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Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant

Map & Directions
(29 Reviews)

1031 E 54th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 259-9412

Today: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Regular Hours
Tue - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Extra Phones

Phone: (317) 259-9416

Fax: (317) 259-9416

Payment method
all major credit cards, amex, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
Meridian Kessler

Mama Corolla's Old Italian Restaurant

Mama Carolla’s

Italian Restaurants, Caterers, Family Style Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Lot, Private

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Caterers, Family Style, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: No

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average


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Kevin N.



Absolutely wonderful dining experience. Great atmosphere. The server we had was very helpful and personable. We live an hour away, but we will make the trip again just for this place. Reservations suggested on weekends.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Italian in Indy!

I am very disappointed to read such poor reviews for Mama Carolla's. I am Italian and it is my favorite place to go for Italian food! I have never had a bad meal there. Their canoli is awesome! Let me clarify some earlier complaints: I don't see it as romantic, but if you have ever been to a real Italian dinner, it is loud! To me, this is more casual style dining, but it could very well be cozy on a weeknight. If you go on the weekeind, it is crowded and you will have to wait (like every other restaurant in Indy), but I have never waited more than 20 minutes. I believe that the food is worth the wait! The prices are very reasonable. Just recently, at another ""upscale"" Italian restaurant in the Geist area, we had reservations and STILL waited 30 minutes.
After being seated, we waited another hour just to get our appetizers! And it was way more expensive than Mama Carolla's!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worst experience I've had

This place is terrible. The service was slow, the staff (hostest and waitress) were exceedingly grumpy and the food is only so, so.

I will never go back and would recommend you stay away. It is terribly over priced to be treated so badly. I had a party of eight people and they made me feel like they were after my money and could care less about our experience. Awful!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Italian in Indy

Great food, service and wonderful atmosphere. Is great for a group or a romantic date. We are always happy with are experience here. The Rosemary Chicken Lasagna is to die for!



Provided by Citysearch - 
My Favorite Restaurant...EVER!

This is my absolute favorite restaurant in the entire Indianapolis area. There is nothing I don't like from the menu, and the nightly specials are always fantastic. I feel like the staff has worked there forever...which makes them very knowledgeable; they even recognize me as a return customer! True, is does get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends, but that just makes me feel like I'm a part of the action! To the people who commented that it was too loud, I would suggest they try a less popular location. Mama Carolla's is popular for many good reasons.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Had a great experience here!

I took my wife to Mama’s last night and had such a great experience I thought I would get online to write a review. It was are first time to the Restaurant and being that I have worked in the service industry for many years before earning my degree I put myself at the mercy of our Server. I asked him for a wine recommendation. I was looking for a good Pinot Noir and they had 3 or 4 to pick from. I took the servers recommendation on the Chehalem Pinot Noir. It was excellent and reasonable. Then I asked for a appetizer and he suggested the artichoke fritters witch were amazing! Now it was time for the main coarse. I went with the special veal cannelloni and my wife had the chicken rigatoni. We shared our entrees because they were both so excellent. We did not finish our food because we decided to save room for desert. Our serve recommended the tiramisu and just like everything else he recommended it was amazing. My wife and I will definitely be returning and if you are thinking Italian you should check it out.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Not so Romantic - My own Home is Better!

I was told I couldn't pass up a meal at Mama Carolla' after living in Indy for almost a year, I tried it. Unfortunately, I tried it ona special husbands B-day. They knew it was a special occassion but never acknowledged it. They sat us by the front door where people kept going in and out all night and where we received a blast of cold air each time. This also happens to be by the fireplace as well. I know...fireplace, sounds romantic....NOT! This is the congregating point for all patrons waiting to be seated. Therefore, they were standing right next to our table. Quite frankly, this restaurant was not at all what we expected and we could have easily gotten up and left and they would never have known as the service was also not that great. Chairs were uncomfortable and it was so loud that we had to move closer at the table to have a conversation. Save your money....this place is pricey too, service is bad and definetly no romantic!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
My definition of intimate/romantic must be different ....

When trying a new italian restaurant, I generally order a basic pasta dish with tomatoes and olive oil. (Quality of food can be masked if it is smothered in cheese, marinara sauce or loaded with spices.) The tomatoes were under-ripe and were reminiscent of soggy cardboard (as are all under-ripe store bought tomatoes - nothing at all like a ripe roma or home grown tomatoe from the garden. Even canned tomatoes would have been better in this dish). I was quite disappointed with my entree especially because this is a very basic italian dish. Having said that, sampling other entrees at the table - most were quite tastey and the asparagus appetizers were wonderful. The bread was okay - not bad but we have had much better; the salads were small - but ample food overall. The other 3 diners in my party enjoyed the food.

As for atmosphere, many reviews called it quaint and romantic because it was an old house converted into a restaurant. Well, I am from Bloomington Indiana where most non-chain restaurants are in converted old homes. And this atmosphere can be more intimate and more romantic unless you have to follow your server through a maze of people waiting and also have to make your way through them to use the restroom and to leave. Plus, you are seated at a table where you are just as close to your date as you are to the people at each of the tables around you. We had to lean into each other to hear what the other was saying. The wait staff seemed more frustrated than rude. Tough working conditions having to weave in and out of everything.

Prices were very reasonable.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Italian in Indy

This place is great. Its a nice little restaurant right off the Monon that makes you feel like youre really entering Mama Carolla's house. I have tried multiple things on the menu and have never been disappointed. The veal is great, the chicken lasagna is great, you really cant go wrong with Mama Carolla's. Not to mention the outdoor seating which is top notch in the summer time. The prices are EXTREMELY reasonable for what youre getting. It costs about the same as the Olive Garden but is as good as any Italian restaurant I've ever been to. Not to sound like a snob but I live in Chicago and there are plenty of great Italian restaurants here and Mama Carolla's is as good or better than every one of them...and half the price. Great for if youre visiting or want to take your girl out for a great meal. Cant say enough good things about this place.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Food is good, staff is at best indiffrent, the interior sounds like a wind tunnel.

Food is very good. Wait staff is at best indifferent, the hostesses are less than indifferent they are well below average, rude is the term. The interior is quite loud so if you are going go in the temperate season and eat outside. If you are going for pleasant conversation and an expectation of decent service there are many other places close by that are far superior. Dean Martin croons? Pleeeeeease if there was music the noise from the crowd was such that it could not be heard. Romantic if one considers it romantic to be seated virtually on top of the table next to you. The good point is that the next table cannot hear you whisper into your darling's ear as it is so noisy. The next table could not hear you shout into you darling's ear.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Fantastic Italian without leaving rocky ripple

I never post on reveiw sites, but i read a reveiw by a user named ""spencer54"" and it bothered me. The service at Mama Carolla's had never upset me. i have worked in many, many, resturants and on every visit I am treated above and beyond all my expectations for service. Never have i watied past when they tell me i will; and in addition to that I am a sous chef here in indy, and I enjoy the food everytime. I have never been let down. So I say to ""spencer54"" give it another go, and check out the menu... The food is good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Lively and invigorating

We arrived on Friday evening about 6:30p and did have to wait about 30 minutes. We were able to spend the time in the bar where we easily found a seat and great conversation with the staff who recommended an excellent chianti wine. An appetizer of fried ravioli is recommended--very tasty! For the main course, I had the seared tuna with pesto which I would not recommend. I thought it would come with some pasta but instead came with only a red sauce. No matter, I still enjoyed the entree and mostly the environment. It is also one of the few italian places I know that serves wedding soup which was a little too salty. Overall, wonderful experience..I loved the decor. Ladies bathroom only accomodates one while the guys seems to be larger judging by the number of ppl I saw coming out.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Place

Wonderful place! Great atmosphere. Love the garden area!
Bar area is a little crowded on weekends but we have
always been able to find a place to sit while waiting for a table.
Bummer that they do not take reservations but the food and atmosphere
are worth the short wait. Just don't come too hungry.
My favorite dish is the Chicken Rigatoni but my husband loves
the spagehtti and meatballs.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Very nice atmosphere

We arrived on a Friday night at about 630pm and didn't have to wait at all - we were seated outside in the very nice garden setting. We were served quickly, meal portions are large and come with bread and soup or salad. Our server was friendly and helpful. The food was fine - nothing extraordinary but nothing to complain about either. The best part of my meal was the soup and bread. This is a nice neighborhood resturant.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Avoid like the plague

I had absolutely one of the worst dining experiences here that I have had in Indianapolis. They don't take reservations, which is the start of the problem. So we waited in the bar and had appetizers. But then people who arrived after us were being seated while we waited. When I challenged the staff on this they became belligerent, and when we were finally seated (half an hour after the time they told us the table would be ready) the waitress was pompous and unfriendly. I have never been so tempted to get up and leave a restaurant, but we stuck it out, ate the indifferent food as quickly as we could, and left. I have no idea why this place is still in business, and would enthusiastically discourage anyone from going there.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Food was excellent

This is a wonderful place to take a family or a date, very cozy. I went there with my family and we had a great time. My little girl (age 4, world's pickiest eater) loved the food, she ate a good portion of the shared meal (the servings are more than fair for two). The staff was very helpful and knew what ingredients were in the food, which made selecting, very easy.

I would definately recommend, if you are looking to do good Italian food on a nite out.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great bar, even better menu

This is an Italian restaurant for those looking for creative Italian dishes. The place is usually packed, which just shows how good the place is. Try the Veal Medallians or filet steak. The appetizers are wonderful, especially the fried ravioli and calamari (second to none). In all, I would recommend Mama Carolla's to every friend and even every's a unique and flavorful dining experience that should not be missed.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great experiance again

Just ate at Mama's last night. Great food ,great service. Would recommend to anyone. I have never had bad food at this place. We did have a bad waitress one night but it did not detour us in going back as the food is heavenly.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Italian Restaurant in Indianapolis

We go as often we can and love it. The have the best pasta in Indianpolis and don't forget the garlic cheese bread! I could spend a meal eating just that!