The turnout of 135K fans in the stands, watching as Dallara winged beauties whiz by is a thing of beauty. But there’s nothing beautiful about trying to clamor through the crowd to grab concession staples in a line that’s 10 racetrack laps long.
The great thing is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a rare venue in that it let’s fans bring in their own food. So that the only rumbling sounds you should hear are those beautiful engines.
So what do smart fans do to prepare for non-stop action on race day?
- Grab your tickets & reserve your seat
- Toss a poncho, umbrella, & sunscreen in your bag
- Bring along some ear plugs
- Grab food ahead of time & bring it with you
- Pack for the whole day, using insulated bags & cups, it’s an all day event
- Light & disposal are the name of the game
You don’t want to miss a minute of the action, so we’ve put together a list of the top restaurants you can grab & go, that will manage your hunger so you can focus from start to finish.
Grab & Go - Fast Casual Eats & Treats
Want something tasty, quick, but not hitting the 248 MPH zone? These restaurants step outside of your typical fast food dining experience with a standard fare with a flare.
- Bazbeaux’s (7.08 mi)
This specialty pizza hot spot will make your day with a menu that features a variety of ingredients to customize your gourmet meal for the raceway.
- Goose the Market (4.41 mi)
Deli delights that are out of sight with charcuterie for those fancy types. Nothing beats a delicious sandwich piled high with all your favorite ingredients.
- Yats (3.39 mi)
Quick creole food. Yup, it’s Yats, with gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee you say? Exactly what you need to give yourself some energy for that celebration lap. This will definitely hold you over the whole day.
- The Tamale Place (2.18 mi)
Grab a seat at the tamale super highway! What’s better than a micro meal you can fit in your hand, stays warm when it's old and even taste good cold? Nothing. Tamale me about it. (Note: Closed on Sundays & short staffed due to pandemic)
Sit Down or Take Out - Restaurants that are Tasty No Doubt
- King Ribs (1.33 Miles)
(Note: Currently Carry-Out & Drive Through ONLY)
These ribs are slow cooked to perfection and fit for a king. This race day be sure to order some and thank us later because you deserve to treat yourself like a king.
- Yolk (4.93 mi)
Check out Yolk for your breakfast and lunch needs, just don’t come after 3 p.m. It’s closed for dinner so stop in before the race.
- IHOP (2.92 Miles)
This isn’t just for pancakes, they are the one stop shop for all things breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late night. You want to be prepared, packed, and pleased...IHOP brings home the basics.
- Denny’s (1.85 Miles)
Denny’s is your all day one-stop shop for family focused value meals. If you aren’t sure what you want, it’s got a little bit of everything on the menu at prices that won’t break the bank.
- Buffalo Wild Wings (1.76 Miles)
Buffalo Wild Wings - Bone in or boneless / pickup or sit down it doesn’t matter, these wings are guaranteed to be delicious. Worried about the race, they’ll likely have it on one of the many screens, but hey, these HOT wings are good cold too.
- Shapiro’s (4.84 Miles)
A great option for handcrafted deli sandwiches. You want pastrami or some kosher corned beef. Fast, fresh & friendly right on the way to or from the race.
- Mug n Bun (1.31 Miles)
Burgers & root beer will always make the crowd & the kids happy. Oh, but this is special root beer so make sure to grab a Mug n’ Go w/ a burger and float, we’re pretty sure they’ll give you your float in a to-go cup and you can keep the Mug for later….when you’re having a different kind of beer.
- Bosphorus (5.37 Miles)
Like small mediteranean bites that delight? Us too! That’s why we are bonkers for bosphorus, with excellent portions heaping with flavor. Dolmas w/ Kebabs are easy to grab, go, and eat anywhere. Perfect for in the stands.
- The Eagle (4.62 Miles)
Down home southern cooking at its finest is all you can say about the Eagle. If you’re looking to really set the stage with an all out feast while at the raceway campgrounds or just looking for a hearty sandwich (FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH….mmmmmmhhhmmm), fly on over or drive if you like.
- Steak ‘n Shake (2.45 Miles)
Long day of standing in the sun? The best solution is a mouth watering burger paired with one of their amazing shakes. The garlic double down is a can’t miss option to refuel you during the race. Order it in and you can stay and enjoy the whole race.
Go With What You Know - Fast Food For On the Road
Subway (2.30 Miles)
Little Caesars (1.39 Miles)
KFC (1.51 Miles)
Popeyes (1.49 Miles)
White Castle (2.24 Miles)
Raceway Breakaways - Go Out & Celebrate
These restaurants are worth an honorable mention for those seeking outside of the race adventure.
- Nada (4.57 Miles) - This place is only open for dinner, so going to have to be after the race place. The wood accented interior is beautiful and the circle booths are great for a group. Grab some tacos or any of the other latin inspired plates like shrimp ceviche and you will be in heaven
- Harry & Izzy’s (4.54 Miles) - Opens at 12 on Sunday, so you will probably want to stick to checking this place out after the checkered flag is waved. The inside is a blast to the past with beautiful white tablecloths. Whether you are craving steak, seafood, or pasta you are sure to find something that satisfies your craving.
- Rathskeller (4.78 Miles) - This restaurant is full of Bavarian flair and features a german beer hall, as well as an awesome biergarten. Be sure to try some classic german dishes like schnitzel or bratwurst with your beer as well.
- Livery (4.94 Miles) - This restaurant has the most stunning patio and rooftop, be sure to stop here if you want some top notch latin inspired food in a beautiful setting. Unfortunately, it is only open for dinner, so it would have to be the post race celebration spot. They have a wide variety of latin dishes for you to enjoy; paella, tacos, empanadas, tortas, and more are all served up fresh and will not disappoint.
- Meridian (5.92 Miles) - This restaurant's dining room looks like a really beautiful lodge and has a very open feel to it. Like many of the other sit down restaurants on this list you would have to come here after the race. The menu has a wide range of classic dishes all sourced from local/regional farms, so you can get anything from a filet or seared chicken breast to a pork tenderloin or duck breast.
- Union 50 (4.78 Miles) - This upscale cocktail bar has a great ambiance and features a rotating seasonal menu based on local ingredients. The plates are intended to be ordered for the table and shared between a bunch of people, so be sure to bring a group and try the mussels!
Whether you’re a foodie, a fan, or just hungry, if you’re at the Indy 500 we hope you’ve enjoyed our take on the options for keeping your focused on the fun and not your stomach. Happy race day!