11. River City Winery
This winery and vineyard is located in the heart of Historic New Albany. River City Winery offers local flavor by the glass or bottle with its unique and original wines. Wine tastings are available at the bar if you’re unsure of what you’d like, and the waitstaff is more than happy to assist you with pairings and recommendations.
The food alone is worth stopping in for. It’s the perfect place to get a bottle of wine and order a brick oven pizza and catch up with friends. Any of their Brick Oven Pizzas come highly recommended – crisp and not skimpy with the toppings, from the Sicilian, to the Mediterranean, to the Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese. River City Winery is housed in the two-story, neoclassical Baer Building, which has been standing since 1900. The high ceilings, large pane windows, hardwood floors, and classy yet cozy ambiance set the mood for a relaxing meal and wine tasting.
10. Schimpff’s Confectionery
Schimpff’s has been a Southern Indiana tradition since 1891. Now that the walking bridge is open, more Louisvillians will be able to bask in the glory of Schimpff’s. It’s as close to Willy Wonka as you’ll get in Kentuckiana. Workers make candy in the storefront window. Handmade candy is not something you don’t find often these days – you’ll have to make it across the bridge to taste the difference yourself.
In addition to the candy store, Schimpff’s is home to one of the country’s only candy museums. Thousands of pieces of candy memorabilia throughout the years populate the museum, as well as the fruit of decades of collecting candy-making equipment and artifacts. Try the Red Hots or the Fish Candy (really).
9. Olive Leaf Bistro
This cozy Mediterranean restaurant sits right alongside the Ohio River. It’s also right across the Big Four walking bridge, so it’s a nice place to stop and relax once you’ve crossed the river. The menu is centered around local and imported ingredients to create genuine flavors from Greece, Spain, Italy, North Africa and the South of France.
Olive Leaf Bistro is one-of-a-kind in the Jeffersonville area. It’s a lovely place to spend a romantic evening on the riverfront. The menu changes seasonally, but the Chicken Rollintini is a favorite among regulars. Try the Souffle while you’re there! The menu also offers vegan and gluten free options.
8. Red Yeti Brewing Company
Right across the Big Four Walking Bridge lies Red Yeti Brewing Company. Red Yeti’s menu keeps the farm-to-table philosophy at heart. The ingredients are locally sourced and come from farms no further away than La Grange. The food is prepared fresh – so fresh, that there’s not even a freezer in the kitchen. Red Yeti’s craft beer list includes many local favorites, in addition to their own brews.
Any fan of Southern comfort food should do themselves a favor and try the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, served with Braised Kale and Cheese Grits. Many of the ingredients are sourced from the local Farmers’ Market. Carnivores and vegetarians alike can leave Red Yeti satisfied – there are even a few vegan options on the menu. Try their Mac & Cheese while you’re there! It’s house made, with four cheeses.
7. Bread and Breakfast
Stop into Bread and Breakfast for some homemade soups, paninis and pastries, made fresh daily. Many ingredients for their creations are locally soured. It’s a great place to stop for breakfast or brunch if you’d like just a Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll with Bourbon Icing, or a hearty Breakfast Tour, complete with Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, and French Toast or Hot Cakes.
Bread and Breakfast serves exciting takes on basic sandwiches, like the Jalapeno Popper Panini. with Cream Cheese, Bacon, and Jalapenos. The founder got her start selling handcrafted breads at a roadside stand and quickly became a local celebrity in New Albany. She went from running one of the most popular booths at the New Albany Farmer’s Market to openng Bread and Breakfast.
6. Habana Blues
The best Cuban food you’ll find in all of Indiana! Habana Blues serves “tapas done right,” and most who have crossed its threshold agree. Their menu offerings are flavorful and the service is always quick and attentive. The ambiance makes it feel as if you’re a guest in someone’s home. Everything from the Cuban Tamal to the perfectly seasoned Pulled Chicken Empanadas, to the fluffy Scallops are a delight, and it will take more than one trip to sample everything Habana Blues has to offer.
5. Louis Le Francais
This French restaurant in New Albany is the kind of place that is fancy enough to carve the butter brought to your table into little roses. The Chef, Louis Retailleau, was born and raised in Southwest France and his culinary skills have been honored by the French government. For a taste of France in Indiana, Louis Le Francais is a place you can’t miss. They even serve brunch on Sunday mornings, with Chicken Casserole, French Hash, Eggs Benedict and more.
Spend an evening here to enjoy their Cassoulet – duck confit, pork belly, braised lamb, pork sausage, white beans, tomato, onions and garlic – the sophisticated carnivores dream.
4. Big Four Burgers + Beer
If you’re counting calories, don’t come here. If you, however, do want to indulge in some of the juiciest, most epic burgers this side of the Ohio, journey onward North to Big Four Burgers + Beer. Burgers are no longer just a patty, a bun, and a slice of cheese. Burgers are imaginative culinary creations, and Big Four’s are no exceptions. Try their Hot Brown Burger – Turkey, Tomato, Swiss Cheese, and Bacon, smothered in Mornay sauce. If you’re leaning towards a more “conventional” burger (made with beef), try the Breakfast Burger – a maple-glazed beef patty with country bacon, egg, onions, and garlic aioli.
As if the burgers and fries weren’t enough to gorge yourself on, Big Four also serves amazing milkshakes. The milkshakes alone are reason enough to go, but we recommend the full-on gluttony experience. Of course, there is also an impressive Craft Beer and Bourbon selection. If you take the Big Four Walking Bridge to and from this burger joint, you can count that as your workout for a guilt-free indulgence.
3. Match Cigar Bar
Come browse Match’s huge humidor, order up a glass of bourbon, sink back into a leather chair and feel real fancy. There’s music on vinyl, so ironically, Match is not behind the times. Against the Grain, New Albanian Brewing Company, and Great Crescent Brewing are all on tap. With all of the Bourbon, Scotch, and hand-crafted, bourbon-based cocktails, it’ll probably be the manliest thing you’ve done in pretty much forever.
This is not the place to go if you want a Jagerbomb or a Bud Light Lime. If you would, however, like to smoke stogie while sipping fine bourbon, you’re more than welcome at this “Cigar & Bourbon House Worth Crossing the River For.”
2. The Exchange pub + kitchen
Located in historic New Albany, The Exchange pub + kitchen is a warm and casual neighborhood gastropub. The focus of The Exchange’s seasonally roatating menu are locally sourced product and scratch ingredients. The kitchen offers an open view for guests to observe the chefs’ culinary skills. The beverage menu rotates seasonally as well, and highlights American Craft Breweries with 12 rotating draught selections and 12 bottled beer options. The cocktails are crated with house-made syrups and bitters. The wine list features smaller, boutique wines.
The Exchange Burger, served with 3D Valley Farm Angus, Gorgonzola, Carmelized Onions, Arugula, on a Pretzel Roll is phenomenal enough to impress any burger snob. The smokey Beer Cheese, served with Klaus’ Pretzel Baguette, will keep you coming back for more. The Exchange is housed in a historic Italiante-style building, which was constructed in 1875. The building was rehabilitated after lying vacant for 15 years, with repurposing original and salvaged materials as the focus of the rehabilitation.
1. New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria and Public House
Pizza and beer – what more could you want in life? Not just any beer, either. New Albanian Brewing Company has become a legend in the region, and for good reason. Choose from over 250 options of beer, encompassing all styles, to complement your dining experience. Their beer cheese and breads sticks are a must. The beer cheese is thick and just the right amount of spicy. This is not a brewery that skimps on its pizza. The ingredients are locally sourced and always fresh. With the Roundhouse Crust, this is the closest thing you’ll find to Chicago-style pizza in the Kentuckiana area.
If it’s your first time at NABC, they offer beer flights and samples to help you narrow down your selection. New Albanian beer may have started to infiltrate bars and restaurants across Kentuckiana, but getting it directly from the source is worth the drive – especially with that delicious pizza as a reward for making the journey.
Featured Image © Yaletown BIA