Kennedy Broadwell is from Toledo, Ohio and majoring in Sports Media and a minor in Sports and Recreation.
When coming to Indianapolis for the first time, I was both excited and nervous. Back home in the Toledo area, I had my favorite restaurants, places to go with friends, and hubs for studying, and I would have to start fresh in getting to know a new city. But after a few years here, I’ve discovered so many things to do around town.
One thing you’ll hear about all the time is the “Butler Bubble”—the term for when you get stuck on campus, or in the very close surrounding areas, and never venture out into the city. But Indy is full of great places to explore, so I encourage you to get a group of friends together and visit some of these spots on your nights out.
With three locations around the city, Royal Pin is the place to be if you love bowling. They also have laser tag, arcade games, and seriously awesome food for a bowling alley.
Punch Bowl Social
Exploring downtown Indy is a blast, and Punch Bowl Social is one of the most popular spots due to its unique setup. Located on S. Meridian Street, the place is more than just a restaurant. The food is great, but you can also play all types of games—from skeeball to bowling to giant Connect 4. Looking to get an Instagrammable pic on your night out? The “I love you so much” wall is no stranger to a Butler student’s Instagram feed!
Studio Movie Grill
For a more relaxing outing, Studio Movie Grill serves full meals, snacks, and refreshments in a click of a button while you kick back in a luxury recliner to watch the big screen. What’s better than dinner and a show with some of your closest college pals?
Indy Fuel Hockey
The Indy Fuel hockey team represents the city in the ECHL. Tickets are fairly inexpensive, and the games are exciting—don’t miss the flame-filled pregame show.
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Though nights out on the town are fun, at some point you will need to study. Make studying relaxing and grab a great cup of coffee at one of my favorite local spots.
Monon Coffee Company
This shop in the heart of Broad Ripple is almost always packed, but if you can snag a table to study at, do so. Their lattes never disappoint—the Flaming Mocha is my personal favorite—and they sometimes have fun seasonal flavors!
Nine Lives Cat Cafe
If you’re an animal lover like I am, then Fountain Square’s Nine Lives Cat Cafe is your spot! Not only can you watch adorable kittens play and nap while you sip and study, but for a $5.00 cover fee, you can visit the Cat Lounge to play with the adoptable cats. The fee helps cover the cost of caring for the animals until they find forever homes, and you can also choose to make a donation to IndyHumane—a favorite non-profit of mine.
If you like to get adventurous with your coffee, this is the place for you! After trying a Spanish Latte at this beautiful shop that opened just last fall in a restored historic building, I never want to go back to a normal latte again. Along with my favorite latte, they have possibly the cutest interior ever, from the turquoise ceiling to the patterned tile floor. You’ll definitely have a new favorite study spot!
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When it comes to my favorite eats in Indy, I could go on for hours. But for this list, I decided to include restaurants with the most college-friendly prices. With the help of my friends, I’ve narrowed it down to these top spots.
Ripple Bagel & Deli
I cannot put into words the love that Butler students have for this place. I don’t know a single person who dislikes Ripple Bagel & Deli—seriously, it’s impossible. With every kind of bagel, spread, cheese, vegetable, and meat you could imagine, your sandwich options are countless.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
This spot inside Ironworks Hotel is a personal favorite for my friends and me. Their sushi is divine, if you’re into that sort of thing. Even if you’re not, you’re sure to find something you love. For my fellow vegans: This place has perfected the craft of vegan sushi, with ingredients like vegan “salmon” made of tomato. No more boring cucumber rolls for you!
Broad Ripple’s Canal Bistro has the best Mediterranean food around. Their lunch and dinner are amazing, including complimentary fresh bread and oil, but they really hit it out of the park with brunch. As a brunch enthusiast, I am hard to impress. However, Canal Bistro has cracked the brunch code with favorite dishes like the garden hummus sandwich, stuffed French toast, and the best breakfast potatoes. The thing is, no one knows it yet! Indy loves brunch, and all the other top spots in the city have hour(s)-long waits on weekends, but not Canal Bistro. (Shhh—this can be our secret!)
Gallery Pastry Shop
Speaking of brunch, that mid-morning meal doesn’t get any cuter than at this stylish bakery nestled in a row of cozy shops along the Monon Trail. I love watching chefs create their food art, so I head straight for the bar, where I can watch the magic happen. Who knew crepes could be so beautiful?
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Thrifting has become my all-time favorite weekend festivity. If you’re into sustainable fashion, these are the places for you.
If you’re looking for comfy vintage threads, Naptown Thrift is the spot. All of my favorite oversized sweatshirts, tees, and high-waisted jeans are probably from here.
Hot House Market
This is a hidden gem within the Fashion Mall at Keystone. Seriously, I’ve had to introduce all of my friends to it. Hot House Market curates classic 1970s, 80s, and 90s pieces that are high-quality: No more settling for stained thrifted clothes! Their store also features home goods, vintage tech, and a record collection.
Chief Indigo Vintage
If you’re looking for awesome band tees or vintage Guess, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and so on, look no further than Chief Indigo! With items from every brand you can think of, you’re sure to find your next favorite piece to add to your closet.
Learn more about living in Indy here.