Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream: Elk Burgers Find a New Home in Zionsville

The burger is an American cuisine classic. From grilling your own to ordering beef at a restaurant, there are subtle changes to the burger formula which are worthy of  venturing off the beaten path when it comes to burgers.

Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream introduced its take on the burger by introducing elk burgers to their menu, a burger that has gained acclaim among the Indianapolis community. Established in Carmel in 2003, Bub’s has expanded and opened restaurants in both Bloomington and Zionsville.

Zionsville Bub's Burger & Ice Cream

Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream in Zionsville

Zionsville is Bub’s most recent expansion, opening it’s doors to patrons in January of 2014, and follows it’s predecessors as being a family-fun restaurant. Focusing on family and fun, Zionsville’s Bub’s has a homely aesthetic which is enhanced by its outdoor patio which is accompanied by suspended string lighting.

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream


Inside patrons will find themselves in a maroon room surrounded by pictures of patrons who have successfully completed the “Big Ugly” challenge. This challenge stipulates that a person must eat a one pound elk burger in a sitting. Some patrons have eaten more than one and their pictures are more prominently displayed.

Man v. Food’s own Adam Richman has even tackled the challenge.

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

Seated inside in the back of the restaurant my dinning experience starts off with a chili shooter that’s complementary, a nice treat to start of the Bub’s dinning experience. Eying the menu I notice there’s a fair variety of food to choose from. The menu is stacked with food common to the American diet, from elk burgers to hot dogs and chicken sandwiches, the food selection is well balanced and offers a variety of  food for patrons. For those looking to dine lightly the Bub’s Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwich and salad are good alternatives.

Though hungry, I don’t let my eyes deceive my stomach and go with the “Settle for Less Ugly” Elk Quarter Pound and a side of waffle fries for my meal.

Presented on a silver dish, the sight of my elk burger has me salivating – its aroma sends my sense of smell on a ride. With lettuce, tomato, red onion and a splash of ketchup on my medium cooked burger I dig in. At first bite my taste buds are pleased, rich and filled with warmth given from a combination of spices, I can see why Bub’s elk burgers are popular. As I eat more of the burger I notice that the full feeling that I receive from its beef counter part isn’t present. Due to it being a lean meat I can only assume that’s the root cause, which is appealing because as I finished the burger I didn’t feel as full as I would have been if it were beef.

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream Settle for Less Ugly

The “Settle for Less Ugly” Elk Quarter Pound

I moved on to my waffle fries which were a delight. I choose to add cheese as my side and as I dipped my first fry and took my first bite I felt the same satisfaction which my burger gave me. Not too salty and seasoned just right, the waffle fries hit the spot and only added to my delight which the burger gave me. Like a burger, fires are simple but there is a fine line between a good fry and a bad fry – these fries were definitely not the latter.

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream waffle fries

After my meal I aim to cleanse my palate with some ice cream. Interrupting the homogenized moron dinning room is a small corner of Bub’s restaurant which is painted like a farm with farm animals enjoying ice cream. This ice cream parlor like room offers a myriad of  ice cream and sherbet options for those wanting something sweet after their meal.

I choose White Chocolate Raspberry which resembles vanilla ice cream with hints of pink strawberry throughout its body. Each bite offers a mixture of the warmth of chocolate and sweetness of raspberry – a superb choice and a great way to end my dinning experience at Bub’s.

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream White Chocolate Rasberry

Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream is a great choice for an American style dinning experience, it offers quality food and a dinning experience accompanied by a friendly and attentive staff. Like it’s Carmel counterpart, the Zionsville location is usually decently populated with people looking to dine and get their hands on something “ugly” in Zionsville. Bub’s adds a disclaimer on their website that states “if we’re busy sit back and relax! Bub’s will not compromise quality for speed!” It’s something to keep in mind due to the popularity of this restaurant but shouldn’t be a quality that discourages a visit.

Located near the heart of downtown Zionsville, traffic can be hectic at times. Also, be in mind that their is parking in the back of the establishment for those unsure of where to park.

I definitely recommend getting an elk burger, especially if it’s a first visit.

Disclaimer: We do not accept money, free meals or any other form of compensation in exchange for reviews. All reviews are published solely for the benefit of our readers.

Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

Inside Zionsville’s Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

Outdoor seating at the Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream Zionsville location

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

The ice cream parlor at Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream in Zionsville

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

Patrons choosing which ice cream they want

Zionsville Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream

Photos of patrons who’ve completed the “Big Ugly” challenge