Off The (B)eatin’ Path

Best underground eateries in the best area of the Northwest.

Grae Stockhausen and Audrey White

I bet you haven’t been to more than half of these restaurants on this list! These are some of the best “underground” restaurants in the Northwest Indiana community.

Northwest Indiana is well-diversified in its food scene. Be sure to check out the restaurants listed to support our local community! 

1. Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant – 725 Franklin St, Michigan City, IN

Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant is unlike other Japanese restaurants in Northwest Indiana. Serving dishes such as shumai and squid salad, Hokkaido can also boast about its large selection of sushi and unique specials such as poke bowls and a sushi sandwich. Prices are quite affordable considering other sushi bars and also the quality of the food. There is a great variety of meals and a few delicious dessert options. One thing’s for sure, you won’t leave feeling hungry.


2. Another Round Pizza & Beer – 2540 Promenade Way, Portage, IN

Another Round Pizza & Beer is an eatery with an array of exciting pizza concoctions such as a jalapeno popper pizza and a pig newton pizza! What makes Another Round so special is that they offer gluten-free pizzas, as well as other dishes that can be made vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. While pizzas may be their specialty, Another Round also offers salads, sandwiches, wings, weekly specials, and appetizers that can be customized to fit dietary restrictions. If you’re looking for a relatively unknown pizza joint in Northwest Indiana, definitely consider visiting here!


3. Namaste India – 715 Plaza Dr, Chesterton, IN

Namaste India is an Indian restaurant located in Chesterton. While the menu can seem overwhelming at first, you will not regret your dining choice. There is a spice scale that fits those with mild taste buds, and those who chase the heat. There are many cultural dishes offered that also fit vegetarian and vegan eating needs. If you are unsure of what to get but want to try it out, I suggest ordering garlic naan and mild butter chicken- this way, those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine will be able to dip their toes into the great culinary elements provided. The flavorful spices are genuinely unmatched within the region. The food tastes like authentic home cooking. Enlighten your taste buds and visit Namaste India.


4. Panini Panini – 1720 Franklin St. Michigan City, IN

Enjoy a variety of classic European foods at Panini Panini in Michigan City. Sandwiches seem to be a staple there, as they have around 25 different sandwich options. The sandwiches range from traditional Italian to Greek-style gyros on naan bread to more American sandwiches, such as corned beef and club sandwiches. Burgers are also available there, though the sandwich options outweigh the burger options. Pasta variations are also on their menu, like pesto, linguini with shrimps or scallops, and pappardelle with smoked house salmon. They offer french onion and tomato soup and a house soup that changes daily. Gluten-free options are available, as are vegetarian accommodations.


5. Jade Garden –  3022 Calumet Ave #2640 Valparaiso, IN

Jade Garden offers a very wide variety of Chinese cuisine while also not being super pricey. They offer chicken dishes, beef dishes, pork dishes, and shrimp dishes. Chow mein and chop suey are available, with meat options as well as vegetable options. Cantonese noodles, Egg foo young, and textbook Chinese soups are on their menu as well. Combination plates and chef specialties are also offered at a higher price. 


6. Royale With Cheese – 827 Franklin St. Michigan City, IN

Your average burger joint and then some. They offer 6 different burgers, but those can be easily changed and arranged to your liking. Fries aren’t the only thing you can add to your burger and this place heavily enforced that belief. Pair your burger with bourbon rings or fried green beans for a different taste of a classic American meal. They also have salads and sandwiches if you aren’t interested in burgers and fries. They also have kid options available.


7. Parea Restaurant and Lounge – 69 S. Franklin St. Valparaiso, IN

A Parea in Greek culture is a group of friends who regularly gather together to share their experiences. At this restaurant, you’ll be more than happy to sit for hours with friends and talk over delicious food. They have a variety of seafood, pasta, soup, and salad. Start off with a spread served with grilled pita, calamari, mussels, or even coconut shrimp. Next move on to a house specialty, such as lamb chops or deconstructed beef pot pie, or risotto. They also have pasta and burgers if getting out of your comfort zone isn’t your style. They have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options available and can be substituted!


Bonus! Desserts:


1. BAO’s Pastry – 12 Jefferson St. Valparaiso, IN

BAO’s is a look into the world of French delicacies nestled in downtown Valpo. The owner moved from France to Valparaiso almost four years ago and decided to open up a shop after her years of training as a pastry chef in France. Fresh-made croissants, puff pastry, and tarts are all desserts that grace the windows of their small shop. They also offer eclairs, opera cakes, tiramisu, macarons, canelé, fresh bread, and so much more. Seasonal desserts also are offered, just check their website for more details!


2. Kupkates – 206 Elm St #208, Valparaiso, IN

Chesterton High School alumni-owned, Kupkates is a sweet little shop in the main area of Valparaiso. They have a daily menu, which consists of 10 cupcake flavors, ranging from pink champagne to peanut butter cup, and 4 regular cake flavors, such as macaron confetti. They also serve a variety of cookies, cookie sandwiches, macarons, and brownies. Special orders can be made and events can be booked for whatever occasion is needed! Call them for your upcoming grad party!


3. Blackbird Cafe – 114 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN 

While Blackbird Cafe is more mainstream, the cafe does sell perfect items to satisfy a sweet tooth. Blackbird Cafe sells pies, cakes, croissants, muffins, and baklava, among many other baked goods. Gluten-free options are also available for some items, though many items are not labeled as gluten-free.


4. Ivy’s Bohemian House – 321 Broadway Ave, Chesterton, IN 

Although Ivy’s Bohemian House is on many people’s radars, their baked goods selections are worth noting. The baked items are changed often and sit in a glass case inside the restaurant. There are typically at least one or two items that fit gluten-free and vegan dietary limitations as well. If you’re in the mood for something sweet paired with a cup of coffee, Ivy’s Bohemian House has you covered.