18 Best Restaurants in Gary, IN

This article was written by local contributor Hollie Gray & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Gary, IN

Ah, Gary, Indiana - my beloved hometown!

Whether it's the vibrant history, the friendly people, or the stunning architecture, there's just so much to love about this charming city.

But if there's one thing I truly adore, it's the diverse and mouthwatering food scene we have here.

From cozy diners to upscale steakhouses, there's no shortage of fantastic options to satisfy your cravings.

In this article, we're going to explore some of the best restaurants in Gary, Indiana, that you simply can't miss out on.

So, grab a fork and knife, and let's dive into the culinary delights of this city together!

Great Lakes Cafe

I must admit, I had always seen the road signs for Great Lakes Cafe but never stopped by because it was tucked away between three railroad tracks leading to the US Steel Mill.

One day, my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to finally give it a try.

As I entered the American diner-themed mom-and-pop cafe, I was immediately impressed by the cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

It truly caters to the working class and makes you feel right at home.

My order was taken quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised by how fast my food arrived at my table, piping hot and absolutely mouthwatering.

The portions were enormous, and although I thought I would finish it all, my belly was quickly satisfied.

The hash browns were so good, I can't wait to go back for more.

Great Lakes Cafe · 201 Mississippi St, Gary, IN 46402, United States
★★★★★ · Cafe

Nephew's Steak & Hoagy

I recently had the chance to try out a local gem, Nephew's Steak & Hoagy, for the first time.

I'm so glad I did!

As someone who appreciates good customer service, this was certainly a wonderful start to my dining experience.

What really blew me away was the quality and taste of the food.

I ordered the Nephew's special hoagie, cheese fries, and wings – trust me when I say this, the wings were some of the crispiest and tastiest I've ever had.

The freshness and flavors in each dish were truly exceptional, making it a memorable meal that I can't wait to have again.

Not only was the food amazing, but I also loved the fact that by dining at Nephew's Steak & Hoagy, I was supporting a local business in my neighborhood.

The combination of delicious food, friendly service, and support for the community makes this place a must-visit for everyone.

Nephew’s Steak & Hoagy · 3621 Broadway, Gary, IN 46409, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

El Taco'Queto Restaurant

I'm always on the lookout for local spots with delicious food and great service, so when I stumbled upon El Taco'Queto Restaurant, I knew I had found something special.

Their Facebook page here gives a good idea of what to expect.

Being open until 2 am on weekends, this Mexican restaurant is my go-to spot for late-night cravings, especially since other late-night options are limited in the area.

My favorite order at El Taco'Queto is a combination of Steak, Chicken, and Pork Tacos, along with their mouth-watering Loaded Doritos Nachos with Steak.

The meats are always seasoned well and never dry. The pork, done in al pastor style, is exceptionally tasty with a hint of lime.

It's evident that this is a family-run establishment, as the warmth and care they show for one another is reflected in their dishes.

Every meal is prepared with extreme precision, ensuring that each order is perfect for their customers.

It's rare to find a place like this, and I'm so glad it's in our neighborhood.

One of the highlights of El Taco'Queto is their authentic chicken quesadilla dinner.

The handmade tortilla (which you have to ask for) is soft and has the right amount of chewiness, making it a delicious treat.

Pair it with their tangy green salsa, and you have a meal to remember!

El Taco’Queto Restaurant · 5115 Broadway, Gary, IN 46409, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Lalo's Mexican Food & Smoothie

One of my favorite spots in town is Lalo's Mexican Food & Smoothie.

Their smoothies are absolutely fantastic - I'd rate them 10/10.

I'm also a big fan of their Elotes.

They can get pretty busy, and it's something to keep in mind if you're in a hurry. Still, I definitely recommend giving them a try.

What truly sets Lalo's apart is the amazing service.

They embody the true spirit of a great mom-and-pop store, with hard work and dedication evident in everything they do.

Their smoothies may take a little longer to prepare, but they're always well worth the wait.

Lalo’s Mexican Food & Smoothie · 433 W Ridge Rd, Gary, IN 46408, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Tequila and Tacos

Just last week, I decided to try out a new taco restaurant in town, Tequila and Tacos, with a couple of friends.

When we walked in, we were instantly captivated by the great vibe and good music.

We decided to be adventurous and try some unique dishes, like the baracoa and pizza taco.

Let me tell you, they were absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend them!

To accompany our meal, we ordered a couple of their signature drinks, the Red Dress and When We Leaving, which were refreshing and hit just the right spot.

We were fortunate to have prompt and friendly service.

Tequila and Tacos · 642 S Lake St, Gary, IN 46403, United States
★★★★★ · Taco restaurant

Arman's Restaurant

One of my go-to spots for a quick and delicious meal in town is Arman's Restaurant.

I love how they bring the taste of Chicago to our community with their authentic dishes.

I appreciate how quickly the food is served at Arman's; it's perfect for those days when I'm on the go and need a fast bite to eat.

But what I love most about Arman's Restaurant is their Chicago-style hot dogs - hands down the tastiest dog I've ever had!

And it's not just me who thinks so, everyone I've brought here has been blown away by the quality of the food.

Arman’s Restaurant · 5875 Melton Rd, Gary, IN 46403, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Miller Pizza Co.

One place that never disappoints is Miller Pizza Co.

Their pizza is hands down the best I've had in town. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by friendly and patient workers, which always makes the experience even better.

My all-time favorite spot to enjoy their pizza is by sitting on their outdoor deck during the summer months.

The atmosphere is just perfect for a relaxed meal with friends or family.

Though I live about 30 minutes away from the restaurant, I don't mind making the drive every once in a while to satisfy my pizza cravings.

Although Miller Pizza Co. might be a bit on the pricier side, I truly believe that you get what you pay for in terms of quality.

The taste, texture, and overall experience make it worth spending a little extra.

Miller Pizza Co. · 622 1/2 S Lake St, Gary, IN 46403, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

D & K Gourmet Salads and Soul Food Bowls

One of my favorite spots to grab a bite is D & K Gourmet Salads and Soul Food Bowls.

Their food truck is always a delight, but the experience at the restaurant is even better.

The Teriyaki Chicken noodle bowl is a must-try – the chicken is fresh, and you get the perfect amount of noodles.

I've also tried their Jerk Chicken and rice, and it was equally delicious.

I had the chance to try their jerk chicken salad, and chicken jerk wraps when they were celebrating their third anniversary, and I was blown away by the taste.

Not only was the chicken in the salad moist and flavorful, but the jerk sauce was also very tasty without being too hot.

The veggie and chicken jerk wraps were a pleasant surprise, and the complimentary strawberry banana smoothie was the perfect way to end the meal.

D & K Gourmet Salads and Soul Food Bowls · 625 S Lake St, Gary, IN 46403, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Lo'Shell's Cajun and Creole Flavors

As a lover of all things spicy and flavorful, I was thrilled when I discovered Lo'Shell's Cajun and Creole Flavors right here in my hometown.

The first time I stepped into this Creole restaurant, I was immediately greeted by the warm, welcoming atmosphere and the mouthwatering aroma of authentic Louisiana cuisine.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, as I wasn't sure if the food could truly live up to the flavors I experienced during my travels to New Orleans.

However, with just one bite of their rich, savory gumbo, I was transported right back to the heart of the French Quarter.

The red beans and rice took me by surprise with their perfect blend of spices, and the stuffed cabbage soup was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

It's clear that their passion for food has paid off, as each dish is a true masterpiece of flavor.

Just remember to ask for the authentic, spicy version if you're looking for a true taste of the bayou - the locals here aren't always up for the heat!

Since my first visit, I've become a regular at Lo'Shell's, and I can't wait to see what delicious creations they'll come up with next.

Lo’Shell’s Cajun and Creole Flavors · 1929 Broadway, Gary, IN 46407, United States
★★★★★ · Creole restaurant

S & G Waffle Shack

Just a few days ago, I went to S & G Waffle Shack for the first time, and I must say their breakfast options are truly amazing.

Their chicken and waffles were divine, perfectly crispy, and seasoned, and paired with their flavorful cheese grits, it was a match made in heaven.

My sister had the shrimp and grits, which were equally delightful.

We also tried their pancakes and catfish breakfast, both of which were delicious and well worth the price.

The portions were generous, and the overall experience was fantastic.

S & G Waffle Shack has definitely become my new go-to spot for breakfast, and I can't wait to visit again to try more of their scrumptious dishes.

S & G Waffle shack · 1231 Broadway, Gary, IN 46407, Verenigde Staten
★★★★☆ · Ontbijtrestaurant

Flamingo Pizza of Miller

One of my go-to spots in town is Flamingo Pizza of Miller, a laid-back restaurant with a warm, low-key setting.

It's the perfect place to catch up with friends or unwind after a long day.

The stone-baked pizza is the star of the show, but they also offer a variety of other dishes and, of course, booze to wash it all down.

The atmosphere at Flamingo Pizza is always buzzing with life, and I've had many memorable nights here.

Flamingo Pizza of Miller · 8341 Locust Ave, Gary, IN 46403, United States
★★★★☆ · Pub

Elio's Hot Dogs & Mexican Food

I've always enjoyed dining at Elio's Hot Dogs & Mexican Food for their delicious Mexican cuisine, especially their steak tacos.

They're definitely the best I've had around town.

The prices are affordable, and you get a good bang for your buck.

Elio's is located in a rather shady area of Gary, but don't let that fool you.

The food is undeniably tasty, and the customer service is stellar.

Elio’s Hot Dogs & Mexican Food · 6210 W 5th Ave, Gary, IN 46406, United States
★★★★☆ · Mexican restaurant

Council Oak Steaks and Seafood

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Council Oak Steaks and Seafood, and I must say, it was a dinner I won't soon forget.

To my delight, it was cooked to absolute perfection and easily one of the best steaks I've ever had.

My friends enjoyed their meals as well, particularly the lamb chops and the calamari appetizer. The shrimp cocktail was also a hit at our table.

As recommended, we made sure not to skip dessert despite feeling full.

I'm glad we took that advice, as the cheesecake was utterly delectable.

We even got a free slice to celebrate my brother's birthday, which was a thoughtful touch that made the night even more special.

Even the Director of Food and Beverage, Claudia Jones, went out of her way to ensure our satisfaction.

It's clear that Council Oak takes great pride in providing an exceptional dining experience for their guests.

The atmosphere was elegant, and the service was impeccable, making for an unforgettable evening.

Council Oak Steaks and Seafood · 5400 W 29th Ave, Gary, IN 46406, United States
★★★★☆ · Steak house

Koney King Restaurant

Koney King Restaurant has always been one of my favorite spots for comfort food.

Recently, they came under new ownership, and I was excited to see the changes they made to the menu while still maintaining the same classic tastes.

Their website has an updated menu that showcases the traditional Koney Dogs as well as some new items.

I tried the grilled bologna sandwich, and it was absolutely delicious.

I couldn't resist having one of their signature Koney Dogs as well, and I'm happy to report that they're just as good as ever.

The prices may be a bit high for smaller meals, but the quality and taste of the food make it worth it.

Koney King remains a must-visit spot in the area for both longtime residents and newcomers alike.

Koney King Restaurant · 4601 Broadway, Gary, IN 46409, United States
★★★★☆ · American restaurant

Other Restaurant Nearby

Vegas Vegas Restaurant & Bar

I recently decided to check out Vegas Vegas Restaurant & Bar in my neighborhood after hearing mixed reviews from friends.

I must say that the food was quite good - exactly how I requested and the portion sizes were generous without being overpriced.

The night I visited was advertised as a "Latino Party", and the Latino music playing in the background made the dining experience even better.

The DJ did an excellent job in entertaining the customers with fantastic Latino fares.

Vegas Vegas Restaurant & Bar · 213 N Broad St, Griffith, IN 46319, United States
★★★★☆ · Restaurant

Chuck & Irene's

Just last week, I decided to check out a hidden gem in my neighborhood called Chuck & Irene's, a cozy little bar & grill that's been around for ages.

I walked in and was instantly greeted by the friendly bartenders, who seemed to genuinely care about my experience there.

As I sipped on my excellently crafted cocktail, I couldn't help but overhear some locals sharing stories and laughs, making me feel like I was a part of the family.

I explored the menu and found that they had a wide variety of delicious options, from frog legs to fried chicken.

I took a chance on the burger, and boy, was that a great decision!

The burger was cooked to perfection, and the fries were crispy and mouthwatering.

As I looked around the place, I noticed how well-maintained and clean the establishment was, which only added to my love for this delightful little spot.

Chuck & Irene’s · 6110 Kennedy Ave, Hammond, IN 46323, United States
★★★★☆ · Bar & grill

Surprise at Nancy's Cafe

I must admit, I stumbled upon Nancy's Cafe quite accidentally one day when I was heading back home from a trip.

Little did I know that this unassuming neighborhood eatery would become one of my favorite spots for a classic American meal.

Their hand-formed burgers are the real stars here - soft, juicy, and packed with flavor. In fact, I'd say they're some of the best I've ever had at a small local cafe.

The French fries at Nancy's are also cooked to perfection, which is always a nice touch to complement a delicious burger.

What really sets this place apart, though, is the warm hometown atmosphere.

You can tell that the folks at Nancy's Cafe truly care about their patrons and strive to make everyone feel welcome.

Nancy’s Cafe · 925 Central Ave ste a, Lake Station, IN 46405, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Simply Seafood

As a seafood lover, I couldn't be happier to have discovered Simply Seafood in my town.

My first visit there was nothing short of amazing – from the moment I placed my order over the phone to the delightful taste of their food.

The person taking my order on the phone was friendly and accommodating.

They made sure my order would be ready and hot by the time I arrived, even though I told them it would take me at least 25 minutes to get there.

True to their word, my food was indeed ready and hot when I reached the restaurant.

The real highlight was the food itself. I couldn't believe how huge and delicious their jumbo shrimp prawns were, and the whiting fish was just as delightful.

The best part? They didn't drown their seafood in excessive breading.

I also appreciated the reasonable prices, which means I'll definitely be going back for more.

Their customer service is exceptional too.

Simply Seafood · 5516 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410, United States
★★★★☆ · Seafood restaurant

Final Thoughts

Gary, Indiana's culinary scene has truly been a blessing when it comes to satisfying my cravings for various cuisines.

Whether I'm in the mood for a juicy steak, authentic Mexican dishes, or mouth-watering seafood, I know I can always count on these local restaurants to deliver.

Each of these dining establishments has their own unique charm and delectable menu items that make them stand out among the rest.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.