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Classic Restaurants of Evansville


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Nestled in a horseshoe bend along the Ohio River, Evansville bestrides the border between the Mid-South and the Midwest. This location allowed the city to build a culinary tradition all its own. For generations, cherished eateries like Turoni’s, House of Como and Hilltop Inn have served delicious and unique local fare like brain sandwiches, cracker-crisp thin crust pizza, Ski slushies, burgoo and more. In recent years, revitalized historic districts have housed cafés, coffeehouses and breweries that hearken back to Evansville’s past even as they embrace the present and look to the future. Historian and University of Southern Indiana professor Kristalyn Shefveland explores the historic restaurants and contemporary legends that define two centuries of Evansville’s food history.

Kristalyn Shefveland is a University of Southern Indiana professor in the Department of History and has lived in Evansville since 2010. A native of Wabasha, Minnesota, and North Ridgeville, Ohio, she grew up hearing stories of giant catfish in the upper Mississippi River and eating Frank’s Bratwursts with kraut on a soft roll topped with stadium mustard in the gallery of the Cleveland Westside Market. A scholar of the American South and the native Southeast, Shefveland enjoys the ways in which history and foodways can intersect and is the creator of the River Cities Oral History Project, a collaborative effort at the University of Southern Indiana that seeks to collect memories and stories about the Tristate region. She is the author of Anglo-Native Virginia: Trade, Conversion, and Indian Slavery in the Old Dominion, 1646–1722 (University of Georgia Press, 2016).