Feb 2, 2024 - Food and Drink

Keith Lee is coming to Indianapolis. Here's where he should eat.

Keith Lee with a microphone in hand in front of a purple background

Get ready, Indy. He's cominggggg. Photo: Unique Nicole/Getty Images

TikTok star Keith Lee's presence is enough to put a city's entire food scene on high alert — and Indianapolis is no exception.

Why it matters: Lee's ability to boost business at restaurants in cities across the country has been dubbed the "Keith Lee Effect," making his visits highly sought after.

  • His reviews of offerings in places like Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and his hometown of Las Vegas routinely generate millions of views on TikTok, where he has more than 15 million followers.

Yes, but: He also keeps it real when he's unimpressed (sry, Atlanta) and it has some Indy residents nervous for his visit during All-Star weekend.

  • One X user asked: Are we going to get dragged?!
  • Another said he should skip Indy: "That man is going to be mad af."

💭 Our thought bubble: We've got tons of great restaurants, chefs and food traditions. We just need to help him pick the right spots.

Luckily, Axios Indianapolis readers and social media users have plenty of suggestions.

Here's where y'all want Keith Lee to eat in Indy:

🍛 Bodhi, a Thai restaurant on Mass Ave serving elevated dishes inspired by family recipes that Kayla says are "spicy and delicious."

🍖 His Place Eatery, a Black-owned soul food and BBQ spot on the east side.

🥪 Carole suggested Shapiro's, the kosher-style delicatessen and Indianapolis institution dating back more than 100 years.

🍗 Chicken Scratch — hello, scratch-made and locally owned chicken and waffles.

🍤 Chef Oya's THE TRAP, dishing out #DeliciouslyDope seafood (with a healthy serving of Trap Buttah)

🥖 Eric suggested Yats, a local staple beloved for its cheap eats, even if the Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes aren't totally authentic.

  • Yes, but: Eric is nervous about the review. "His response would surely be 'I don't even know what this is supposed to be.'"

🌮 Other suggestions included: Loco Mexican Restaurant, a lobster roll from Slapfish, the soft shell crab roll from Sakura and doughnuts from Long's Bakery.

  • We're going to say he can go ahead and skip White Castle. We appreciate your sense of humor, though, Bob.
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