Over the 9

Over the 9 is out to disprove two stereotypes: yes, you can cross over Ninth and Main and no, not all Kentucky-made wine sucks. Located in the industrial space that formerly served as the tasting room for Falls City Beer and Old 502 Winery, the menu offers up plenty of gastropub fare to pair with these local libations. A variety of small plates like lamb nachos w/ beer cheese & chimichurri are ideal for sharing and the creative burgers (did someone say chorizo burger with avocado purée and sunnyside-up egg?) offer a twist on the traditional Angus, which is also up for order, if you’re keeping it classic.

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Epic Sammich Co.

After a year run as Rumplings, the Highlands' first ramen shop, the ever-creative visionary team of Dustin Staggers and Eric Morris decided it was time for a change and made a quick and complete overhaul of their tiny space on Highland Ave. The hot bowls of homemade noodles are now replaced by the most massive and epic of sandwiches, hence the name and spirit of this new establishment. Each creation is a monster, such as the huge pressed Cuban, or the fried pig and cheese: a sourdough behemoth served with your choice of fried mortadella or fried country ham buried with four different kinds of cheese and served with a sorghum-grape aioli dipping sauce.

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Nestled in the old Uncle Maddio’s location at the bustling corner of Grinstead and Bardstown Rd, Fontleroy’s is a tasty blend of classic American cuisine with a healthy dose of southern influence. Dishes like duck & waffles with foie gras butter and bourbon maple syrup and fried green tomatoes with blue crab, roasted corn chow chow, and comeback sauce are part and parcel with watermelon and heirloom tomato salad and a goat cheese and Tillamook cheddar mac. Word on the street is that Fontleroy’s serves up a mean cocktail as well; we suggest enjoying one on the Grinstead-facing patio during these perfect fall months.

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Galaxie Bar

We were pretty crushed when La Coop announced it would be shutting its French bistro doors on New Year’s Eve this past year. Our spirits were quickly lifted, however, when the gastronomic and mixology geniuses behind Rye on Market revealed that they would be opening Galaxie Bar, filling a gap in the NuLu restaurant scene as the affordable neighborhood watering hole. Both the food and drink menus are short but spot on, the sharable meal offerings an interesting mix of Indian and Mediterranean flavors, and the cocktails stiff and complex, the house margarita setting the example for what all margaritas should aspire to be (and yes, you should order it spicy).

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America. The Diner.

The menu here pays homage to the typical, beloved diner fare, but is not without creativity and excess, the Dirty South burger and/or hot dog featuring a diet-breaking combo of toppings including three-cheese mac and jalapeño roasted garlic aioli, with a crispy fried green tomato added to the burger and a thick slice of bacon to the hot dog. Best part? It's open 24-7 on the weekends and is located just a few steps from the Baxter Ave bars.

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Joella’s Hot Chicken

Hot chicken isn’t just for Nashville and, given the fact that fried chicken is a Kentucky staple, it seems only right that this fast-growing we-hope-it-never-ends trend has crossed state lines into our bluegrass. While there are other hot chicken establishments in the works, Joella’s is one of the first out of the gate and is off to a strong start, with veteran Louisville restaurateur Tony Palombino (of Boombozz Pizza fame) at the helm of the ship. Joella’s hot chicken is brined overnight, fried to order, and tossed in your choice of seasoning oil including "tweener" (medium), hot, and "Fire-in-da-Hole" which is helpfully described as "inferno."

Lindsey McClave/thrillist

Le Moo

You could practically hear the jubilation all the way from Anchorage when restaurateur Kevin Grangier (of Village Anchor fame) announced he would be taking over the past-its-prime KT’s and introducing Louisville to Le Moo, his take on a steakhouse with plenty of flair. Case in point: the Louis Vuitton booth, which was fashioned from the clippings of several vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases and bags. While steak is the restaurant’s primary draw, there is something for everyone on Le Moo’s menu, with salmon, sole, and a vegetarian cassoulet being worthy challengers to the beef that inspired the restaurant’s playful name.

Mesh Louisville


For a while it seemed like the old Azalea spot would never be replaced, the future of this location in the middle of a stretch of restaurant desert fraught with debate. Mesh finally put speculation to rest. Vast and modern, Mesh is a departure from Azalea in every way, the extremely popular patio the only sign of what once was. Enjoy upscale offerings like the tuna stack appetizer, and duck confit with waffles. What has proven to be the most popular thing about Mesh is the nightly drink specials, with half-priced martini Wednesdays giving locals a reason to stay out late on a school night.

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1. Falls City Beer and Over The 9 120 S. 10th St., Louisville, KY 40202

This brewery and restaurant features Falls City Beer and Old 502 Wine brands that are known locally, plus signature cocktails and traditional pub fare that incorporates uncommon ingredients.

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2. Epic Sammich Co. Highland Ave, Louisville, KY

This place makes sandwiches on an epic proportion. Try out the fried pig and cheese with country ham and sorghum-grape aioli dipping sauce. Make sure to pair your sandwich their loaded fries (cheese, Benton's bacon, and scallions).

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3. Fontleroy's 104 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY

This beautifully designed, upscale space offers southern cuisine reflective of the region's most popular foods. Indeed, while locals flock to Fontleroy's for a taste of its Old Fashioneds (rumor has it that it makes one of the best in town), the seasonal eats will make you a repeat customer. Be sure to swing by for al fresco dining on the patio, and sample the duck and waffles with foie gras butter and bourbon maple syrup.

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4. galaxie 732 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202

This interplanetary themed cocktail bar in NuLu is known for their herbaceous cocktails and "wakataka" flatbread tacos. Also worth checking out are Galaxie's signature spicy margaritas; garnished with Lunazul tequila, citrus and pepper flakes, they're a great bright and refreshing summer time drink. A small plates menu of Mexican street food options accents the hip space and neon decor.

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5. America The Diner 962 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204

Serving up diner food classics like burgers for lunch and dinner and for breakfasts eggs any way with your choice of meat and a side of hash browns. It's your classic American diner fare.

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6. Joella's Hot Chicken 3400 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40207

This casual Crescent Hill staple is known for delivering hot and spicy Nashville-style fried chicken. What makes Joella's unique is that its brined overnight and sauced to order with five levels of spice available; depending on your preference, go high on the heat ("Fire In Da Hole Inferno" level), or get yours sweet and mild. Kale and broccoli slaw sides add crunch and cool down your palate.

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7. leMoo 2300 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40206

This Crescent Hill place boasts the “most eclectic” steak menu in Louisville, with more than 15 cuts available in CAB, Choice, Prime, dry-aged, and wagyu. But while steak is the restaurant’s primary draw, there is something for everyone at Le Moo’s, which supplies salmon, sole, and a vegetarian cassoulet that are all worthy challengers to the beef that inspired the restaurant’s playful name. Also important to note is the booth made of vintage Louis Vuitton leather.

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8. Mesh 3608 Brownsboro Rd, Louisville, KY 40207

The decor of this restaurant is contemporary and elegant making it a comfortable environment to enjoy their innovative American cuisine. Be sure to try the shrimp & Weisenberger grits with house smoked pork belly.