German in Indianapolis

IndianapolisEvery so often I come across new German-centric things in Indianapolis. As such, I am going to maintain this list to aggregate that which I know about Indianapolis and German activities.

First off, restaurants and food.

1. Rathskeller Restaurant – The massive building housing the Rathskeller is located right downtown so it is easy to find. The German food is a fair representation. The Rathskeller went through quite a revival about a decade ago. They also have a very legitimate Biergarten, something I’ve not seen much of in the United States. This is the only “German” bar in town and they have a solid selection of German beers on tap.

2. Edelweiss Restaurant – This restaurant is located on the grounds of the German-American Klub on the far south-side of Indianapolis. It is a much quieter (and smaller) restaurant than the Rathskeller and the food is generally better. As I live on the far north-side of Indianapolis, I rarely eat here, though I am due for a visit.

3. Cafe Heidelberg – This is essentially a bakery that has a small lunch time menu mostly based around Bratwurst and Belegte Brote. The German pastries are decent but far sweeter than what you find in Germany. It is the only place in town were you can find traditional German brötchen. They also sell plenty of German memorabilia, decoration, and kitsch.

4. Inge’s German Market and Deli – CLOSED- This is a cafe and deli in Fishers, a suburb just north and east of Indianapolis. It’s a nice little place that I’ve only been to once. The menu is predominantly sandwiches with a German twist along with a handful of cooked German specialties (schnitzels and wursts). You can also buy some German groceries here.

5. Claus’ German Sausage and Meats – This butcher shop is the only place in central Indiana to get traditional German sausages, cold cuts, and other meats. If you want to get real Bratwurst for your next cook out, this is the only place to visit. There is no restaurant here, strictly a butcher shop. They also sell a few other German food items.

6. Perk Up – Perk Up is a coffee shop in Broad Ripple. There is nothing inherently German about the coffee shop other than….they sell a very small selection of German pastries. The pastries are made by a German named Jeanette Footman. When I went, they only had 2 options – Amerikaner and Kipferl.

7. Arbor Cafe and Tea Room – This little cafe and tea room is on the far, far eastside of Indianapolis. In general, there is nothing particularly German here. However, on Friday and Saturday evenings, they server some german specialties like Sauerbraten and Rouladen. I would call before heading there just to make sure that they are serving German food.


1. Deutsch Klub – This is a weekly informal dinner that takes place at various restaurants around Indianapolis. The only requirement is that you want to speak German. Roughly half of the attendees are German. To join, sign up on the website at

2. Kaffeklatsch – Similar to German Klub except that this takes place on Sunday afternoons instead of Wednesday evenings. It is always at the same location – Perk Up in Broad Ripple.

3. Oktoberfest – There are 2 major Oktoberfests that take place in Indianapolis, though neither is nearly as large as those that occur in other Midwestern Cities. The Oktoberfest at the German-American Klub almost always happens the first two weekends in September.  The Rathskeller also has an annual Oktoberfest.

4. Samstagschule für Kinder – For those wanting to give their children German instruction, IUPUI runs a Saturday school for children. Contact information:

Indianapolis German School
c/o Claudia Grossmann, Ph.D.
German Program Coordinator
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Dept. of World Languages and Cultures
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Ph.: (317) 274-3943
Fax: (317) 278-7375


If you know of something I’ve missed (likely), ship me an e-mail:


    • Jeanette Footman on 2008/04/25 at 15:09
    • Reply

    The Kaffeeklatsch at Perk Up is only from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Sundays. Kaffeklatsch is actually the German “tea time” and that is where I serve German pastries during that time. Every week it is usually something different.
    Twice a month we have at Perk Up German inspired dinners that are by reservation only. If people are interested they can call Perk Up to find out about those dinner dates, they can be put on my mailing list
    or callme at (317)714-7838

    • Desiree on 2009/04/02 at 18:24
    • Reply

    Meijer grocery sells a small scelection of German foods & candies in their International Aisle. This is where we find Ritter’s candy bars close to home, without going out east to the Heidleburg Cafe.

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