oakleys bistro

Welcome to OAKLEYS bistro.

Food is our passion and sharing it with our guests is our joy. Our menus, wine selections, products, classes, signature events and partnerships reflect the careful consideration of our experienced, professional team.

We love what we do and it shows. See for yourself…


Tuesday – Saturday 11am -1:30pm

Tuesday – Thursday 5pm -9:30pm
Friday – Saturday 5pm – 10pm


reserve a table

Reservations are suggested.


Steven J. Oakley


Chef Proprietor Steven J. OakleyIt’s commonly thought that you know you’ve found your life’s calling if you’d do your job for free. Chef Steven J. Oakley personifies that idea. His career began at age 16 when he offered his services to a suburban Chicago restaurant for free: “I just wanted to work, I wanted to learn,” says Oakley. That emphasis on hard work and continual learning has culminated in Chef Oakley arriving at the top of his profession in Indianapolis.

That structured education didn’t temper his need to learn from other chefs in other kitchens and he spent many weekends traveling to New York City to work in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, including The Park Avenue Café and Lutece—for free of course. He spent summers back in Chicago where he worked at the famous Charlie Trotter’s. Following a brief stint at the Scottsdale Princess Resort in Arizona, Chef Oakley returned home to Chicago where he worked for another landmark restaurant, Printer’s Row, and again, Charlie Trotter’s.

Benvenuti, a venerable Indianapolis eatery, called him away from the windy city for good. He spent a year there before joining forces with Something Different Restaurant in 1993, where he spent nine years receiving many accolades including nominations for the prestigious James Beard Rising Star Chef’s award and the restaurant’s induction into the Restaurant Hall of Fame.

And now, as Chef/Proprietor of OAKLEYS bistro, which he established in December 2002, he is living his childhood dream and hoping to help others do the same. An unpretentious, neighborhood American bistro is very different from the haute cuisine establishments of Chef Oakley’s previous experiences. Put in his words, “We wanted to dispel the notion that special food should be reserved for special occasions: we created an affordable, everyday destination where every meal is a special occasion.”

Achieving such recognition as being named “one of the hottest restaurants from coast to coast” by Bon Appétit, receiving the American Culinary Federation’s National Achievement of Excellence Award, and “Restaurant of the Year” and “Superstar” from the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, OAKLEYS bistro reflects its owner’s passion for food and sharing it with others. But Chef Oakley’s sharing goes beyond the traditional, evidenced by the Restaurant & Hospitality Association’s Neighborhood Award to “honor restaurant operators who go above and beyond supporting their communities.” The Association specifically recognized that not only does Oakleys bistro contribute a portion of its sales of products to Second Helpings, Indianapolis’ only food rescue, job training and hunger relief program, but also Chef Oakley opens his kitchen for training and hiring those who demonstrate a true passion for food and who understand the demands placed on a first class kitchen team.

From capturing first place at the Food Network - Simon Mall’s “Super Chefs Live” competition and being invited as a guest chef for Cakebread Cellars’ American Harvest Dinners and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival to being named one of Indy’s Best and Brightest by the business community and honored for the past several years as a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation's Best Chefs in America Awards, Chef Oakley most cherishes the accolades from those who join him and his Team for lunch and dinner at OAKLEYS bistro.

When asked to what he attributes his success, Chef Oakley responds, “You have to love what you do.” He does -- and it shows.

Chef For A Day!

No matter what your cooking skill level, from the curious to the serious, if you want the ultimate hands-on kitchen experience, consider becoming an OAKLEYS bistro Chef For A Day. Your experience includes: assisting the Kitchen Team with the essential morning prep for the day’s menus, engaging in and learning through culinary chatter, observing first hand the true “magic” of an award-winning professional kitchen, receiving your official OAKLEYS bistro apparel and returning later to savor and share your day’s experiences during a three course dinner for you and a guest! OAKLEYS bistro’s Chef for a Day is the perfect gift for someone special...including yourself! $200

To schedule your Chef for a Day, call us at 317-824-1231 or email us at info@oakleysbistro.com.

Tuesday Tasting

Join us on most every Tuesday evening from 5-6pm for our TUESDAY TASTING when different wine representatives feature several wines for a casual, informal complimentary tasting and education...a great place to greet old friends and meet new ones.

Signature Dinners

Our Signature Dinners give Chef Oakley and Manager/Sommelier Chris Hopkins a chance to match their culinary genius and wine wizardry in presenting exceptional dinners where the freshest of flavors are perfectly paired with wines from exciting vineyards around the world. We schedule these dinners with the vintners’ availability and times when they have a special wine or vintage to share with our guests.

Check our latest newsletter for coming Signature Dinners. “What’s Up” is our periodic e-newsletter which features upcoming events as well as our latest news. Our e-mail friends are always the first to know, so if you aren’t already on our periodic email newsletter roster and would like to be, send us a request with your email address to info@oakleysbistro.com.

Second Helpings

We have partnered with Second Helpings since we opened our doors in December of 2002. Central Indiana’s only food rescue, job training and hunger relief organization, Second Helpings’ mission is to “safely utilize rescued food to educate and train adults for positions in the culinary field and to distribute nutritious meals to shelters for the disadvantaged.” From training and hiring students and, when possible, providing equipment and food to assisting in events and activities, we support this phenomenal program. A portion of the sales of our seasonings also goes directly to Second Helpings.

Learning Lunches

As part of our partnership with the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, we host “Learning Lunches” for students selected by our neighboring schools. Prior to leaving their school, the students learn the art of meeting and greeting people which they practice when they arrive at the restaurant by meeting Chef Oakley and his Team who treat them to a behind the scenes look at their kitchen. Without exception, peeking into the walk-in cooler seems to be the biggest hit! As each of the four lunch courses is served, the students learn and practice proper etiquette taught by explaining and demonstrating that most etiquette rules were made for a reason…making manners make sense. From trying freshly prepared soup to devouring such desserts as Warm Chocolate Brownies with house-made caramel corn, we’re not sure who has more fun, the students who are eating or the staff who is serving!

Special OAKLEYS at HOME Deliveries

Wanting to share our food with our neighbors for more than just the holidays, we approached Washington Township to see whether they would be willing to identify families who, for many reasons, might appreciate an OAKLEYS at HOME carry-out dinner. Since 2004, we have been delivering meals to families selected by Washington Township schools on arranged Friday evenings. Assuring privacy, our kitchen staff is apprised of each family’s size, ages and circumstances so that they can prepare the meals accordingly. Families are notified when the meals will be delivered and the school’s designees deliver the hot meals with lots of excitement and appreciation from both sides.

Photo Gallery


Join us on most every Tuesday evening from 5-6pm for our TUESDAY TASTING when different wine representatives feature several wines for a casual, informal complimentary tasting and education…a great place to greet old friends and meet new ones.


OAKLEYS bistro offers catering services!

Upcoming Events

Lots Going On!

Lots Going On!

(plus tax & gratuity)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6th from 5-8pm

From sparkling wine to port, from red to white and from bold to fruity, RNDC’s Allison Henricks, Dani Riley, Susan Cotter and Gary Hulseman will be at each station to guide you to the perfect wines for your holiday entertaining, gift giving and, best of all, for a quiet evening at home! Wines will be available for purchase by the bottle or in cases.  
Piper Heidseick 1785 Brut
Bouvet Brut
Bouvet Rose
Black Stallion Cabernet

Delamotte Brut NV
Hess Collection Chardonnay 2014
En Route Pinot Noir 2014
Canvasback Red Mountain Cabernet  2013
Ruffino Prosecco NV
Ruffino Sparkling Extra Dry Rose NV
Estancia Meritage 2013
Simi Landslide Cabernet 2012 

Robert Mondavi Napa Fume Blanc
Poema Extra Dry Cava
Domaine Carneros Brut Rose
King Estate Pinot Noir 2014
Warres Warrior Port
Short Rib Tacos
Chicken Confit Tacos
Baby Back Ribs
Poached Salmon
Pimiento Cheese Arancini
Short Rib Grilled Cheese
Milk Braised Pork Shoulder

Shrimp Corn Dogs
Bacon Wrapped Apricots
Waldorf Salad
Candied Bacon
Pearl Pasta
Crab Lettuce Wraps

Simon O’Grady, Crossroad Vintners
Tuesday, December 13th at 6:00pm
$58/person (plus tax & gratuity)
Join Simon O’Grady as he demonstrates step by step how to construct three perfect cocktails for you to “shake” up or stir at home. The liquors used will be available for purchase. After tasting each special drink, enjoy an equally special three-course dinner prepared by Chef Oakley and his Kitchen Team and appropriately paired with selected wines.  RESERVE NOW
Saturday, December 10th from 9-11am
$45/Junior Chef
Your favorite Junior Chefs will prepare fun, easy, healthful (maybe not all super healthful) dishes from scratch, learn basic cooking skills and ask Chef Steve lots of questions.  Of course, they get to eat all of their culinary creations as well as take home the recipes for family cooking fun.  The class is limited and will fill up quickly. RESERVE NOW
From NOW until December 23rd, for every $100 worth of our Regular and/or Customized Gift Certificates that you purchase, we will give you an extra $25 Gift Certificate valid from January 2nd through March 31st (with the exception of February 14th and Special Events) for you to enjoy or to keep on giving!  
Our Spices and Rubs make a great alternative host gift. Our Chef For a Day is the ultimate gift for your favorite foodie. Take the hassle out of your entertaining…schedule your event at OAKLEYS bistro, at an outside venue or by pick-up catering.  Our Customized Gift Certificates with pictures, logos or special messages make perfect gifts for customers, teachers, friends and family.  To learn more or to schedule, stop in, call 317-824-1231 or email chris@oakleysbistro.com. Time is limited.
We are taking reservations NOW for our Prix Fixe New Year's Eve Dinner, Saturday, December 31, 2016, which starts with a Chef's Amuse followed by Three Courses with several choices in each course.  Call NOW as we fill up early and quickly!  $75/person (plus tax & gratuity)