Forty-five minutes north of Indianapolis, away from the urban landscape, lies the growing city of Noblesville. Noted for its striking Second Empire courthouse and the downtown business district (registered on the National Historic Register), the town features architectural styles from Gothic Revival to Renaissance and Italianate. In recent years, the charming burg with almost 70,0000 residents has also become known for a growing culinary scene, displaying a lively renaissance of diverse flavors, innovative cooking and dedication to local farming.
A restaurant leading the charge is 9th Street Bistro with husband-and-wife owners chef Samir Mohammad and Rachel Firestone Mohammad. Since opening in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the intrepid entrepreneurs have spearheaded the promotion of regional growers in the food and products served. Mohammed changes the menu monthly, featuring Hoosier agriculture such as heritage pork, heirloom vegetables and craft beer and distilleries. His dedication to sourcing local ingredients has elevated quality and fostered a strong sense of community among vendors and diners alike.
On the more casual end of the dining spectrum is the cozy neighborhood bar, Syd’s Fine Food and Spirits. Built in 1889, a decade after the courthouse, the building featured a hotel on the upper floors, taking advantage of a train depot across the street. It became a reliable way station providing delicious home-cooked meals to weary travelers. Today, the eatery prides itself on excellent service, fun-loving customers and great food for all ages. The clientele can dine on their daily specials, burgers, fried pickles or their version of the famous Hoosier pork tenderloin sandwich.
Noble Coffee, a community fixture, has been serving freshly brewed single-origin java since 1996. Robyn and Mark Littler have become instrumental in growing the hamlet’s love of coffee while giving back to the community through fundraisers and organizations. It’s a unique gathering place, where high schoolers hang with their crew while CEOs determine budgets and strategies.
A walk through the streets of Noblesville allows visitors to encounter a myriad of shops offering everything from vintage style to the latest fashion. Persimmon Avenue, a boutique housewares store launched in 2020, offers luxury, artisanal home goods for the home and office. Gallery Vintage Adventures, featuring art and stylish home wares, began as an Etsy shop before becoming a brick-and-mortar three years ago.
A trip to Noblesville wouldn’t be complete without venturing into Antiques on the Square, a storehouse of vintage. The space fills 10,000 square feet over three floors and is filled with curated finds from the Midwest and beyond. It’s a repository for locating the silly, such as old bird cages and bottlecaps, to the historical, such as posters, art and early 20th-century Indiana-made glass.
Whether in Noblesville for its dining, shopping or small-town ambiance, visitors will find thriving businesses committed to long-held traditions while embracing innovation.