English Grill This historic restaurant invented the Hot Brown: an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. It was originally cooked up to feed 1,500 nightly guests in the wee hours after The Brown Hotel’s nightly dinner dance.
Decca “Top Chef” hotshot Annie Pettry is Decca’s executive chef and has been recognized as one of the best new chefs in the Southeast thanks to her subtle, soulful dishes applying classic French techniques to Southern and Midwestern ingredients.
Jack Fry’s The walls are covered with Derby memorabilia at this old-school fine dining bistro, a sentimental fave for special occasions and piano-bar jazz since the 1930s. Menu standouts are the Black Hawk Farms Burger and Southern shrimp in red-eye gravy with Broadbent country ham over Weisenberger grits.
Feast BBQ This bustling NuLu neighborhood gem has been repeatedly voted “Best of Louisville” for three very good reasons: the tender brisket, pulled pork and Southern-style ribs.
Milkwood “Mind of a Chef” star and “Top Chef” finalist Edward Lee made his mark in Louisville with a trio of congenial restaurants and a new whisky bar. Unlike his fixed-price eatery, 610 Magnolia, this one offers a moderately priced menu of Southern staples spiced up with Asian flavors and, naturally, plenty of bourbon to wash it down.
Chik’n & Mi Fried Chicken is undeniably a Louisville specialty, but with 1,000 local restaurants, picking your favorite in this culinary capital won’t be easy. This low-key joint is deliciously persuasive with its gluten-free, Laotian-inspired version served four ways.
Blue Dog Bakery Café Blue Dog’s fabulous bread is served all over town, but going to the Crescent Hill café for breakfast, lunch or a butter-laminated bakery snack is a real treat. You can diet tomorrow.
The Village Anchor Pub grub meets the deep South in the classic comfort foods prepared by dedicated executive chef Henry Wesley. Can’t-miss orders include Myra’s Fried Chicken, the Hot Brown, any of the $10 Tuesday night specials or the excellent brunch.
Proof on Main For consistently fine, fresh new cuisine, believe the rave reviews about this restaurant inside the artsy 21c Hotel. Chef Mike Wajda sources local entrees like pork, bison, catfish, and cheeses, and even grows Proof’s own veggies and herbs. Complementary cotton candy only sweetens the deal.
Butchertown Grocery One of the Louisville’s hottest foodie destinations is this stylish meatcentric restaurant in a 19th-century building, serving chef-owner Bobby Benjamin’s Frencified New American fare (think fancy chicken ‘n’ waffles and basil-fed escargot) and a mixology menu starring fantastic riffs on the classic Mint Julep. Upstairs, Lola’s is a sassy drinking den for after-dinner drinks and live music.
Muth’s Candies The confectioner has been making mouth-watering treats since 1921. It’s most famous for the original Louisville candy known as the Modjeska, a fancy marshmallow hand-dipped in caramel, and sometimes chocolate. Leave room in your luggage to bring home a few boxes.