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Come check out X-Site! This photo was taken on Good Friday, so it was closed.

Intro to the North Side (last updated 9/1/2012)

When it comes to the north side, there are quite a few areas you can hit for entertainment, leisure, and dining. Castleton seems to be the hottest area, but other areas include 96th street, Nora, Traders Point, Keystone, and 86th & Ditch.

Castleton has a lot of places that people may go to. First off, there’s Castleton Square Mall, the busiest and biggest mall in the state of Indiana. The mall has a movie theatre, a food court with at least 8 dining options (including Asian Chao and Frullati), an Aeropostale, a Friday’s, a Hot Topic, an FYE, a GameStop, and 5 anchor stores- JcPenney, Von Maur, Sears, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Near the mall are a Target, Goodwill, Dollar Tree, Outback Steakhouse, Panera, Half-Price Books, and Best Buy. Not too far from the mall is Sapporo, a Japanese Hibachi Grill. The food is delicious, but the price is a bit high. Also check out Formosa Seafood Buffet. There’s a HUGE selection of items and a wide variety of desserts, in addition to a hbachi grill, but it costs $14 apiece. Also check out Dave & Buster’s, which has something for everyone and is all ages. They have a wide variety of arcade games, as well as food, though I’ve never eaten there. Though they charge for you to get a game card and their point system is quite confusing.Another place to check out is X-Site Laser Tag off 86th street. They have pay-one-price specials on the weekends for the best deal- although I recommend going there earlier in the night so games don’t sell out and going there BEFORE eating somewhere! A cheaper dining option is Perkins. Most meals there are under $10 and the portions given are just enough to make you feel full without feeling stuffed. They also offer a wide array of desserts.

96th street doesn’t have quite as many options as Castleton, but there are places to go. Menards may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think leisure, but it’s a good one-stop party shop to get things both for less money and in greater quantity! (Ironically, there’s a Sam’s club right next door.) The Journey, a major buffet, is in the same parking lot and offers all types of food, from Chinese to seafood. It’s cheap for lunch, but dinner is a bit pricey. There’s a Wal-Mart just east of it and if you go a few miles west, there’s Woodland Bowl, the biggest and most extravagant bowling alley in the city. They have touch screens, couches on every lane, and cosmic bowling, which is bowling with disco balls and blacklights so everything glows. It’s pretty nice.

Another area on the North site is Nora, located about 3 miles west of Castleton on the same street- it’s called 86th street in Nora and 82nd in Castleton. Nora has a Marsh, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Steak n’ Shake (cheap meals!), and alarge Goodwill store. There’s also an ice cream parlor called Chris’ Ice Cream across from the Target that serves rich, homemade soft-serve ice cream- only downside there is it closes at 8 p.m. There’s also a YMCA off 86th & Westfield, which requires you to pay a monthly membership, but has dozens of leisure and exercise activities available.

While Keystone is a major North-South street that runs through Indianapolis, the part I’d like to focus on is from 46th street and further north. (Honestly, Keystone gets very trashy between 46th street and I-65 South. Once you get further south of I-65 south, it gets nice again.) Right off 52nd and Keystone at 52nd and Allisonville is a store that offers Jamaican Patties for $1.10 each. They’re pretty good and tasty, although they have been getting spicier lately. At 52nd and Keystone, there’s an ALDI where you can get cheap groceries, a huge Dollar Tree that was once a Target, a Walgreens with very friendly and helpful employees, a freshly renovated McDonald’s, and a BP that usually tries to be a few cents cheaper than the rest. Go 2 miles north and there’s a Steak n’ Shake, which is good if you like discount meals. Go up to 62nd at Keystone and there are many things to do- a Goodwill store, a Target, Panera, O’Charley’s, KFC, another Walgreens, and a Landmark Movie Theatre. (Although I should caution that the price of movies is increasing there.)  Go to 71st and Keystone and there’s a whole shopping center that has Tomo (a cheaper alternative to Sapporo and also a hibachi grill), GameStop, Wal-Mart, Super China Buffet ($5.50 dinners!), a Great Clips, another Dollar Tree, and the last remaining Comic Carnival in town for anyone who enjoys reading comics (like I do). There’s also a Dairy Queen open ‘til 11p.m.  located right at 71st & Keystone. By 86th street is Keystone at the Crossing, which is an area that I have NO love for, especially since Borders closed. I also hate the Fashion Mall with a passion because of rude employees and overpriced, impractical, and overly high-end stores. The only thing of note is the Old Navy, but honestly, the other 2 locations (1 North and 1 South) are MUCH better!

Tomo is a Japanese steakhouse with grill tables- the cooks put on a show by cooking the food in front of you!

Finally, another area to check out is West 86th Street- located about 3 miles west of Nora. There’s another Half-Price Books and Ocean Buffet at 86th & Michigan, which offers the same type of food as Journey does, but for a few dollars cheaper. There is also a newly-built area called Traders Point Plaza at 86th & Zionsville Road (that’s at 8600 N & 6000 W, approximately) and it’s accessible from 465. It has a movie theatre, a Marsh, a Dick’s sporting goods, a Coldstone Creamery, an Old Navy (which has expensive clothes but very cheap clearances & sales!) that’s bigger than the other 2 in the city, and a TON of restaurants to eat at. It ALSO has Books-a-Million, my favorite bookstore in the city- I don’t like Barnes & Noble’s selection and Half-Price Books, being a USED bookstore, doesn’t have the NEW items I usually hunt for. I’d go and spend some time there. It’s not exactly cheap though, but it’s got that “outdoor town center” feeling, so it can be good to just walk around and get some snacks at the grocery, or if you’re willing to spend a bit more, maybe dinner and a movie.

In my opinion, the North Side of Indy has the most to offer for fun, leisure, dining, and entertainment. But I could be biased because I grew up in this area and I’ve spent more time here than any other side of town!



1. arik way - August 31, 2012

another accuracy issue, that old navy is not technically in nora, its at keystone at the crossing

kennynorman - September 1, 2012

I NEVER said there was an Old Navy in Nora. And good catch on Borders- I only edit these every year or so, so thanks for that! I LIKE to keep these updated as possible!

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