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Louisville

27 expert recommended restaurants

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Proof on Main

Burgers 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Chef Michael Paley serves a modern take on Southern cuisine to locals who don't object to paying for style and substance. and guests at adjacent 21c Museum Hotel smart enough to avoid... — BlackBook

What may possibly be the coolest bar/restaurant in the city is located smack-dab in the middle of an innovative art museum-hotel hybrid — Tasting Table

Be sure to take time, either before or after dinner, for an expertly crafted cocktail in the adjoining bar, a member of Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail. — Gayot

Arguably Louisville's best restaurant. — Lonely Planet

Proof embodies the farm to table concept growing ever popular in the United States, and even has its own farm a few miles outside of Louisville where the owners grow vegetables and raise bison. — Afar Magazine

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Decca

American 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A beautiful space with a cork-and-wood floor, fountain-strewn patio and gorgeous Laguiole cutlery opened by a chef from San Francisco (albeit a Southerner by birth). — Lonely Planet

Boomers, as well as their retro offspring, delight in the tunes from eponymous Decca recordings on the restaurant'™s sound system. Music wafts through any of the dining rooms spanning... — Gayot

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Butchertown Grocery

85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Butcherblock sandwich (cured meats with fried egg and Manchego), charred broccolini, anything with black truffle béarnaise – it's all immensely satisfying. — Lonely Planet

A funky, historic meatpacking neighborhood is home to this contemporary bistro. — Gayot

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The Silver Dollar

American 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Gastronomically noncommittal – we'll call the cuisine California-inspired New Southern – but unrepentantly bourbon obsessed, the Silver Dollar does your head in — Lonely Planet

The spicy selection of chili includes Texas style (no beans) and vegetarian. The cornmeal-battered oysters would hold their own in a fine seafood restaurant. — Gayot

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610 Magnolia

French 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Iron Chef winner Edward Lee's reservations-only, farm-to-table new American restaurant seats 55 for prix-fixe meals Thursdays through Saturdays in a former carriage house with patio. — BlackBook

Contemporary cuisine served in a stylish restaurant tucked away on a side street in Louisville’s Victorian neighborhood. — Gayot

Only open three evenings a week, this sleek Scandinavia-meets-Kentucky bistro is Louisville's hottest-ticket restaurant. — Lonely Planet

With many awards, a successful cookbook and a variety of television appearances (Top Chef, Mind of a Chef), Edward Lee may be Louisville's "celebrity" chef — Tasting Table

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Lilly's

Seafood 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Chef Kathy Cary creates 'Kentucky tapas' (think catfish spring rolls, chorizo spoonbread) at this eclectic upscale eatery. — Lonely Planet

Works by local artists, including two wall-length murals, uplift the three intimate dining rooms at Lilly'™s. One mural, in pastels of greens and blues, depicts a farm scene, which is one... — Gayot

Chef–proprietor Kathy Cary is Kentucky's most honored chef. — Fodor's

Kathy Cary pioneered Louisville's farm-to-table movement, and her Bardstown Road restaurant is still reaping the rewards of local producers — Tasting Table

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Bourbon's Bistro

French 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you want to learn more about Kentucky's amber elixir, this is the place to come. — Fodor's

Fine Southern-inspired cuisine (think shrimp and grits, served classy-style with wild mushrooms and a bourbon red-eye sauce) and more than 130 varieties of the eponymous beverage quickly put this 2005 opening in the top tier of local upscale-casual restaurants — BlackBook

More than 130 bourbons and American whiskies pair with the Southern-accented menu enjoyed in the dining room. — Gayot

Southern-inspired dining and 100-plus bourbons. — Travel + Leisure

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Mayan Cafe

Mexican 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It can be argued that chef Bruce Ucán's restaurant started the whole "NuLu" phenomenon on East Market Street — Tasting Table

Fact that a restaurant dedicated to reproducing ancient Mayan recipes—with local ingredients—thrives here, proves Louisville's cred as a foodie city. — BlackBook

Check your visions of piñatas and mariachis at the door – Chef Bruce Ucán's subtle farm-to-table Mexican mainstay is a journey about flavor, not patriotic pomp and circumstance. — Lonely Planet

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Eiderdown

International 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Destination pub suffused with the aroma of duck-fat popcorn, cabbage, bacon, and spaetzle – a melange of root vegetables and sausage dripping with sage butter. — Lonely Planet

Patrons nestled around wooden trestle tables munch on duck fat-popped popcorn or warm pretzel sticks with mustard as they sip their pints. — Gayot

Serves German and European-influenced comfort food with local-to-Louisville ingredients like duck-fat popcorn, lamb kebab, and Kentucky country ham sandwich. — BlackBook

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Garage Bar

Pizza 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Inside, a wood-burning oven turns out thin-crust Euro-style pizza with seasonal toppings such as butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and arugula as well as traditional tastes. — Gayot

Order a round of basil gimlets and the ham platter (a tasting of four regionally cured hams, served with fresh bread and preserves; $26). — Lonely Planet

Garage Bar, in the NuLu neighborhood, serves brick oven pizzas and southern food in the casual setting of an old garage turned restaurant. — Afar Magazine

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Jack Fry's

Seafood 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Bistro and live jazz in a former saloon. — Travel + Leisure

Live jazz Thursday through Saturday adds to ambiance for older crowd and special-occasion diners. Deep selection of well-priced wines by the glass lets you enjoy the setting on the cheap. — BlackBook

Look for heirloom chicken prepared with sweet tea brine and shrimp and grits flavored with country ham and red-eye gravy. — Gayot

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Harvest - Louisville

79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The mostly local sourcing means the menu changes constantly, but the Harvest Burger with hog-jowl bacon jam and smoked chèvre on brioche bun is usually found, along with daily pizza specials. — Tasting Table

Chef Coby Lee Ming relies on local farmers to obtain the ingredients that shape her seasonal creations — Gayot

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Rye

American 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

European traditions inspire the eclectic menu, which chef William Tyler Morris crafts from as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. — Gayot

Though it's also a very good restaurant, beverage manager Doug Petry and bar manager Bradley Hammond make RYE's drinks menu just as much of a reason to show up — Tasting Table

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The Oakroom

American 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Turn-of-the-century restaurant. — Travel + Leisure

His version of a shrimp and grits starter features tiger prawns and citrus grits flavored with black garlic, beech mushrooms and leeks. Or begin your meal with the Bandera quail. — Gayot

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Bistro Le Relais

Burgers 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Dining on deck allows romantics to watch rich folks' private jets, banner-towing planes, and aviation students land (or attempt to anyway). — BlackBook

Classic French cuisine and Art Deco surroundings in a historic air terminal combine to create romantic dining. — Gayot

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Asiatique

Chinese 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Imaginative Pacific Rim menu and a great cocktail list are hallmarks of this popular Highlands bistro. — Gayot

Five-course tasting menu at one of Louisville's few (only?) innovative Asian restaurants allows area foodies to be more adventurous than General Tso's chicken. Happy hour specials, like... — BlackBook

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Doc Crow's

78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In an 1880s-era distillery trendily rehabbed with exposed brick and reclaimed wood, Louisville hipsters sip bourbon, slurp oysters and munch on house-smoked BBQ ribs. — Lonely Planet

Highlights include oysters on the half shell with bourbon mignonette; spicy peel-and-eat shrimp; seafood gumbo; spinach salad with candied pecans; smoked ribs, chicken or brisket; and fried pork chops. — Gayot

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Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot

Barbecue 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs smoked daily draw as close to universal praise that provincial BBQ ever will. — BlackBook

The Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot (known affectionately as the F.A.B.D.) is indeed a liquor store. But it is also a friendly draft beer bar and a first-rate savory barbecue spot. — Gayot

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Hammerheads

Barbecue 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

American fare like crispy mac and cheese balls, shrimp and grits, and BBQ from double-barrel smoker on the sidewalk draw hipsters and cheap eaters. — BlackBook

Hammerheads is all about reinventing guilty pleasure food, and they do it well — Afar Magazine

Even with no cigarettes allowed, the low-ceilinged, often-crowded space creates the atmosphere of a smoky dive bar by banging out burgers, barbecue, tacos and fries in the small kitchen. — Tasting Table

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Milkwood

American 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

At MilkWood, chef Kevin Ashworth and chef Edward Lee offer their take on Southern cuisine mixed with Asian flavors and spices from around the world. — Gayot

Louisville’s wildly successful new MilkWood pairs Southern inspiration with Asian flavors—and with stellar cocktails that celebrate the region’s bourbon heritage. — Condé Nast Traveler

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