It’s 10:59am and everyone in town is beginning to think about lunch... before inevitably coming to the conclusion that it's going to be another boring sandwich. Probably tuna. Well, it doesn't have to be that way -- in fact, wherever you are in Louisville, there's a great lunch spot right by you. These are the best.
Feast (address and info)
What you’re getting: BBQ Salad
It seems impossible to visit Feast without ordering their loaded tots, however the BBQ salad is our go-to for a lunch that won’t leave us in a food coma for the rest of the day. A mountain of fresh lettuce is topped with green & red onions and fried pickles, and served with sides of pulled pork, house-made BBQ sauce, and smoked mustard dressing.
Bendoya Sushi Bar (address and info)
What you’re getting: BOGO rolls
Who doesn’t love a good buy-one-get-one-free deal? The BOGO spirit is alive and well at Bendoya Sushi Bar in Downtown Louisville, with crowds of the nine-to-five set lining up on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to take advantage of this weekly sushi-roll sale. Bendoya resides in a relatively nondescript space on Fifth Street between Market and Jefferson, just enough off of the beaten path that it maintains a locals-only status. Plan ahead and visit early or late, this spot is slammed during the peak lunch hour of noon to 1pm.
Con Huevos (address and info)
What you’re getting: Torta Cubana
Con Huevos is Clifton’s newest resident and, while tiny, instantly made an impression on the neighborhood with egg-laden Mexican treats. Since it is lunch we like to leave the egg-heavy dishes for the weekend, choosing instead the ample torta Cubana; a sandwich of both pork and chorizo, plus avocado and jalapeño aioli, and with a bit of fresh arugula thrown in for good measure.
Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot (address and info)
What you’re getting: Lou-a-vul beef brisket sandwich
With two massive smokers working away 24/7 directly in front of the Beer Depot’s main entrance, there’s no question as to what makes this establishment tick. The beef brisket is on point here, best enjoyed in sandwich form with plenty of pickles and onions.
Lotsa Pasta (address and info)
What you’re getting: Italian sub
Order an Italian sub at the deli counter (sliced meat and cheeses showered with a house-made herby olive oil dressing) of this international gourmet grocery and get lost in the aisles while you wait, checking out the wide selection of cheeses, pasta shapes, and stacks of homemade bread. Plus, there are free samples, which in this context we consider appetizers.
Anchorage Café (address and info)
What you’re getting: Cobb salad
Snag a seat in the tree-filled courtyard and tuck into the Cobb salad, a classic mix of fresh local lettuces, hard-boiled egg, roast chicken, and cheese served with your choice of creamy balsamic or buttermilk chive dressing (always go buttermilk).
Frank’s Meat & Produce (address and info)
What you’re getting: Turkey sandwich
Located on Preston Hwy, Frank’s is within a stone’s throw of the Fair and Expo Center and has long been a go-to for those working in this chain restaurant-heavy part of town. Not much has changed with the times when it comes to Frank’s, thankfully, including the prices. Practically all sandwiches, including the classic turkey, clock in at under the $5 mark, making this one of the most affordable lunch spots in town.
Four Pegs (address and info)
What you’re getting: Chicken and waffle sandwich
Be forewarned, the chicken and waffle sandwich from Four Pegs shouldn’t be consumed prior to a large presentation or any sort of serious work activity. Because when you use waffles as bread, it WILL cause a food coma.
El Taco Luchador (address and info)
What you’re getting: Tacos
Multicolored chairs, lucha libre-inspired art, and a menu loaded with boldly flavored tacos and tortas set the tone at this fast-casual Highlands lunch spot, where mole-tinged chicken is braised, carnitas are crisped, and fish is fried right before you eyes. We’re especially fond of this place's take on a barbacoa taco: beef short ribs braised and spiced with guajillo peppers and topped with a dollop of guac, pico de gallo, and plenty of crema to ensure the heat level is just right.
Mussel & Burger Bar (address and info)
What you’re getting: Curry cream mussels
Mussel and Burger Bar was instantly slammed the day it opened in Jeffersontown at the beginning of 2013, giving this section of the city a much-needed local spot amongst a sea of chains. The menu is extensive and creative, with a burger and/or mussel preparation to suit any taste. We’re a fan of the curry cream mussels, but are always up for overdoing it with the BBB, the signature bacon breakfast burger.
Bombay Grill (address and info)
What you’re getting: The lunch buffet
The menu at Bombay Grill can be incredibly overwhelming, and choosing one of the expertly prepped and flavorful dishes a challenging task. Solution? Hit up the daily lunch buffet, where the resto turns out a variety of North and South Indian-inspired dishes, and you can have ALL of them. It’s a steal at $8.99 during the week ($10.99 on the weekends) and will ensure your garlic naan, tandoori chicken, and tikka masala cravings are quenched in the most satisfying of ways.
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1. Feast BBQ909 E Market St, Louisville
2. Bendoya Sushi Bar217 S 5th St, Louisville
3. Con Huevos2339 Frankfort Ave, Louisville
4. Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot3204 Frankfort Ave, Louisville
5. Lotsa Pasta3717 Lexington Rd, Louisville
6. Anchorage Cafe11505 Park Rd, Anchorage
7. Frank's Meat & Produce3342 Preston Hwy, Louisville
8. Four Pegs Beer Lounge1053 Goss Ave, Louisville
9. El Taco Luchador938 Baxter Ave, Louisville
10. Mussel & Burger Bar9200 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville
11. Bombay Grill216 N Hurstbourne Pkwy, Louisville
This is the first Feast actually in Louisville (the first is in New Albany) and it gets the job done just like the first, with 60+ craft beers and a menu loaded with tasty 'cue. The hearty, savory food and drink (loaded tots, fried pickles, and um, BOURBON SLUSHIES) will have you coming back for more. Feast's warm and friendly vibes are just an added bonus to otherwise great barbecue fare.
This nondescript lunch-only spot serves up sushi, dumplings and noodle soup for the 9 to 5 crowds. Their two-for-one sushi roll deal has a following that jams the place from 12-1pm.
This tiny Mexican spot packs a mean punch with delicious breakfast and lunch food served daily. There is some patio and bar seating and the space, while small, is very bright and well-designed. Try the torta cubana, a pork and chorizo sandwich that also contains arugula, avocado and jalapeño aioli.
You can smell the Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot long before you reach it's doors and that isn't a bad thing. Two large smokers use the low and slow method to grill up some of the very best barbecue in town. Frankford Avenue also features a large selection of cold beer (duh) and there's even a mini-golf course out back. What are you waiting for?
This local international food-shop-meets-eatery serves up great lunch options, like soup and salad combos, customizable sandwiches, and -- quite possibly the only place in Louisville to get a legit one -- freshly grilled panini. There's a wide selection of cheeses, pastas, and homemade breads to shop for while you wait for your food to be prepared.
This hip cafe with a tree-filled courtyard serves breakfast and lunch every day in addition to early weekend dinners. They also serve coffee and pastries, even to Obama who stopped by and cleared the place of cinnamon buns.
Frank's, located right near the Fair and the Expo Center, has been a longstanding lunch spot for those in the area. The place has remained fairly consistent on all levels, including their prices. All sandwiches are under $5. The place is primarily a meat and produce store, but the real pull is the quality deli counter.
This may be a beer hot spot, but that doesn't mean it doesn't dole out tasty eats. Saddle up with a plate of the famous chicken and waffles while sitting back and relaxing in the homey pub atmosphere.
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).
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.
The colossal size of this Indian eatery in far east Louisville is only matched by the size of the tower you'll have on your plate by the time you reach the end of the buffet, which is ripe for the picking with tandoori vegetables and meats like chicken and lamb that you can top to your heart's desire with yogurts, chutney, papadums, and pickles. You'll have to come at lunch time, though, otherwise you'll be left to pick from a full menu of other dishes like chicken tikka or lamb kebabs (ok, so that's not so bad, either).