One of the biggest attractions in Northwest Indiana is the Indiana Dunes National Park. In 2022, it was named one of the top 15 National Parks visited in the United States and continues
Top 10 (or 15) Places To Eat in Valparaiso, Indiana
Dated: November 30 2022
An excellent food spot might turn an average day into an awesome one when visiting or moving to a new city or town. With Valparaiso’s thriving downtown, you have tons of choices! Yes, in Valpo we have regional and national chain restaurants, but Valpo is home to a large variety of cuisine from local establishments. This is one of the many reasons why people love living in and visiting Valparaiso. Residents here know how refreshing it is to live in a city with food for the family, date nights, and any other occasion. Before or after an exciting day of looking at homes and commercial space, you deserve some really good fuel to focus on the job at hand and treat yourself!
We know there are more good restaurants than this (see Honorable Mentions), but here is our short list of our top 10 restaurants in Valpo (in no particular order):
If you're looking for a smaller venue or vegetarian-friendly restaurant, this cafe brings the taste of the Mediterranean region to the heart of Valpo. With outdoor/indoor dining options, any meal you share here will be something to remember. Their menu includes hummus, bacon-wrapped fig appetizer, falafel, shawarma, and rare dishes like grilled octopus. They also have great wine and cocktail options. With rave reviews online, it is clear why this cafe has become a go-to spot for locals. When looking for other restaurants with similar food offerings, many have stated that Meditrina Market Cafe is the benchmark for what great Mediterranean food tastes like. It’s location is set on beautiful Washington Street with it’s planters and lights.
Be transported with authentic Spanish cuisine in this downtown staple. The owners and chefs are both Spanish natives and have brought wonderful spices and dishes to the town, and love to personally cook, serve and entertain. Their diverse menu includes traditional dishes like their famous paella, 25 tapas-style dishes, grilled shellfish, swordfish steaks, skewered pork, and Castilian-style roast lamb. Pair your meal with some wine or the house-made sangria. The restaurant also has a storefront that sells imported Spanish goods so you can continue to make your favorite dishes at home with authentic ingredients. Located on Lincolnway in Downtown Valparaiso.
Also located in downtown Valparaiso on Lincolnway, the library-inspired decor with polished oak furnishings makes Stacks a unique spot to have a meal or craft beer. Even the menu looks like a book and ties into the classy atmosphere. Their amazing double-decker rooftop overlooks Central Park Plaza. Whether you dine on the main floor or rooftop, their menus vary but do have an impressive array of food with high-end ingredients. Share an order of steak & lobster stuffed mushrooms on the rooftop, or try one of the entrée options like a gourmet burger, tender scallops, ribeye, or blackened salmon. The staff is welcoming, and the beer menu always has something new for you to try.
This innovative, industrial-style restaurant serves American comfort food classics while telling the story of our nation’s inspirational past. Located right off US 30 and next to Valparaiso University, their menu includes burgers, meatloaf, fried fish options, and more. The dishes' names are inspired by great past leaders and have bits of historical notes on the menu. Their gourmet burgers are a popular option. This establishment is a great spot to grab a drink after work with friends or to take the family for a meal to remember, and check-out the toy train and amazing sculpture, iron & brickwork true to our hard-working blue-collar heritage!
This Japanese restaurant is conveniently located on the square in downtown Valparaiso off Lincolnway. You'd have to go to Chicago to find better sushi than Furin. The diverse, accommodating menu here is for people of all palettes. It includes classic Japanese offerings and an assortment of modern dishes such as steak, sushi, sashimi, and ramen. You can also find bento boxes and bulgogi (Korean-style barbecue marinated beef and pork). Furin also has a broad offering on its drink menu ranging from sake, craft beer, fine wines, and culinary cocktails. Mochi Ice Cream is a great way to end your meal, whether you dine inside or outdoors.
If you're looking for a fine dining spot in Valparaiso, head to this restaurant to strike a perfect balance between ritz and comfort. Kelsey’s has been a local staple since 1987 and has welcomed guests with a warm, homey atmosphere. Diners can enjoy many items on their menu, with classic steakhouse options. Some of the favored items are the ever-famous prime rib, that’s slow-roasted for about 14 hours to achieve a tender quality. Other recommended picks include the bone-in ribeye or the top sirloin for more delicious options. If you're looking for seafood choices, add a lobster tail or Alaskan snow crab to balance your meal. Their service with a smile and the excellent environment makes this a great dining experience for those special occasions or a fabulous night out with friends.
Pesto’s family-owned restaurant opened its doors in 1993 to serve incredible Italian cuisine to Valparaiso. Located near the Valparaiso Country Club, Pesto’s is one of the casual eateries you can visit to relax after a game of golf or from lunch to a late-night meal. In the relaxed ambiance and décor, you can enjoy the comfort of a home cooked meal, when you dive into their traditional dishes. One top menu item guests love is the steak tips and shrimp, sautéed in vodka sauce. This dish is usually paired with Seafood Alfredo with shrimp, crab meat, bay scallops, and mushrooms. Other favorites include roasted garlic chicken or any Italian dishes Pesto’s serves. Be sure and try to save room for their authentic desserts as well.
Suzie’s Café opened in 1996 and is one of the best breakfast eateries in the Valpo area off Highway 30. If you are an early bird and have difficulty finding a place to eat, it won’t be a problem. Suzie’s Café opens as early as 5 a.m. Stick to the classics by ordering the combo of eggs, pancakes, and bacon to start your day. Alternatively, you may have eggs, hash browns, shank ham steak, and toast. So many options to choose from to start the day. Their baked goods are a local hit as well. Favorites include cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and layer cakes. Those coming for lunch should not miss the Reuben sandwich, that’s filled with cheese. There is always something tasty and filling on their menu.
Blackbird is one of the longest-running coffee shops in the city center, opening in 2009 in Downtown on Lincolnway. Enjoy fresh homemade pies, pastries, sandwiches, and salads made from scratch daily. The curated drink menu features café classics like coffees, espressos, and teas, made to your liking. As a café, they have fostered a close connection with many of the locals. You can enjoy a quick meal, Grab a drink and chat with some friends, and view art from local artists on the walls. There are books available to read while enjoying a meal or drink. Their food items are made from high-quality ingredients. Order one of the café specials like the sandwich with grilled chicken breast, bacon, mayo, cheese, and lettuce. Opt for the turkey wrap if you prefer a cold sandwich with lettuce, avocado, onion, bacon, and mayo. For the drinks, try the cinnamon bun latte, to which you can add a milk of your choice. Anything you get here will be something you find yourself going back for time and time again.
This local pizzeria has added two more locations across North West Indiana. This establishment has an open space concept with industrial-inspired decor. You can also find hidden current cultural nods throughout the dining area with action figures and pop culture art. They use hand-tossed dough and fresh ingredients to make the pizza offerings even more delicious, with gluten-free and vegan options as well. The original pizzeria is located west of Valparaiso University and has become a go-to destination since it opened in 2013. Their bruschetta is a delicious appetizer to start off any meal, and their salads as a meal are delicious. Checkout the Meatgazer specialty pizza with pepperoni, ham, ground beef, bacon, and sausage. The Magic Potion pizza is a fan favorite with tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, and more. Their bar features some local microbrews (and macros too) and has something for everyone. Located off LaPorte Avenue in Valparaiso.
OK we couldn’t help ourselves. Here’s five more Honorable Mentions but so worthy of top 10!
There are so many great places in Valparaiso to eat we could not list them all. If you don’t see your favorite place to grab a bite in Valpo, let us know in the comments below!
Ready to check out properties in Valparaiso to be closer to your favorite food? RE/MAX Lifestyles has been operating in Valpo for over 30 years as an ongoing brokerage so we know our stuff! For information about Northwest Indiana Real Estate, RE/MAX Lifestyles, or any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us at (219) 462-2121.
We look forward to hearing from you!