Louisville Restaurant recommendation.
September 9, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a good casual lunchtime restaurant in Louisville, KY.

I will be visiting my daughter next weekend and flying into Louisville. They are driving from Lexington to pick me up. We need a nice casual restaurant to eat lunch after I arrive that isn't too far from the airport or on the way back to Lexington (on 64, I believe.) Plus probably another one when they drop me off on Sunday afternoon. I have checked the restaurant sites but the ones I have seen are either fancy/expensive or touristy type places. Since none of us have been to Louisville before, I would like to eat at somewhere local that isn't a chain. Thanks!
posted by sakari to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There are quite a few great restaurants on Bardstown Rd. I really dig Ramsi's (international food), or the Bristol right next door is nice. Really most of the places in that area are quite good, although I would stay away from Cafe 360 or Karma Cafe. It's also a great area to kill some time in, a lot of little shops, interesting things to see.
posted by jackofsaxons at 1:46 PM on September 9, 2008

Oh, and here's the site for each:


posted by jackofsaxons at 1:47 PM on September 9, 2008

2nding Bardstown, it's got a lot of good food places but it's also just a cool place to hang out. I've been to Ramsi's and it was good, there's also a decent bbq place there, don't remember what it was called but it had some alright ribs. If you're not looking for touristy than Bardstown is the place to be.
posted by BrnP84 at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2008

The old standby: Lynn's Paradise Cafe. It's local and unique, not too expensive (Lunch from $8 - 15 a plate) and I take all my out of town guests there if we get time.

Good Barbecue: Kentucky BBQ Company, about $10 a plate with drink but off the beaten path a bit (link also has info about other local restaurants).

Ramsi's Cafe on the World has a wide range of food from all over the world, a neat location, not too expensive.

Some more restaurant reviews here.

Those are some of my favorites. If you want to explore and get some local flavor drive north on Bardstown Road - take 264 East from the Airport and you'll see the exit (264 is also how you will get to I64). There are lots of local businesses and restaurants along Bardstown, especially as you get closer to downtown.
posted by natteringnabob at 2:05 PM on September 9, 2008

BrnP84 might be thinking of Mark's Feed Store -- that's my family's default BBQ place when we're in town. (It is a chain, but it's a local chain).

But really, the one place we always make a point to visit at is Shenanigan's. Probably because my mom grew up right down the street, my aunt used to own it, and they're both guaranteed to run into people they know, but it definitely holds a special place in my heart. The food is pretty good pub fare, and the atmosphere is laid back. It's close to Bardstown Rd as well...
posted by natabat at 2:39 PM on September 9, 2008

Strongly seconding Lynn's. Also Blue Dog Cafe & Bakery and North End Cafe.
posted by j-dawg at 3:39 PM on September 9, 2008

Oh! And I just remembered the Cafe in the Antique Mall is quite good also.
posted by j-dawg at 3:41 PM on September 9, 2008

As linked by natteringnabob; Louisville foodies hang out at the forum on LouisvilleHotBytes.com. I'm sure they would also be happy to make some recommendations.
posted by disguise at 4:45 PM on September 9, 2008

As you take I-264 (Watterson Expressway) east from the airport, you pass:

(1) Poplar Level Road Exit: Turn left at the end of the ramp and look for Lolita's Tacos on your left. A hole-in-the-wall restaurant with the best freakin' Mexican in the city, for my money. Get the Avocado Burrito. Not open on Sundays. Google Map.

(2) Newburg Road Exit: turn left at the top of the ramp, drive a couple of miles until you pass Bellarmine University. On your right you will see Kaelin's Restaurant, a Louisville institution that claims to have invented the cheeseburger. Open on Saturdays, and they do brunch on Sundays at 11am. Or get the cheeseburger, or the hot roast beef Manhattan. Google Map.

You can also continue down Newburg Road, which will cross over Eastern Parkway and become Baxter Avenue. As you proceed down Baxter, you'll see Baxter Avenue Cinemas on your right, in the Mid City Mall. Next to the Cinemas is one of my favorite places to eat, the City Cafe. Fantastic food at great prices.

Or, you can continue and take Baxter to Grinstead. Turn right onto Grinstead, then at the next light turn right onto Bardstown Road. That will put you right in front of Ditto's (decent food, so-so service). A little farther down Bardstown in that same direction and you'll find Ramsi's on your left and Kashmir Indian next door.

(3) The Bardstown Road Exit. Left at the bottom of the ramp, turn left at the second light into the shopping center and you'll find Buckhead's Mountain Grill. Turn right, go down about three or four lights and you'll eventually hit Jack Fry's--if you go there for lunch, I recommend the pork tenderloin sandwich.

(4) When you head out 1-64 East towards Lexington, on the way you'll past the exit onto Hurstbourne Lane. It's pretty much nothing but restaurant chains out in that neck of the woods, and IMO not really worth pursuing. I'm embarrassed to admit that even though I drive the I-64E/I-75S corridor every weekend to visit my father since my mother passed away, I don't know of any good eateries near the exits along that route.
posted by magstheaxe at 9:57 PM on September 9, 2008

Ramsi's Ramsi's Ramsi's!!!

That place is awesome and I'm sad I couldn't eat there last time I was home to visit the fam.
posted by theRussian at 10:41 PM on September 9, 2008

Ramsi's is nice, easy to find. It can be an absolute bear of a wait to get in there around lunch/dinner times.
I reeeeeally recommend Vietnam Kitchen. It's a little bit off the Watterson Expressway but pretty easy to find. Definitely NOT expensive, fancy or touristy. But DEFINITELY delicious.
posted by hecho de la basura at 6:33 AM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you're gonna trek to the Highlands (Bardstown Road area), might as well go to Mazzoni's and get some Rolled Oysters.
posted by valkane at 1:14 PM on September 10, 2008

Mazzoni's has moved out to J-town, though! A much farther drive!


Mazzoni's Oyster Cafe
12003 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 451-3586‎
posted by magstheaxe at 1:47 PM on September 12, 2008

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