The Locavore’s Guide to Downtown Dining




     : one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible


“Eating local” is a popular pastime right now. It’s more than just a trend, though. The locavore movement produces plenty of benefits to a community: it’s more sustainable than food shipped across the country or halfway around the world, it supports local workers and business owners, and it improves public health through nutrition and food accessibility.

What’s more, local food is part of a regenerative cycle. Supporting locally grown and raised food creates demand for more fresh, quality food produced in our region. So, the more we seek it, the more our local food ecosystem grows—leading to more options and an even greater economic and environmental impact.

When you consider the perks, supporting our regional farms and food producers is a no-brainer. And support can be as simple as dining at a restaurant that sources locally, or buying your groceries at a farmers market.

Here’s a locavore-friendly guide to dining in Downtown Fort Wayne:


Owners Nicky Nolot and Chef Matthew Nolot were living the farm-to-fork lifestyle before it was trendy—dating back to Nicky’s childhood living on a family farm in North Central Indiana. Her deep connection to food and farmers was a driving force behind Tolon, an upscale spot on The Landing.


Tolon (“toh-lun”) offers a rotational, in-season menu that’s top-notch, featuring an array of local purveyors and flavors. Whether you visit for dinner or brunch, you’re sure to see a bill of fare full of hearty, classic dishes that are approachable to the Midwestern palate, but served up with Chef Nolot’s signature flair. Come hungry, and leave feeling closer to our local food community.  


Hours & Location:

Wednesday – Thursday: 4pm to 9pm

Friday – Saturday: 4pm to 10pm

Sunday: 10am to 2pm

614 S. Harrison Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802


Website & Social:

Tolon’s Website

Tolon’s Facebook

Tolon’s Instagram

Copper Spoon

Copper Spoon is distinguished for its high quality food, wine, cocktails and experiences. So it’s no surprise that Chef Aaron Butts and the Copper Spoon team know how to elevate local ingredients, letting them shine with every appearance on their small-but-mighty menu. 


Like Tolon, Copper Spoon is a pillar of the local food scene, sourcing as much as possible from local suppliers. And when you’re feasting on your community-focused fare, you can pair your meal with one of their award-winning cocktails, which have earned Copper Spoon and their bartenders national recognition. 


Hours & Location:

Monday – Thursday:  5pm to 10pm

Friday – Saturday:  5pm to 11:30pm (Kitchen closes at 10pm)

301 West Jefferson Boulevard Suite 100, Fort Wayne, IN 46802


Website & Social:

Copper Spoon’s Website

Copper Spoon’s Facebook

Copper Spoon’s Instagram


Mercado (Spanish for “market”) on The Landing is the spot for Cali-Mexican food. It’s also a hotspot for locavores. Mercado’s menu is inspired by Chicano flavors typically not produced by ingredients grown in the north. But that didn’t stop them from peppering their menu with some local additions, and supporting community agriculture.

Burger enthusiasts have to try the Pachola Burger, a west coast-inspired double-smash burger featuring Mercado’s guac sauce and patties sourced from local favorite, Wood Farms.

Hours & Location:

Monday – Thursday: 11am to 10pm

Friday: 11am to 11pm

Saturday: 10am to 11pm

111 West Columbia Street Suite 103, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Website & Social:

Mercado’s Website

Mercado’s Facebook

Mercado’s Instagram

Penny Drip

New in town, Penny Drip is a hip coffee shop on Lafayette Street that’s joined the movement to pioneer local provisions. Penny Drip offers an abundance of caffeinated creations, a fully stocked bar for craft cocktails, and of course, an exceptional menu sporting seasonal sustenance.

One of the few local eateries open seven days a week, you can stop by Penny Drip any day to grab a breakfast sandwich that’s out-of-this-world, with egg, bacon,
and sausage from local farmers, served between locally baked bagels or english muffins. Bonus: they’re open until 10pm, so you can satisfy any late(ish) night cravings.

Hours & Location:

Sunday – Thursday: 7am to 10pm

Friday – Saturday: 7am to 11pm

815 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Website & Social:

Penny Drip’s Website

Penny Drip’s Instagram

Penny Drip’s Facebook

Davey’s Delicious Bagels

Located in Historic West Central, Davey’s Delicious Bagels is a go-to for steamed bagel sandwiches. Davey’s offers an abundance of tasty toppings. So you can stack your breakfast sandwich to your heart’s desire. What’s better than a stacked bagel sandwich? A stacked bagel sandwich with locally sourced breakfast meats. 

There’s often a line to get one of Davey’s delicious bagels (a testament to any good bagel shop), so you can build your sandwich online, and pick it up to save time—
or while you’re waiting, sip on some locally roasted Utopian coffee.

Hours & Location:

Sunday – Saturday: 7am to 3pm

1006 Broadway Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Website & Social:

Davey’s Delicious Bagels’ Website

Davey’s Delicious Bagels’ Facebook

Davey’s Delicious Bagels’ Instagram

Rune at Fortezza

Rune is a pop-up dining experience led by Chef Sean Richardson. Located in Fortezza Coffee, this reservation-only, multi-course dinner serves as an homage to our local food scene. Because Chef Richardson’s menu is new each time, there’s plenty of room to experiment with whatever’s in season.

Rune happens almost every month, and spots fill up quickly. So don’t miss out on this unique event that will deepen your connection to the foods and flavors that make our community.


Hours & Location:

Hours vary based on pop-up. 

819 Calhoun St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 (inside Fortezza Coffee)

Website & Social:

Rune currently does not have a website. Follow Chef Sean Richardson’s Instagram for announcements regarding the next Rune pop-up + how you can snag a reservation.

Photo by Sierah Barnhart

Fort Wayne Farmers Market + YLNI Farmers Market 

Looking for a simple way to get to know your local farmers? Visit them face-to-face at the farmers market! 

Both the YLNI and Fort Wayne Farmers Market are open every season, giving our local farmers and food producers the love they deserve year-round.

During winter, you’ll find the Fort Wayne Farmers Market cozied up inside the TinCap’s event venue at Parkview Field. In the summer, visit them at McCulloch Park, right outside the Electric Works campus. It’s worth mentioning that the Fort Wayne Farmers Market accepts SNAP, and recipients can get double the value when they purchase fruits and vegetables from any of the market’s vendors.

The YLNI Farmers Market is led by local non-profit, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. It’s volunteer-based with the goal of attracting, developing, and retaining emerging leaders in our community. You can catch YLNI’s Summer Market at Barr Street next to the History Center. In the winter months, they move indoors, just outside of Downtown Fort Wayne at The Olde East End Building on East Berry Street.

Fort Wayne Farmers Market Hours & Location:

Every Saturday 9am to 1pm

Summer Market: 1795 Broadway Street, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802 

Winter Market: 285 W. Douglas Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 (inside Parkview Field)

*2022-2023 only; check their website for current location and hours

YLNI Farmers Market Hours & Location:

Every Saturday 9am to 1pm

Summer Market: 302 E Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Winter Market: 1501 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 

*2022-2023 only; check their website for current location and hours

Fort Wayne Farmers Market Website & Social:

Fort Wayne Farmers Market’s Website

Fort Wayne Farmers Market’s Facebook

Fort Wayne Farmers Market’s Instagram

YLNI Farmers Market Website & Social:

YLNI Farmers Market’s Website

YLNI Farmers Market’s Facebook

YLNI Farmers Market’s Instagram

Molly Conner is a Fort Wayne native and freelance writer. Having lived in Downtown Fort Wayne throughout her twenties, she loves watching her stomping grounds grow. With her love of storytelling and community in tow, she’s eager to tell Downtown Fort Wayne’s story piece-by-piece—exploring the people, spaces, and organizations that make it thrive.