Carmel, Indiana, is a hidden gem when it comes to culinary delights.
With a diverse array of dining options, the city offers something for everyone's taste buds.
I've had the pleasure of trying a multitude of restaurants in the city, and I must say, it's always a struggle deciding where to eat - only because there are just too many mouthwatering options!
From upscale dining to cozy cafes, here are the best restaurants in Carmel, Indiana.
Petos Authentic Greek Cuisine
One of my favorite dining spots in town is Petos Authentic Greek Cuisine.
I've been visiting Petos since they were at their old location, and I must say, their food keeps getting better and better.
It's hard to beat the cozy, unpretentious atmosphere of this family-owned restaurant, which makes every visit feel like coming home.
When I step into Petos, I am instantly greeted by the comforting aroma of warm pita bread and perfectly seasoned lamb.
Their menu may have become a little more selective over the years, but it's still packed with delicious Greek staples like gyros, shawarma, and my personal recommendation, the TIROKAFTERI.
It's a unique dish that I haven't seen offered anywhere else, and Petos truly does it justice.
Their spaghetti with meat sauce is simply the best I've ever had, and the salad and hummus with pita bread never disappoint.
Crafters Pizza and Drafthouse
One of my favorite places to hang out in the city is Crafters Pizza and Drafthouse.
This easygoing tavern has become my go-to spot for watching sports, enjoying some inventive pizzas, and sipping on a variety of craft beers.
The quirky wall art adds a fun touch to the atmosphere, making it a great place to unwind with friends or family.
My most recent visit to Crafters was just as enjoyable as always.
Despite the busy crowd, the service remained attentive and friendly.
I absolutely love their wings – the seasoning is spot on, and the assortment of sauces just adds to the experience.
The pita bread and veggie sticks were a nice touch but the real stars of the show at Crafters are their unique pizzas.
I can't recommend the Luchador Bros Pizza with fried dough enough – it's my all-time favorite.
My partner, on the other hand, swears by the Small Town Pizza, complete with Grippos chips on top.
There's truly something for everyone on their menu.
I recently visited Condado Tacos and let me tell you, it is a must-visit for any taco fan!
They have a number of their own creations, or you can create your own custom tacos, which I absolutely loved.
With a ton of different meats and toppings to pick from, I could easily come here a dozen times and try something new each time.
Their chips and salsa were also top-notch.
To make things even better, they have a decent selection of margaritas and beers to pick from.
The service was friendly and patient as I figured out the menu.
I decided to eat outside since they have the same warehouse bare concrete and metal box environment that Chipotle invented years ago.
I recently decided to celebrate my anniversary at Ristorante Roma, and I can confidently say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made!
The moment I stepped into Ristorante Roma, I felt like I was transported to Italy.
The intimate and charming atmosphere was perfect for our special occasion.
The food, oh the food!
Everything we ordered was freshly made and absolutely mouth-watering.
I especially loved their handmade pasta, which really made a difference in terms of flavor and texture.
The burrata and tomato salad was also a must-try – it was so fresh and flavorful that I couldn't get enough of it.
One of the things that really stood out to me at this fine-dining eatery was the exceptional service.
This kind of professionalism and attentiveness is not something you come across every day.
Little Cairo Cafe
As someone who enjoys trying different cuisines, I often visit Little Cairo Cafe in Carmel for a delicious Mediterranean meal.
The first time I visited this spot was on a cold day a few months ago, and I still remember the amazing hummus I had – possibly the best in the Midwest.
I must say, the gyro dinner I had once has been one of the best I've ever had, with tender and moist lamb meat.
But it's worth mentioning that the experience may slightly vary from visit to visit.
Once, I wasn't as impressed with the hummus as I was on my first visit, and my friends had some overcooked lamb and dry chicken.
However, the falafel's texture was great, even though the flavor didn't quite meet my expectations.
Nonetheless, the serving sizes are very generous, and you won't leave the place hungry.
I absolutely love dining at Monterey Cuisine, and as a regular visitor, I can confidently say that it's one of the best dining experiences in town.
I'm always impressed by their exceptional customer service.
The food at Monterey Cuisine is hands down amazing.
I've tried a variety of their appetizers, like the goat cheese dip and crab cakes, both of which are absolutely delicious.
The sushi is also phenomenal – definitely a must-try!
But my all-time favorite dish is the sea bass, which is honestly the best I've had in years.
One of the things I enjoy the most when dining here is sitting at the bar and indulging in their craft cocktails.
They never disappoint, and their wine list is impressive as well.
One day, I decided to have lunch at Thai Castle, which is now relocated to Thai Indy.
To my surprise, it was quite crowded, but they managed to seat me quickly.
The service was prompt and courteous, making me feel welcomed.
They offer lunch specials that include a salad, soup, and spring rolls.
The soup was a tasty, generic noodle soup, and the salad was quite standard.
However, the spring roll was really good – crispy and flavorful.
I ordered pad Thai chicken at the spice level I prefer, and it was cooked perfectly.
The chicken was well cooked, not dry, and the noodles had the right balance of sauce.
Though nothing stood out as extraordinary, everything was solid and enjoyable.
On another visit, I tried their garlic broth and noodle starter soup.
It was light yet full of flavor.
My main course was Spicy Pepper, with a heat level that made my eyebrows sweat – just the way I like it!
The side salad with mustard and orange dressing was also a pleasant surprise.
I also visited Thai Castle on a Sunday night for dinner.
The ambiance is cozy and modern, making it a perfect spot for a quiet evening.
The service was quick, and the food was amazing.
I had the drunken noodles and crab rangoon, and both were delicious.
Plus, it's quite affordable, so I know I'll be returning again and again.
One place that has quickly become my go-to for some mouth-watering burgers is Flight Burger.
Whenever I'm craving a juicy burger, I always find myself at their doorstep.
The menu offers a unique "flight of burgers" concept, where I can customize and try different sliders, perfect for indecisive folks like me.
My personal favorite is the Wagyu beef burger, which is well worth the extra cost.
The sliders are cooked to perfection and seasoned just right.
I usually add bacon and a fried egg to my burgers, making them even more scrumptious.
The fries here are also excellent, as they are salted well and always have that perfect crunch.
And I must say, the place is consistently clean and well-maintained.
I've been going to Dooley O'Toole's for years now, and I can easily say it's a reliable spot for a casual, family-friendly night out.
Whenever I'm in the mood for a classic American meal, this is where I head to.
One of my favorite things to order here is the tenderloin sandwich.
It seems to be a popular choice among many patrons, and I can see why - it's always delicious.
My fiancée also enjoys it, so it's become our go-to meal at Dooley O'Toole's.
Another dish I tried recently was their Friday night Shrimp special, which was surprisingly good.
I don't usually order seafood at a more casual restaurant, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.
The menu might not have a huge variety, but the hamburgers, fish sandwiches, and the option to swap out fries for tater tots keep me coming back.
Plus, the full bar with craft brews is an added bonus for a laid-back evening with friends.
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
I recently visited Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya with my family, and we had a great time.
The atmosphere was perfect for a friend or family gathering, and the food was amazing.
We had a variety of standard ramen options that we could personalize with additional toppings for just a couple of dollars more.
Our food came out quickly, even though the place was quite busy that night.
It was quiet enough for us to have a conversation without shouting, which is always a plus.
I must say that the miso ramen was my favorite dish of the night.
The service was a bit slow, and they forgot a couple of our appetizers, but it was understandable, considering how busy they were.
The quality of the food was still top-notch, and I am definitely planning to visit Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya again.
And as a bonus, they were playing some fun Korean music in the background!
I recently made a visit to Anthony's Chophouse for one of my special occasions, and I must say it was the best dining experience I've had in Carmel.
From the moment I walked in, the ambiance was simply amazing.
The highlight of my meal was the twin lobster tails that I ordered.
I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh and delicious they were, making me feel as if I was dining right by the ocean, despite being in landlocked Indiana.
The mac and cheese served as an excellent side dish, perfectly complementing the main course.
I also had the pleasure of trying their Kansas City steak, aged for 45 days.
The steak was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were outstanding.
To top off my meal, I was celebrating my birthday, and they kindly offered me a complimentary dessert.
One of my favorite places to enjoy a fantastic brunch in Carmel is Cafe Patachou.
Their menu offers a wide variety of options, making it the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, or a leisurely Sunday brunch with family and friends.
I love how they offer both sweet and savory dishes, ensuring there's something for everyone.
The atmosphere at Cafe Patachou is always buzzing, with people of different age groups and occasions coming together to enjoy a meal.
It feels like a trendy yet cozy place to dine.
Plus, the fact that it's pet and LGBTQ-friendly makes it even more welcoming.
Cafe Patachou is known for their eclectic dishes and amazing omelets.
I'm always impressed by the speed at which the food arrives at my table, and it never disappoints in terms of taste.
Sauce on the Side
I've had my fair share of delicious meals.
But my recent visit to Sauce on the Side left me craving more.
I decided to order the Meat Me in St Louie Calzone, and I must say, it did not disappoint.
The cheese was definitely unique, and although it may be a love-it-or-hate-it situation for some, I truly enjoyed it.
What I particularly appreciated was their Craft Soda Fountain Drinks, which was a refreshing change from the usual options available at other places.
One of the highlights of my visit was the incredible selection of sauces.
The queso sauce, in particular, was absolutely divine.
I also had the chance to try their unique drink options, which added a fun twist to my dining experience.
In addition to the delicious food, the décor at Sauce on the Side is also worth mentioning.
With intricate details, I felt like I was in an art museum, making my time there even more enjoyable.
I recently stumbled upon a hot and new restaurant in town called The Monk's, and I must say, it was love at first sight.
The moment I walked in, I was captivated by its minimalistic and clean, bright interior.
The food, oh, the food!
The lamb pepper fry dish was a perfect fusion of Chinese and Indian flavors.
It felt like I was taking a gastronomical journey, starting in China with the initial bite and ending up in India on that last tasteful note.
The other two dishes I tried were equally delightful, and I am confident that you can't go wrong with anything you order at The Monk's.
And let me not forget about the dreamy coconut soufflé dessert that I still can't stop thinking about.
One of my go-to spots for a delicious Mexican meal is The Toros.
This energetic bar and eatery never fails to satisfy my cravings for tacos, burritos, and carne asada.
Just the other day, I went there for lunch with my significant other.
We decided to try something different this time.
They ordered the veggie burrito, while I opted for the lunch fajitas without the rice, beans, and tortillas.
I must say, everything was simply amazing and reasonably priced.
In terms of cleanliness, I have to commend them for maintaining a clean environment – from the dining area to the restrooms.
Trust me, I've been to some Mexican restaurants with broken tiles and sinks, and it's not a pleasant experience.
Let me tell you about my new favorite spot for breakfast and brunch in town: Rad's!
This cozy café is tucked away in a shopping center, but don't let its unassuming location fool you – the food and atmosphere are top-notch.
I recently stopped by Rad's with a friend for a late brunch on a Saturday, and I was surprised to find it relatively empty.
However, that just meant we had more space to ourselves to enjoy our meal and catch up.
I loved the self-serve coffee bar, which is a unique feature that I haven't seen in other breakfast places.
I ordered the Huevos Rancheros, and the flavor was spot-on, with just the right amount of cheese, salsa, and hot sauce.
The side of hash browns was crunchy and warm, and I appreciated the generous size of my coffee.
The overall vibe of Rad's is family-friendly, and the service is friendly and efficient.
Besides the great food and coffee, Rad's also offers freshly-baked goods like their banana chocolate chip muffin, which I took home for a treat later.
Naf Naf Grill
Oh, how I love the food at Naf Naf Grill!
I decided to try their pita pocket with crispy chicken, and it was absolutely delightful.
The chopped salad was fresh and crisp, adding a nice balance to the meal.
I was also pleasantly surprised by their creamy garlic sauce – so flavorful and delicious!
I'm quite a fan of baklava, so I couldn't resist giving theirs a try.
While it wasn't the best I've ever had, it was still a nice way to end the meal.
My experience with the service was fantastic, too.
I ended up ordering the falafel rice bowl, and it was quite filling - definitely a generous portion!
Just a heads up, though, you might want to skip the baklava if you're not a huge fan.
What I really enjoy about Naf Naf Grill is their build-your-own-bowl or pita concept.
You can choose a base of rice, lettuce, or hummus and then select your toppings.
My personal favorite is the chicken shawarma - it's simply amazing!
Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
I can attest to the delicious food and amazing service at Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant.
From their mouthwatering chicken dishes to their authentic Mexican cuisine, this has quickly become one of my favorite spots in town.
I recently visited Mi Hacienda again and was reminded of why I love this place so much.
I've tried their fajitas and fish tacos, both of which were bursting with flavor and left me craving more.
During my last visit, I had the opportunity to try their enchiladas, which were simply incredible.
I also love their horchata, which is hands down the best I've ever had.
Being able to enjoy such authentic Mexican food without having to travel far is a huge plus for me as a local resident.
Every time I visit Rosie's Place, I always end up having a great experience.
The last time I stopped by for a quick brunch, the place was jam-packed with foodies.
I enjoyed my tacos and cleaned my plate.
The fruit bowl I ordered was incredibly fresh, and the orange juice with a slight pulp was a nice touch.
I remember when Rosie's served Belgian pancakes a few months ago – they were one of the best things I've ever eaten.
My recent visit didn't disappoint either, as the bacon and pancakes were amazing.
Carmel has a diverse and thriving restaurant scene that offers something for everyone.
From authentic Mediterranean and Greek cuisine to mouth-watering burgers and ramen, there's always a fantastic meal waiting to be discovered in this charming town.
I find myself returning to these places time and time again, always eager to try something new or enjoy a beloved classic.