The Indiana Insider Blog

My Favorite Independent Hendricks County Restaurants

One of the biggest misconceptions about life in the suburbs is that when it comes to dining out, your only choices are bland, chain restaurants. Having grown up in Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis, I’ve learned that this is not at all accurate, as some of my favorite independent restaurants are found in the midst of this growing suburban county.

When You’re Craving a European Vacation:

To get a Europe fix, I venture to Perillo’s Pizzeria in tiny North Salem. Not only does this pizza shop serve up some authentic Italian cuisine (when the chef/owner greets your table, you’ll love his thick, Italian accent), but their outdoor patio will leave you feeling like you’re dining in a piazza in Rome.

When I’m Having Breakfast with the Kids:

Emmy’s Pancake House in Avon is a perfect spot for the whole family on weekend mornings. Service is attentive and quick, and the fluffy pancakes are worthy of the restaurant’s name. If savory is your thing, you’ll find a lot of options there too.

When It’s Time for Lunch with Girlfriends:

I love Cinnamon Rooster in Avon. It’s got a cute ambiance and a great selection of salads, sandwiches, soups and even quiche. A great place for quiet conversation with friends.

A Date Night:

Depending on where I am in the county, for a nice night out, you can’t beat Boulder Creek in Brownsburg, Charbonos in Avon, or Stone Creek in Plainfield. Menu and decor are somewhat similar at each, as they’re all owned by the Avon-based Cunningham Restaurant Group.

For My Sweet Tooth:

Nothing beats a summer night at the Lizton Dairy Bar in Lizton. Cars will cruise by along 39, the humidity will be thick, but not nearly as thick as the milkshakes. It’s such a classic Indiana ice cream stand. Open seasonally at 102 W. Main Street in Lizton, just off I-74.

Where to Bring Your Grandparents:

The Mayberry Cafe in Danville might be one of the most nostalgic places you’ll ever visit. Based around the Andy Griffith show, you’ll even spot an authentic police car out front. Meals are comforting and fit right in with the restaurant’s throwback decor. Forget about catching the game on the mounted televisions. Instead, they’ll be showing reruns of the famous sitcom.

To Order Up a Round of Beers:

The recent wave of popularity for microbrews has arrived in Plainfield, where you’ll find Black Swan Brewpub. Not only do they brew some excellent beers, but their menu is also worthy of an evening out.

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Written by : Nicole is a stay-at-home mom and blogger living in Columbus, Indiana. She blogs about adventures at home and away with her husband and 2-year-old son at She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She spent seven years living and working in downtown Indianapolis following college. Nicole is always looking for fun, kid-friendly outing ideas. You can contact her via email or find her on Twitter at @arrowssentforth. Nicole receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.