13 Must-Try Indiana Food: Dishes Indiana Is Known For

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Tennessee is a state rich in culture, history, and of course, incredibly tasty Tennessee food. From down-home southern cooking to the spicy flavors of Nashville’s famous hot chicken, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes that come from this great state. 

The state of Indiana is known for many things. When it comes to food, there are plenty of options, from international cuisine to common American fare, to fill your stomach However, you will be missing out if you don’t try some of the traditional Indiana food the state is famous for.

Amidst its growing focus on farm-to-table cuisine, it has never been easier to discover all the locally-sourced ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, these are some of the food Indiana is known for. 

Most Famous Indiana Food

Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

This sandwich is a classic Indiana dish and is considered to be a regional specialty.

A breaded and deep-fried pork tenderloin usually served on a bun, is the star of this tasty meal. The marinated pork tenderloin is pounded thin, lightly dusted with flour, dipped in an egg wash, and then coated in bread crumbs before being fried to perfection. 

What makes this sandwich so special and distinctive is that it must be big enough to hang over the edges of the bun! That generous and fulfilling look is an iconic visual of this Indiana food.

This big meaty sandwich is usually served with lettuce, mayonnaise, and tomato. It can also have pickles or onions added for extra flavor. 

It’s a great favorite among Hoosiers who love their comfort food as well as visitors who are trying out the local cuisine. You will find it widely available at restaurants, diners, and cafes throughout the state, so you won’t miss it!

Popular Food Indiana Is Known For

Southern Indiana BBQ Pork

As implied by its name, Southern Indiana BBQ Pork is a style of barbecue that is popular in the state. It is particularly known for its use of a dry rub made with a blend of spices.

The smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors of this Indiana food are a staple of the region’s cuisine; and unsurprisingly, highly regarded by locals and visitors alike.

The pork roast gets cooked low and slow, basting in its own juices to give it that tender, juicy finish. It is seasoned with brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and other spices as desired by the cook.

This meal can be served up as either pulled pork or sliced up into chunks— both are equally delicious! It’s usually accompanied by sides like coleslaw or potato salad to bring out the flavors even more. 

You can find Southern Indiana BBQ Pork at any local barbecue joint throughout the state. It is also widely popular at festivals in the state.

Country-Fried Steak

Country-Fried Steak is one of the foods Indiana is known for. It is made from a tenderized, cube steak that is rolled in a light, seasoned flour mixture and fried until crispy and golden brown.

The steak is typically served with gravy, which is made by whisking together the pan drippings from the cooking steak with flour and milk. It also goes well with mashed potatoes, or biscuits and gravy; it all depends on the cook’s or your preferences. 

It’s easy to see why this hearty meal has been a favorite among Hoosiers for years! The comfort food combination of the crispy coating and juicy center makes for a truly delicious experience, one that you won’t forget in a hurry!

Indiana Style Fried Catfish

Indiana Style Fried Catfish is another favorite food of the state. It’s a simple dish, yet it packs a lot of flavor and freshness due to its light coating of cornmeal and spices.

Indiana is home to many rivers and lakes, making it a prime location for catfish fishing. It is not surprising that this dish has become a staple food that Indiana is known for.

The catfish fillets are soaked in buttermilk to tenderize and then dipped in a mixture of cornmeal, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder before being fried until crispy. The result is a flavorful and crunchy bite that is hard to beat!

This fried catfish is often served with tartar sauce, hush puppies or coleslaw. It’s one of those classic down-home dishes that Hoosiers love; perfect for any occasion, be it dinner or a picnic at the lake! 

Chicken And Waffles

Chicken and Waffles is a classic southern dish, but Indiana has its own twist on this tasty meal. The fried chicken is marinated in the local spices, adding an extra layer of flavor to the traditional dish.

The dish consists of crispy fried chicken served on top of a fluffy Belgian waffle. The waffle batter is made with buttermilk and fresh herbs, making it fluffy and flavorful. 

It is then topped off with butter, syrup, or honey as desired for that perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. That, along with the crunchy exterior and tender interior of the chicken, make this dish a favorite among Hoosiers.  

Chicken and Waffles have become an iconic Indiana food, and is widely available at diners, cafes, and brunch restaurants throughout the state. In fact, it is so popular that there are even specialized restaurants in Indiana that serve only Chicken and Waffles.

So whether you’re exploring the state’s unique cuisine or just looking for some good comfort food, don’t forget to try out Chicken And Waffles— it’ll certainly be an unforgettable experience!  

Reuben Sandwich

The Reuben sandwich is a classic deli food that Indiana is known for. It consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing piled high on toasted rye bread. 

The sandwich is then grilled until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, creating a warm and flavorful combination of ingredients. 

It’s a hearty meal that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner; perfect for the cold winter months. This sandwich is often served with pickles and chips on the side. 

The heavenly pairing of the salty meat and tangy dressing makes for an incredibly delicious experience! This unique blend of flavors and textures in a Reuben Sandwich, along with its versatility and ease of preparation, make it a popular choice among Hoosiers.

Reubens are widely available in restaurants throughout Indiana as well as at local delis. Some even specialize in the preparation and serving of Reuben Sandwiches.

Whether you’re in Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, don’t forget to try this iconic dish. 

Pork And Beans

Pork and Beans is a classic Hoosier comfort food that is well-known throughout Indiana. It’s made by slow-cooking pork, navy beans, onions, and other seasonings together in a cast iron skillet. 

The result is a rich and flavorful dish with the perfect balance of smoky and sweet flavors. The beans are soft yet firm to the bite and the pork pieces provide an extra layer of texture.

This hearty and filling Indiana food is also very versatile and can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and preferences.

It’s served hot alongside freshly baked bread or fried potatoes for a complete meal experience. The thick, meaty sauce is perfect for soaking up crusty bread.

Snack Food Indiana Is Known For

Indiana Sweet Corn

Indiana Sweet Corn is a summertime favorite among locals. This is a variety of sweet corn that is grown and harvested in the state. 

With the warm climate and fertile soil conditions, the corn in Indiana is known for its tender kernels that are prized for their delicious taste. 

It’s usually boiled, grilled, or roasted, and served with butter and salt. Oozing with sweet juiciness— it’s no wonder why it has become an iconic Indiana food. 

The sweetness of the corn pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of summer barbecues and family gatherings. It is used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stews, and, of course, as a side dish. 

This simple yet delicious food can be found at local farmers’ markets, and roadside stands. It is widely available during the summer months when it is in season. As you are exploring the famous landmarks in Indiana, how about a pitstop for some locally grown delicacy?

The high-quality sweet corn is easy to prepare and makes for a great side dish to any meal; perfect for those hot summer days!


We already mentioned the quality corn that Indiana is so known for. It comes as no surprise then that Popcorn is a staple snack in the state.

One fun fact about Indiana is that it is home to several large popcorn producers. The state is known for its high-quality popcorn with a tender and crunchy texture. 

Popcorn is typically served salted and buttered, although there are many different flavor variations now available. Some of the gourmet flavors include caramel, cheese, and even chocolate. 

You can find this tasty treat at most movie theaters, sporting events, and carnivals. Of course, the snack is widely available at grocery stores, concession stands, and local markets throughout the state. 

The delicious taste and versatility of popcorn make it a go-to snack for locals, and is well enjoyed by visitors. It is so popular that many farmers in Indiana even grow corn specifically for use as popcorn.

Desserts And Sweet Indiana Food

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie is another Indiana classic that was brought over by the Amish settlers. 

This traditional dessert is a simple, yet rich and creamy pie made with a mixture of sugar, cream, vanilla, and flour, poured into a pre-baked pie crust. The pie is then baked until the filling is set and the top is golden brown.

The warm sugary filling inside the flaky crust creates a dreamy combination of flavors. It’s often served with whipped cream or fresh fruit on top; adding a nice touch to this already delicious treat! 

This type of pie can be found at many family gatherings and church potlucks throughout the state. It’s so prevalent that it has become known as “the state pie of Indiana”. 

You can find Sugar Cream Pie in restaurants, bakeries, and local markets in most parts of the state. Sugar Cream Pie is a classic comfort dessert that has been enjoyed by generations of Hoosiers.

Dutch Baby Pancakes

Dutch Baby Pancakes, or Dutch Babies, are a popular breakfast dish in Indiana. They are known for its unique, puffed-up appearance and delicious taste. 

This light and fluffy German-style pancake is made with eggs, milk, sugar and flour. The batter is then poured into a hot skillet where it puffs up like a popover. It’s then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar before being baked in the oven until golden brown. 

Dutch Babies are served warm with powdered sugar on top and drizzled with butter and syrup. You can even top it off with some fruits for a more gourmet indulgence! This sweet and tasty treat is sure to start your day off right! 

Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon Pudding is a popular, traditional dessert in Indiana. This old-fashioned treat is made with mashed ripe persimmons, and various other ingredients such as sugar, flour, eggs, and spices. 

It’s then baked until the top is golden brown and the center has a creamy texture. Persimmon Pudding is typically served as a holiday dessert and is known for its dense, cake-like texture and unique, sweet flavor.

This pudding can be consumed warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on top; making it an incredibly indulgent treat! You can find this nostalgic dessert at local restaurants and farmers’ markets.

The wild persimmon fruit is abundant in Southern Indiana, which adds to the dish’s significance in the state.

It’s definitely worth giving Persimmon Pudding a try when you visit Indiana! The special flavor and texture make for a truly mesmerizing experience that everyone should enjoy at least once. 

Triple XXX Root Beer

Triple XXX Root Beer is a beloved Indiana favorite. This classic root beer, made from a secret, original recipe, has been enjoyed by Hoosiers for over a century.

It has a creamy and smooth texture, alongside a refreshing and unique taste that sets it apart from other soda beverages. This is because the root beer is made using a blend of natural ingredients, including spices.

You can find the fizzy beverage served cold in bottles or on tap at local restaurants and pubs. There is no surprise that this delicious root beer is so popular; it pairs perfectly with burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, or simply on its own. 

The rich flavor makes it an ideal thirst quencher to enjoy while watching sports games or having a family picnic.

Sampling Delicious Indiana Food

Indiana is known for its rich food culture, with a variety of dishes that are uniquely tied to its history and traditions. From sweet sugar cream pie to savory pork and beans, the state is a melting pot of flavors that reflect its diverse heritage. 

You will find family recipes passed down through generations to classic Hoosier cuisine, the food in Indiana is a true reflection of its people and their love for good, hearty meals. 



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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