Looking for the best Fort Wayne restaurants? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Whether you peacefully gaze at the St. Joseph River or enjoy the classic art at the Castle Gallery, it’s a must to relish every Fort Wayne-style snack throughout your trip to the town.
Fort Wayne offers a contrasting balance between modern nightlife and historic Gothic and Greek entanglement. You are bound to eat in a restaurant that’s approximately a hundred years old (shoutout to Coney Island).
The town is known for its famous Gothic churches, three massive rivers, lakeside parks, and trails. Enjoy a cozy picnic in the botanical garden and relish some popular Casa salad, Hall’s prime rib, Burger tower, coney’s dog, and fish with fries.
Start the day eating their popular and bewildering garbage plate for breakfast and end the sinking night at the bay with some crispy ribs, fries, and beer. That’s what I love about this city; you can enjoy your snack at the bridge standing above the river and beyond sunset. Food with a view is therapeutic and 100% more delicious.
While the picnics are scenic, Fort Wayne’s restaurants are equally top-notch, with history and aesthetics propelling their ambiance. You will witness some old-school eateries like the Shigs In Pit or Cindy’s Diner. The town also has extravagant, lavish restaurants like the Oyster Bar or Baker Street.
Enjoy a quick burger, or leisurely order the whole dinner. The town will offer you various delicacies depending on your palate.
I came across multiple old-gold, rich, and lavish restaurants to make your trip/evening date/family dinner even more beautiful. Here are my top picks of the best restaurants in Fort Wayne, IN.
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Downtown Fort Wayne Restaurants
2008 Fairfield Ave. // +12603875903
A fan of barbeque platters and smoked ribs? Me, too! Shigs In Pit was the first restaurant I visited in Fort Wayne. It’s located on three different venues – Fairfield Avenue, Illinois Road, and Maplecrest Road.
So, if you are close to Shigs In Pit, enjoying a quick breakfast or a lengthy dinner in this old-school eatery is a must! Plus, the food is delicious and affordable!
From massive big “SHIG” plates to hearty sandwiches and smoked meats, you will surely enjoy big platters of starters, main courses, and side dishes.
From the menu, order their BBQ ranch salad with a full slab of ribs, pit ham meat, and turkey breasts. Every meaty goodness at the restaurant is slowly smoked.
You can customize the BBQ sauces and side sauces if you’d like. If you ask me, choose their Carolina mustard and Spicy Buffalo sauce, both are a delicious combination. It enhances the overall flavors of the meat; trust me on that!
The restaurant serves meat and rib dinner with salad and two side dishes, so you can skip the ranch salad if you’d like. Shigs In Pit doesn’t offer a massive dessert menu, but you can always go with brownies.
Don’t forget to try their Big Tom sandwich with BBQ nachos, Hot BBQ wings, and coke/beer early in the morning. The restaurant, Shigs In Pit, also offers family-sized and combo platters for the whole party!
You can either choose takeaway or home delivery. Among all the chains, I would recommend the one located in Fairfield Ave – great aesthetic red and white tablecloths and colorful ambiance.
131 W. Main St. // +12604242997
Coney Island turned a hundred years old in 2014. Step back in time and enjoy the most famous and traditional hot dogs in the town. It would be a shame if you didn’t celebrate their 100th anniversary while exploring the expanse of Fort Wayne.
Coney Island is a cozy restaurant serving hot dogs, burgers, soup, and delicious fries. Visit the venue early in the morning after a refreshing walk and enjoy their Coney special hot dog with some side BBQ chips and a bowl of soup.
I had their oyster cracker spicy soup and root beer. It was slightly boozy and exotic, something I endeavor immensely when it comes to food.
Although it’s not posh, Coney Island is a great location to have a late-night date with your partners. Imagine all the conversation starters. There’s history, the old-school vibe, their architecture, traditional recipes, and 100-years old tales that translate to a perfect date!
Since the very start, not much has changed at Coney Island. Their interior and the recipes make the Island so special.
5811 Coldwater Rd. // +12604848693
You are bound to find Don Hall’s at every Fort Wayne corner. They claim, and I quote, “We are Prime Rib done right!” Fort Wayne presents over ten Don Hall outlets, and each one of them stands out with ambiance, interior, architecture, food, and presentation.
It’s one of my favorite go-to locations for classic date nights.
Among all the restaurants, my personal preference would be Hall’s Factory. Don Hall’s Factory restaurant is a lavish venue, perfect for a peaceful date with low-lit ambiance, brick facade, floral decor, and a huge space to enjoy food and privacy. The retro-style look out of the restaurant takes you back in time.
Whether you are a pork and beef person or an individual who enjoys chicken and seafood, Don Hall’s offers a separate menu section for all the cuisine staples. Having enough ribs and steak in Fort Wayne, I mainly focused on seafood at the Don Hall.
The Balsamic and Bleu salmon was a mouthwatering treat to my sour eyes and empty stomach. The sizzling meat tasted heavenly with fresh veggies and spices. Next on the table were Atlantic cod and saucy Gulf shrimp. What a crispy and creamy delight.
If you want to go with ribs, try their famous and traditional prime rib. The dish is Don Hall’s Factorys Specialty. Along with an exotic main course, the restaurant also has great varieties of starters, sliders, sandwiches, add-ons, and salad.
1830 S. Calhoun St. // +12607449490
What’s better than spending a cozy dinner in the city’s bar late at night, enjoying an amazing wine selection and seafood delicacies?
Like Coney Island, Oyster Bar has seen centuries cross by. Initially started in 1830, the bar faced various prohibitions and the Great Depression.
Nonetheless, it flourished back around 1954 and has been serving delicious food and alcoholic beverages ever since in a great locality.
I LOVE Oyster Bar’s interior and the outside building. It contemplates history with unique dark-wood furniture, a cozy dining area, candles and lanterns. The small space made the place stand out beautifully. It was classy and true to its origin.
Visit the saloon for an intoxicating night. They have a great variety of white wine, red wine, Scotch, whiskey, and martinis.
While you slowly drink away the beverages, order their special saloon oysters. If you plan to drink heavily, go light with the food selection.
With Macallan Scotch, I ordered their Parmesan bake and jalapeno casino oysters. If you are planning on drinking light martinis, their main course selection is wild.
Don’t forget to try the famous raspberry chicken and New Zealand Lamb. Oyster Bar also has filet mignon with mushrooms and onion, baby back ribs, pasta, and soups.
Oyster Bar has lunch and dinner slots, so make sure you reach the restaurant on time. Also, it’s closed on Sundays!
Vegetarian Restaurant, Fort Wayne, Indiana
4820 N Clinton St. // +12604843300
Baker Street is the perfect restaurant to enjoy steak, seafood, and spirits in Fort Wayne. Available from Tuesday to Saturday, this steakhouse offers late nights dinners in a great locality and ambiance.
This avenue not only offers sizzling steaks and other meaty goodness, but it also has a separate gluten-free and vegetarian menu.
Every Wednesday, there’s a new featured cuisine to surprise regular and new customers. Baker Street offers a wide variety of starters.
If you enjoy a hearty dinner without a strict diet, go with blackened scallops, Taleggio flatbread smoldered with cheese, and Asian spring rolls. The combination of bread, crispy rolls, cooked veggies, and soft scallops creates a wide range of flavors.
Just like the appetizers, Baker Street’s main course was on point with chicken, steak, rib specialties, Asian platters, filet, etc.
It also has a unique list of desserts, including dark chocolate ganache dipped in caramel sauce, warm apple butter cake, peanut butter cake with chocolate, and roasted nuts. Between Bananas Foster and cheesecake, I’d choose both!
Baker Street is beautifully built with warm lights and an intimate setting. If you plan a date in Fort Wayne, Baker Street will be a great choice for someone who enjoys hearty portions and a unique food variety. I loved their Asian twist and taste.
Not long, but a great wine selection will greet you at the restaurant. I also took a reserved wine bottle home. At the restaurant, don’t forget to try their dessert wines.
Casa Restaurants Fort Wayne, Indiana—Italian Restaurants Fort Wayne, IN
- Casa Grille
411 E. Dupont Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46825
- Casa Grille Italiano
6340 Stellhorn Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46815
- Casa Ristorante
7545 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46804
- Casa Ristorante Italiano
4111 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne., IN 46805
4111 Parnell Ave. // +12604830202
A fan of Italian food? Well, Fort Wayne has an exceptional restaurant for you. Casa Ristorante Italiano is an authentic, local, family-owned, traditional restaurant, serving delicious Italian food since 1977.
Casa Restaurant is available in four different locations, but the recipe and Italian touch remain the same! Among the four, I’ll choose Casa Ristorante Italiano for a warm lunch setting. The ambiance is just beautiful for a sunny lunch/branch.
At night, I’d recommend dining in Casa Grille. All the four restaurants in the town are spacious; you wouldn’t have to wait in line to taste their specialty of the day.
Casa Restaurant has an extensive menu. Whatever Italian you wish to eat will have a number of varieties, from separate pasta sections to fish delicacies, chicken dishes, appetizers, Italian-style salad, soups, sandwiches, baked pasta, grilled selections, veal, and desserts. There’s literally that much!
The restaurant also offers a gluten-free and vegetarian menu. Don’t forget to ask about their Chef’s features and lunch specials.
Seafood Restaurants Fort Wayne
221 E Washington Center Rd. // +12604847772
What a beauty! Cork ‘N Cleaver’s brick facade and ancient building were enough to invite us inside.
Least to say, the interior was just as equally high-class with arch-shaped entrances, a deadly combination of drystone walls and brick exterior/interior. The restaurant also has an outside patio, salad banquet, and a colorful bar.
Cork’ N Cleaver is unique in maintaining the creativity, taste, and atmosphere of the location. Don’t be surprised to notice your menu printed on a big cleaver knife and the food exhibitions.
The ancient appeal of the restaurant with colorful lights set my mood just right. I preferred the smaller dining room because it was cozier.
Next came the food, and it wasn’t disappointing at all. I went straight into Cork’ N Cleaver specialty entrees – bone-in pork chop and almond-crusted walleye.
That’s not all; the steakhouse also offers varieties of seafood, including Alaskan King crabs and lobster tails. Cork’ N Cleaver has small but classic appetizers, soups, salad, beverages, and desserts. Bring an empty stomach to enjoy a hefty and delicious dinner.
1509 W. Dupont Rd. // +12602035900
During winters, Black Canyon’s outside patio is divine. Breezy nights accompanied by fairy lights, dry stone wall architecture, aesthetic lamps, floral decor, and a huge hearth to spread warmth while you enjoy the dinner.
Without a doubt, Black Canyon is that classy restaurant you look for on the first extravagant date to impress your partner with good food, ambiance, and vibe.
Talk about their food presentation… It was beautiful and so deliciously presented! Every platter stood out with taste, appearance, and portions.
Their menu is massive with chicken, ribs, seafood, a variety of salads, side dishes, sauces, snacks, and bar specialties.
Don’t be surprised to smell the intoxicating kitchen aroma and the BBQ grill – it makes everything more delicious!
Black Canyon’s interior is equally magnificent with a cozy and low-lit ambiance. Although the menu is top-notch, I’d still recommend trying their Rex Mex egg rolls and British Columbia oysters for starters.
For the main course, order double bone pork chop and Black Canyon meatloaf. If you visit with your friends, relish their chicken tenders, prime ribs, BBQ chicken, and filet mignon.
You can make a prior reservation for a private table inside the restaurant or the patio. Black Canyon also provides booking for private events (indoor sitting and outdoor veranda).
To end the night on a sweet note, try their delicious creme brulee and the NY-style cheesecake!
Fort Wayne’s food scene was lit with magnificent architecture, classic food selections, and wine choices. It’s rare to feel good about what you tasted two months ago. For some reason, Fort Wayne’s delicacies remain close to my heart.
If I get the chance, I would revisit the town on a chilly night and enjoy the city’s food, especially the steakhouses.
Start your foodie adventure downtown and eat at Cindy’s Diner or Coney’s Island on your tour. For massive parties and heavy dinners/lunch, visit Don Hall’s restaurant and the (10+) franchises. After Hall’s factory, I’d recommend visiting Don Hall’s Gas House and the TAKAOKA of Japan, Downtown.
Cork’ N Cleaver and Oyster Bar will make your first ever date special and exquisite with affordable yet delicious food. Overall, these are my eight favorite restaurants in Fort Wayne. Let us know yours in the comment section down below.
Visiting other destinations in Indiana? Check out our other delicious guide:
- 7 Best Must-Try Carmel Restaurants, Indiana
- The 6 Best Mexican Restaurants In Carmel Indiana
- The 5 Best Italian Restaurants In Carmel Indiana
- 9 Must-Try Carmel Indiana Pizza Restaurants
Which of these restaurants in Fort Wayne IN do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever