Which Indianapolis Restaurants Have The Best Web Design?

Posted November 5, 2013 by   in Web Design

Out of the entire city of Indianapolis, how would you choose the restaurant that had the best web design? With all the classic cuisine in our Indianapolis home, where would you even start? We hardly knew where to begin or end either, but collectively our team took on the adventure.

After logging in countless clicks of the mouse we came to a “best web design” conclusion – three actually. Although food is part of the Springboard culture and calories are a dear friend, our approach to this endeavor was strictly objective.


Voted Number 1 – The Libertine


Voted Number 2 – Petite Chou Bistro


Voted Number 3 – Forty Five Degrees


At Springboard, web design is more than just something we do, it’s something we eat, sleep and breathe. With that being said, you can imagine the Springboard Team definitely has a tendency to critique websites. Not because we are critical by nature, but because we see the impact these websites have on the brands they represent.

To help you better understand how we view web design and its practical correlation to a brand, here are the team’s thoughts behind why they felt these Indianapolis restaurants had the best web design.

Jessica – Creative Director

The Libertine

User Experience: The site navigation is simple and well thought out with the end user in mind. The reservation module is a great feature for the user and subtly implies that this is a popular place that requires a call ahead.

Design: The simple web design is approachable with a modern hipster vibe. The large background photo helps to provide texture and visual context to let visitors know what to expect from the restaurant experience. From the photos to the fonts, this site knows its customer and how to effectively communicate the culture of the restaurant.

Messaging: The About page has a great manifesto feeling to it that suggests a clan mantra for the Libertine patron.

Petite Chou Bistro

User Experience: The food menus are easy to find, download, or print if desired. Providing the option to make a reservation and plan an event is a helpful addition to the website features as well.

Design: The bold typography choices and stark use of black and white color is what makes this website standout. While the background is busy and a little distracting, the overall look is reminiscent of a French bistro but with a modern edge.

Messaging: Messaging is pretty minimal on this website. It appears that most of their communication is through nice photography and letting the food speak for itself.

Forty Five Degrees

User Experience: The user experience is crisp, clean and simple. The site does a great job of directing visitors to the proper restaurant experience (restaurant or nightlife). The main navigation is easy to find and in a consistent location throughout making it easy to quickly find information and make the next step towards visiting the location.

Design: With big photos of the restaurant and nice images of the sushi, the design is appealing and helps communicate the fresh food and overall restaurant experience.

Messaging:  The site uses the best kind of messaging for this type of industry: testimonials. Beyond that, they use nice big images to communicate everything else and it’s very effective.

Allison Steele – Creative Strategist

The Libertine

User Experience: Simple and easy navigation. Easy to make a reservation right on the website.

Design: Clean, sleek web design that speaks to the atmosphere of the restaurant. Love the background photo of their space.

Messaging: The whole website speaks to the customer and their expected level of class when attending and dining at this restaurant.

Petite Chou Bistro

User Experience: Easy to use navigation with a downloadable PDF of their menu. Easy to make reservations.

Design: The large scale photographs in the background illustrate the restaurant’s atmosphere and quality of food.

Messaging: Minimal messaging, but the entire site gives the feeling of bistro dining and unique foods.

Forty Five Degrees

User Experience: Easy to use navigation. It’s also easy to locate and download the menu.

Design: Simple and modern, which also goes with the look of the restaurant. I like the interactiveness of the main image bar and the “restaurant” and “nightlife” rollovers.

Messaging: The website is clear on what type of food and environment you will enjoy when you go to the restaurant. Nice use of reviews and upcoming events to keep them current.

Aubrey Aynes – Junior Developer

The Libertine

User Experience: The navigation is very organized and simple, making it very easy for users to quickly acquire the information they’re looking for, whether it be the menu or location information.

Design: The web design is very clean and appealing. The colors and background work well together.

Messaging: The website lets the audience know this is a classier restaurant, rather than a laidback, to-go restaurant.

Petite Chou Bistro

User Experience: Having a large image with the navigation on the left creates a great user experience.

Design: The design is very simple, allowing the showcasing of their menu items, which leaves the user with an appetite for their food.

Messaging: Lets a user know exactly what kind of food and atmosphere the restaurant offers before they even look at the menu.

Forty Five Degrees

User Experience: The large navigation and buttons create a very user-friendly experience.

Design: The web design is very simple but the use of background images, textures and complementary give off a very high-end feel.

Messaging: This is very clearly a restaurant and cocktail website.

Billy Mcallister – Inbound Marketing Specialist

The Libertine

User Experience: I especially like the ability to set a reservation right there on the site. Also, the “Vino” page is easy to navigate from one wine type to the next.

Design: A restaurant website design does not have to be overwhelming with their food options, specials and event postings. The Libertine Liquor Bar simultaneously balances web design with information and simplicity.

Messaging: The “About” page section is not your typical information about the founders, company culture, etc. It is 100% focused on reinforcing the Libertine spirit and culture.  Every aspect of this website maintains a high level of class.

Petite Chou Bistro

User Experience: Front-and-center, Petite Chou utilizes prime homepage real estate to display all of their social profiles. Right above all of the social icons, they entice visitors to follow for daily specials. Much better than the common, generic “Follow us!” that we’re all so used to seeing.

Design: The design of the homepage is perfectly simple. They only use space and pages to benefit the visitor.

Messaging:  Admittedly, their messaging is really minimal but this ties back into the simplicity of the design. Everything is simplified for the visitor.

Forty Five Degrees

User Experience: I like that different menu options appear depending on where the user hovers their cursor. When they hover over “Restaurant”, the restaurant menu pops up. Same thing for the “Nightlife” and drink menu. Perfect use of rollovers.

Design: It’s clean and simple design makes it impossible to get lost. All the information a user would need for making reservations, reading the menu(s), contacting the restaurant, etc. are easily found.

Messaging:  The best aspect is the “Contact” page. They used the real estate very tactfully with the “Reviews – what are people saying?”  They obviously understand the power and influence that reviews have.

Randy Hynes – Content Marketing Strategist

The Libertine

User Experience: Th3 web design offers direct access to what the consumer needs and wants to know. It also presents a no hassle approach and places all necessary elements such as menu, social engagement and so forth, front and center for the users convenience.

Design: The web design is simple, stylish and inviting. It offers a glimpse into the restaurant’s ambiance without setting foot in the door.

Messaging: The messaging is visual. Your eyes are told to taste. There is a classy, appetizing and inviting message that appeals to the potential customer.

Petite Chou Bistro

User Experience: The user is offered straightforward navigation. I appreciate the way the restaurant menu is divided into locations for various audiences.

Design: Elegant with a touch of antiquity. Black and white is always classy. Showcasing the various food options is brilliant and captivating.

Messaging:  The large photos of assorted cuisine tempt the taste buds to the point of curiosity. The visual messaging says more than what a menu could ever try to describe. 

Forty Five Degrees

User Experience: Smart and simple with the end user in mind. The reservation calendar is also a great feature.

Design: A web design that has a smart blend of modern and traditional which reflects the environment of Forty Five Degrees.

Messaging: Combines visual elements with indirect messaging. Gives a presupposed element of expectation to the audience.

Which Indianapolis Restaurants Have The Best Web Design? At the end of the day it’s the restaurants that understand the needs of their patrons and have designed their website to meet those specific needs. Whether it is through engaging current customers, creating new relationships or mending a relationship with an occasionally dissatisfied customer, impactful web design is based around the consumers’ needs first and foremost. The best chefs, great tastes, and quality service all require a returning clientele and a happy clientele creates momentum behind a brand.

What Indianapolis restaurant have you patronized because of a consumer focused website?