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Saturday, September 23, 2023

24-hour Mexican perfection

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Leonardo’s Mexican Food

North side

8431 N. Michigan Road

Indianapolis, IN 46268


South side

7045 Emblem Drive, Suite A 

Indianapolis, IN 46237


Open 24 hours




I feel like I’ve struck gold. I was recently browsing the Yelp app looking for a new place to get a bite to eat when I saw a south-side restaurant called Leonardo’s flagged as “hot and new.” There were a handful of reviews, and they were all enthusiastically positive. 

My husband and I decided to check it out, and while we were eating I actually wondered aloud, “Where has this been all my life?”

From the outside (and even inside, too) the restaurant doesn’t look like much. It sits unassuming at the end of a strip mall near a carwash, a supermarket and some other restaurants and small businesses. Inside, it’s spacious almost to the point of feeling cavernous, and there are several places to sit. It struck me as a very clean eatery, though not super exciting to look at.

It’s not a full-service restaurant — you order at a counter and they bring the food out to you, you bus your own table and seat yourself — but the menu and the quality of the food are top-notch.

The menu is extensive and includes everything you’d want from a Mexican restaurant: burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tortas, tostadas, chimichangas … seriously, anything you could possibly want. As an added bonus, Leonardo’s also serves breakfast, and it’s available all day. The breakfast menu includes an array of burritos, huevos rancheros, omelets and more. 

I ordered a combination plate that came with two ground beef tacos, a side of tortilla chips, a side of rice and a side of beans, and my husband ordered one that came with two carne asada burritos, chips, rice and beans. With two drinks, our total came to $20.

While waiting for our food, we visited the salsa bar, where we found a choice of a few salsas ranging from mild to hot. We tried a bit of each salsa; they were nothing to write home about, but they were good enough, and it was nice to have options.

Our food came out within minutes, and it was hot and looked fresh. We were surprised to see the two burritos were full size — we were expecting something closer to a Taco Bell bean burrito but got much more.

Leonardo’s boasts authentic Mexican food, and though I don’t have much experience dining in Mexico, the food sure seemed authentic to me. It was bland, but not in a bad way … it was bland in the way that Mexican food is supposed to be, not doctored up with Tex-Mex Don Pablo’s-style flare, but just your basic salty meat, cheese and lettuce. I devoured my entire meal, but my husband, who almost always cleans his plate, had a whole extra burrito to take home. He ate it for breakfast the following morning and said it was even better reheated than it had been the night before.

Leonardo’s is open 24 hours and also has a drive-through window, so you can try it for yourself any time.

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