Deluxe Dining in Hendricks County, Indiana

Last Updated on March 2, 2015 by Jody Halsted

Our dining experiences were arranged in partnership with the Hendricks County CVB.

I’ve yet to figure out why so many believe that dining is finer in large cities. I’ve traveled all over the US and have to be honest – some of the best restaurants I’ve eaten in are in small towns.

That proved to be the case during a recent trip to Hendricks County, Indiana, where we found some of the finest restaurants near Indianapolis.

Dining Hendricks County, Restaurants near Indianapolis, Indiana
Deluxe Dining in Hendricks County

My favorite aspect of Midwest restaurants is their dedication to locally sourced ingredients – which you will find at these fabulous Hendricks County establishments.

Four Restaurants Near Indianapolis That Will Impress Foodies

Authentic Italian in the Heart of Indiana

Our visit to the town of North Salem, Indiana, coincided with Old Fashion Days, a wonderful, small-town festival that makes you nostalgic for days gone by. And while visiting the town’s most popular restaurant on its busiest day of the year may not have been a good idea- it was certainly a delicious one!

Located just behind the row of antique shops in North Salem’s Historic District, Perillo’s Pizzeria is tucked in a small brick building, near indistinguishable from its surroundings but for a large courtyard nestled next to it filled with tables for dining alfresco. Co-owned by Damiano Perillo and his brother-in-law Bob Miller, Perillo’s combines the best of Damiano’s Italian heritage with the freshest ingredients rural Indiana has to offer – creating pizzas and pastas so fresh you will think you’re in an Italian farmhouse kitchen.

Perillo's Pizzaria, North Salem, Hendricks County, Indiana
Fresh Italian dishes at Perillo’s Pizzaria. Clockwise from top left: meat stuffed pizza, calzone with meat and spinach, Limoncello dessert, meat pizza on thin crust, lasagna with garlic knot.

You should know: Perillo’s is closed on Tuesdays and only accepts cash as payment. The restaurant is incredibly popular, you may have to wait for a table.

Home Town Family Favorite

Dawson’s Too! Sticks and Stones in Brownsburg is a spin-off of the popular Dawson’s on Main in Speedway. Fresh food made fabulous should be the motto of Dawson’s Too! as each dish we ordered was cooked to perfection and beautifully presented.

I have to admit that one of my favorite aspects of Dawson’s Too! was the art on the walls. Instead of art that had no connection to the restaurant, the staff took part in an evening of painting, each creating the same showpiece, but with their own interpretation. These paintings added to the community atmosphere you feel in the restaurant.

The menu at Dawson’s Too! is large, but not overwhelmingly so, though the additional daily specials may make your decision a bit more difficult.

Dawsons Too! Sticks and Stones Restaurant, Brownsburg, Hendricks County, Indiana
Fabulous fresh food at Dawson’s Too! Clockwise from top left: original paintings adorn the walls, carrot cake, Angus cheeseburger, hand battered chicken strips, fish special, Horseradish Crusted Top Sirloin, red velvet cake, bacon wrapped scallops with mango-avocado salsa.

You should know: Dawson’s Too! has also earned the title of Best Caterer in Hendricks County and can feed large groups on site, in a suite with private dining room and bar, or at your location.

When Dining In

Our long weekend in Hendricks County was spent in the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch, an ideal spot for families.

A quick shopping expedition at Kroger in Brownsburg and we had everything we needed for a beautiful dinner our first evening on the cottage’s wrap around porch and a campfire dinner by the lake our final evening. And, thanks to our hosts, we had wonderful fresh breads from the Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery in Danville, as well as local honey butter for French Toast before we left Hendricks County.

Eating our own cooking at Natural Valley Ranch, Hendricks County, Indiana
Dining alfresco on the wrap around porch at the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch, cooking hot dogs over fire by the lake at Natural Valley Ranch, my own French Toast with breads from The Bread Basket.

You should know: I’m a pretty darn good cook, but any meal at the Cottage is a good meal!

The small towns of Hendricks County are home to some of the best restaurants near Indianapolis – and proof that the best meals aren’t always found in the largest cities.

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