Yes, bacon has been a bit overexposed in the past few years, but there's a good reason for that: it's effing delicious. Also, it pairs really well with bourbon, which basically means that Louisville was built for it. And these eight local porcine dishes are here to prove it...
The Brown Hotel (address and info)
Without bacon, we would have no Hot Brown. Thank goodness we have bacon.
Bacon & Cheddar Pancakes
North End Cafe (address and info)
Crescent Hill & The Highlands
North End has cornered the market on pancakes, flipping up some of the fluffiest stacks in town. The addition of bacon and cheddar to its signature breakfast dish may seem outside the box, but it's oh so right, confirming once again, that sweet and savory are a match made in heaven, especially when bacon is involved.
Maple Bacon Donut
Nord’s Bakery (address and info)
Nord’s solidified its place in the Louisville donut hall of fame several years ago and went stratospheric with the introduction of its maple-glazed bacon confection. A crispy slice of bacon lends just the right amount of salty goodness to this otherwise perfectly sweet donut. Why not bring together America’s two favorite breakfast items? We can’t think of a more well-rounded way to start the day... or afternoon... or evening...
Pork Belly on a Stick
Against The Grain Brewery (address and info)
Bacon on a stick. Need we say more? The only thing you need for these thick-cut slices of sorghum-soaked pork belly is a quick dip in the molasses glaze served alongside. That and one of Against the Grain’s ever-changing, award-winning brews.
Ann Marie’s Bacon Bar (address and info)
A gratuitous love of pork is the foundation of this new addition to the Louisville restaurant scene, and with nearly every dish on the menu bacon-infused, it’s practically impossible not to fulfill your piggish cravings at Ann Marie’s Bacon Bar. So whether you order a classic BLT or the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, we suggest kicking off your pork-infused experience with the Bacon Sampler. Four varieties of its house-cured bacon offer a delicious glimpse into the varied world of cured meats, with the duck, beef, and turkey giving the classic pork bacon a solid run for its money.
Three Little Pigs
Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant (address and info)
Pig on pig on pig. Roasted pork belly is topped with pulled pork and then finished with a layer of freshly fried bacon. A helping of BBQ mustard, cole slaw, and pickles are the icing on the cake of this truly awe-inspiring pork-fest.
The Bacon Breakfast Burger
Mussel & Burger Bar (address and info)
Among a long list of superb burgers on the Mussel & Burger Bar menu, you will find the B.B.B. -- the Bacon Breakfast Burger. All of the best things about the most important meal of the day are sandwiched between two slices of bread, and the maple syrup-glazed pork belly is the piece de resistance of this mammoth burger, which is served with sweet potato fries and a smoked pineapple dipping sauce.
Benedictine & Bacon sandwich
Stevens & Stevens Delicatessen (address and info)
Stevens & Stevens doesn’t shy away from loading its signature deli sandwiches with bacon; its BLT is piled high with six slices of Applewood smoked goodness and the Hogs & Heffers offering layers hot honey ham, bacon, and pimento cheese between two slices of brioche. It’s the Benedictine & Bacon that takes the cake for us, however, with Louisville’s signature cucumber-laced spread topped with perfectly crisp fried pork.
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1. The Brown Hotel335 W Broadway, Louisville
2. North End Cafe1722 Frankfort Ave, Louisville
3. Nord's Bakery2118 S Preston St, Louisville
4. Against The Grain Brewery401 E Main St, Louisville
5. Ann Marie’s Bacon Bar10301 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville
6. Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant321 W Main St, Louisville
7. Mussel & Burger Bar9200 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville
8. Stevens & Stevens Delicatessen1114 Bardstown Rd, Louisville
Louisville’s iconic sandwich, the Hot Brown, had its cheesy, glorious birth back in the ‘20s at The Brown Hotel, when Chef Fred K. Schmidt created the turkey-bacon-Mornay sandwich as a midnight snack for hotel patrons. Check out the glamorous Lobby Bar, which has a wide variety of bourbon and serves up excellent cocktails. Sip on the bar’s classic Mint Julep as you make yourself at home on one of the brocade silk couches, all while the hotel pianist performs for you.
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.
Do yourself and everyone else in your social circles a favor and opt for the maple bacon long john and a pretzel donut, which is a midwest specialty that tastes nothing like those things that make the cast of Seinfeld thirsty.
Damn good beer and damn good barbeque are the hallmarks of downtown Louisville staple Against the Grain, located right at the famous Louisville Slugger field. Since opening their doors, the creative brewing team at Against the Grain have created over 100 unique beers that are so good they've evolved from local brewery to national beer distributor. With a full range of beer types, from light session ales to hop-full IPAs and smoky stouts, Against the Grain has a beer for every drinker. And if you don't drink, then chow down on their house-smoked barbeque, with favorites like brisket and pulled pork sitting alongside vegetarian options, like a signature chickpea sloppy joe, more adventuresome than just another salad.
A gratuitous love of pork is the foundation of this Louisville resto, with nearly every dish on the menu bacon-infused, it’s practically impossible not to fulfill your piggish cravings at Ann Marie’s Bacon Bar. So whether you order a classic BLT, the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, or the Bacon Sampler featuring four varieties of house-cured bacon, you're bound to leave happy.
Down One’s bourbon list is so large it is divided into eras: Pre-Prohibition, Post-Prohibition, and Modern. And their “Get Splashed” wall is the perfect photo opportunity for the bourbon lover.
This expanding franchise of Louisville offers up, as its name suggests, a rare combination of seafood and burgers. The fare here is as laid-back as a local dive with burgers, of course, mac & cheese, and nachos among many other staples, but they're all approached with Cordon Bleu sensibility and therefore taken up a few notches with add-ons like braised ribs, gooey Monterey jack cheese, and soft, airy brioche.
This Highlands deli is one of the best sandwich crafters around. It features an extensive menu of sandos, soups, salads, breads and just about anything else that could appease your lunchtime hunger. Pro tip: go with the BLT with Benedictine.