Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in 7 Different Louisville 'Hoods

Updated On 12/28/2016 at 11:30AM EST Updated On 12/28/2016 at 11:30AM EST

Until some genius invents “linner," one thing we can all agree on is that brunch is far and away the best hybrid meal there is. But where do you find the best possible versions of it? This should help: Here are the best brunches in seven different Louisville 'hoods.

El Camino

The Highlands

Louvino

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A relative newbie on the brunch scene in Louisville, but a winner nonetheless, Louvino serves up small plate-style brunch with performances by a jazz band on the side. Plus, there're $10 bottomless mimosas with the purchase of any brunch entrée. Order the Pancake Tacos and Stuffed French Toast to help soak it all up. 

El Camino

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This beloved Tex-Mex restaurant in town also serves up some mean brunch faves. Pull up a seat at this self-dubbed Tiki bar in the middle of Bourbon Country and order yourself a helping of Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy with Plantain Pancakes.

Highland Morning

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A recently expanded Highland Morning packs them in tight every weekend, with people lining up outside to wait their turn. Whether you’re ordering their famous Baja Benedict (a much needed update on traditional eggs Benedict w/ chorizo) or one of their specialty pancakes, it’s well worth the wait.

Ramsi's Cafe on the World

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Ramsi's has been a staple of the Louisville dining scene for years now, and over the last year few years, it's found a new spot in our hearts. From 10am until 2:30pm, it serves up a buffet-style brunch complete with a build-your-own omelet bar.

Bristol Bar and Grille

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Another option for the all you can eaters out there, Bristol also serves up a buffet-style brunch. Feast upon Southern favorites like chicken & waffles or cheese grits.

gralehaus

Baxter Avenue

Gralehaus

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Tucked away behind Holy Grale, Gralehaus serves up one of the most non-traditional brunches in town. Biscuits & Duck Gravy, Lamb Sausage & Grits, or any of its breakfast sandwiches (pretzel bun, anyone?) are all rock-solid hits.

Garage Bar

NuLu

Garage Bar

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Start your morning off with a Breakfast Shandy (the working man’s mimosa) or a Spicy Bloody Mary (complete with a country ham) before easing into Poached Eggs & Country Ham with Weisenberger grits.

Harvest

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Harvest's farm-to-table brunchness includes its burgoo (chicken, pork, turkey, potatoes, corn, heirloom tomatoes, pretzel croutons) and Roasted Pumpkin Hummus.

Toast on Market

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One of the crowd favorite brunch spots in town, Toast has been bursting at the seams since opening. Now in a new location, it's able to serve up its special Lemon Soufflé pancakes with the fluffiest omelet you’ll ever encounter.

Please & Thank You

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Not the typical brunch spot, but Please & Thank You offers up some seriously good food on the go. Selections range from bagels to its incredible Egg Sliders, but you can’t forget to top it all off with one of the best chocolate chip cookies in Louisville.

Earth Friends Cafe

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The only predominately vegan brunch spot on the list, Earth Friends serves up something for just about everyone (including chicken for those who can’t quite kick the meat), but its take on tempeh and seitan may have you joining the lighter sider of eating.

Josh Johnson

Crescent Hill

The Silver Dollar

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Essentially everything here is fried to a crispy goodness, and that's a good thing. Even the traditional steak and eggs gets a little update with their house-made salsa verde, and the Bloody Marys are next-level spicy.  

North End Cafe

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A staple on Frankfort Ave for years, North End has a steady flow of people in and out its doors. It serves breakfast all day long, and because of that, it's a dream come true. Get in early though, to try its biscuits & gravy and French toast.

Four Sisters

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Whether you’re hankering for savory or sweet, Four Sisters serves up the best crepes in the city. Order yourself a Nutella latte while you watch one of the sisters whip up your crepe right in front of you.

Hillbilly Tea

Downtown

Hillbilly Tea

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Blink once and you’ll probably pass up Hillbilly Tea, but it’s well worth discovering. Find everything from boozy teas to old-fashioned country favorites like its Bourbon Breakfast or Hillbilly Scramble.

Proof on Main

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Proof on Main has become a name synonymous with incredible food in L’Ville, and its brunch doesn’t disappoint. Although this may not be the place to revive your hungover self the morning after, it is perfect for brunch with the family or a date.

Wild Eggs

St. Matthews

Wild Eggs

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From breakfast burritos to its own version of the Hot Brown (Kelsey “ky” Brown), the menu at Wild Eggs will take you a minute -- or five -- to look over, but trust us when we say anything you pick, you’ll be more than happy with.

The Village Anchor Restaurant, Louisville, Ky.

Anchorage

The Village Anchor Pub & Roost

Address and Info

Trust us when we say that the drive to Village Anchor is worth it. You’ll be thanking us once you take the first bite of its Red-Velvet Pancakes, or partake in its $1 mimosas.

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Josh Johnson is a writer in Louisville.

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1. Louvino 1606 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205 (Highlands)

As the name would suggest, this chic Highlands restaurant is wine-focused, offering a variety of global wine flights, each named for a famous Louisvillian (from Muhammad Ali to Jennifer Lawrence), alongside a small-plates menu that continues the Kentucky theme with smoked Gouda hot-brown mac & cheese and fried-chicken tacos served with garlic mash, cheddar, and pepper gravy. Not to mention, there's a killer brunch with live jazz and shareable dishes like pancake tacos and stuffed French toast.

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2. El Camino 1314 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

Tequila might never be the most popular spirit in The 'Ville, but El Camino is certainly making it a runner-up. The drink menu here is “artisan Tiki” offering both twists on traditional options like a Mai Tai or a daiquiri, and more traditional libations like bowls of punch that you should definitely not try to drink by yourself. And whoever said honky-tonks don't deliver on food hasn't checked out El Camino's list of Mexican eats, which includes savory creations like grilled petite filete with cotija, and a pan roasted salmon with grilled pear.

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3. Highland Morning 1416 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

A cozy breakfast and lunch eatery with comforting Southern dishes, Highland Morning has become a neighborhood favorite, attracting lines that spill out the door and packing crowds in tight, especially on weekends. Whether you’re ordering the famous Baja Benedict (a welcome introduction of Southwestern corn-cakes, chorizo, and pico de gallo to the traditional eggs Benny) or one of the specialty pancake plates, such as banana-berry blast and lemon lover's, it’s well worth the wait.

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4. Ramsi's Cafe on the World 1293 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

Ramsi's Cafe on the World is just that -- a trip around the globe from the comfort of the Highlands. Mix-and-match decor and art collected over the years from a slew of countries you'd only ever dreamed of visiting transport everyone who walks through to door, from those lined up against the bar for a an imported draft beer to the diners in the back perusing the equally diverse menu for a plate of house-made tortellini or falafel with veggie sides taken straight from Ramsi's own organic garden.

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5. Bristol Bar and Grille 1321 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

For decades, this friendly Louisville staple has been feeding the Highlands with a buffet-style brunch featuring Southern classics like chicken & waffles and cheesy grits, as well as its famous green chile wontons at lunch and dinner: fried wonton skins filled with cheese and chiles, and topped with house-made guacamole. Other favorites at this casual sit-down include Bristol's hot brown, blackened chicken linguine, and the simple yet perfected burger on a toasted English muffin -- all of which you can and should pair with its global wine flights.

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6. Gralehaus 1001 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

Offering excellent brews downstairs and cozy guest rooms upstairs, cafe-meets-inn Gralehaus gives a whole new meaning to the term B&B: bed & beverage. On the ground floor, the rustic-chic cafe serves a solid selection of craft beers alongside inventive brunch dishes, while visitors can stay in three handsome, exposed-brick suites upstairs if they please. The same masterminds behind the Holy Grale, which Gralehaus sits next to inside a 1905 Victorian home, give morning favorites their own unique spin here, such as lamb sausage and grits, breakfast sandwiches on pretzel buns, and the fan-favorite black pepper biscuits smothered with duck gravy and topped with a fried egg. When it comes to beer, you can expect four rotating taps, 150 bottles, and signature beer cocktails.

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7. Garage Bar 700 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Nulu)

Especially in the warmer months, this renovated garage in the trendy NuLu area is a must-visit. Glowing ping pong tables, Astroturf-covered places to perch, and a consistently ultra-hip crowd make this bar the go-to destination for sticky, hot nights in The ‘Ville. Garage Bar uses local veggies and cured meats to top its pizzas, which bake in a blistering wood-fired brick oven. Be sure to order a tasting platter from the ham bar (yes, it has a bar dedicated to ham) to pair with your pie. It’s got a pretty extensive beer list, too.

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8. Harvest 624 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Nulu)

You know you're in for a fresh meal at Harvest, because the walls are adorned with large photos of the various Kentucky farmers who grow and raise the ingredients you’ll find on your plate. The team here knows a thing or two about fried chicken, crafting a buttermilk-soaked, battered, and fried breast and thigh served over a savory hoecake, drizzled with creamy gravy and topped with spicy greens. It’s heaven on a plate. And if you're not in the mood for chicken, they also have one of the best burgers in Louisville: a local beef patty topped with tomato jam, triple-cream brie, and lettuce on an addictive pretzel bun.

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9. Toast on Market 620 East Market St, Louisville, IN 47130 (Nulu)

Wedged into Market Street, Toast is a casual breakfast-and-lunch eatery that's become a crowd-favorite brunch spot in NuLu thanks to its famous lemon soufflé pancakes, which come served with vanilla custard and berry compote, and taste even better with a side of hash brown casserole. Not to mention, there's a solid list of mimosas that should not be overlooked, including mint julep, passionfruit, and mango variations. This friendly spot has plenty of sandwiches, grilled cheeses (go for the spicy chipotle to give your favorite comfort food some heat), and salads for lunch, too.

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10. Please & Thank You 800 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Nulu)

Please & Thank You is a hip small-batch bakery, coffee house, and record store in one, meaning you can stop by to sip a latte while listening to vinyl tunes and biting into its famously decadent chocolate chip cookies. Though it's not your typical brunch spot, Please & Thank You also offers some excellent breakfast fare at the counter, including a range of bagels (add some color to your morning with the Rebel, an every-seed bagel with cream cheese and rainbow sprinkles) and incredible egg sliders anointed with habanero on brioche buns.

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11. Earth Friends Cafe 829 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Nulu)

Earth Friends, a predominately vegan restaurant in NuLu, may have you joining the lighter sider of eating. The cafe serves up something for just about everyone (including chicken for those who can’t quite kick the meat). The vegan biscuits with gravy leave nothing dairy- or meat-related to be desired.

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12. The Silver Dollar 1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Crescent Hill)

Situated inside a former firehouse, this redbrick Crescent Hill whiskey temple models itself after the old-school honky-tonks of Bakersfield, California (in the 1930s, Southerners migrated to SoCal and, shunned by native Californians, formed their own subculture known as the "Bakersfield Sound"), merging modern takes on traditional Southern fare with vintage country records and craft cocktails. Silver Dollar's spirit menu is laden with bourbon selections sorted by distillery, plus moonshine, rye, and seasoned bourbon -- all from the Bluegrass State. You can pair your drink with hearty dishes such as Cajun shrimp & oyster stew, hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken & waffles, and brunch specialties like cornbread pancakes and a fried oyster sandwich.

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13. North End Cafe 1722 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Clifton)

The North End Cafe, aka the brunch spot of your dreams, dishes out modern American and Mexican dishes for breakfast all day long in a minimal, industrial space. Aside from morning staples like corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy, North End serves a solid selection of lunch and dinner offerings like goat cheese quesadillas, reuben sandwiches (vegans, there's a version for you, too), and smoked pork loin.

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14. Four Sisters 2246 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Crescent Hill)

Whether you’ve got a hankering for savory or sweet, this quaint and airy Crescent Hill cafe has a phenomenal crepe for you, plus banh mi sandwiches that have become a local favorite. Order yourself a Nutella latte or strawberry smoothie while you watch one of the four sisters whip up a fresh and perfectly crisp crepe right before your eyes, such as a classic ham and cheese or a decadent chocolate almond. While there are choices like lemongrass chicken for the banh mi sandwiches, you'll want to go for the traditional grilled pork for a particularly succulent bite.

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15. Hillbilly Tea 120 S 1st St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Blink once, and you’ll probably miss Hillbilly Tea -- but it’s well worth discovering. The menu ranges from boozy teas to old-fashioned country favorites, like its Bourbon Breakfast and Hillbilly Scramble. And you can rest easy knowing the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced.

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16. Proof on Main 702 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Located in The 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, a boutique hotel and art museum, Proof on Main serves up gourmet meals from Chef Levon Wallace, including a unique and scrumptious burger made out of bison and topped with a Jezebel sauce that gives it a fruity, earthy flavor, plus Tillamook cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon. You'll want to throw in a side of the crispy cauliflower, and top it all off with the s'mores dessert. This trendy spot houses the Proof Bar, too, which offers an enormous bourbon list (we're talking upwards of 50 varieties).

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17. Wild Eggs 3985 Dutchmans Ln, Louisville, KY 40207 (St Matthews)

From breakfast burritos to its own version of the Hot Brown (Kelsey “KY” Brown), the menu at Wild Eggs will take you a minute -- or five -- to look over, but regardless of what you'll pick, you'll be in breakfast heaven.

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18. The Village Anchor Pub & Roost 11507 Park Rd, Anchorage, KY 40223

Village Anchor Pub & Roost is well worth the drive out to historic Anchorage, where this handsome bistro is serving Southern comfort favorites, plus an extensive selection of craft beer and bourbon. The best seats in the house are around the lavish, banquette-lined bar and, particularly on chillier nights, on the covered terrace that sports a double-sided fireplace. The menu focuses on Southern classics, including a hot brown, shrimp & grits, fried chicken, and pork shoulder with cornbread, and truly shines at brunch, when you can indulge in the Village's fan-favorite red velvet pancakes topped with sweet Kahlua cream cheese, plus several twists on a Bloody Mary.

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