March 12, 2018

I might be biased, but Indy is one of the best food cities in the U.S. and I’m lucky to call Indy home. Conde Nast Traveler named Indy one of “America’s Most Underrated Food Cities.” These accolades are well deserved and I am so proud to live here.

The majority of the restaurants being touted as the best are conveniently located along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (ICT). As a result, it only made sense for the ICT to create an Ultimate Foodie Tour for the public to experience downtown Indy restaurants via the Trail.

I took a tour this past weekend with Nick and my fellow Cultural Trail YP Board members. The tour last from 1-3 PM, so it was plenty of time to visit all of our Fletcher Place favorites: Amelia’s Bakery, 12.05 Distillery, Rook, Tortas, and Milktooth. Our host was local food writer, Jolene Ketzenberger, and she did a great job leading us.

Nick and I had been to all of the restaurants on the tour, but we still learned something new at each stop. We started our tour at Amelia’s Bakery, where building owner Tom Battista, shared the inspiration for Amelia’s. He and his wife had visited a bakery in Louisville and realized that Indy was lacking a good bakery. He created Amelia’s and sent his employees to California to learn all they could about the bread baking process.

We each received a cookie before we headed out the door. While I will always prefer a homemade cookie, Amelia’s is special. They are made fresh and with love.

Our next stop was Repeal. We were immediately greeted with three liquor samples from the distillery and I was glad I had the cookie before things escalated. Their gin seemed to be the crowd favorite.

With a new-found spring in our step, we skipped on down the trail to Milktooth. I don’t need to elaborate here since Milktooth is well known at this point. We each received a cheddar cherry scone and a side of their thick cut maple syrup bacon. I usually use a fork when we’ve ordered the bacon before, but we just had to go for it without utensils.

With sticky teeth and almost full bellies, we soldiered on towards Rook. Festive cocktails with flowers awaited us at the bar. Bartender Eli had made us each a gin and pineapple concoction. A steamed bun, which is what they’re famous for, accompanied the drink. Rook is also the brains behind the new Inferno Room in Fountain Square.

Our last stop, and at this point we were all very full, was Tortas. This cute taco joint is a hidden gem. The staff is so kind and it was one of the best welcomes we received on the tour. We tasted their Megan Fox torta, which has chicken, chorizo, mozzarella, and avocado. All of their tortas are named after celebrities and are reasonably priced.

The tour concluded and I was ready for a long nap. I’d highly recommend signing up for a tour when they’re open to the public next month. It’s a great chance to learn and taste something new while supporting local businesses and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

To learn more, visit the ICT website.

Xx, Libby

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