Food & Drink

The Best Place for Every Type of Cuisine in Louisville

Louisville’s made a name for itself as one of the best food cities in America. Combine that with the city’s distinction as one of the top refugee resettlement regions in the US, and you have a community that not only values great food, but fosters a love for diverse and authentic cuisine. In Louisville, you can find dishes from all over the world, spread all across the city. We’ve rounded up the best restaurants serving food from 21 regions around the globe.




Is there any better experience for a carnivore than having various cooked meats endlessly brought to your table and carved directly onto your plate until you just can't take any more? Add to that the endless sides (like fresh mashed potatoes), and you will never be able to move again. Worth it.


Roof Top Grill


Classic jerk chicken is joined by a menu of curry goat, oxtail, special beef patties, and a slew of sides. This hole-in-the-wall's delicious fare and reasonable prices will keep you coming back.


Oriental House

St. Matthews

Sit down at Oriental House and you’ll be able to order all your classic favorites. But if you want the authentic experience, ask for the "other" menu. Oriental House lets you venture out of Americanized takeout and taste authentic Cantonese, from duck to dim sum. And don’t worry about being able to find it -- you can spot the distinctive exterior from a mile away.


Havana Rumba

St. Matthews & other locations

One of Louisville's favorite restaurants, Havana Rumba is the place to grab a Cuban sandwich, empanadas, delicious plantains, and some of the best mojitos in the city. Many of the beef and chicken dishes are slow-cooked, letting the flavor of the spices marry with the meats.


Queen of Sheba


This Ethiopian restaurant is all about sharing: dishes come on a plate of a spongy bread called injera, which you rip off and use as a utensil, scooping up your food. Expect hearty stews, slow-cooked vegetables, and heavy spices. It’s rich, warm, and an experience all on its own. And don't miss out on the tej, an Ethiopian honey wine.


Brasserie Provence


Elegant and understated, Brasserie Provence brings the feel and flavors of France to East Louisville. Enjoy classic French onion soup and perfectly cooked pork chops, or just stop in for a taste of the wine list. The customer service experience is top-notch here, to boot.




At Gasthaus, you’ll come for the food (including some great spätzle and schnitzel), but you’ll come back for the desserts, all made fresh and in-house. Black Forest cake and strudel are just the tip of the iceberg on this dessert menu, which also offers up a variety of tortes, strawberry Napoleons, souffles… you get the idea. Top off the night with some hot German mulled wine or a classic German beer.


Taj Palace


This place serves up excellent Indian food favorites like samosas, pakoras, saag paneer, and chicken tikka masala. Taj Palace offers a great lunch buffet and dinner services. Stop in for your favorites, and finish the meal off with a mango lassi.


The Irish Rover


For that authentic Irish pub experience, The Irish Rover has it, all the way down to the owner’s Irish brogue. Start with the Scotch egg and work your way down the menu of pub classics -- including bubble & squeak, lamb-stuffed cabbage, a ploughman's plate, and about a dozen salmon dishes, like the smoked salmon & potato gratin. Wash it all down with a Guinness or your choice of Irish whiskeys.


Mercato Italiano Trattoria and Market


Mercato, from Olé Restaurant Groups, brings authentic Italian food to Louisville in a way that was sorely needed. Short rib ravioli, perfectly cooked calamari, fried goat cheese, and stellar wine pairings bring the dining experience to another level. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly -- you’ll want to come back as soon as you leave.




hiko-A-mon serves up what may be the best (and some of the only) ramen in town. Add to that a seriously high-quality sushi bar, and you have the recipe for one of the best places in Louisville for Japanese cuisine. Finish off the meal with some red bean or green tea ice cream, made fresh from Louisville’s own Comfy Cow.



St. Matthews

Charim is an upscale, intimate restaurant with reasonable prices, the menu for which includes Korean staples like Korean barbecue, bibimbap, and kimchee stew. Try individual entrees, or go family-style with the complimentary side dishes, called banchan, which pile up around you.


Santa Fe Grill

South Louisville

Famous for its tamales (and for the chances of a jockey sighting), this bright purple and pink space is home to some of the most authentic Mexican food in the city. Fill up on a burrito as big as your face, or opt in for a few $2 tacos.




Catering to the Downtown crowd, Safier boasts huge portions and fresh ingredients, a shawarma plate to rival all others, and some delicious house-made hummus.


Funmi's Café


Funmi herself mans the kitchen, serving up tender lamb, goat, and savory sides of rice in rich tomato sauce. The menu excellently mixes sweet, savory, and hearty ingredients for a delicious meal unlike most other food you’ll find in Louisville.

Yummy Pollo
Courtesy of Yummy Pollo


Yummy Pollo


Living up to its name, this South Louisville gem is serving up delicious Peruvian chicken, cooked rotisserie-style over charcoal. Grab half a chicken and some yucca fries, and you're in for a truly unbelievable dinner.


Caspian Grill Persian Bistro

Crescent Hill

This Crescent Hill hideaway takes Iranian staples like kebabs and falafel and goes one step further, serving up some of the best falafel in Louisville. Pro tip: go for the pomegranate chicken stew over rice. The restaurant also makes its own gelato -- so you can grab a scoop and people-watch on Frankfort Ave.




If you want to order paella, a cheese board, or just barrels of Spanish wine, this place won't disappoint. Another spot from Olé Restaurant Group -- the brains behind Mussel & Burger Bar, Guaca Mole, and El Taco Luchador -- Artesano does Spanish fare to perfection. Settle in for a tapas-style meal, or stop by for a bite and drinks around the fire pit.




If you’re looking for a perfect lamb gyro, this is where you’ll find it. Add a great falafel plate and some delicious cookies baked in-house, and you have a new go-to lunch spot.


Vietnam Kitchen


A Louisville staple, this pho paradise serves up huge bowls of noodles, along with a large menu of spicy Vietnamese fare. And if, for some insane reason, you're not feeling pho, try out the shrimp banh xeo and an avocado shake.


Sala Thai

South Louisville

Jungle curry, coconut lemongrass soup, and satay chicken are just a few items you’ll find on the menu at Sala. People rave about the authenticity of the food here. But beware: many Thai dishes pack an unexpected punch.

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Michelle Eigenheer is a contributor to Thrillist and always on the search for the spiciest dish around.