It was a gray, rainy and cloudy day when we visited historic downtown New Albany last week. We parked on Market Street and shopped and ate our way through the area, unhindered by the weather. We were there about three hours, but could have easily spent all day exploring. A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about New Albany, but many things remain the same. First and foremost, the people are friendly, chatty and proud to live and work in New Albany, as they’ve always been. They have created an alcove that warrants some definite attention. If Louisvillians are scared of new things, there will be many familiar faces to comfort you: Comfy Cow, Quills, Wick’s, Dragon King’s Daughter, Toast and Regalo all have Louisville bases of operation, as well.

All of this love is contained in just a few square blocks. Simply park and walk; you can even meander around like we did. Here are some of the highlights you must check out.

New Albany

New Albany Shopping

There are plenty of places to shop in New Albany, with spots for clothing, baby gifts and home decor, and most of them are sourced from local artisans. If there was ever a united front for buying local, it is here.

New Albany

Don’t try this website because it no longer works. But you get the general idea.

Copper Moon Gallery

221 Pearl St. • (812) 944-4078

Just walking in the door of owner Kim Johnson’s gallery, with original art from regional artists, along with handcrafted gifts, accessories and clothes, you know it is a gem. Kim is the longtime director of the art fair, Art in Speed Park, and she has brought this outdoor event inside in her Copper Moon Gallery.

New Albany

So many wonderful things here, including the original art and gifts, and we loved the counter made of pennies. Also, we loved their logo on the door and their printed materials. So much creativity in one space!

Colokial

219 Pearl St. • (812) 725-1321

Originally on Spring Street, Colokial is now located on Pearl Street and specializes in unique gifts, jewelry and clothing, all with an international flair. This is a wonderful place to buy a gift or a piece of jewelry that will have people asking “where did you get that?” We love their clothes and their selection of jewelry and hats.

New Albany

Love the unique jewelry and clothing at Colokial!

Pearls On Pearl

214 Pearl St. • (502) 558-0150

This store showcases local artists and artisans, as well as area farmers and family businesses, more than 20 in all. We saw a wall of local honey and another wall of local lotions and salves made from natural ingredients. There are Amish-made goods and food, as well. While we were there, local artist Dawn Hatzidakis was showcasing her latest necklaces and pendants, shown below.

New Albany

Jewelry made by local artist Dawn Hatzidakis, as well as an entire wall of locally sourced honey are just some of the “pearls” on Pearl.

Mariposa Consignments and Mariposa Home

222 Pearl St. • (812) 725-8508

Housed in the beautiful White House Center, which was built in 1866 and has been home to many retail shops over the past century and a half, Mariposa Consignments and Mariposa Home are both highly recommended by locals. Mariposa Consignments has a vast selection of gowns and formal wear, in addition to quality casual clothing. Mariposa Home is a great place to find that “diamond in the rough” that is worth restoring or upcycling for your home.

New Albany

Mariposa Consignments, with a vast selection of quality clothing, comes highly recommended by the locals.

New Albany

Mariposa Home has great pieces for people looking for a “diamond in the rough” or a project.

Oh Baby Children’s Boutique

222 Pearl St. • (502) 641-8854

Newly opened in the White House Center, this children’s clothing store is gorgeous. It’s owned by Kim Johnson of Copper Moon Gallery and Laura Applegate of Regalo. As you can expect from these two owners, there are great handmade items here from local artists, including personalized onesies and art for your child’s room. This store just opened across from Mariposa Consignments and was so new they did not even have a sign up yet. We wish them the best of luck!

New Albany

Oh Baby Children’s Boutique is a gorgeous new children’s store is owned by Kim Johnson of Copper Moon Gallery and Laura Applegate of Regalo.

Regalo

234 E. Pearl St. • (812) 542-6567

Louisvillians are all familiar with Regalo, with locations on South Fourth Street and the Galt House. Laura Applegate runs this location in New Albany, and she is a presence all up and down this street. Regalo is a treasure trove of gifts, along with unique jewelry and accessories … definitely the place to get a great birthday card or something for that person with a really good sense of humor. You could explore this store for hours and still not scratch the surface.

New Albany

Just as the name Regalo translates, this is a perfect place to buy a gift.

True North

137 E. Market St., Ste. 1 • (812) 841-8152

True North is a beautiful store, with a very natural, organic and minimalist aesthetic. Owned by Michelle Ryan, who followed her “True North” in her dreams of opening her own store, her business has beautiful handcrafted gifts, art, jewelry and some clothing. Southern Indiana has some incredible local talent, and it is on display here.

New Albany

Beautiful handcrafted items, mostly wooden, are for sale, along with unique wooden jewelry.

Madhouse

151 E. Spring St. • (812) 924-7728

We asked owner Amanda Book where she got the name for her newly opened home decor store on Spring Street, and she said that the term “madhouse” is her standard answer when asked how she’s doing. A designer by trade, Amanda says that renovating and decorating your home always is a “madhouse” until you finish and move on to the next project. This store has beautiful home decor, including some furniture and light fixtures.

sb new albany madhouse

Owner Amanda Book oversees a new inventory shipment at Madhouse.

Dress & Dwell

138 E. Spring St. • (812) 725-7566

We feel like we have watched Dress & Dwell grow up, from a baby to a full-fledged adult, and we have loved watching it blossom. This store is like a mini Anthropologie, with women’s clothing, activewear, jewelry, purses, accessories, entertaining decor and furniture. Recently, they took over the store next door (the former Colokial) and have spread their goodies out across two large spaces. You can also shop online, in case you are not able to go explore there in person.

New Albany

There is so much to see and buy here at Dress & Dwell.

New Albany Dining

New Albany has a plethora of good eats, with a heavy concentration on local craft beer, beer cheese, meat and pizza. Sounds like heaven.

Rookie’s Cookies

310 Pearl St. • (812) 948-8858

For four generations, Rookie’s Cookies has been baking for New Albany. They are known for their iced butter wafers (shown below), and after sampling a few, we can assure you this is worth the drive over to buy them.

New Albany

Rookie’s Cookies is known for its iced butter wafer cookies.

Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant

320 Pearl St. • (812) 944-9760

Now on Pearl Street after moving from its original location on Market Street, this popular restaurant serves authentic Cuban fare. While you are eating the tostones, plantains and Cuban sandwiches, be sure to notice the 1951 Plymouth parked in the middle of the restaurant.

New Albany

Habana Blues, go for the Cuban food and don’t miss the 1951 Plymouth parked in the middle of the dining room.

River City Winery

321 Pearl St. • (812) 945-WINE (9463)

This is a one-stop shop with a winery and a bistro, serving up gourmet pizzas, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. With a cozy ambience, diners can eat at tables, or wine lovers can sit on couches on the other side, sampling flights of wine. There is live music on the weekends and an outside patio area with bourbon barrels as tables.

New Albany

Located in the beautiful historic Baer’s Bazaar Building, River City Winery has a great bistro, as well.

Bella Roma

134 E. Market St. • (812) 725-9495

Authentic Italian food right on the main drag of Market Street can be found at Bella Roma. Enjoy delicious pastas, entrees and desserts at this eatery. Guests go for the homemade bread topped with minced garlic and butter, with a side of homemade marinara for dipping. Also popular is the linguine with clams and the lasagna. And if you want to just sample the smells, you’re in luck — you can smell the deliciousness as you walk past.

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Rigatoni at Bella Roma | Image: Bella Roma

Coqui’s Cafe

147 E. Market St. • (812) 920-0761

A blend of Latin American, Caribbean and Southern cuisine awaits you at this corner restaurant, which also pumps great music out into the street for passersby to enjoy. With a menu including everything from empanadas to hot dogs and burgers, this little 10-seat diner is a New Albany favorite. Owner Coqui hails from Puerto Rico and serves his delicious Puerto Rican coffee all day.

New Albany

We loved the music that Coqui’s Cafe pumps out on to the street. Locals love the blend of Latin/Caribbean/Southern fare.

Toast

141 E. Market St. • (812) 941-8582

A familiar Louisville favorite has had a strong presence in the heart of historic downtown New Albany for the last six years. All your same favorites and breakfast are served all day. We ate here first thing before we started shopping and had lattes, tomato soup and a grilled caprese sandwich and the omelet of the day with hash brown casserole. Okay, fine. I confess. We had two orders of hash brown casserole. It’s that good!

New Albany

Lattes, egg scramble of the day, tomato soup and grilled cheese were all wonderful options at Toast, all perfect for a rainy day in New Albany.

Quills Coffee

137 E. Market St. • (812) 221-1778

Quills Coffee was packed with people, as we are sure it usually is, with wonderful smells emanating throughout. This is their roastery as well, which explains the smell of sweet caffeine in the air. Try a cortado, a miele or a chai latte; you’ll thank us later.

New Albany

This is the Quills Coffee roastery, as well, and Market Street smells delicious as a result.

The Comfy Cow

109 E. Market St. • (812) 924-7197

If we were not so full from our brunch, we would have made a beeline for The Comfy Cow. This is on Market Street, too, located on a busy corner, where we are sure business is booming for this ice cream favorite. With delicious seasonal flavors, incredible milkshakes and our personal favorite, the cookie ice cream sandwich, this is a reason to save room for dessert.

New Albany

Another familiar face: The Comfy Cow

Big Four Burgers + Beer

114 E. Main St. • (812) 944-9777

Formerly South Side, which was a favorite cafeteria-style restaurant for many years, Big Four Burgers + Beer has opened up a second location here on this side of the river (their other location is in Jeffersonville). With creative burgers, such as the Henry Baines burger and the Hot Brown burger, the menu also boasts many types of fries. Local favorites are the garlic fries, the cheese fries with chorizo and peppers, and the sweet potato fries with syrup. They also serve beer from the New Albanian Brewing Co.

 

New Albany

Go for the burgers, but stay for the great selection of fries here.

Feast

116 W. Main St. • (812) 920-0454

This is Feast’s original location, most recently taking up a second location in NuLu. Known for their decadent barbecue and bourbon slushies, their headliner dishes are actually their sides. The mac ‘n cheese and loaded tater tots are a reason to make the trip to this spot. Read our review of this restaurant here.

New Albany

Go for the BBQ, but please try the loaded tater tots and the mac ‘n cheese. You’re welcome.

The Exchange

118 W. Main St. • (812) 948-6501

Locals love this place, and we gather that this is the hot spot to eat and get a cocktail. Every shop owner we talked to loves it. Located next door to Feast BBQ in a beautifully restored historic building, this restaurant is large and has a generous side patio with great views of the river and the bridge. Guests love the pork chop and the goat cheese fritters. Like all New Albany restaurants, they also have a great local craft beer selection.

New Albany

When weather cooperates, try the wonderful side patio at the Exchange.

Floyd County Brewing Company

129 W. Main St. • (470) 588-2337

This brewing company and restaurant has a medieval theme, with beers named Dungeon Deeds and Jester. They serve everything from burgers to turkey legs, and the beer comes in growlers, pints, flights and samples.

New Albany

This brewing company and restaurant has a medieval theme running throughout the decor and the menu.

New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse

415 Bank St. • (812) 944-2577

Sister property to the New Albanian Brewing Company/Pizzeria and Public House located on Plaza Drive, this Brewhouse is on Bank Street in historic downtown. Here, they serve all the great beers New Albanian is known for, in addition to healthy fare, burgers, sandwiches and even breakfast.

New Albany

New Albanian Brewhouse is a sister property to the pizzeria.

Wick’s Pizza Parlor

225 State St. • (812) 945-9425

Another familiar face is Wick’s Pizza Parlor, located on State Street. This is the first Wick’s location outside Louisville, and it is a great success across the river. Known for its The Big Wick supreme pizza, they also have great calzones and “sandwicks.”

New Albany

Try the Big Wick, New Albany style, at this location of Wick’s.

Dragon King’s Daughter

202 E. Elm St. • (812) 725-8600

With another location in the Louisville Highlands, Dragon King’s Daughter gives New Albany the delicious Asian fusion cuisine this restaurant is known for. Look for Japanese food with a twist, such as tapas and sushi flatbreads.

New Albany

Asian fusion at Dragon King’s Daughter | Image: Dragon’s King Daughter

Take A Look Around

During our walking tour of New Albany, we also found some other reasons to stop and stay awhile.

Inner Spring Yoga

137 E. Market St. • (812) 207-2070

Located next door to True North and Quills Coffee, Inner Spring Yoga had a packed class of students enjoying relaxation and stretching, as evidenced by the shoes on the floor. They also have a Jeffersonville location.

New Albany

Floyd County YMCA

33 State St. • (812) 283-9622

This building looks like a work of art and even motivated us, for just a second, to exercise. With an incredible view of the river through all the glass walls, you would need a pretty good excuse not to work out if you belonged here (and we all know that everyone belongs here, right?).

New Albany

A gorgeous building with an even better view, the Floyd County YMCA is the perfect place to exercise.

New Albany Farmers Market

202 E. Market St.

This Farmers Market runs through the winter on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the corner of Bank and Market Streets. As is part of the local scene here in New Albany, it features locally grown produce, meat, cheese, canned and pickled vegetables, jams, pastries, bread and other baked goods. There is a plethora of local honey and local milk products here, as well. Local vendors and artisans also have booths, selling lotions, soaps and candles. All items sold here come from the region. They open, no matter the weather, recently shoveling out from snowmaggedon for last Saturday’s Farmers Market.

 

New Albany

The New Albany Farmers Market runs even in the winter.

Public Art

There is public art everywhere, sprinkled throughout New Albany. Here are a few pieces for your enjoyment:

New Albany

Sculpture at the Public Library on Spring Street

New Albany

Bus stop that is two porch swings, found on Market Street

New Albany

Public Mural on Elm Street

Opening Soon in New Albany

Gospel Bird, at 207 E. Main St. in New Albany, is the former home of Don Vito’s Italian Bistro. Gospel Bird will offer Southern fare and, notably, fried chicken, from Louisville restaurateurs Eric Morris of the former Loop 22 and Dustin Staggers of Roux.

Brooklyn and The Butcher, at 148 E. Market St., is set to open on Valentine’s Day by Ian Hall, owner of the Exchange. It will be a new concept steakhouse, with emphasis on family-style sharing.

New Albany

Future location of Brooklyn and The Butcher on Market Street

We headed home after our day trip, bellies full and wallets a little lighter from all of our shopping. And we can’t wait to return!

New Albany

Bye-bye, New Albany! We’ll be back soon!

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