May 20, 2024 - Food and Drink

Meatless Monday does IMS

A burger in a paper boat

One good option is better than nothing! Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

According to my smartwatch, I walked approximately 20,000 steps around Indianapolis Motor Speedway to scope out all the best meat-free food options so you can save your cooler space for more important things, like beer.

First things first: There are not a ton of vegetarian options aside from sides and snacks.

What to order: The one real meal option is the veggie burger ($10.25), which has been upgraded to either an Impossible or Beyond patty. I can't tell them apart but it doesn't really matter because they're both banging.

  • It is available at the main concession stand on the Pagoda Plaza and several others around the track but not at all of them. Check the map to be sure.

Yes, but: It comes plain on a bun. Grab some ketchup.

Yes, and: There is actually another sandwich option but you gotta make a special trip for it.

  • Founder's Grounds is a coffee shop and restaurant in the infield between turns 1 and 2, near the currently closed-for-renovations museum.
  • They serve a few breakfast sandwiches, donuts, muffins, granola bars and panini-style sandwiches including a grilled cheese ($7).
  • I'm not sure it's worth the walk from other parts of the track but if you happen to be nearby, it's not half bad.

Snack and sides: We got, we got, we got, we got options.

  • The soft pretzel ($6.50) is better than it looks and the cheese dip ($2.50) is a little spicy. Big win.
  • Several stands are serving loaded nachos and fries ($18). You can ask to hold the meat they come topped with, but then you're basically looking at overpriced cheese or fries and cheese.
  • There's a stand near Turn 1 that was selling cheese curds ($10.50), with and without jalapeno.
  • Several grab-and-go stalls are stationed around the track with various chips, candy and popcorn.

The bottom line: If it's as hot next weekend as it was during qualifying, I might stick to the veggie burger and a smoothie. There are several smoothie stands around the track, serving four flavors (starting at $10) — with or without booze.

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