Going out to eat on a consistent basis never does well for the wallet, but the lure of Indiana’s restaurant variety and authenticity always keeps me coming back for seconds. After living in Indianapolis for the past four years, I have searched for affordable eateries all over the city to coincide with my college student bank account (or lack thereof). Whether you’re visiting, passing through or a citizen of Indianapolis looking for something both authentic and affordable, these three Indy favorites will satisfy your stomach and savings account.
My craving for Boogie Burger’s mouth-watering burgers occurs often – and plenty of Indy residents can agree with me on this one. The popular and ever-developing restaurant transcends a traditional burger joint feel with a bit of alternative flair and uniqueness to add to the mix – and you can find this same style replicated on their menu. The restaurant offers an array of ingredients in their burgers that goes beyond thinking outside the box.
Choose from a Chili burger, Cluck and Moo burger (just like the title sounds – a burger patty AND a grilled or breaded chicken breast together), Rise and Shine burger with egg, the Maui Wowie topped with grilled pineapple, ham, Swiss and teriyaki – you catch my drift. Traditional burgers are still available and just as good (yes, I’m the boring one that gets the original double cheeseburger every time) along with an assortment of fries, onion rings and their acclaimed milkshakes and ice cream for a delectable dessert – if your stomach still has room, that is.
Not a burger fan? Vegetarian options as well as a variety of other sandwiches make for a great alternative. Burgers start at $3.99 and the most expensive burger is still under $11, making for a perfectly affordable taste of authentic Indianapolis food.Boogie Burger 1904 Broad Ripple Ave Indianapolis, IN 46220 317.255.2450
An Indianapolis original since 1986, Bazbeaux has grown from being housed in an old decrepit house that had once been the home of a town gravedigger to what is now one of the most popular and frequently visited pizza parlors in Indy. I have been a loyal customer since the moment I stepped on Indianapolis soil and still have not covered the entire menu of unique and one-of-a-kind pizza options available. Like Boogie Burger, their menu covers the board of ingredients to satisfy any taste bud imaginable.
Start out with their award-winning garlic bread for a mere $2.25 (or just $3.50 with cheese) or one of their scrumptious salads starting at $2.75. Select from an assortment of pizzas that cannot be matched anywhere else when it comes to authenticity – BBQ, Greek, Garden, Mexican, Margherita, B.O.T., Veggie and Bayou Chicken – just to name a few. My boyfriend and I just visited this hot spot a week ago and to give you a taste of how inexpensive it is, our order consisted of the following: garlic bread with cheese, a tossed salad and the Bazbeaux Special pizza (medium) – all that for just $14.50 – and trust me, our appetites surpass the average human’s. Where else can you find Indy’s best pizza with the most affordable offers?Bazbeaux – Broad Ripple 811 E. Westfield Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46220 317.255.5711 Bazbeaux – Carmel 111 W. Main St. Carmel, IN 46032 317.848.4488 Bazbeaux – Downtown 333 Massachusetts Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204 317.636.7662
Escape Indianapolis and arrive right in the heart of New Orleans upon walking into Yats Cajun Creole Restaurant, Indy’s pride and joy Cajun restaurant. Joe Vuskovich, the owner of this Indy favorite, is a former New Orleans restaurateur who has brought the very essence of New Orleans to the Midwest – jazz music, eclectic paintings and fantastic food. Joe strives to make each serving spike its own personality by cooking spices to perfection for his customers in the most natural way possible.
With the menu changing daily, enjoy an assortment of etouffees, gumbos, jambalayas, red beans and rice accompanied by bread slathered with butter. Spice up your dish even more by trying one of Yats’ selection of hot sauces and spice additions, including their unexpected Thai chili paste. The portions are nothing short of huge, so come with an appetite – half portions are also available at a lower price. Full portions are a mere $5.75 that will leave you full for hours and extra bread is only fifty cents extra.Yats Cajun Creole – College Ave. (Broad Ripple) 5365 N. College Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46220 317.253.8817 Yats Cajun Creole – Mass Ave. (Downtown) 659 Massachusetts Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204 317.686.6380 Yats Cajun Creole – 96th St. (Fishers) 8352 E. 96thSt. Indianapolis, IN 46037 317.585.1792 Yats Cajun Creole – Greenwood 1280 U.S. 31 N. Suite W Indianapolis, IN 46227 317.865.9971