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“Est. 1911 for a reason”
Review of John's Famous Stew

John's Famous Stew
Ranked #289 of 2,359 Restaurants in Indianapolis
Price range: $0 - $8
Cuisines: American, Delicatessen
Restaurant details
Newborn, Georgia
Level Contributor
212 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Est. 1911 for a reason”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Dive? YEP. Worn interior and exterior? YEP. Waitresses that are "skitsy"? YEP. Must you go here? YEP.
According to signage this place has been operating since 1911 from a late 1800's Macedonia recipe passed down from the original owner (John?) by his mother. Eight brothers and sisters to boot.
Inside is worn out, but comfy. According to my lunch companion the two waitresses are sisters who have been doing the same thing for over 40 years. According to him they have not had another job in their whole lives. Our waitress was nice, but a bit frazzled. She walked up to the table and asked "What will you have to drink" to the three of us. No sooner had I uttered "I'll have a diet coke" she turned around and walked off. Seriously. She then returned about 5 minutes later and asked the same question. But this time she actually stayed to write it down. My companions got a bowl of the mild stew, and some type of open face turkey sandwich. the stew comes in Mild, Medium, and Hot. I was told that the hot was VERY hot (even says so on the menu). And the guy that told me this likes hot food. He got mild. I got the cabbage roll that is billed as having stew gravy poured over it. This is not exacly true. Yes it is stuffed cabbage (meat/rice filling), but it's not just the broth that comes atop this masterpiece. They actually ladled the medium stew (meat/taters/onion/celery) on top. It was like a bonus---BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.
The inside and outside of the building are full of "flavor". The waitress is a character, and the food is worth making a trip for. It was a great day in a great city.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank garliclover101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    21
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
2 reviews
“PRICES HIGHER THAN LISTED ONLINE MENU -- It was OK but could've been better”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

I got the John's Combo Basket. It came with 3 cheesesticks -- problem one of them had no cheese in it. Also came with breaded mushrooms - problem they were burnt. The onion rings and chicken strips were good. Also the prices on the online menu are incorrect & everything was about $1 more. I let them know this when I picked up and paid for my order. They said yeah we know that menu is outdated and gave me a new menu. You'd think they'd update their online menu!! Just now called to let them know there was no cheese in one of my cheesesticks and my mushrooms are burnt. They said ok I'll let them know and that was it -- wow!! For $7.75 that is not what I expected!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ames, Iowa
Level Contributor
69 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Just like mom's!”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

A quaint place in the heart of the city; super friendly staff and a full bar. Not for the faint of heart; working class clientele makes the place loud and boisterous when busy, which is every noon hour. Always come hungry!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tdomek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
99 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Good stew”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

I called and got 2 stews to go because this is a more like a bar, not for families. It's an older building and many of the customers are working men that come in for lunch during the week, so I recommend checking their hours on their website before you go. There are also some coupons on the website too. The stew was great and so filling that I couldn't eat the whole bowl. Great for winter time.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HoosierFamilyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
629 reviews
525 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
“Wow for Stew”
Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

Not to be missed. Best stew period. My pappy took me to original location when I was 12. That was lifetime ago lol! Get it spicy! Ummy !

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank scott1102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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