September 28, 2015
Offering a dynamic collection of boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, nightlife and recreation, Indianapolis‘ Broad Ripple Village is one of the city’s most beloved neighbourhoods.
North-centrally located, Broad Ripple Village is one of Indy’s six designated Cultural Districts, and the only one sited outside of the downtown region, which lies just eight miles to the south. The neighbourhood took root in the 1830s, growing up around the White River and the scenic Central Canal that run through the district. After many incarnations and rebirths in the decades that followed, Broad Ripple seems to have settled nicely into its happy place, firmly establishing itself as a must-see area for Indianapolis visitors.
The village boasts a bit of a split personality – in the daytime, shoppers frequent stylish boutiques and stroller-pushing mums break from their walks to commandeer café tables for cosy, casual lunches. In the evenings, the scene shifts in favour of couples and groups looking to live it up with a wealth of destination dining opportunities, music and buzzing nightlife.
Calling all fashionistas: Broad Ripple Village is home to a diverse range of shopping venues stocked with everything from modern couture to retro duds. Slightly north of the canal, you’ll find often elusive A-list brands of women’s clothes, jewellery and accessories at 8Fifteen; while just around the corner is Broad Ripple Vintage, one of the largest retro clothing dealers in Indiana. Other clever additions to the Broad Ripple shopping scene include the urban-chic got SOLE? sneaker boutique, colourful wraps and jewellery at Shop Tibet, and flirty contemporary clothing collections at Niche, Lucky B and Razzle Dazzle boutiques.
Music lovers of an old-school ilk can happily hum away a morning or afternoon flipping through the stacks of tunes at Indy CD and Vinyl and The Exchange. And you’ll find unique home décor, gift ideas and accessories at The Bungalow.
For an edible memento, swing by Just Pop In! for fresh popcorn in every colour and flavour under the sun (we’re partial to the Smoking Goose variety – an addictive blend of caramel, bacon and hickory-smoked cheddar).
Craft beer is the name of the game in Broad Ripple Village. The family-friendly Broad Ripple Brewpub holds rank as the oldest establishment of its kind in Indiana, where mates meet to sip pints of Lawnmower Pale Ale and chow down on classic pub grub. More is more at HopCat, where just reading the list of 100+ craft beers is enough to make you feel dizzy. And at Thr3e Wise Men, the house-brewed Golden Zoe IPA makes an unexpected appearance as a secret ingredient in the crispy pizza crust.
Sitting pretty along the Monon Trail, Public Greens Urban Kitchen offers dining with a conscience by growing its own produce and donating all profits to feeding local kids through the Patachou Foundation. Healthy eating also tastes good at the raw food-focused Ezra’s Enlightened Café and the Garden Table fresh eatery and juicery.
With choices like Brugge Brasserie‘s mussels and frites; Shalimar‘s tikka masala; pad thai at Thai Café; sushi and Pan-Asian fare at Naked Tchopstix; fusion tacos from La Chinita Poblana and La Piedad‘s classic Mexican eats, your taste buds can travel the world without ever leaving Broad Ripple Village. Wind down any culinary adventure on a sweet note with gorgeous layer cakes and ridiculously sinful pastries at the Cake Bake Shop or chocolate-dipped organic gourmet popsicles from Nicey Treat.
A former movie theatre turned concert venue, The Vogue is the long-standing cornerstone of Broad Ripple’s animated nightlife scene, hosting DJs as well as a lineup of regional and national performing artists. If you’re looking for a few laughs, Crackers Comedy Club sits next door.
On the weekends, the stretch of Broad Ripple Avenue between Carrollton and Guilford accommodates crowds of twentysomething bar hoppers and pub crawlers in the mood for drinks, dancing and good times with LandSharks, Mineshaft, Average Joe’s, Rock Lobster, Kilroy’s Bar and Grill and Brothers Bar & Grill. Sporty types can shoot some darts at The Wellington and rack up a game of billiards at the Old Pro’s Table. Or, simply see and be seen sipping swanky cocktails at The Red Room.
Culture-minded visitors looking to explore Broad Ripple’s arty side will want to wander through enchanting creative outposts like Sigman’s Gallery of Fine Arts & Framing, The Potter’s House Studio and Gallery, Editions Limited Gallery of Fine Art, and Ashland Gallery & Stu’s Studio.
The Indianapolis Art Center makes a good one-stop shop for all things artistic, including a roster of classes, rotating exhibitions, and a nine-acre garden studded with sculptures.
Public art also provides eye candy in some unusual places – check out the murals along the Monon Trail, the popsicle-stick bench at Nicey Treat, and the giant comb that doubles as a bike rack in front of Bambu Salon.
The great outdoors are alive and well in Broad Ripple Village. When the weather’s nice, the White River offers opportunities for water recreation, flowing into the scenic Central Canal that provides a picturesque backdrop for serious jogs and leisurely strolls. Everywhere, you’ll spy thoughtfully tended green spaces, parks and gardens, and bike navigation is easy thanks to the Monon Trail (Indy’s premiere exercise path positioned along a repurposed railroad line), the Central Canal Towpath and plenty of public-use racks for parking (dogs are more than welcome, as long as you clean up after your four-legged friend).
With nine boutique accommodations to choose from, the Hotel Broad Ripple is the only dedicated hotel in the area, thoughtfully located directly on the Monon Trail in the heart of the village.
Our partnership with Delta connects you to and from a range of destinations across the United States and Canada, making it easier to book flights to Inadianapolis and explore Broad Ripple Village for yourself.
Have you visited Indianapolis’ Broad Ripple Village? Where are your favourite places to go in the area? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Amy Lynch