Germantown, Louisville | History, Culture & Food : Official Travel Source

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Shotgun homes, dive bars & German heritage

Germantown was named after the influx of German immigrants who first settled into the neighborhood in the mid 1800s. The area is dotted by the most extensive collection of shotgun and camelback houses in the city. A popular local saying is that there’s a dive bar on every corner. Recently, the neighborhood has become a mix of the old and new, maintaining its rich history while welcoming hip eateries and bars.


Kick off your morning at Bean, where you can watch them roast your coffee beans while reading through your inbox. Hammerheads’ selection of house-smoked meats and duck-fat fries has attracted a huge following to this tiny restaurant. Look for the stuffed hammerhead shark just above the entrance and you’ll know you’re in the right spot. Just down the street, you’ll find Four Pegs, another welcoming gastropub that serves smoked foods and inventive dishes for carnivores and vegetarians alike and is located in a historic building that’s been a landmark in Germantown for 150 years.

Local favorite Check’s Café has been a Germantown neighborhood tradition for over 60 years. It’s where cold beer and inexpensive, tasty food (German and American dishes) go hand in hand—rolled oysters or fried bologna, anyone? If you have a taste for Italian, there’s Sarino or Come Back Inn. Or order a slice of New York-style pizza at The Post. Dairy Kastle has been a Louisville summer tradition for more than 40 years. If you’re here during the warm weather months, pop by the walk-up counter for a soft serve ice cream and a chili dog.

Looking for something out of the ordinary but tastes extraordinary? Stop by Nord’s Bakery for one of their legendary maple bacon doughnuts. Lovers of craft beer can add Monnik Beer Co. to their list. The brewery, taproom and restaurant offer locally-sourced pub fare.

For nightlife, Zanzabar has established a reputation among locals for being a go-to live music venue featuring both local and national acts. It’s also home to the city’s only vintage arcade. Spin the drinks wheel at The Pearl of Germantown if you’re feeling indecisive, and enjoy tunes on the jukebox or live DJs on the weekend at this buzzing neighborhood hangout. Karaoke enthusiasts will appreciate 21st in Germantown, where you can sing seven nights a week. Relax on the roomy patio at Nachbar, a laid-back dive bar.


Schnitzelburg, Germantown’s sister neighborhood, is home to the annual World Championship Dainty Contest in July. Since 1971, this imported German game has drawn people to Goss Avenue. The game calls for a broomstick handle, the wood dainty (similar in size to sidewalk chalk, sharpened to a point at both ends) and an open street. Players (who must be 45 or older) hit the dainty like a baseball. The person who hits their stick the farthest wins.


At Fat Rabbit, you’ll find thrift and vintage clothing for men and women, accessories, electronics, art, books, home goods, antiques and more. The Nitty Gritty is an eclectic costume rental and vintage clothing store that’s a go-to for locals for Halloween, theme parties and unique designs from decades past. For the artistically inclined, Artist & Craftsman Supply will fulfill your creative needs. Hound Dog Press is a full-service vintage letterpress shop specializing in custom invitations, greeting cards, posters, art prints and design.

Take a Deeper Dive

Featured Attractions & Things to Do

Check's Café


You can whiff a scent of Louisville history coming off the old walls of this quintessential Germantown saloon. The bar...



Zanzabar (Zbar) is a perfect destination for a top-notch menu, boasting over 60 different beers, huge selection of vintage...