Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by Candy Wafford
Looking for the best restaurants in Louisville? With its growing reputation as a foodie city, there are plenty of restaurants to try meeting all tastes and budgets.
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Living in nearby Lexington, with a daughter that lives in Louisville, means I am in this waterfront city often. The restaurant scene here ranges from high-end to ethnic to local favorites. And the local favorites are where I try and dine in any city. Of the many restaurants in Louisville that I’ve tried, these are some of my favorites.
Now, this isn’t a list of the 10 nicest restaurants in Louisville. I’ve included everything from burgers to tacos, to ice cream. There is plenty of fine dining restaurants in Louisville, but I prefer more casual places and I have had better experiences at these affordable restaurants than some of the higher-end places.
Louisville is a little bit Southern and a little bit Midwestern. The downtown area sits on the banks of the Ohio River and where you’ll find a beautiful, modern waterfront park, the Belle of Louisville Riverboat, and the Big Four bridge.
While in downtown Louisville check out their impressive and diverse selection of museums on Museum Row including the Frazier Museum and the Louisville Slugger Museum. Did you know that Muhammad Ali called Louisville his hometown? Plan a visit to The Muhammad Ali Center, a great way to learn about the boxing champion and cultural icon.
1) Guaca Mole
Guaca Mole is my favorite restaurant in Louisville. Located on the east end of Louisville, it’s a bit of a destination restaurant if you are downtown, but the trip is well worth it.
Guaca Mole serves Mexican cuisine with a sophisticated twist. The Chips & Homemade Salsa appetizer includes homemade tortilla chips and three different salsas each with a unique flavor profile. Paired with a frosty margarita, it’s the perfect way to start off your meal. In addition to traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, and burritos, you’ll find and more creative fare, like the short ribs enfirjoladas, one of my favorite dishes. My mouth is watering a little bit just thinking about it.
The drink menu at Guaca Mole includes margaritas, sangria, beer, wine and more. The Three Amigos Happy Hour is Monday – Thursday from 3pm – 7pm and features $3 sangria, margaritas, and beers. Go for happy hour and stay for dinner!
Guaca Mole – 9921 Ormsby Station Rd, Louisville, KY 40223 / 502-365-4822
2) Best Pizza in Louisville is The Post
The Post is one of our family’s go-to restaurants in Louisville. Located in the Germantown neighborhood, the building used to be a VFW Post and that’s where this pizza place got its name. It’s now a modern space with a cool vibe in a cool neighborhood. And it serves amazing pizza!
The Post serves New York-style pizza that can be ordered by the pie or the slice. In addition, they feature a variety of combinations including the victory garden, a vegetarian pie with nine veggies, and classic pepperoni. Be sure and ask about the monthly and daily features.
You can also get calzones, grilled subs, and salads. I love the pesto bread, and a cold beer to start the meal. Delicious!
The Post Louisville – 1045 Goss Ave, Louisville, KY 40217 / 502-635-2020
3) The Roc
One of my favorite meals in Louisville was at The Roc.
Located in the heart of the bustling Highlands neighborhood on Bardstown Road, The Roc serves authentic Southern Italian cuisine. The menu at The Roc is curated by two chefs from Puglia, Italy so this is real deal Italian cooking.
The menu features Southern Italian dishes such as fried calamari, grilled octopus, fresh burrata, fresh seafood and pastas. Meat lovers will also find an extensive list of dishes on the secondi menu that will please any carnivore. In addition to the fabulous antipasti platter, I especially enjoyed the pappardelle with shrimp and a lovely green-tinged pistachio sauce.
Make sure to leave room for dessert. Drink a shot of tart limoncello and you’ll swear you’re sitting in a lemon grove high on an Italian hillside. I enjoyed the strawberry panna cotta with stracciatella ice cream and it was out of this world!
The Roc – 1327 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 / 502-459-7878
4) Con Huevos!
With several locations around Louisville, Con Huevos! is a great place to get breakfast, lunch, or breakfast for lunch.
Their menu includes enchiladas with eggs and a choice of chicken tinga or carnitas. You will also find breakfast sandwiches served on soft brioche, huevos rancheros, omelets, and one of my favorites, chilaquiles.
If you are looking for something lighter (and healthier) try avocado toast. For those with a sweet tooth, Con Huevos! has got you covered with pancakes, french toast, or churros.
Lunch includes street tacos, quesadillas, sopes, or burritos. Wash it all down with coffee or one of their Mexican-inspired cocktails.
Con Huevos! – 2339 Frankfort Ave, 4938 US-42 (Holiday Manor Shopping Center), 210 Liberty Street (OMNI Hotel)
5) The Comfy Cow
The Comfy Cow offers crazy good ice cream at their five locations across Louisville. Go into one of their ice cream shops scattered around Louisville and you’ll find handcrafted ice cream in a variety of inventive flavors. Signature flavors include Bourbon Ball, Brown Butter Peanut Brittle, and Cake Batter Up. If traditional ice cream flavors are your jam, no worries The Comfy Cow has you covered with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and more.
Head into The Comfy Cow for some of the best ice cream in Louisville!
The Comfy Cow – 1301 Herr Lane, #118, 13301 Shelbyville Road, #106, 2221 Frankfort Ave, 339 W Cardinal Blvd, 4005 Summit Plaza Drive
6) Best Restaurants in Louisville – Taco Luchador Taqueria
Looking for a quick place to quench your hankering for Mexican food in Louisville? Look no further than Taco Luchador. With four locations across Louisville, the best tacos in the city are never far away.
The original location is located a couple of blocks from my daughter’s house so this is a frequent spot for us to eat at when in Louisville. The tacos are delicious and offer a bit more pizzazz than a traditional taco.
Taco Luchador’s menu features nine different tacos and I particularly love the carnitas, Baja fish, and veggie tacos. You’ll also find a long list of tortas on the menu as well as starters and sides include elote corn, fried plantains, and some of my favorite sweet potato fries.
Taco Luchador is one of the best restaurants in Louisville for delicious, quick, and affordable eats! Check out their colorful outdoor dining if you are looking for restaurants with patios in Louisville.
Taco Luchador – 938 Baxter Ave, 112 Meridian Ave, 9204 Taylorsville Rd, 5205 New Cut Road
7) More of the Best Restaurants in Louisville – LouVino Restaurant and Wine Bar
Another local restaurant in Louisville with multiple locations, including some in neighboring Indiana and Ohio, is Louvino. The owners of LouVino opened their restaurant after realizing there wasn’t a wine bar in Louisville. Their menu features over 60 wines available by the glass or in wine flights. Wine isn’t your thing? You’ll also find bourbons, craft beer, and cocktails on the menu to meet everyone’s drink preferences.
The menu is full of seasonal small plates meant to be shared. With an emphasis on Southern flavors, each location has its own menu. I think this style of dining is a great way to share and sample different dishes. But if sharing isn’t your thing you’ll find large plates too.
A trip to Louvino is a great option for a girls’ night out, date night, or any gathering!
Louvino – 11400 Main Street, 1606 Bardstown Road
8) Mussel & Burger Bar
Mussels and burgers may seem like a strange combination but trust me, it totally works! The owners set out to offer a neighborhood bar or pub feel with a menu that features gourmet ingredients and now have one of the best casual restaurants in Louisville. Their collection of local awards and appearances on national television shows makes a meal here a must when dining out in Louisville.
Everything at Mussel & Burger Bar is made in-house and you’ll have options from foie gras to sliders to start with. If you are looking for mussels you can choose from six options include classic meuniere to blue cheese beer pancetta and Mexican pozole.
Want the best burger in Louisville? Peruse the selection of burgers and you’ll find an extensive list of fifteen choices and flavors that span the globe. Looking for vegetarian options in Louisville? You’ll find several options on the menu including a vegetarian burger, salads, and other vegetarian options.
Mussel & Burger Bar is a great downtown Louisville restaurant! A second location is handy if you find yourself on the east end of the city as well.
Mussel & Burger Bar – 113 S 7th Street, 9200 Taylorsville Road
9) Oskar’s Slider Bar
One of the more unique restaurants in Louisville is found at Oskar’s Slider Bar. Tucked away in the bottom of a building housing other businesses, is a sparse dining room where sliders are served, each inspired by Scandinavian ingredients and flavors. Here even the cocktails are infused with flavors of the Nordic region of Europe.
Service is table side and begins with patrons marking their selections on a paper menu. Filling out the order form feels retro and makes this a fun place to eat in Louisville too.
Sliders are sold a la carte and include a cheeseburger, venison sausage, pot roast, and cold sandwiches like shrimp Skagen and gravlax. Sides are also available and include a pink beet salad, fries, and a tasty kale salad. All of the food items are $4 or less making this a super affordable restaurant in Louisville.
Oskar’s Slider Bar – 3799 Poplar Level Rd, Louisville, KY / 502-395-9010
10. Ollie’s Trolley
I included Ollie’s Trolley on the list of best restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky not because the food is the best, but for the unique experience, it offers. It’s also one of my husband’s favorite places to eat in Louisville.
Housed in a trolley, the restaurant is known for its burgers made with their famous seasoning. The seasoning is a hodgepodge of flavors and is also used to season the french fries and it definitely imparts a unique flavor.
Once upon a time, there were Ollie’s Trolleys dotted throughout the south, but only three remain today, this location in Louisville, one in nearby Cincinnati, and one in Washington D.C. And it’s this rarity and nostalgia that makes a stop at Ollie’s Trolley a must when in Louisville.
Ollie’s Trolley’s menu is simple and includes their famous burgers and fries and a couple of other sandwich options like chicken, fish, or hot dogs. This is quick and cheap eats and you can expect to walk away with a big, greasy bag of food for next to nothing.
If you are planning on visiting Ollie’s Trolley you need to be aware of a few things. First, they are only open Monday – Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Second, there will probably be a line. And because the trolley is tiny, there is only room for people to order inside. Just something to keep in mind if the weather is not great. Lastly, there is no indoor or outdoor seating. But this is the kind of food that’s made to be eaten in your car.
Ollie’s Trolley, 978 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40203
Restaurants in Louisville
I hope you have enjoyed this list of restaurants in Louisville. There are still so many restaurants I want to try in Lousiville. Have you been to Louisville? Share your favorite restaurants in the comments!