Food & Drink

The Best Place for Every Type of Cuisine in Louisville

Published On 08/02/2016 Published On 08/02/2016
Brazeiros

Brazilian:

Brazeiros

Address and Info

Downtown

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.

Caribbean:

Roof Top Grill

Address and Info

Chickasaw

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.

Chinese:

Oriental House

Address and Info

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

Cuban:

Havana Rumba

Address and Info

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.

Ethiopian:

Queen of Sheba

Address and Info

Bowman

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

French:

Brasserie Provence

Address and Info

Hurstbourne

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.

German:

Gasthaus

Address and Info

Brownsboro-Northfield

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

Indian:

Taj Palace

Address and Info

Westport

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.
 

Irish:

The Irish Rover

Address and Info

Clifton

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

Italian:

Mercato Italiano Trattoria and Market

Address and Info

Prospect

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.

Japanese:

hiko-A-mon

Address and Info

Westport

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.

Charim

Korean:

Charim

Address and Info

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.

Old Santa Fe Grill

Mexican:

Santa Fe Grill

Address and Info

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.

Mediterranean:

Safier

Address and Info

Downtown

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.

Nigerian:

Funmi's Café

Address and Info

Wellington

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.

Courtesy of Yummy Pollo

Peruvian:

Yummy Pollo

Address and Info

Buechel

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.

Persian:

Caspian Grill Persian Bistro

Address and Info

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.

Artesano Vino Tapas Y Mas

Spanish:

Artesano

Address and Info

Westport

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.

Turkish:

Alwatan

Address and Info

Buechel

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.

Vietnamese:

Vietnam Kitchen

Address and Info

Iroquois

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.

Thai:

Sala Thai

Address and Info

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Brazeiros Brazilian Steakhouse 450 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

When you come to this casual Brazilian steakhouse, you should be ready and excited for the staff to continuously bring you various cuts of delectable meats (fifteen, to be exact), including beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and sausage. Their seasoned chefs will prepare each to your exact specifications. That kind of customer control is what the whole experience is about: you guide the meal by displaying a green and red card that signals the chefs to either start or stop service. You can sit back and let the slicing begin.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Roof Top Grill 708 Louis Coleman Jr Dr, Louisville, KY 40211

The interior may not be anything special -- it's your classic hole-in-the-wall -- but the food most definitely is. Caribbean-inspired dishes are what you're in for at Roof Top Grill, such as classic jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, special beef patties, and a number of sides including some cabbage that'll actually have you craving seconds. The best part of any under-the-radar joint like this is the price -- just as appealing as the tasty island fare.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Oriental House 4302 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40207 (St Matthews)

Since the '60s, Oriental House has been the go-to for Chinese in Louisville, with everything from American favorites like sesame chicken and General Tso’s, to authentic dim sum.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Havana Rumba 4115 Oechsli Ave, Louisville, KY 40207

Havana Rumba has long been Louisville’s go-to spot for Cuban cuisine, and while their plantains are spot on and a go-to accompaniment to any dish, it’s the Boniato Fritos that shine. To go with those fries are hot and cold tapas like the chicken tostones or cuban tamales.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Queen of Sheba 2804 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

Two things are certain at Kingsley's Queen of Sheba -- you're probably going to share, and you're probably going to get your hands a little dirty. Sticking to it's traditional Ethiopian roots, this restaurant serves its specializes in large stews and thick soups, all eaten by an entire table of diners armed with flaps of flatbread they'll hungrily dip into the pot like a kid scooping jelly beans in a candy store. The long marination process makes for hearty and bold flavor that culminates in house staples like beef-based Gored-Gored and Lega Sega with other meat and veggie offerings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Brasserie Provence 150 N Hurstbourne Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40222

East Louisville is gifted with a taste of France through Brasserie Provence, and elegant yet unpretentious French restaurant serving up delectable dishes like prime pork chop with a honey lavender glaze, sea bass filet, and classics like French onion soup and duck foie gras terrine. Like the food, the service here is top-notch. You'll be treated well as you dine among the country decor and fireplace on the inside, or the tasteful outdoor seating.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Gasthaus German Restaurant 4812 Brownsboro Ctr, Louisville, KY 40207

From spaetzle to schnitzel, the German fare at Gasthaus is the best and most authentic around. The true stars here are the desserts, which are all fresh and house-made, such as Black Forest cake, streusel, tortes, strawberry napoleons, and souffles -- and that's only the beginning. You'll want to wash it down with a traditional German brew or some hot mulled wine. Naturally, the staff are in costume, and the place is decked out like a true German home, with clocks and stuffed bears on the wall and red-and-white checkered tablecloths.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Taj Palace Indian Restaurant 2929 Goose Creek Rd, Louisville, KY 40241

You'll find traditional and tasty Indian dishes at Taj Palace, an unassuming space in Westport that packs a punch with its food. Classics like chicken tikka masala, pakoras, saag paneer, and samosas are on the menu here, as is a mango lassi that acts as the perfect end to your meal. They also offer a lunch buffet, a full bar with cocktails, beer, and wine, and plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options so everyone in your group is happy.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Irish Rover 2319 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Clifton)

True Guinness is imported straight from Dublin to the bar at the Irish Rover, where County Clare born owner Michael Reidy aims to recreate the experience of Ireland's pubs. For over 20 years he has run the spot, and serves authentic dishes like lamb stuffed cabbage, bangers & mash, Guinness beef stew, cottage pie, and killer fish & chips.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Mercato Italiano Trattoria & Market 10640 Meeting St, Louisville, KY 40059

Designed with a spacious full bar, this 100-seat Italian restaurant attracts after-work crowds and families alike for a meal of Italian classics. Expect all the beloved comfort entrees, including pizza, a bevy of pasta dishes, and a massive 32oz bistecca fiorentina. As the name states, there is also a market for casual shopping, ensuring that Norton Commons’ residents will never have to go far to stock their pantry with artisanal Italian fare.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Hiko-a-mon 1115 Herr Ln Suite 130, Louisville, KY 40222 (Downtown)

Upscale, modern accents and an ample menu of hand-rolled sushi, noodle bowls, and traditional bento boxes make hiko-A-mon the ‘Ville’s go-to for Japanese cuisine.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Charim Korean Restaurant 4123 Oechsli Ave, Louisville, KY 40207 (St Matthews)

Three words: Hot stone Bibimbap. It's the signature dish at Charim, Louisville's favorite Korean joint hidden away in a Richlawn strip mall. Its contents (one choice of meat with rice, vegetables, and sauce in a hot stone bowl) are self-explanatory, but that doesn't make it any less flavorful. Veterans of this spot will at times opt to venture out into the bulgogi bowls, colorful creations of noodles, veggies, meats, and a fried egg, all separated to satiate the organizational freak in all of us.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Santa Fe Grill 3000 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208

A colorful South Louisville spot (it's housed inside a bright purple and pink building) offers Mexican dishes that are as close to the real thing as you'll get without actually crossing the border. Their tamales are what's made them the talk of the town, but their enormous burritos and $2 tacos are more than worth your time, too. Everything on the menu is fresh, and you might even catch a glimpse of their tortillas being made from scratch in the back.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Safier Mediterranian Deli 641 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Safier's a Mediterranean deli and restaurant right in the middle of the action of Downtown Louisville. Specializing in Persian and Lebanese fare, this friendly neighborhood joint slings house-ground falafel and freshly made hummus like it's no one's business. And it's certainly proof that high quality and high price are not mutually exclusive -- even the big main plates of fried fish, grilled lamb, and chicken schwarma won't put you out more than 10 bucks.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Funmi's 3028 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205

At this humble yet sweet Nigerian joint in Wellington, Funmi herself will serve you before she cooks you up a meal you'll never forget (as she's been doing since 2009). Combining sweet, savory, and spicy flavors, dishes like grilled lamb, goat, and peri peri chicken with fried plantains and rice rotate throughout the menu every day. Funmi only serves what's fresh and available, so many just trust Funmi's expertise when it comes to picking a meal.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. Yummy Pollo 4222 Bishop Ln, Louisville, KY 40218

Where the spice of Peru meets the comfort and soul or the South, Yummy Pollo fired up the grill daily to make fresh charcoaled chicken, Peruvian style with a select handful of soul food favorites to the side. The simple menu makes your choice easy -- you're only option is crispy, blackened chicken (not a bad thing, if you ask us) -- you just have to decide how much of it you want and whether your want to pair it with steak fries, chicken fried rice, green beans, or mashed potatoes.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. Caspian Grill Persian Bistro 2716 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Crescent Hill)

This homey little joint in the heart of Crescent Hill takes Persian bistro to a new level. Succulent beef, chicken, salmon, and lamb kabobs lie on top of big, steamy beds of basmati rice and dominate the menu here, but the real star of the show is the house specialty -- a pomegranate stew with chicken and Caspian spices. It's the perfect preamble to a dish of homemade Persian ice cream, made with saffron, vanilla, pistachio and rose water.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
18. Artesano Vino Tapas Y Mas 1321 Herr Ln, Louisville, KY 40222

This no-reservations hot spot offers a tapas-style menu of inventive spanish and globally inspired eats. The shareable items here are sized for least two, though the tender cuts of rib-eye, strip, and flank, will have you wishing for your own pound of meat. For a glass of wine or one of four kinds of sangria, head to the diner-like bar, where, thankfully, the "generous" attitude is shared.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
19. Al Watan Restaurant 3707 Hikes Ln., Louisville, KY 40218

Turkish food, especially the authentic stuff, is rather hard to come by in the US, let alone the South, let alone Kentucky. But Al Watan Restaurant in far west Louisville makes a compelling case for us having a lot more of it. Sure, you can easily find crispy falafel over beds of yellow rice, lamb gyros doused in yogurt sauce, and fresh knaan or pita at other Mediterranean joints, but non of them have the heavier, just a tad spicier flavor pallet that the Turkish versions provide.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
20. Vietnam Kitchen 5339 Mitscher Ave, Louisville, KY 40214 (Iroquois)

Tucked in between a laundromat and a dive bar in Louisville's Iroquois neighborhood lies Vietnam Kitchen, a true hidden gem. Within its four bright, baby-blue walls, you'll find ample seating that's constantly full of diners looking to try authentic Vietnamese cuisine like the ever-popular Hủ tiếu Saté, a spicy rice noodle with sate sauce, bean sprouts, broccoli, peanuts, and lemon grass, with your choice of beef, chicken, or pork.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
21. Sala Thai 10403 Glenmary Farm Dr, Louisville, KY 40291

A hidden gem within a strip mall all the way down in Asheville, Sala's known for the having the best thai around Louisville. With its typical white wall and tile interior, admittedly this spot doesn't bother much with flair or ambiance -- but it does pay attention to flavor. The menu is dominated by soupy bowls of noodles, stir fry, and fried rice plates -- it might be simple fare, but the insane spice will sneak up on you, and fast.