Louisville's original "Restaurant Row"
This lively neighborhood is Louisville’s original “Restaurant Row,” known for its casual pubs and sushi bars alongside breakfast joints and chef-driven bistros on Bardstown Road. As well as being a foodie hub, the area is also celebrated for its unique collection of artisan shops and is one of the most popular neighborhoods for local nightlife. If it’s a quieter atmosphere you crave, bookstores and java shops meet that need with a variety of independent coffee shops around the neighborhood. The Highlands is as quirky as it is charming, boasting Victorian homes and turn-of-the- century architecture.
EAT & DRINK
The Highlands has been a foodie haven in Louisville for decades. Long-time staple Jack Fry’s is a favorite for locals doing a business lunch or a special date. You can also spy celebrity chef Anthony Lamas (a James Beard semifinalist) whipping up culinary delights at his Latin restaurant Seviche.
Start your day with a supersized meal at Superchefs, a superhero themed restaurant with star chef Darnell Ferguson. Try modern American cuisine with Mediterranean and Southern influences at Fat Lamb Modern Kitchen & Bar. Joy Luck serves up Asian cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. Find tacos at El Taco Luchador or Noche Mexican BBQ. For Southern inspired dishes, there’s wine-centric LouVino and fried-chicken forward The Eagle, where large tables with fire pits keep you toasty on the patio. Pizza lovers will want to try a pie at Impellizzeri’s. Sink your teeth into a burger or grab a scoop of homemade ice cream at 80/20 at Kaelin’s. For a late night bite or drink, there’s Café 360, which is open 24 hours a day.
Several spots cater to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, including V-Grits, Heart & Soy, Roots and Shahar Café. Upscale Italian pub fare can be found at ROC, an official Urban Bourbon Trail® stop. And, locals swear by the Green Chili Wontons at Bristol Bar & Grille and the extensive international menu at Ramsi’s Café on the World. Cap off your culinary adventure with a sweet treat from “The Cookie Lady” (a local favorite) at Kizito Cookies or a handmade popsicle at Steel City Pops.
The Highlands is also home to a bounty of local breweries and beer bars, including Great Flood, Gravely, Mile Wide, River City Drafthouse and Public House by Against the Grain. Holy Grale, a gastropub featuring a rotating beer list in a 1905 former Unitarian church, is the perfect place to find rare beers from around the world. For fans of Holy Grale, the adjacent Gralehaus is Louisville’s only “Bed and Beverage,” offering accommodations above the dining area for visitors 21 and up. On the menu you’ll find Southern-style breakfast and lunch, like biscuits and duck gravy. Or enjoy a beermosa in the picturesque beer garden.
The Highlands nightlife is legendary and neighborhood bars are a great place to play pool, hear live music or perform karaoke. Check out some of the neighborhood’s LGBTQ bars within walking distance of one another: Chill and Big Bar. The Highlands is also home to several Irish pubs, including Molly Malone’s, O’Shea’s, Flanagan’s and Shenanigans.
If you’re looking for a little adventure, there’s Louisville Mega Cavern, home to an underground zip line, ropes course and bike park. You won’t find another place like it in the world. For family fun, visit the Louisville Zoo. Hike, stroll, picnic, or just relax at Tyler Park and Cherokee Park, a 400-acre municipal park designed in 1891 by Frederick Law Olmsted.
For fashionistas, several locally-owned boutiques pepper Bardstown Road, including Clay & Cotton, Discoveries, Edenside Gallery, Pitaya and BAZ and BEA Boutique. National retailer Urban Outfitters also calls the Highlands home. For avid readers, Carmichael’s Bookstore is a must-visit.
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