With its undeniable energy and super cool vibe, Louisville, Kentucky is a foodie’s dream. This region is known as “Bourbon City” because it’s home to the best bourbon distilleries in the country, but it’s also a city where food and spirits go hand in hand. Chef-driven restaurants are emerging in the wake of the bourbon renaissance, and there’s never been a better time for tourists to take advantage of this. Discover local-loved Louisville restaurants that represent the authenticity of this innovative Southern city.
Whether you’re looking for some inspired Southern cuisine, a steakhouse dinner paired with bourbon, or an Asian or Indian restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky has it all.
What is Louisville, Kentucky’s signature dish?
Local cuisine is popular in Louisville, and modern twists on classic dishes are all the rage. Most notable is the Kentucky Hot Brown. It’s the city’s famous open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich (see below for where to get your hot brown).
Louisville restaurants aren’t shy about their love of bourbon, either. Wash down your meal with the classic mint julep, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Derby is famous for being served in sterling silver cups, but we promise it’s just as delicious in a regular glass.
Don’t forget about dessert. Invented by Walter Kahn kentucky derby pie 1954 at the Melrose Inn. It’s a cookie-like pie baked with walnuts in a chocolate base and eaten warm. There are so many delicious reasons to visit Louisville, and the wide variety of restaurants is what keeps us coming back.
Louisville’s iconic restaurant that’s not a secret
1. Cultured cheese specialty store
Cultured cheese specialty store It’s a dream! This Louisville restaurant is located on the Butcher Block in the Butchertown neighborhood. Butcher Block is a compact, walkable neighborhood filled with retail and dining options. They specialize in local, unique farmhouse cheeses and have a sign board. Savor carefully crafted cheeses, charcuterie and locally sourced spiced nuts. Enjoy a refreshing drink with your cheese on the patio.
2. La Bodegueguita de Mima
Looking for a feel of being far from Kentucky’s largest city? Look no further La Bodeguita de Mima! A Cuban-run restaurant reminiscent of 1950s Havana. Enjoy live music, outdoor patio dining, and traditional Cuban cuisine.La Bodegueguita de Mima Louisville Margarita Mile Same way!
3. Grassa Gamma
Locals love to flock to Louisville’s fine Italian restaurants. Grassa gamma, Because it’s very good. The main dining room resembles an Italian courtyard, with a four-tiered fountain and cobblestone architecture. Delicious pizza and pasta will satisfy, but save room for the tiramisu.
4. Noche Mexican BBQ
The 1920s church building has now been transformed into one of Louisville’s most popular restaurants. Sip a margarita and enjoy your meal surrounded by stained glass windows. Noche Mexican BBQ. A large La Catrina-style mural beneath an elaborate vaulted ceiling highlights Diadelos’ tribute to his Muertos. At the same time, what was once the pastor’s pulpit was replaced with an open view of the kitchen.
5. J Graham’s Cafe
Located in a historic building brown hotel, you can’t visit Louisville without trying their world-famous hot browns. The hot brown was born in the 1920s, when chef Fred Schmidt invented an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and Mornay his sauce. It kept hungry dancers satisfied back then and remains a favorite of hotel guests today. Hot browns are one of Kentucky’s famous dishes and a must try when visiting Louisville.
6. Wagner Pharmacy
Founded in 1922, wagner pharmacy Located near Churchill Downs in the South Louisville area. It’s a piece of Derby history and a must-see if you’re traveling to see the Kentucky Derby. For three generations, Wagner’s Horsemanship has been a staple for equestrians, and now the walls tell their stories. Visit our nostalgic gift shop and enjoy weekend brunch.
7. Jack Fries
To commemorate the 90th anniversary of our founding, jack fly One of Louisville’s most legendary restaurants. Founder Jack Fry was a gambler who loved horse racing and boxing. The restaurant was a hangout for sportsmen, and book manufacturing and bootlegging operations were carried out quietly in the back room. His story lives on as the restaurant serves guests’ favorites each night. Jack’s Burger is dry-aged chuck with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles served on a brioche bun.
8. Shirley May’s Cafe
guests flock to Shirley May’s Cafe For real soul food. This cash-only restaurant is housed in a modest clay brick building in downtown Louisville. Shirley Mae takes pride in her open restaurant kitchen and delicious Southern cuisine. she says, “My cooking takes time, but if I don’t do it right, cooking is a waste of time.” If that doesn’t stop you from planning a visit, I don’t know what will.
9. Shack in the Back Barbecue
Sit in a log cabin and enjoy burgu, a spicy stew often made with wild game. Shack in the Back Barbecue. It’s a true Kentucky classic. A unique combination of chicken, andouille sausage, pulled pork, brisket, and 13 types of vegetables. Smoked meats and barbecue classics are staples at Shack In The Back BBQ.
10. Captain’s room
If you want waterside dining in Louisville, check out captain’s room, along the Ohio River. Captain’s Quarters Riverside Grille offers a delicious selection of seafood, international and fine American cuisine in a beautiful setting. Don’t miss the Derby pie, a local specialty filled with chocolate, walnuts and caramel.
11. Wild eggs
cast iron cinnamon rolls wild eggs One of Louisville’s top restaurants for breakfast. This award-winning brunch spot is popular with tourists. Wild Eggs is known for its limited-time seasonal dishes. Try the Carolina Casserole, complete with home fries, ham, bacon, peppers, and cheese.
12. Louisville Cream
When you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, go here. louisville cream. It’s a traditional ice cream parlor, serving classic flavors and gourmet inventions like bourbon smoked pecan and lavender vanilla honey. If you want to mix it up, try our super thick and creamy shakes.
13. Bourbon Bistro
If you want to drink like a local, check out bourbon bistro. A neighborhood bourbon bar and restaurant housed in a historic 1870s building, we offer over 130 types of bourbon. This bourbon bar is a must-see when traveling to Louisville. During the holiday season, we are famous for our homemade eggnog made with Kentucky bourbon.