Sandwiches. Everybody loves them, and Louisville has some fantastic ones. The only problem is that as soon as you mention the words "sandwich" and "Louisville" together in a sentence, the Hot Brown muscles its iconic, sauce-smothered head into the picture... which would be fine, were it not for its untouchably iconic nature, and the fact that you really need a knife and fork to eat it. The only solution? For it to politely excuse itself from the debate entirely. So, without further ado, here are Louisville's finest bread-traps...
What you're getting: The Country Ham
In Louisville, "sandwich" ultimately equals Morris’ Deli. In our language, the two are interchangeable. Housed in a little liquor store on the verge of the suburbs, this institution earned a visit from Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America, though its most bizarre features are its location and how amazing its meats are.
What you're getting: The Porchetta
This mini B&B spin-off of the life-changing Holy Grale allows you to spend an entire day eating and drinking like owners Tyler Trotter and Lori Beck. Gralehaus’ star chef, Andy Myers, serves up world-class sandwiches, crepes, and accoutrements -- the best garnishes, breads, and every other detail you can dream about.
What you're getting: The Gnadinger Pork
Its Gnadinger Pork sandwich has been on the menu for as long as we can remember, a notable distinction for a spot that updates its items consistently. Braised in the Weizenbock-style beer Aventinus, with black currant and pistachio on a pretzel bun, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s even more popular than its burger.
What you're getting: The muffuletta
This stylish lunch-must is a sibling to the beloved Cellar Door Chocolates, and it makes everything look easy without sacrificing quality. The muffuletta has been a favorite, and some current options include fried egg and pimento cheese -- or fried egg, bacon and cheddar. Which will you choose?
New Albany, IN
What you're getting: Your choice of panini
Laura Buckingham’s cleverly named morning spot has been surprising and delighting patrons since day one. Though she and her crew are working out of a small, unconventional old space now, her bread-based beasts are beyond fresh and exciting. Get a panini and taste the farm-to-breakfast table difference.
What you're getting: Whatever the lunch special is that day
Sometimes we try to write a best-of-Louisville list without including Harvest, just for the challenge. Sometimes we fail. Whether for a friendly lunch or a family dinner, Harvest is hard to beat. Its sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, and whatnot are top-notch. Between the well-sourced ingredients, excellent service, and warm atmosphere, we only regret that we can’t eat there five times a week.
What you're getting: The DM's Cheesesteak
Beloved for his pizzas, local character Dan McMahon is no slouch with the sandwiches, either. There’s the DM's Cheesesteak, for one, cooked from scratch with steak mixed with some cheeses, onions, green peppers, or mushrooms (the latter trio is up to you). Add a side of au jus and it’s this gritty nabe’s idea of a juice cleanse.
What you're getting: The PBLT
Just the fact that Hammerheads even tried a PBLT (pork belly, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich tells you how pure and insane its overall approach is. This hidden innovator is both a local treasure and a laboratory of future ideas, perspectives, and chefs. The roasted duck sandwich is also a special treat; let your friends enjoy the ribs, burgers, or tacos while you’re winning at sandwich.
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1. Morris' Deli2228 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville
2. Gralehaus1001 Baxter Ave, Louisville
3. Eiderdown983 Goss Ave, Louisville
4. Jackknife Cafe1201 Story Ave, Louisville
5. Bread and Breakfast157 East Main St, New Albany
6. Harvest624 E Market St, Louisville
7. Danny Mac's Pizza1567 S Shelby St, Louisville
8. Hammerheads921 Swan St, Louisville
Housed in a little liquor store on the verge of the suburbs, this institution earned a visit from Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America, though its most bizarre features are its location and how amazing its meats are. Get the ham. Or the turkey.
Offering excellent brews downstairs and cozy guest rooms upstairs, cafe-meets-inn Gralehaus gives a whole new meaning to the term B&B: bed & beverage. On the ground floor, the rustic-chic cafe serves a solid selection of craft beers alongside inventive brunch dishes, while visitors can stay in three handsome, exposed-brick suites upstairs if they please. The same masterminds behind the Holy Grale, which Gralehaus sits next to inside a 1905 Victorian home, give morning favorites their own unique spin here, such as lamb sausage and grits, breakfast sandwiches on pretzel buns, and the fan-favorite black pepper biscuits smothered with duck gravy and topped with a fried egg. When it comes to beer, you can expect four rotating taps, 150 bottles, and signature beer cocktails.
Located in Germantown, this American resto and sandwich spot features a number of non-traditional treats, from its duck fat popcorn to its beer cheese that's served warm like a fondue with Blue Dog bread.
This trendy lunch spot is one of the best in Butchertown for a lunch sammich, especially their BLT, and ESPECIALLY especially if you get it with their outstanding Benedictine spread, which is a simple but necessary condiment/dip made with cream cheese, cucumber, and green food coloring.
This Southern Indiana artisan bakery-specializes in homemade bakery items, terrific lunches, artisan breads, and gluten-free pastries. Pro tip: Get a panini and taste the farm-to-table difference.
You know you're in for a fresh meal at Harvest, because the walls are adorned with large photos of the various Kentucky farmers who grow and raise the ingredients you’ll find on your plate. The team here knows a thing or two about fried chicken, crafting a buttermilk-soaked, battered, and fried breast and thigh served over a savory hoecake, drizzled with creamy gravy and topped with spicy greens. It’s heaven on a plate. And if you're not in the mood for chicken, they also have one of the best burgers in Louisville: a local beef patty topped with tomato jam, triple-cream brie, and lettuce on an addictive pretzel bun.
Around Schnitzelburg, everyone knows Dan "Danny Mac" McMahon due to the winning pizzas he makes -- and some credit must also go to his garlic bread and Parmesan-smothered breadsticks.
This uber-casual Paristown restaurant set inside a residence is classic American comfort food delivered in a relaxed and friendly neighborhood venue. Think Southern barbeque meets American burger joint and you've grasped Hammerheads, where racks of ribs sit right next to sliders and crab cakes. Seating is first come, first served at this corner eatery, but there's room enough for the whole crowd. Don't go to this Louisville spot if you're looking for a cocktail night, though—they only serve beer and wine.