Janko’s Little Zagreb

Posted on Mar 22 2024 in Indiana Eats
Steak at Janko's Little Zagreb

By Jenna Williams

Bloomington restaurant known for some of the finest steaks in the Midwest, seafood, an extensive wine list, and more.

Under a red-and-white striped awning on West 6th Street sits a longtime Bloomington staple. Janko’s Little Zagreb, which boasts “world-famous steaks in the heart of downtown Bloomington,” is known as one of the best steakhouses in the Midwest.

It started as a place “to make sandwiches for friends after long nights out on the town in Bloomington in the ‘70s,” said Owner and President Mark Conlin. “One thing led to another, and Little Zagreb was founded, and the steakhouse was born. The rest is history.”

The steakhouse was founded by John “Janko” Pouch in 1973. “His family came over to this country from Yugoslavia, and his grandmother would call him Janko, which means little John,” said Conlin.

Over the years, guests have ranged from Bloomington locals to music celebrities John Mellencamp and Billy Joel — who referenced Little Zagreb’s as the “best-tasting steak I ever ate in my life” in a 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony speech.

“One of my favorite parts of our restaurant is talking to the people who dine with us from different parts of the country and asking how their dining experience was,” said Conlin.

The restaurant is known for its hand-cut steaks and famous spicy meatballs but also offers seafood and vegetarian options.

Conlin said the restaurant is iconic, renowned as one of the finest steakhouses in the Midwest, and known for its steaks, seafood, and one of Indiana’s most comprehensive wine lists.

“My passion is wine and the extensive list we have built,” he said.

His personal menu favorites include the fresh Colorado lamb chops, king crab legs, and “our fan-favorite meatballs Bucharest.”

Janko’s Little Zagreb is located at 223 W. 6th Street in Bloomington. The restaurant is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It accepts reservations each evening and walk-ins based on availability. Learn more at littlezagreb.com.

Janko's Little Zagreb


223 W. 6th Street

Jenna Williams is a freelance writer from Indianapolis.