Mass Ave: Indy's Place to Go

Eat, shop and entertain your way along this six-block stretch in downtown Indianapolis

Indianapolis is a city on the rise. Anyone who cares to venture beyond the Speedway or the Colts' end zone will delight in an insane propensity for bacon (seriously, it's on every menu), a solid committment to public art, and a friendly Midwestern cool. Tucked between Lockerbie and Monument Circle, Mass Ave has it all.

Here are 10 of our favorite stops, from one end to the other:

Indy Reads Books

911: Where the road dead ends, the very first (or last) building on Mass Ave is a big ol' open space that sells both gently used and new books that run the gamut from fiction to sci-fi. Don't miss the reading nooks, the children's book shelves (where all books are a buck) and the great discounts.

The Best Chocolate in Town

880: Something smells amazing when you walk into this store—and it's chocolate! Check out all the treats, but we like the no-nuts toffee, milk chocolate covered marshmallow, and the almond butter stuffed dark chocolate date.

Homespun

869: Favorite local indie depot features some very cool, modern plunder. Homespun is plugged in to the homemade-handmade trend and purveys everything from Goat Milk Stuff soap to Richwood Creations cutting boards. There’s also a nice stash glorifying Indiana, including flasks, felt Christmas ornaments and wall art.

Ralston's Draft House

635: Beer buffs can check in at Ralston's. The bar features a nice mix of Midwestern craft brews and German and Czech imports—try the Three Floyds Brewing Co.'s Gumballhead, a pale wheat ale out of Indiana. The menu features tough-on-the-waistline treats like The Dog Biscuits: bacon-wrapped soft pretzel rods dipped in horseradish cream cheese. On Tuesday nights, Ralston's taps specialty casks from Flat12 Bierwerks, Upland Brewing Co. and other makers.

Old National Centre

502 N. New Jersey St.: Formerly known as The Murat Shrine, you can catch a show at this historic place—anything from Broadway's "The Book of Mormon" to indie Indy pop band Margot & The Nuclear So & So's.

Nurture

433: Kids with style-savvy parents shop at this children's apparel boutique that is just plain adorable. Brands are upmarket, but reasonably priced.

Silver in the City

434: This store's name might lead you to believe it sells jewelry, but those who venture in find a cool mix of novelty gifts and T-shirts. Ceramic faux mason jars are a bright take on the real thing, and the locally handmade Bebito dolls make for a quirky purchase. One hip take on souvenirs.

Mass Ave Toys

409: Kids go crazy for this jam-packed toy shop, where hard-to-find brands are abundant. Musically inclined children like Lisa Loeb's "Songs for Movin & Shakin" book, the imaginative sort enjoy Vilac's magnetic Les Portraits Rigolos, and girls get fancy in Fedora-ble Fashion.

Kurt Vonnegut Mural

345: Tip your hat in tribute to the Indy-born "Slaughterhouse-Five" author, painted on the side of the building at the intersection of Mass Ave and S. Delaware Street.

Bazbeaux

333: Locals choose this pizzeria as their go-to spot for a slice. Find anything from a plain cheese pie to the flavor-packed Tchoupitoulas—Cajun shrimp, andouille sausage, roasted peppers and fresh garlic.