Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin in Indiana (2016)


Created in 1908 at Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, Indiana, the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich is hard to find outside the region. Hoosiers are proud of their state sandwich and believe everyone traveling through owe it to themselves to try a good breaded Indiana tenderloin. The sandwich is described as a “monster’s portion” of lean pork breaded and deep fried and served on a hamburger bun. Makers of this popular Indiana specialty take different approaches on the tenderizing (thick tenderloin or thinned out to the size of an elephant ear), the breading and the fry oil. There is even a documentary “In Search of the Famous Hoosier Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich” by Jensen Rufe.

  • O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers

    O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers

    Jerry O'Bryan, owner of O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers, is the youngest of nine boys (he also has five sisters, honored with an inscription above the bar). While much of the menu is decidedly Irish, it does feature an enormous breaded Indiana tenderloin, served with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on a soft bun.
    Photo courtesy of O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers

  • Nick's Kitchen

    Nick's Kitchen

    Nick Freienstein is said to have served the first breaded tenderloin at Nick's Kitchen in 1908. The place still uses his original recipe of pork loin marinated in buttermilk and coated in crunchy bread crumbs. Hand-dipped milk shakes make a perfect complement.
    Photo courtesy of Nick's Kitchen

  • The Mug

    The Mug

    The Mug in Greenfield takes a "farm-to-curb" approach to their food, which means they source ingredients – including their fresh pork loin – from local growers. Fans, many of them chefs, journey to the original Greenfield drive-in for the tenderloin sandwich alone. It comes classic with lettuce, tomato and red onions or "Mug Style" with pickled jalapenos and shredded cabbage.
    Photo courtesy of The Mug / Facebook

  • C.R. Heroes Family Pub

    C.R. Heroes Family Pub

    The décor at C.R. Heroes Family Pub honors heroes real and fictional: police, firefighters, ambulance squads and superheroes too. The Hoosier Daddy satisfies such big appetites with a hand-tenderized cut of pork, breaded and served with plenty of house-made garlic mayonnaise. The Hoosier Mama is a lighter, grilled version.
    Photo courtesy of C.R. Heroes Family Pub

  • Mr. Dave's Restaurant

    Mr. Dave's Restaurant
    North Manchester

    Mr. Dave's Restaurant opened in 1962 as a drive-in with carhop service in the outskirts of town. Now the family-owned and operated sits at the center of North Manchester, where it serves a signature breaded pork tenderloin sandwich made from hand-cut pork medallions that are pounded, seasoned and breaded and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard.
    Photo courtesy of Mr. Dave's Restaurant / Facebook

  • The Tie Dye Grill

    The Tie Dye Grill

    Shayne and Jan Dye, the duo behind Indy's Tie Dye Grill, have a passion for food and all things "cool and groovy." While the restaurant has won awards for its burgers, the thick, juicy, hand-cut tenderloins served on Fat Tenderloin Tuesdays steal the show. Get them plain or with some unexpected toppings, like bacon and barbecue or buffalo sauce.
    Photo courtesy of The Tie Dye Grill / Facebook

  • Steer In Diner

    Steer In Diner

    While the Steer In Diner is named after its beef, the Hoosier Tenderloin sandwich is the most popular sandwich on the menu. The fresh cut pork loin comes breaded (or grilled) with simple toppings of lettuce, tomato and mayo, allowing the pork to be the hero.
    Photo courtesy of Steer In Diner

  • Oasis Diner

    Oasis Diner

    The big-as-your-face Hoosier tenderloin served up at Oasis Diner comes well seasoned and fried to perfection. It's topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and a garlic mayo on a toasted bun. As Indy tenderloin expert Rick Garrett says, “This sandwich is 5 stars, all the way…absolutely no question about it.”
    Photo courtesy of Oasis Diner / Facebook

  • The Friendly Tavern

    The Friendly Tavern

    The Friendly Tavern in Zionsville serves a classic, no-frills rendition of the breaded pork tenderloin, with a light and crunchy breading, well-seasoned loin and a basic treatment of lettuce, tomato and mayo. It also comes grilled.
    Photo courtesy of The Friendly Tavern / Facebook

  • Nickel Plate Bar & Grill

    Nickel Plate Bar & Grill

    Rumor has it that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning gets his favorite breaded pork tenderloin from Nickel Plate Bar & Grill in Fishers. This giant, center-cut tenderloin is breaded, deep-fried and served on a freshly made kaiser bun.
    Photo courtesy of Nickel Plate Bar & Grill / Facebook

10Best and Sandwich America recruited a panel of local foodies to nominate their favorite breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches in the state, and for the past four weeks our readers have been voting daily for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin in Indiana are as follows:

  1. O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers - Lafayette
  2. Nick's Kitchen - Huntington
  3. The Mug - Greenfield
  4. C.R. Heroes Family Pub - Fishers
  5. Mr. Dave's Restaurant - North Manchester
  6. The Tie Dye Grill - Indianapolis
  7. Steer In Diner - Indianapolis
  8. Oasis Diner - Plainfield
  9. The Friendly Tavern - Zionsville
  10. Nickel Plate Bar & Grill - Fishers

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Liz Biro (IndyStar), Rick Garrett (All Tenderloins, All The Time), Lyn Mettler (10Best Local Expert) and Ken Thompson (Journal Courier) were chosen based on their familiarity with BPTs in Indiana.

Additional nominees in this category included Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant in Indianapolis, The Brau Haus in Oldenburg, Gaslight Inn in Indianapolis, Grindstone Charley's (multiple locations), Pawn Shop Pub in Indianapolis, Ray's Drive-In in Kokomo, TC's Restaurant and Tavern in Battle Ground, The Tick Tock Tavern in Lafayette, Triple XXX Family Restaurant in West Lafayette and Wagner’s Village Inn in Oldenburg.

A big congrats to all our winning BPTs!

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AlertThe Experts

Liz Biro and Rick Garrett

Liz Biro and Rick Garrett

Liz Biro and Rick Garrett

Lyn Mettler

Lyn Mettler

Lyn Mettler

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Terry French

Terry French

Terry French