Some interesting nightclubs nearby to Keystone at the Crossing: (1) Avalon is a flashy and glamorous South Beach-style restaurant and nightclub located at 9500 82nd St. off of Allisonville Road, (2) Gelo Ultra Lounge is a very chic and large nightclub and adjoing Italian restaurant (named Cibo) located at 5252 E. 82nd St. off of Allisonville Road, (3) Claddagh Irish Pub is fun and authentic Irish pub and restaurant located at 3835 E. 96th St., (4) Moon Dog Tavern provides a lively bar scene at 4825 E. 96th Street, next to Jasmine Thai.
If you go to Broad Ripple, there are at least 80 bars and clubs all located on or just off Broad Ripple Avenue (the main street through the area)--some of the clubs are geared more to college-age crowd--try the Red Room, a trendy but upscale lounge located on the second floor at 6335 Guilford Ave., or the classy Corner Wine Bar at 6331 Guilford Ave. (which also as a nice seafood, steak and pasta menu), Rouge nightclub at 6308 Guilford Ave. is a friendly and fun piano bar attracting a more mature crowd than the college-age bars. Downtown the bars and clubs are spread throughout, with a large concentration on Meridian street (just south of Monument Circle), and on or near Massachusetts Avenue. The Ice Lounge at 235 S. Meridian and the nearby 6 Lounge at 247 S. Meridian and Subterra Lounge at 250 S. Meridian all offer a chic, trendy and exotic nightclub experience with adjoining dining options. The Chatterbox at 435 Massachusetts Ave. offers one of the best venues for live jazz in the city. The venerable Slippery Noodle located at 372 S. Meridian St. is nationally known as a venue for live blues music and the oldest continually operated bar in the city (dating back to 1850).