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Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville: Gourmet American

Bonge's Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana Exterior
Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana Exterior

Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana is in a town with fewer than 150 people. Yes, you did read that right. Finding Bonge’s Tavern might not be easy, but it’s certainly worth the trip.

What began as a hardware store in the 1830’s has been a popular Madison County dining destination since 1934–one taste and you’ll know why.

Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana

Bonge's Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana Tomato Soup
Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana World Famous Tomato Soup

We had no idea where Bonge’s Tavern was hiding. We went up one road and back-tracked down another. We were starving. We left later than we intended. Yet there we were. Driving up and down the road without a restaurant in sight. GPS insisted that Bonge’s Tavern was right in front of us. I can assure you that it absolutely was not.

And then? I saw a tiny sign way up high on a telephone pole with an arrow pointing the way down a ditch and tree-lined road. That was unexpected.

Tucked away among a group of houses and plenty of trees, Bonge’s Tavern is on a curvy road. That night, like most nights in the summer, it was hopping. We were shocked to learn that on this particular Friday night there was a two hour wait time. Remember now, this small town boasts less than 200 people. Can you even imagine? Wrap your brain around that for a minute! That’s a sign of some really good food.

No one really minds the wait–and for good reason. Tailgating is a common sight in Bonge’s spacious parking lot. In fact, it is encouraged. Everyone brings their own chairs, stocked coolers, and music. They all just hang out while they wait their turn to head inside. You won’t even believe it but there’s a port-a-potty in the parking area during the warmer months. I can’t make this stuff up.

So, just think of the atmosphere you will find inside. Everyone just spent the last two hours relaxing and getting to know one another. You basically continue the party inside.

Perkinsville, Indiana Restaurant

Bonge's Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana Duck
Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana Harger Duck

A simple chalkboard menu features changing items. Short and sweet, it was still so hard for us to decide. Our server was wonderful. She took the time to explain each item and was ready to offer up her suggestions when we asked. I wish I had caught her name. I couldn’t decide if I should get the Applewood Smoked Prime Rib or the Lamb Chops with Beluga Lentils. What about that Atlantic Char?

We started with their world famous tomato soup and a side of the jalapeno corn bread. Oh–and crab cakes. Hey, we were hungry. It’s all in the name of research anyway.

Knowing Hoosiers love of pork tenderloin sandwiches, Bonge’s Tavern features a non-sandwich spin: Perkinsville Pork–and my husband, Jeremy, claimed dibs. Now that was a fancy pork tenderloin. How delicious. I went with the Harger Duck: tender duck wrapped around jalapeno, bacon, and cream cheese. Served with wild rice and a potato casserole, you could say it was memorable. There’s nothing better than duck done well.

That’s the thing about Bonge’s Tavern. Every single thing we ate was amazing. True to small town style we sat at vinyl tablecloth covered booths and enjoyed the lively conversation.

Go There

Things to Do in Central Indiana

Now this is a popular place. I haven’t even gotten to the loveliness that was dessert. Once again, go with the small Indiana town flow and sit back, relax, and stay awhile. At Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana, it’s not only encouraged…it’s expected!

Bonge’s Tavern is for folks aged 21 and up. Follow Bonge’s Tavern Facebook Group to keep up with the latest updates and news or take a look at the Bonge’s Tavern Instagram page

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.

Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

Bonge’s Tavern
9830 West 280 North
Perkinsville, Indiana 46011
765.734.1625
Reservations for groups of 10 or more.
Remember, this is for adults, aged 21+.
Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday and Saturday: 4:30 PM – 10 PM
Sunday and Monday: Closed

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Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! Little Indiana advertising.

About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a PBS segment on the state-wide program "The Weekly Special," a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper, and a book. Look for "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" published by Indiana University Press in April 2016--just in time for Indiana's BIG 200th Birthday Celebration.

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