Now that the cat's out the bag and everyone in the other 49 states has realized that Louisville is a fantastic city, prices on most things have begun to travel north. Thankfully, though, part of being a fantastic city means remaining chock-full of delicious-yet-wallet-friendly eats...
What you’re getting: Large Derby Cone dipped in chocolate, $4.05
It’s not officially summer until you’ve had your favorite cone or dog at Dairy Kastle, Louisville’s most classic of walk-up-and-order-at-the-counter establishments. And getting the best bang for your buck is easy here, as virtually everything on the menu comes in under $6. Dairy Kastle is a seasonal treat, so hurry up and get your cone on before the sun sets on this go-to’s 2015.
What you’re getting: Ollie Burger with cheese, $3.35
Don’t forget to bring your cash, but not to worry, you’ll basically just need sofa change at Ollie’s. Perched at the corner of South Third and West Kentucky Streets, the Trolley has been a go-to in Old Louisville for years, with lines of hungry lunch-goers anxious to get their greasy-burger fix forming Monday through Friday. Like any good salt-of-the-earth establishment, the menu clocks in on the cheap and, while we recommend the burger, the sub-$5 options are seemingly endless.
What you’re getting: Carnitas taco, $3.50
The taco and torta game is on point at El Taco Luchador, the fast-casual joint that took up shop on Bardstown Rd in January 2014. We’re partial to its highly flavorful pork taco concoctions, but also find the Baja fish and asada tacos addictive. With all tacos landing at an affordable $3.75 or less, why not sample the trio?
What you’re getting: Chocolate chip cookie, $1.75
This highly successful hipster haven is home to what many consider to be the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet. Grab a cup of its house blend to pair with your sweet treat and spend some time perusing the eclectic vinyl on sale at Mr. Friendly, the small record shop located in Please & Thank You’s back room.
What you’re getting: Sally Lunn Roll, $1
With a terrific bar program and an ever-changing menu of inventive and locally inspired fare, there are more than a few reasons to visit RYE on Market. One constant that we can’t get enough of, however, is its Sally Lunn Roll. Served warm with salted butter on the side, these rolls manage to be dense and rich and light and airy at the same time. They are made in-house and are a must-order with any meal.
What you’re getting: Chips & dips, $4
House-made chips are served with not one, not two, but four dips, including guac. For less than $5. Your margarita has never been happier. Not feeling chips and dips? All of the tacos at El Camino are terrific and are $4 or less. Dig in.
What you’re getting: Giant Slice of the Day, $4
The POST answered Louisville’s call for true New York-style pizza in January of this year, serving up massive foldable slices of pie from its Germantown digs. A host of creative and classic topping combinations are available in 12, 16, and 20in sizes, however it’s the rotating, Giant Slice of the Day that wins the prize for best value. A pizza purist? Regular ol’ cheese and pepperoni are available by the giant slice as well, for $3 and $3.50, respectively.
What you’re getting: Benedictine & Bacon, $4.95
We’ve sang this sandwich’s praises before and we’ll sing them again... it’s hard to beat the deli-greatness of a Benedictine & Bacon from Stevens & Stevens.
What you’re getting: Simply Southern in a waffle cone, $4.98
We as Louisvillians are partial to homegrown goodness and our love affair with Comfy Cow’s ‘ville-born ice cream is passionate. Don’t let the lines deter you, this treat is well worth waiting for, especially a scoop of the signature Simply Southern, butter pecan ice cream mashed up with all things delicious about the South, including chunks of pecan pie, chocolate chips, and a splash of Old Forester bourbon.
What you’re getting: Boiled peanuts, $5
Don’t knock ‘em 'til you’ve tried ‘em. They’re beer -- and Ping-Pong’s -- best friend.
What you’re getting: Onion rings, $5
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill deep-fried slices of Vidalia. Silver Dollar dolls up its onions in a thin and crunchy coating of cornmeal, frying until crisp and meth-level addictive. Served with a side of made-in-house smoked ketchup, these onion rings are a heckofa deal in our book and beat out a basket of regular ol' fries every time.
What you’re getting: $1 hot dogs on Tuesdays
We’re pretty sure it’s a felony not to eat a hot dog at the ball field. Luckily, they’re available any day of the week at Slugger Field, but we recommend heading to watch the Bats play on Tuesdays, when dogs are a mere dollar a pop. Busy on Tuesday? Reschedule for Thursday, when they sling beer for a buck.
What you’re getting: Butter croissant, $5
Ordering a simple butter croissant amid the array of fresh-baked goods on display at Wiltshire Bakery & Cafe may seem too ordinary, but trust us... this is the best croissant you will find this side of Paris. It’s just that good.
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1. Dairy Kastle575 Eastern Pkwy, Louisville
2. Ollie's Trolley978 S 3rd St, Louisville
3. El Taco Luchador938 Baxter Ave, Louisville
4. Please & Thank You800 E Market St, Louisville
5. RYE900 E Market St, Louisville
6. El Camino1314 Bardstown Rd, Louisville
7. The Post1045 Goss Ave, Louisville
8. Stevens & Stevens Delicatessen1114 Bardstown Rd, Louisville
9. Garage Bar700 E Market St, Louisville
10. The Silver Dollar1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville
11. Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Cafe901 Barret Ave, Louisville
The small outdoor seating area at Dairy Kastle is always overflowing with people enjoying sweet treats like Orange Cows (orange sherbet with vanilla ice cream and sprite). They also serve hot dogs, brats, nachos, and BBQ pork.
Step up into this Old Louisville trolley car "fast food" joint and place your order (which should definitely include a burger). You might need to eat it in your car, especially in winter, but that’s okay. It’s just part of the charm. Oh, and it has great fries, so don’t skip ‘em!
Tacos, tortas, guacamole, and grilled street corn are all on the menu at El Taco Luchador. This spot embrasses the "fast-casual" movement, serving fresh, high quality, food at killer prices ($3.75 or less for tacos).
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.
This NuLu cocktail bar is ever-changing and always on point, which makes it a no-brainer when your cocktail craving strikes.
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.
The Post has fixed the lack of seriously good pizza in The 'Ville, and created a gorgeous space out of an old VFW hall that’s welcoming to hipsters and families simultaneously. Plus, excellent beer options seal the deal.
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.
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.
If it’s too loud... you’re at the right place. The Silver Dollar (located in a renovated firehouse) is known for loud honky-tonk and whiskey by the drink, and the Christmas lights décor extends to the back patio. Johnny Cash, Four Roses neat, and warm breeze -- nothing but a perfect year-round combination.
After they found success selling their goods at farmers markets, Wiltshire Pantry decided to open this retail bakery in Highlands. They serve a full range of breakfast pastry, lunch sandwiches, and breads -- including one of the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.