Rayan Restaurant brings authentic Yemeni cuisine to Indy’s International Market District

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It’s not every day that you find a restaurant that makes both meat lovers and vegetarians sing their praises in their Yelp reviews.

But within the International Market District, Rayan Restaurant (located at 4873 West 38th St) offers the opportunity for guests to slip off their shoes, sit on a cushion within one of their cubbies, and enjoy a truly authentic taste of Yemen.

“The location itself is good. Every day you meet new people. You meet people from all over the world, not just from the Middle East,” says owner Abdu Abashaar.

Abashaar may be soft spoken, but the spices in the dishes served up here at Rayan speak loud and clear. For first timers, he says those authentic spices are the most obvious difference between the food here and what you might find elsewhere in the very diverse International Market District.

“You can go from one to the next and you’re in an ethnic grocery, or you’re at a pita making business, so you can see and try new things and it’s always different when you come here,” says Brittany Smith from Yelp Indy.

Here, there’s really something for everyone. Vegetarians rave in their Yelp reviews about the fresh falafel and hummus. Then, for meat lovers, Yelpers say you’ve got to try the mixed platter.

“The mixed platter contains chicken shish kebab, lamb shish kebab, chicken shawarma, lamb shawarma, hummus, rice, and besides the seasonings. Which is like the hot spices and the garlic,” says Abashaar.

Four Things You Need To Know:

  • Yelpers can’t get enough of the Yemeni dishes like the lamb haneeth.
  • For an authentic experience, Yelpers recommend slipping your shoes off and eating in one of the floor dining cubbies.
  • Craving dessert? Yelpers recommend the baklava - full platters available at the front counter. All made in-house.
  • Insider tip: peek your head in the window next door to see their pita making bakery.

First timers quickly learn that what sets these dishes apart from what you will find elsewhere in the International Market District are the unique flavors and spices.

“The taste is different than what they had before,” Abashaar says. “So, all the time, I will stop at their table and ask, ‘’What did you like about the food?’ And they say, 'It’s our first time but we will come again because we like the food.'”

Don’t forget something sweet for dessert, like their fresh banana and mango smoothies or the baklava.

Or, if you’d like to experience more of what the International Market District has to offer, check out these businesses within just 3 blocks of Rayan Restaurant:

You can check out Rayan Restaurant on Yelp or on their website for more information. You can also connect by following them on Facebook.

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