Carmel, Indiana, was named as one of the “best places to live” by Niche.com. If the area’s food scene had anything to do with it, I can see why they were selected. Along with my friend Sara (Travels with Sara), I enjoyed a tour of the city’s dining options.
Woody’s Library Restaurant
One of the first tastes of Carmel we experienced was at the historic Woody’s Library Restaurant in the Carmel Arts and Design District. Since it was a beautiful night, we dined on the outdoor patio. This is one of the great things about Carmel – a lot of restaurants offer patio dining.
We started out with a couple of appetizers, to try out a variety of the menu. Who can resist something called Bacon Bombs? We also had a queso bowl with blue corn chips.
We split the entree (yes, the below picture is half of the dish) of the bison meatloaf. It was very tasty. We are still talking about this dish. I would definitely order it again when I bring Tim back someday.
The Quirky Feather Confectionery
Note: This delightful place is unfortunately now closed.
We were pretty full from the scrumptious dinner at Woody’s Library Restaurant. However, we always have room for dessert. We headed out to The Quirky Feather Confectionery to grab some treats to enjoy at the hotel, while we did some blog work. We should have brought out laptops, as it’s a great place to hang out. The name nearly describes the space of this sweet retreat. They serve a great case of baked goods that can change daily, but may include items, such as macarons, cookies, bars and more, in addition to specialty coffee drinks (including one called the Jabberwocky) and tea. Oh, and the staff is great!
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Bub’s Cafe just outside of the Carmel Arts and Design District serves up fresh options every day. When we were there it was another great morning to eat outside. They have a very nice covered patio that we fully enjoyed.
We started breakfast with one of Bub’s Cafe’s famed treats – Bub’s Holes. They are donut holes, but probably close to double the size. They came fresh to the table and were a great treat.
Even though the entire menu looks good, you still only pick one thing. Usually, I have to go with the thing that first spoke to me. Any of you do that? Here, it was Toad in the Hole.
Ever had Toad in the Hole? It’s a piece of grilled bread with an egg fried in the middle. Bub’s Cafe takes it up a notch and adds bacon bits and fresh vegetables on top. It was very good.
After a busy day of exploring the many things to do in Hamilton County, we met up with friends to share some bites at Divvy. It’s located right across from the beautiful Palladium, the local performing arts center. This would be an excellent place to stop for a bite before or after a show.
Divvy’s tagline is “Sip-Share-Savor,” which perfectly describes what to expect here. We loved not having to worry about choosing just one item or having to ask permission to try someone else’s dish. Among the four of us, we ordered several dishes and shared them all.
It also gave us each permission to love some things and not necessarily like others lLet’s admit it, we normally find something on the menu that is not our cup of tea). With more than 100 items to choose from, we were able to come up with some items that we agreed on even before they came out to the table.
We definitely found some great bites at Divvy’s. If you’re looking for a night out with friends and without the kids (only 21 and over allowed in), make a stop here for a relaxing evening of bites and drinks.
Carmel has its variety of unique and local restaurants. Eggshell Bistro was yet another one in this category. When you walk in, you are transported to a cafe in Europe with the music and the carefully selected decor.
The experience is described as globally inspired brunching and we agree that this fits the bill. The dishes are built and layered with flavors. I had their well-known Shakshuka, which is a spicy Moroccan-spiced dish. The dishes are not only tasty, but they are beautifully served in skillets.
I like asking for locals’ recommendations. While I usually like to try something familiar to me, I will take a great recommendation and try something new. In this case, I’m glad I did.
Sometimes a destination is more than the things to see and do. With the case of Carmel, Indiana, the food was well worth the visit. Don’t just take our word for it, make your way to Carmel to give it a taste for yourself.
Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Hamilton County for the complimentary gift cards for area restaurants. However, all opinions and views are ours.