For more than a decade, Hamilton County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. With this growth, Hamilton has become a place to find an eclectic mix of suburban ease with each of its eight incorporated towns: Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, Sheridan, Cicero, Arcadia, and Atlanta.
Six local farmers markets are hosted during the weekends in many of Hamilton County's towns, including a winter market in Noblesville. Local restaurants take cues from the markets, stocking their menus with locally inspired dishes.
At-the-farm experiences include Stonycreek Farm's pumpkin and Christmas tree harvesting and Gatewood Vegetable Farm. Broccoli Bills and Wilson Farm Market are stand-alone markets open throughout the week.
Well known for its love of the breaded tenderloin sandwich, Hoosier Hospitality serves it up! It's hard to travel anywhere in the state and find a menu without a version of the unofficial Hoosier sandwich. Locals have long traveled to Hamilton County for this specialty sandwich at a number of restaurants along the Tenderloin Trail.
Eighteen eateries (and counting) serve their versions, but most stick with the traditional, thinly-sliced and oversized delight as large as the dinner plate - big enough to share or carry out for a delicious leftover the next day. A trip to the Hoosier state is incomplete without one.
The Local Restaurant Scene
Where can you find local foods in Hamilton County not found anywhere else? The local restaurant scene. Here are a few of the many:
Matteo's Ristorante Italiano
The warm and inviting restaurant spills out onto the sidewalk and next door alley for a European outdoor experience you might find in the old country.
Bub's Burgers & Bub's Cafe
Both Bub's locations are right in the heart of Carmel's Arts & Design District. Burgers are Bub's specialty with many patrons vying for their photo on the wall after eating the super-sized Big Ugly Burger. Bub's Cafe serves up big breakfasts including their special Bub Holes, homemade extra filling donut holes.
Barley Island Brewing Company
Nationally awarded for its handcrafted ales, Barley Island beers are found in many Indiana retailers. Their restaurant and pub located in downtown Noblesville has more than the typical bar food. All their food is made from scratch including their seasonings, sauces and salsas.
Woody's Library Restaurant
Just as the name implies, Woody's finds its home in Carmel's old Carnegie Library, and the decor honors that tradition with bookshelves and hardwoods throughout. This landmark restaurant serves an assortment of familiar favorites and chef's specials.
Choose either location, Alexander's on the Square in Noblesville or Alexnader's on the Water in Cicero. Both offer old-fashioned hand dipped ice cream, sodas and malts.
Big Hoffa's Smokehouse BBQ
You know it's fresh when the big grills are smoking out front at this local BBQ restaurant. Eat inside or out at picnic tables, or cater your own dinner for home. When it comes to BBQ in Hamilton County, it has to be Big Hoffa's.