Fort Wayne has some awesome hidden gems when it comes to restaurants. If you're looking for something unique and want to immerse yourself in the culture of the food itself then check out these fabulous dining spots:
Having lived in South Korea for a few years I became a bit of a Korean food snob upon arriving here in the US, but I have to say that Seoul Garden won me over at first bite. It may look like an old shack nestled uncomfortably in the Mobil gas station's parking lot, but once inside they have very authentic Korean food and a nice selection of Chinese food too. The staff can appear shy at first, win them over with a few Korean words ("kam-sa-ham-ni-da" is thank you). If you're new to Korean food try Bibimbap in a hot stone bowl, or sample the Galbi (pork ribs cooked in a sweet, salty sauce). Kimchi can be an acquired taste, so try it cooked in a bokumbap (Korean fried rice). Drink your beer Korean style with a shot of soju added!
I avoided this restaurant for a long time because of it's lack of curb appeal - my husband and I joked that it looked like a mafia den - but went there recently for a friend's birthday and had so much fun! The décor inside is warm and cozy - like stepping into someone's house - and the low lighting is very romantic, great for a first date! The food portions were small but deliciously homemade. If you're a wine connoisseur try the more expensive Chianti, if not then the house Chianti comes in a fun bottle. What made the night for me was Karaoke with the restaurant's owner and chef Alex, who cooks the food himself and helps bring a bit of Italy to the Midwest.
Hands down the best Thai food in Fort Wayne (and I've tried them all!). I'd heard great things about this restaurant before going there and have to say I wasn't disappointed. From the outside Baan Thai looks like your regular strip mall Thai restaurant, but step inside to a wonderful atmosphere and very kind, helpful staff. Their duck curry was delicious and their Tom Yum was perfect. Don't be afraid to crank it it up to a level 4 for a more authentic Thai spice! They take one month of a year so that all their staff can go and visit family, so don't go between May 4th and June 3, 2015.
Small prices and big plates full of delicious food, need I say more? I love this restaurant for some authentic Burmese/Thai cuisine and have heard nothing but great reviews from everyone who goes there. You'll be welcomed like a member of the family to this tiny hole in the wall. Enjoy a cup of hot tea while you wait and try their pad siew and shrimp rolls. Sit back, relax and imagine you're in Asia, it's not difficult at this great gem of a restaurant!
The sushi at Sakura is to die for!
Sit at the sushi bar and chat to their chef Jackie - This man is true artist when it comes to preparing and creating masterpieces of sushi art. If you're out to impress on a business lunch, or a date, order the love boat, expensive but unique, fun and a whole lot of sushi! I tend to head towards the spicy maki rolls (Phoenix / Fuji) on the menu which Jackie will make fresh in front of you. Just tell him what you like and he'll make it happen, like magic before your very eyes. If you're a sushi lover you need to go to Sakura!
a Brit I couldn't resist popping Big Eyed Fish on my list of hidden gems! Everyone knows how much the English love their fish and chips and so I was inevitably going to be hard to please in this area. The original restaurant on North Wells street looks a little scary from the outside with it's barred windows, but don't be deterred, once inside the food and the atmosphere are great! Don't expect healthy food here, but you will get delicious. Their fish is good and chicken is a popular alternative. Big Eyed fish have also recently opened a Big Eyed Fish Express on Hillegas.
There are so many more great hidden gems in Fort Wayne I could write this list for days! Try Caliente (Cuban), Saigon Restaurant (Vietnamese), Queen of Sheeba (Ethopian) and Taj Mahal (Indian) too. If you have a hidden gem that you'd like to share just comment below, I'd love to hear your suggestions.