Meridian-Kessler is a beautiful, walkable neighborhood in Indianapolis.

Homes in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood

Choosing a place to live is harder than it looks—especially with a baby on the way. In 2011, my wife and I started looking for the perfect place to start our family, and our search brought us right back to Indiana. 

We both grew up on the northeast side of Indianapolis, and we missed that cozy neighborhood feel. But we’d also spent three years in Boston, and we couldn’t imagine giving up that walkability! After all, we’ve lived through enough traffic to last a lifetime, and we needed something more manageable for our new home. 

As we looked around the city, it became pretty clear that Midtown Indianapolis offered the best of both worlds—with Meridian-Kessler the best of the best! This neighborhood is truly a gem. It’s walkable and active with plenty of things to do, but it still maintains a great neighborhood vibe that doesn’t feel packed or crowded. 

Despite living in Indiana for a combined 20+ years, my wife and I didn’t know much about Meridian-Kessler when we first moved here. We were familiar with Broad Ripple, but we were hoping for something a little bit quieter. So, Meridian-Kessler turned out to be a perfect fit. Three babies and a decade later, we’re still in the neighborhood and loving it more than ever!

You can walk just about anywhere from Meridian-Kessler. 

Many Indy neighborhoods are relatively walkable, but few are as convenient and accessible as Meridian-Kessler! When I say walkable, I’m not talking about walking your dog around the block or just having nice sidewalks. I mean that some places are so close that it’s literally faster to walk than it would be to drive! 

Meridian-Kessler is right in the heart of Indianapolis, so we can easily walk anywhere we need to go! If I’m meeting someone for coffee, I have three options within four blocks of my house, including the cozy Prufrock Café. Need to run an errand? There’s a convenience store, grocery store, hardware store, and a hair salon within half a mile of my house. Rough day with the kids? I can jog to the liquor store in about 4 minutes—umm, hypothetically speaking.

Point is: whether you’re looking into schools, churches, or jobs, Meridian Kessler has options galore!

Our neighborhood has tons of attractions and things to do.

The best part of living in a walkable neighborhood is that there are countless attractions right in your backyard! If you’re a sports fan, Hinkle Fieldhouse is just a few minutes away. And if you’re interested in live music, you can find a show within a 10-minute walk just about any night of the week. A couple of our favorite venues are The Melody Inn, The Vogue, and Clowes Hall at Butler University. We also have a bunch of outdoor concerts in the area at Tarkington Park, Holliday Park, and Broad Ripple Park. 

Of course, we’ve also seen concerts at the State Fairgrounds, which borders the southeast corner of Meridian-Kessler. Many people only go there for the iconic State Fair, but living this close to the fairgrounds means we’re within walking distance of many different events throughout the year. From beer festivals to LEGO fan expos to ice skating, the State Fairgrounds hosts events and activities for the whole family. 

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the museums! From our neighborhood, we’re less than 10 minutes away from Newfields, the Indianapolis Art Center, and the world’s largest children’s museum

These museums are great for both regular visits and special seasonal events and classes for all ages. In the past couple months alone, we’ve attended Winterlights at Newfields, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum Haunted House, and the REACT Children’s Theater Shows at the Art Center. 


Fun Facts

The popular MK Home Tour was created in 1973 to promote our neighborhood’s unique history and architecture.

Homes on Washington Boulevard get hundreds and hundreds of trick-or-treaters each year!

Patachou Inc. has four restaurants in the area, so you can spend your entire day dining in their award-winning eateries.

Photo of the exterior of The Vogue Theater

Photo courtesy of Melodie Yvonne

Photo of the Butler University BU statue

Meridian-Kessler is home to Indy’s top restaurants.

Speaking of local hotspots, don’t even get me started on our restaurants! Okay, fine, twist my arm—I could go on all day! Just look at any list of Indy’s best restaurants. Whether you’re browsing Eater or Indianapolis Monthly, Meridian-Kessler has more top restaurants than any other neighborhood outside of downtown

You can find something delicious to dine on any time of day! After all, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I don’t know who “they” are, but they also say that Patachou is the OG of Indy’s restaurant scene. So, why not visit the original Café Patachou at 49th and Penn?

If you’re looking for an indulgent brunch, you’ll find plenty of choices—with Root & Bone and Gallery Pastry Shop topping the list. Ready for lunch? Places like Yats, Twenty Tap, and Fat Dan’s always hit the spot, while La Mulita and Nicole Taylor’s are nice under-the-radar options.

And of course, dinner choices abound! Napolese has great pizzas and delicious salads. Mama Carolla’s and Ambrosia offer some of the best Italian food in town. Little India has tasty Indian food, and Pots & Pans serves the most comforting pot pies outside of grandma’s. 

When we have the kids with us, we love Half Liter or Next Door, which have great kids’ menus and activities for the little ones. But if we can find a babysitter for date night, we walk over to Delicia or BluPoint Oyster House. There’s nothing like walking home on a warm summer night after a delicious meal. 

Grab a drink at one of our local bars.

You don’t have to go far to find a good drink in Meridian-Kessler! Whether you’re relaxing after work or meeting up with friends, there are plenty of breweries and bars within walking distance. 

For the hopheads out there, Meridian-Kessler has several neighborhood jaunts with unique local brews. We have world-class breweries like Scarlet Lane and Upland Brewing, featuring delicious stouts, sour ales, and IPAs. But hey, sometimes all we want is a cheap beer and no frills. The Red Key Tavern has filled that need quite literally since prohibition ended in 1933. You can’t beat that! And if it was good enough for Kurt Vonnegut, it’s good enough for me.

If beer isn’t your taste, wine drinkers can find plenty of variety at the Wine Shop by Vine and Table. They’re truly experts in the field with wine concierges ready to help you find the perfect pairing. And if you’re looking for unique and interesting spirits, you should check out Bar One Fourteen or Delicia. Personally, I think there’s no better drink in town than Delicia’s Fire and Ice cocktail. 

Walk Score



  • Center for Inquiry 70
  • International School of Indiana
  • Indiana School for the Deaf


  • Pots and Pans 
  • Twenty Tap 
  • Little India


  • Luna Music 
  • Posh Petals
  • CeCe ReStyled


  • Indianapolis Public Library
  • Indiana State Fairgrounds 
  • Monon Trail


  • 20 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
  • 35 Minute Drive 

Dog Parks

  • Canterbury Park
  • Dan Wakefield Park

Our neighborhood is easy to get around. 

I’ve already talked about Meridian-Kessler’s walkability, but perhaps the most unique feature of our neighborhood is the variety of transportation. Whatever way you travel, we have options to help you explore Indy. 

Because let’s be honest: Indiana is a driving state. The good news is that Meridian-Kessler connects you with Indianapolis—with or without a vehicle. 

If you have a car, you can get just about anywhere in the city with ease. We’re lucky to live near several major roads, so you can travel without the traffic I faced in Boston. Whether you’re looking for a Pacers game or a concert at the Palladium, you can get there in just about 4 turns and 15 minutes. 

But you don’t need a car to get around the neighborhood. Like I said, we have all the essentials within walking distance, and we have lots of nearby trails to explore! The Monon Trail serves as our eastern border and connects Meridian-Kessler with Carmel and other cities to the north. We’re also very close to the Central Canal Towpath, which offers the perfect path for a nature hike. 

If you’re looking for some two-wheel action, you can find several bikeshare locations and electric scooters to rent around the neighborhood. And of course, the Red Line runs right through Meridian-Kessler! This rapid bus route provides an easy and reliable way to get downtown without driving. And best of all, it’s one of many bus routes that travel through our neighborhood. 

Red Line bus pulls up to the 54th street bus stop.

Meridian-Kessler is a great place to live for people of all ages. 

One thing I’ve noticed after living here for a while is how many people have lived here for decades. Several of our closest neighbors have lived on our street for over years. And why wouldn’t they? 

Meridian-Kessler is truly a multi-generational neighborhood where everyone feels at home. Our neighbors range from young families to experienced professionals and everything in between. Young adults can transition from our bars and nightlife to local schools and playgrounds. And when they outgrow the kids menus and sippy cups, empty nesters can enjoy some well-deserved cocktails and evening walks. 

My wife and I just had our tenth anniversary here, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Our kids go to school down the street, and we’ve made lifelong friends in the neighborhood. We have our go-to takeout spots and regular walking routes for the dog. Meridian-Kessler is the neighborhood we dreamed of, and I hope we’ll have many more years here.