Frugal Foodie Mama: Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Wayne, Indiana

From ice cream stuffed donuts to pizza by the slice to locally brewed beer, here is Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Wayne, Indiana... 
From ice cream stuffed donuts to pizza by the slice to locally brewed beer, here is Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Fort Wayne. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

When my family & I visited Fort Wayne, Indiana this past summer, I wasn't sure what to expect from this Midwestern city. It hadn't necessarily been a destination that had been on our radar for a family getaway. After spending 3 days there exploring the sites & the local food scene, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Fort Wayne was a pleasant surprise- definitely a family friendly destination that far exceeded my expectations. 

Even though there is much to do in and around the city (think baseball games, art museums, science centers, zoos, kayaking, & more), I was most excited to discover & dig into the some of the best local food & booze that the city had to offer. And Fort Wayne certainly did not disappoint, folks! ;) 

We got to experience a true taste of Fort Wayne during our 3 day stay in the city. From kid friendly to pizza by the slice to decadent sweet treats, Fort Wayne's local food scene ended up being way more diverse & delicious than I could have ever possibly imagined prior to our a little family road trip to the Midwest.

Heading to Fort Wayne soon & need some local restaurant recommendations? Then be sure to check out a few of our favorites below...

816 Pint & Slice- 816 South Calhoun Street  
Offering pizza by the pie & the slice, 816 Pint & Slice has been serving up New York Style pizza, fresh salads, & cold draft beers in downtown Fort Wayne since 2007.

Offering pizza by the pie & the slice, 816 Pint & Slice has been serving up New York Style pizza, fresh salads, & cold draft beers in downtown Fort Wayne since 2007. Just from stepping into the pizzeria during lunch time on a Tuesday, it is apparent to see that this place is a favorite among locals who work downtown. And any time the locals flock to a place, then I consider that a very good sign. ;)


Offering pizza by the pie & the slice, 816 Pint & Slice has been serving up New York Style pizza, fresh salads, & cold draft beers in downtown Fort Wayne since 2007.

Their pizza by the slice is a wonderful budget friendly option. Averaging around $3 a slice, you can choose from cheese, a one topping slice, or one of their specialty slices that change daily. Pictured above is their veggie packed V-8 specialty slice with a Greek salad & a Bell's Oberon draft. Pint & Slice offers a decent selection of craft, import, & domestic beers on draft & by the bottle. They usually have 2 different draft beers on tap on any given day. 

One of the most Instagram-worthy wall murals in Fort Wayne, Indiana is one the side of the 816 Pint & Slice building.

Once you have finished enjoying your pint & slice, be sure to head around to the side of the pizzeria's building for one of the most Instagram-worthy wall murals in Fort Wayne. This colorful street art is definitely a must-do photo opp. 

The Hoppy Gnome- 203 East Berry Street
The Hoppy Gnome is a local brewery & family friendly restaurant all in one making it the perfect place to dine for craft beer loving parents & their kiddos.

The Hoppy Gnome is a local brewery & family friendly restaurant all in one making it the perfect place to dine for craft beer loving parents like my husband & myself. The Hoppy Gnome's food menu focuses on fresh ingredients & dishes prepared from scratch like their mix & match street style tacos (pictured below right) & delicious selection of tortas. The atmosphere is bright, modern, & friendly. And the folks at Hoppy Gnome certainly know how to make the kiddos feel at home... :)

The Hoppy Gnome is a local brewery & family friendly restaurant all in one making it the perfect place to dine for craft beer loving parents & their kiddos.

While we were waiting for our meals to come out, our waitress served our daughter their "fish" taco- a soft taco filled with Goldfish crackers! She was totally tickled pink by this. The Hoppy Gnome also offers a full kids' menu, aka their Little Gnomies menu

The Hoppy Gnome in Fort Wayne, Indiana features an extensive draft beer selection including many of their own local brews from Gnometown Brewing.

They also feature an extensive draft beer selection including many of their own local brews from Gnometown Brewing.

El Azteca Restaurant- 535 East State Boulevard
A favorite among the locals since 1973, El Azteca has been named Fort Wayne's best Mexican restaurant every year since 2009.

A favorite among the locals since 1973, El Azteca has been named Fort Wayne's best Mexican restaurant every year since 2009. Though they have an extensive menu ranging from generously topped variations of nachos to quesadillas to tacos & more, they are most well known for their Benjis Burritos. The Benjis Burrito, which comes in 10 different delicious variations, is a giant wet burrito stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, & sour cream and then topped with a homemade sauce & lots of ooey, gooey cheese sauce. El Azteca also has a full children's menu for diners 10 years old and younger.

In addition to tasty Mexican dishes, El Azteca is also known for their seasonal, fresh squeezed margaritas & their amazing Tequila Bar that offers over 150 different tequilas to choose from & try. If they happen to have the fresh kiwi margarita (pictured above) on their menu during your visit to the restaurant, order it! Thank me later. ;)

Tolon- 614 South Harrison Street
If you are looking for a true farm to table dining experience during your stay in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I can't recommend making a dinner reservation at Tolon enough.

If you are looking for a true farm to table dining experience during your stay in Fort Wayne, I can't recommend making a dinner reservation at Tolon enough. The restaurants holds only 20 tables, so I will stress again to definitely make a dinner reservation. Even if you happen to decide to dine there on a Wednesday evening & think that there is no way that they will fill up on a weekday. Take it from my own personal experience- you will be wrong. ;) Not everyone will be as lucky as we were & snag one of their last open tables before the reservations started pouring in for the evening. 

The menu at Tolon in Fort Wayne, Indiana changes seasonally with a heavy focus on supporting local farmers & sustainable farming. Their dishes are impressive, prepared from scratch, & perfect for sharing.

Tolon's menu changes seasonally with a heavy focus on supporting local farmers & sustainable farming. Their dishes are impressive, prepared from scratch, & perfect for sharing. My one & only complaint is that they did not offer a kids' menu. Tolon is definitely more of a place you would dine at for a date night or dinner out with friends. My daughter did enjoy their Duck Fat Frites (pictured above, bottom right) and shared the Chocolate Cream "Pie" (pictured above on the left) with my husband & I. Pictured on the top right is their Bacon Cheeseburger with bacon jam & basil mayo- amazingness, folks!

Tolon in Fort Wayne, Indiana specializes in a hand crafted cocktail menu that utilizes & is inspired by fresh Midwestern ingredients & flavors.

Tolon also specializes in a hand crafted cocktail menu that utilizes & is inspired by fresh Midwestern ingredients & flavors. Pictured above is The Raven, a delicious concoction of Hotel Tango Victor vodka, blueberry vanilla shrub, fresh lemon juice, honey simple syrup, & local wildflower. Like the food menu, the cocktail selections also change seasonally.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates- 878 Harrison Street
If you are looking to satisfy a chocolate craving while exploring downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, then be sure to stop in at DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

If you are looking to satisfy a chocolate craving while exploring downtown Fort Wayne, then be sure to stop in at DeBrand Fine Chocolates. DeBrand has been serving chocolate confections crafted from imported Belgium chocolate to the people of Fort Wayne since 1987. To say that they have perfected their chocolatier craft over the past 30 years would be an understatement. ;)

DeBrand's fine chocolates come in 3 main collections- classics like fruit creams & caramels, decadent truffles, & their connoisseur collection that includes unexpected flavors & combinations. They also serve gelato, specialty coffee drinks, ice cream sundaes, & desserts in their downtown cafe location. I indulged in a scoop of their mocha gelato & a coconut truffle on the side (pictured above) during my visit to DeBrand.


If you are looking to satisfy a chocolate craving while exploring downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, then be sure to stop in at DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

The Yummi Bunni- 123 West Main Street
The Yummi Bunni in downtown Fort Wayne is best known for their Yummi Bun. The folks at Yummi Bunni's take a glazed donut, slice it in half, & then stuff it full of your choice of ice cream and a topping.

I just may have saved the best for last here, folks. The Yummi Bunni in downtown Fort Wayne is best known for their Yummi Bun. And what is a Yummi Bun, you ask? I have got 4 words for you all- Ice cream stuffed donut. You heard that right. The folks at Yummi Bunni's take a glazed donut, slice it in half, & then stuff it full of your choice of ice cream and a topping (think Oreos, your favorite childhood cereals, crushed candy bars, & more!). And they don't use just any donuts to make this decadent treat. They use Tom's glazed donuts which have been a local favorite in Fort Wayne for over 35 years now.

The Yummi Bunni in downtown Fort Wayne is best known for their Yummi Bun. The folks at Yummi Bunni's take a glazed donut, slice it in half, & then stuff it full of your choice of ice cream and a topping.

The Yummi Bunni even has a fun selfie wall near the back of the store perfect for showing off your over the top ice cream stuffed donut. ;) Definitely an Instagram-worthy photo opp in Fort Wayne.

From ice cream stuffed donuts to pizza by the slice to locally brewed beer, here is Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Have you visited Fort Wayne before? What is your favorite restaurant in the city?
Which restaurant or delicious dish would you be most excited to try first in Fort Wayne?

For more information & to start planning your family adventure in Fort Wayne soon, be sure to visit the Visit Fort Wayne website!


Looking for a family friendly hotel to stay at during your visit to Fort Wayne? Then be sure to book a room at the Holiday Inn IPFW.



Looking for a family friendly hotel to stay at during your visit to Fort Wayne? Then be sure to book a room at the Holiday Inn IPFW. They offer family suites complete with a king bed for mom & dad, bunk beds for the kiddos, a full kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, & dining table, and a separate living area. Definitely a home away from home while you and your family are exploring Fort Wayne! :)

CLICK HERE to check out a short video tour of our suite at the Holiday Inn IPFW.


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