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The Rathskeller

Not Rated.
The RathskellerThe Rathskeller
BA SCORE
95
world-class

61 Ratings
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: 50
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

401 E Michigan St
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204-1643
United States
phone: (317) 636-0396

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rathskellerindy

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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 28
Photo of AdamTebbs
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Its been awhile since I've been here but the food and atmosphere at this place is outstanding. I really liked it. Amazing mustard!!!!

Photo of Druncle_C
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Good beers on tap and a phenomenal atmosphere. Pretzel mustard with horseradish sets your nose on fire. Schlenkerla rauchbier, spaten optimator, steel nail ipa, and a hofbrau dunkel were consumed.

Photo of Matthewpakula
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Great place to eat authentic German food and drink good German beer. Service is great, food is great, and prices are reasonable. Beer menu could use some Belgian additions as well as some more American brews. Other than that, I would go back again in a heartbeat.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A: Located in downtown Indy, in a building built in the 1800's. The building is rather large. There is a large dining room, a bar called the Kellerbar and a Biergarten. We hit up the Kellerbar. Ample seating at the Kellerbar with many tables. It gives you an old school German bar feel. Cozy and quaint yet large and expansive.

Q: No problems with the quality of the brews or food.

Ser: The service is just fine. Prompt and efficient. They were very friendly and knew just enough about the beer.

Sel: They have 12 German brews on tap and a about 40 or 50 imported bottle beers. On tab were a nice selection of german styles, Kolsch, Pilsner, Dunkels, Weissbier, Eisbock, Hefeweizen and Rauchbiers.

F: The food is pretty standard german fare. It was just fine. It really pares well with good german beers.

O: This is a great place if you enjoy German Brews and German food in a chill, laid back environment. A good stop if you are in downtown Indy.

Photo of jisom123
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

German food. Get the hot mustard. The famous burgers are only available on the bar side.

Optimator is the best draft beer available here. Best bottles are locals and Tremens.

Out back behind the main bar is an open air gravel pit to watch the bands play and drink outside. picnic tables, fire pit, heat lamps.
This place gets a little crazy during St. Patrick's day.

Large historic beautiful building, spacious. Dark wood everywhere.
There are bands playing in at least 1 of 3 locations the entire weekend and many weeknights.

Photo of SUjunkie
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Deep fried brat and sauerkraut balls. 32 oz beers served in German steins. Outdoor Beirgarden. Deer heads on the wall. Bavarian flags hanging from the ceiling. This place is a German paradise!

I went here last night while visiting Indy for work. 15 minute walk from the downtown Convention Center/Lucas Oil Stadium area. I walked into this castle for some beer and an appetizer. The place is huge. A dining area. Bar area. Biergarden. Event area. All in one place.
The beer list consisted of 12+ German breweries. Spaten, Paulaner, Ayinger and Weihenstephaner were a few of the flavors on the tap list. 3 different sized mugs. Prices in the $7 range for the medium glasses.
I had the deep fried brat and sauerkraut balls. 3 different dipping sauces. Mustard that will make your eyes water. Good, yet not cheap ($10).
I had some great conversations with the bartender, waitresses and "bar regulars". All very friendly.
I highly recommend this German beer palace when visiting Indy.

Photo of KTCamm
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Classic german fare in an old school setting. This place is huge, and though I was just there for lunch, a few hundred of my friends could have joined me.

Food is excellent - anything German you could ask for, and done well. The wursts are great, the spaetzle is tasty, and the sauerbraten is fall apart tasty. Pretty wide menu gives you lots of choices.

Beer menu is supberb - lots of great micros, along with a stellar selection of Germans. Plenty on tap, with plenty of bottles in reserve. Good explanations/descriptions in the menu too for the novice drinker.

Service was so so. My waiter brought me the wrong beer, but it was a better one than I ordered (Ayinger vs. paulaner Octoberfest) so who's complaining.

Overall, definitely worth a trip if you are looking for great beers and german fare in the Indy area.

Photo of mynie
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The facility is gorgeous. I've been to facsimile beerhalls before, along with a wide range of bierstubes and sausage huts, but none were anywhere near as charming, decor wise. There are a pair of gigantic dining halls that could each easily host a wedding reception and then a bar area that's the size of your average gastropub. I ate in the bar area and so that's what I'll focus on.

It's bricky. The building is genuinely very old, by American standards, and most of the beer-themed decor was vintage and in no way tacky. (Some pubs are turning into beerfly versions of Applebee's and this, thankfully, was not one of them). Lots of windows. The pub is sort of narrow, and it has the pleasant feel of a well maintained cellar--in the hot summer heat it was very cool and nicely humid--but the windows let in so much light that it's almost like you're in a beer garden even though you're not.

There is a beer garden, though, and it's pretty spectacular. You're on a roof downtown with a nice view of the surrounding skyscrapers. Indy's not exactly an architectural Mecca but it's still kind of nice to be surrounded by big buildings while drinking.

Aside from the atmosphere, everything else is kind of middling and really pricey. 20 oz drafts cost you 7-8 bucks (and if you're drinking outside that beer will come in a plastic cup!). The pub food is much more reasonably priced than the restaurant's, but it's still a little on the steep side and, well, not all that great. I don't eat meat, but my companion said that his sausages were only okay. My ladyfriend and I split a couple of pretzels and a cheese plate and neither were much to write home about. Again, nothing was *bad*, but for German fare it wasn't worth what we paid.

The staff was medium attentive, not beer-retarded but also not super knowledgeable. There were about a dozen beers on tap, all of them German aside from Sunking's exclusive amber. Nothing super fancy--Bitburger, Erdinger, Hofbrau--but there were three Weihenstephan taps and that's always a good thing.

Photo of bheilman
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Wow, I never expected this in Indiana. Definitely the coolest place I've ever seen in this state and very comparable to some of the beer halls you would expect to see in Germany. If you enter through the front door, you head downstairs into a more dining-like area. As you pass through that area you get to the bar and a more informal sitting area. I was there for lunch, so it's probably different at night, but there were no people sitting in the more formal dining area. They were actually setting up for what looked like a wedding (I would love to attend a reception here). Once in the bar area, there are many tables, high ceilings, mounted moose and deer, many old german and belgian beer signs. About 12 draft beers, half German, and it seemed like they alternated the draft beers. The bottle menu had another 15-20 German beers, ~15 Belgian beers, ~ 15 English beers,~15 US craft beers, and a few more. So if you like beer, you will be able to find something and I would guess they have something you don't see all that often. In my opinion they had a really good selection of bottles and the drafts were good, just limited. The service was great at lunch. My server anticipated my request of the bill and I never really had to wait for a beer. The price was higher than I expected ~ $7 for a 20 oz beer, but not ridiculous (Warsteiner Eisbock). The food was good. I don't particularly like German food all that much, but it seemed authentic. I've eaten sausages in Germany. I had a pretzel while waiting for my first beer. It was served with spicy mustard that may have been the most spicy I've ever eaten. It actually made me choke on my second bite, so I learned my lesson and took less on the next bites. The lunch of two sausages along with potatoes and sauerkraut was ~$10 but also served with a big pretzel and another piece of bread. My opinion was that the food wasn't too pricey for the authenticity and the amount of the food.

I didn't even talk about the biergarten which is probably the coolest thing about the place. They have about 40 picnic tables outside and were having a cornhole tournament (throw a beanbag full of corn through a hole in a board, same concept as horseshoes and a lot of other leisure/drinking games). They have a stage and a bar outside too. This would be a great place to hang out on a warm day or an evening when a band might be playing. I would love to be here for oktoberfest or something like that. Coolest place in Indiana!

Photo of Brettster
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I absolutely love this place. Whether you want to eat good german food, check out a live band, or just drink beer in the beer garden, this is the place to do it.

Having been to Germany, this is pretty close to authentic. The beer list is not huge, but it is fantastic. The beer garden is definitely a fun place to hang out an watch music or just be outside and have a few brews. Our server was excellent. She brought me a few samples of the beer to help me choose. She was always on the spot. the prices were reasonable for what you get.

Check it out if you are in Indy.

Photo of JamesS
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great place! Nice cellar bar with an above ground beer garden. Bar area and restaurant areas were both clean, either well lit or nice and cozy.

Great service by the bartender, who also came around and checked on us after we sat at a table. Waitress also stopped by once or twice.

Excellent selection of beer, especially if you like German and German style brews. The Spaten Optimator was fantastic and I enjoyed the Warsteiner Oktoberfest a lot, too. Several taps with German and craft brews and a large bottle selection.

I only had the warm pretzel, but it was very good. The hot mustard dip was excellent, but I learned not to put too much on after the first bit. Very spicy! But very good.

I would never say no to visiting here when I'm back in Indy.

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is as close to an authentic German beergarden as you can get in indiana. Always several interesting German beers on tap. English and German imports mostly. Very few domestic craft brews.

This is a huge place. Full service restaurant, banquet hall, bar/cafe tables, and a outdoor bandstand, bar and beergarden.

This place rocks. Although it is so big and has so much to offer, all rooms meld nicely together. You never get a bad vibe from anything at this place. Whether you have on a tux from a wedding party or cutoff shorts and flipflops, everyone is welcome and fits right in.

St. Patrick's day is nuts at the Keller, wall to wall people in every room.

Try this place, You will not be disappointed.

Photo of Dutchman
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

While I prefer English ales, I do love German beer and The Rathskeller has Spaten Optimator on draft, as well as a number of other good pours.
I enjoyed the atmosphere in the bar, although we sat at a table due to limited seating. The large hall with mounted animal heads and giant banners made me feel comfortable.
The food was okay, but plentiful. I'm particular about my German dishes.
It's worth a visit if you enjoy German atmosphere. They could use some actual Germans working there, or at least fake the accent!

Photo of Redrover
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

During my recent visit, I made the short hike from my hotel on the Circle to Rathskeller.
Note that the entrance is actually on Massachusetts not Michigan.

You go down a flight of stairs to the hostess station. There are dining areas to your left and in front of you. Go straight through the dining area to the bar room.

There is a small bar on your left seats about 7. They have a lot of tables. Very high 20+ ceilings that are hung with large German beir banners. I like the animal heads on the walls. Great light fixtures add to the Teutonic flair.

If the weather cooperates, visit their great beir garten outback. There must be 25 picnic tables. There is a service bar and some nice decorations. I bet this place rocks on the weekends.

Service was friendly, fast and beer knowledgeable.

Food is reasonably priced and very good.

12 beers on tap and a great bottle selection which includes 23 German beers, 11 Belgium and 9 UK plus 6 organic offerings and a smattering of us and euro macros. They have a blackboard with the current tap offerings (6 regulars and 6 rotators). I like the booklet that they use to list and describe their bottle offerings. You can get a Keller, a Smoke, Bocks, etc.

Note they have a huge banquet area and the bartender said that is a major part of their revenue.

Photo of Nesued
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited this during my work-related trip to Indianapolis, based upon the reviews present on BA. Visited on a Wednesday night.

I'll cut to the chase:

Beers: Had a spaten optimator from the tap, and a La Chouffe bottled.
Food: Hot Wurst plate appetizer and Jaegerschnitzel platter for dinner.

Pros:
1. Excellent atmosphere where I could spend many an evening chatting with friends,
2. Good selection of beers ranging from a total german on-tap offering of twelve (12) to Westmalle/Orval in bottles.
3. Good food but $22 bucks for a Jaegerschnitzel plate is a bit pricey. Stick to the appetizers and you can keep enough to spend on beer.

Cons:
1. Prices: Too high. Example: $9.00 for a 12 oz. bottle of La Chouffe. Not even served in a La Chouffe glass, served in a pilsner glass. No thanks.
2. Music: We sat in the Biergarten (excellent environment) and the music from a single acoustic guitar was way, way too loud. Even people in the inner part of the restaurant were complaining. Comments to our waitstaff did not lower the volume.
3. Food: Nice offerings, nice variety.

Summary: I've been, I'd go back, but not as a regular. I'd go broke.

Photo of bassmantin
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Rathskeller reminded me of my five weeks in Frankfurt. The beer menu contains mostly German and other European bears. Lots of great weiss beers and a few good Belgians, including the Rochefort 10. The selection is impressive, but several of my choices were out of stock, including the Tripel Karmeleit. The beers on tap were not very inspiring but the bottle choices, when they are in stock, are unique and intiguing.

The building is huge with a nice restaurant, a full bar, and a festive beer garden with a decent view of the city. The beer garden is called "The Athenaeum," but before WWI, it was the Deutsche Haus, so the German culture has been in this building for a long time.

The waitresses were somewhat attentive but fairly ignorant. The bartnender was great - he remembered our names and seemed to know a few things about the beers.

Knocks:

The prices were sky high. I dropped $55 on three beers and a shnitzel entree. IMO, it's worth it to go once, but I would not pay to go again. The Eisbock I ordered with my meal was served in the correct glassware, but if you order a beer from the bar, it comes in a plastic cup, which is kind of lame but understandable since there's an outdoor beer garden. I give the food low marks because it was a fairly poor imitation of authentic German food, which I don't think is very good to begin with.

Photo of John_M
3.2/5  rDev -25.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

That this place is rated (at least by BA) as one of the best places in Indianapolis, is somewhat disturbing. It's certainly not a bad place, but on the other hand, there's hardly anything special about it either. From what I can tell, they typcially have 12 different (all German) beers on tap at any one time. They have the "typical" six on tap, but then also have the "typical" six seasonals on tap as well. In other words, the distinct impression one has is that they have the same 12 German beers on tap, pretty much all the time. It appears they also have around 40 different bottled beers available as well. This selection is decent, but hardly anything to write home about. The price for their beers is, to say the least, somewhat annoying. A 16 oz. pint (served in a plastic glass I should add) was $6.75. Maybe that's an OK price in Manhattan, but every place else I've been, that's considered just a bit excessive.

This place is immense, and at least on the Friday night I was there, generally very full. There was a live band, and apparently a lot of folks were there as a precursor to a couple of concerts in the downtown area. I ordered dinner while there, which in my case consisted of the wurst plate, a sampling of the various sausages they serve. I have to say I lived in Germany for three years in the army, so I know what good sausage is. This was not it. Oddly, the sausages came already cut up, which meant they cooled off all the faster. I hope I'm wrong abot this, but the knockwurst tasted very much like a plain old hot dog. It was definitely nothing special, but then neither were the other sausages either.

To be fair, this was the Friday prior to the Superbowl, and I think to some extent that affected the atmospere and the crowd. I would be curious to see this place on a "normal" Friday night, assuming there is such a thing. I had an OK time here, but by no means was I tempted to hang out. The prices for food and beer were on the high side, which tended to detract from the overall experience. This is the kind of place I might stop by for single pint of good german beer before heading elsewhere. A decent enough place, but one I would probably not visit all that often.

Photo of doppelmeup
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This was a wonderful restaurant that was highly recommended as a place to visit while in Indy. I'm glad I went!

An awesome German restaurant, with an outstanding selection of German Beers. I wasn't sure how to rate the selection. It had by far the best selection of German beers I've ever seen, so it gets a 5 for that, but it didn't have a lot of other beers on the menu, although since this is a German restaurant what would you expect? So, I gave it a 4.5.

Food was very good. I had sauerbraten with spaetzle and red cabbage, and it was well prepared with a very ample portion. Side salad came with a hot honey bacon dressing that was also delicious. The food my friends ordered also looked very good. The servers were attentive yet not intrusive, and all the beer was served in the proper glassware.

Very interesting atmosphere. Huge Beer Garden, giant ballroom, bandstand, cozy eating area, all rolled into one. I can only imagine how much fun this place must be in the summertime when you can enjoy the outdoor garden.

All in all, a very nice restaurant that you don't want to miss while in Indy.

Photo of DuqTroops
4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great place to go to in downtown Indianapolis. Walking distance from the majority of hotels in the area. Lots of rooms for you to go meet people. They have a blues band come in once and a while - noticed the stage.

Food - pricey, but it is mainly german pub food: sausage, fries, etc.

Lots of great german beers here. Not the best place to go for a beer in the city (i heard BW3's is), but great germans still here. There are some belgiums on draught here too. So, if you are an ale fan, you can have that instead of the traditional lager.

Photo of shivtim
4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Rathskeller is a massive bar/restaurant/banquet hall just a few blocks from central Indianapolis (it's an easy walk up Mass Ave from any of the downtown hotels). The building is impressive from the outside, and when you first go in it looks like a fancy restaurant. We went straight to the bar area in the back, which was laden with moose and elk heads. The selection is great, especially the large choice of German bottles. If you're a hefeweizen lover you'll go crazy. Service was good, considering how busy it was.
Overall it was a bit too fancy (with tablecloths and candles and such) and I would have preferred a more laid-back atmosphere, but the huge outdoor biergarten was a great spot to relax and listen to music. Still a very cool and unique place to hang out. It would help if the bottles weren't 7 or 8 bucks each.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

WOWOWOW!

If you love German beer and atmosphere, and you are within a hundred miles of this place, it is a must must must visit. In the oldest German gentleman's club in the midwest, most of the signs on the walls -- and there are many of them, as this is a huge place!! -- are in old German script. Must be three dozen German beers on tap, with dozens more in bottles.

Most of the servers -- but not all -- know the beers well, and will make recommendations and even offer a few small samples.

Enjoyed a few here with fellow B-A shbobdb, who lives about three blocks from the place (lucky stiff!), and it was a great time.

You gotta go!

Zum Wohl!

ColoradoBobs

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

My non-german, non-BA boss and I visited the Rathskellar during our recent trip to Indy. We were both thoroughly impressed. The Rathskellar offers a top-notch a beer and food experience.

The half timber ceiling, German decor, and white table cloths combine to offer a high class ambience. The Ratheskellar is date worthy, business appropriate, and books functions.

The food, which ranges from traditional German to continental/American fusion is excellent and presented well. My boss is Greek, and wasn't too excited about German food but found that the salmon was excellent, and enjoyed a taste of my schnitzel.

The beer list is comprehensive, but not infinite. They don't offer local beer, but instead focus on German classics and European favorites. I haven't run the numbers, but I can't imagine that anything on their list scores lower than 3.9 on BA.

The food is $15-20 ish, and the bottle prices seemed high (and I drink in Boston).

Photo of shbobdb
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Holy moly! The beer menu reads like a freakin' porn to a beer geek. There isn't a bad beer on the list!
Top that off with some solid gemuetlichkeit and you've got one rockin' bar. The waitstaff and friendly and polite, there is usuallly a DJ or cover-band that lets you tear up the rug a little after you've had a mass or two. That's right, they serve beer in Massen. How sweet is that?

Just watch out for the Rathskeller Amber and Razz-wheat, since they are actually brewed by Oaken Barrel and are not German. Well, don't 'watch out' for them, since they are both actually very good brews, but there is nothing worse than someone thinking they are drinking a German beer when they aren't.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been to the Rathskeller several times, and can't believe I haven't reviewed it. This is in the old YMCA. Head down the stairs to the Keller Bar and check out the atmosphere. German flags, brewery flags, deer heads, all good stuff. So far, pretty good German feel. Good selection of German beer on draft, and bottles. We have enjoyed Weinstephaner Hefeweizen, Spaten Optimator, and other wonderful beers. Schlenkerla smoked marzen in bottles! Other European beers are available as well. Food is very good. I highly recommend the Hot Wurst sampler. Service has been very good every time. As a bonus, the outdoor biergarden is very large and has live music at times in the warmer months. Prices seem reasonable. Overall, if you like German food, beer, and atmosphere, this is a must stop in Indy. Macniven's is nearby, and to get to the other downtown pubs is nothing more than a nice, sobering walk.

Photo of BitteBier
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is a regular stop when I am in Indy, particularly with friends and family. While the delicious German cuisine is typically the big draw for guests, the selection of top-notch German and European beers (mostly bottled) makes every trip a little different for me. The atmosphere in the dining room is, as a German friend put it, the Bavarian stereotype, and I love it for being just that. The bar is great too, albeit too loud for my taste when there is live music. The biergarten is a great hangout as well, offering some neat views of downtown Indy as well as the great building that houses the restaurant. The prices have crept up again lately, but the Rathskeller's unique offerings more than offsets that for me.

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The Rathskeller in Indianapolis, IN
95 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.