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Some cities care little for adoration. Like a classic song on vinyl, Louisville seems to know its worth. It doesn’t seek to be categorized or put in a genre. While natives might welcome you to the party, don’t be expecting an invitation to come freely. Trust is earned in this town. Yet once gained, you’ll find no better company to share a glass of Kentucky bourbon with or a better place to do it. Louisville is almost equal parts grit and sophistication, where tradition and edge often rub parts. Don a fancy hat for the Kentucky Derby or your moonchild garb for The Forecastle Festival, they are two sides of the same coin. Dine at one of James Beard nominee Edward Lee’s restaurants or grab some grub from a food truck parked outside one of the many breweries bolstering Louisville’s status as a legit craft beer town. Lest you think they’ve abandoned their allegiance to distilled spirits, prestigious bourbon distilleries like Angel’s Envy and Evan Williams are popping up like wildflowers beside relative newcomer Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company. Soak up the architecture of one of the oldest historic districts in the nation or hang tough at Mega Cavern Underground Bicycle Park. Let the city reveal itself to you at its own pace, and don’t be surprised to find that it’s already gotten under your skin.

Nulu District

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

If you can, visit for First Friday’s Trolley Hop. Peruse the galleries and eat, well, just about anywhere on East Market, and you can’t go wrong. (D)

Please and Thank You 252 E. Market St. (E)

Haymarket Whiskey Bar  There’s an excellent reason to leave your abode Mondays after 8–Haymarket’s Vinyl Night. Score some free Spinelli’s pizza and impress your friends with your stellar taste in music as they play your records over the “big speakers.” Well that, and the selection of over 250 whiskeys. If it’s a rare bourbon, chances are Haymarket is serving it (and you won’t need to get dressed up to imbibe). Haymarket’s been voted one of the top ten bourbon bars by, well everybody. Go hear music on the back stage, play pinball, or take advantage of their “boutique bottle shop” if you’re hankering to move the party to your couch. With a full music and event schedule, including Pirate Nights, good times will be had by all. 331 E. Market St. (E)

Wild Rita’s Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar  From the folks that brought you the immensely popular Wild Eggs breakfast eatery comes Wild Rita’s Modern Mexican. With the taste of the West you crave accompanied by imaginative margaritas and a righteous selection of fine tequila, every night at Wild Rita’s has the potential to get a bit raucous in the best way. Try their Salty Chihuahua and Mexican Pizza. 445 E. Main St. (E)

Angel’s Envy Distillery  We didn’t need any convincing to put Angel’s Envy on the top of our bourbon distillery tours. Get up close and personal with the Cask Strength Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels named the “Best Spirit in the World” by Spirit Journal. Angel’s Envy finishing room is as flat out spectacular as their bourbons and is available for your next soiree. We suggest the Cocktail Craft & Science of Good Taste class on Thursday evenings. You’ll learn how to master their signature cocktail, and take a full distillery tour complete with 3 part tasting. 500 E. Main St. (D)

Joe Ley Antiques  The interior of this intriguing 1890’s schoolhouse is filled to the hilt with antiques, acres of them in fact.  Mantels, old cash registers, neon signs, statuary, deer heads and enough clowns to scare your friends and family. 615 E. Market St.(S)

Toast on Market  Louisvillians love their brunch. Toast’s hashbrown casserole, Lemon Souffle pancakes, and hearty Steak and Eggs assure a perpetual line, so mainline some caffeine before you trek out. 620 E. Market St. (E)

Harvest  The large photos of local vendors adorning the walls let you know, this place takes it’s farm-to-table ethic seriously. Maybe it should embarrass us to admit that even with such a bounty, we still love to order the Harvest burger topped with chevre and hog jowl bacon jam. 624 E. Market St. (E)

Louisville Cream 632 Market St. (E)

Wiltshire on Market  Plan a rendezvous at this cozy little spot on Market. While we can’t guarantee your dinner companion will return your affections, you’re assured of a fabulous meal at the very least. We love the intimate patio space out back. Open Thursday through Sunday. 636 E. Market St. (E)

Swanson Reed Contemporary Gallery showcases “contemporary national and regional artists with an emphasis on energetic and challenging works in video, installation, photography, conceptual art, painting, performance, and sculpture.” Don’t wait for the monthly Trolley Hop; take your own gallery walk today. Be sure to check out the sculpture garden out back. 638 E. Market St. (S)

Garner Narrative  Whether you’ve come to see the work of gallery owner Joyce Garner, her daughter, gallery director Angie Reed Garner, or a visiting artist’s installation, it is certain that the pieces will be rooted in story. Garner Narrative “celebrates art with generative messiness and personal-political content.” 642 E. Market St. (S)

Garage Bar–Great food, great cocktails…but the standout is the lit-up ping pong tables out front. 700 E. Market St. (E)

BloFish is the world’s first gender neutral clothing company. They donate to a different local charity each month. If those two things don’t catch your attention, just know that the tees are super soft. 714 E. Market St. (S)

Scout out the perfect gift here or go for a complete design overhaul of your pad. Scout’s got the enviable panache to help you pull it off. If you haven’t put Scout on your permanent Nulu rotation, you need to. We love browsing their unique jewelry, kitchenware, books too. Now you can shop Ethyl 3.9 without leaving the store. Within this micro-boutique is a well-edited collection of quality menswear and gentlemanly gear. Ethyl’s wallets, watches, and manly satchels will finish off your look. 720 E. Market St. (S)

Be sure to hit the Green Building Gallery when you’re doing your First Friday rounds. Not only is the building incredible for too many reasons to list here, but the contemporary art exhibits are always intriguing. 732 E. Market St. (D)

Galaxie Bar  It’s hard not to gush about just how good Galaxie is. Their Across the Universe dip sampler and X-Static tapas plate (avocado, picked peppers, carrots, and caper berries lovingly dipped in tempura and fried) might be our favorite cocktail accompaniments ever. The cocktails are exquisite, the margaritas already legendary. Win-win. 732 E. Market St. (E)

Royals Hot Chicken  What is it about summer that inspires us to set our mouths on fire? No matter, you can choose your heat level to suit. Order the pimento grits for the full on Southern experience. 736 E. Market St. (E)

Revelry Boutique Gallery  Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, locally-made jewelry and affordable art at Revelry. They even have a layaway program to be sure you can have that piece you fell in love with for your very own. 742 E. Market St. (S)

The Louisville Beer Store  We realize it sounds a little nondescript, but the Louisville Beer Store has it going on. With eight rotating taps and hundreds of artisanal beers on the shelves, LBS will please any beerophile. They offer tastings, flights, and a sweet patio from which to enjoy them. 746 E. Market (E)

Market is named so for a reason; this street was made for leisurely strolls. Pop in a few local shops and galleries, have a coffee at Please and Thank You. Meander to the back room and browse Mr. Friendly Records. Go old-school and pick up one of their sweet mixed tapes. 800 E. Market St. (E)

Mahonia Studio  This home decor and floral design studio is one of our favorite new finds in NuLu. Since we can’t move in, we’ll sate ourselves with frequent visits. Go breathe in the beauty. 806 E. Market St. (S)

Taj Bar  You know you’re curious. Don’t deny it. The gargoyles only add to the mystique. 807 E. Market St. (E)

Decca  We highly recommend visiting the limestone cellar lounge for a libation and a little music. Before you go, browse through the second floor shop featuring books chosen by the staff, a few crates of records and artwork clipped on the walls. If you are in a romantic mood, request a patio seat next to the babbling water feature and lush plantings. 812 E. Market (E)

Does your taste run to the avant garde? Dreamland is poised to be your next favorite downtown venue. This 100 seat black box theatre is developing a rep for booking smart and edgy shows by up and coming film, musical and performance art acts. Get in, the water’s fine. And hey, you’re right in the heart of NuLu…fancy snacks are not far away. See the schedule here. 810 E. Market St. in the alley behind Decca

Mayan Cafe  Don’t leave town without trying the Yucatec Salbutes. Really. 813 E. Market (E)

Grind  Burger Kitchen  If you haven’t had a Grind burger lately, you’re not living right. With a proprietary blend of local grass fed beef, and topped with riches such as Benton’s bacon, brie, and Habanero jam (The B & B), Grind’s burgers will likely alter your universe. Order the Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts. 829 E. Market St. (E)

Rye  While you may be aware of Rye’s reputation for pleasing the palate with impeccably prepared seasonal fare and creative cocktails, have you considered how they might amp your social life? From May until September (excluding August) on the third Thursday, head over for Back Porch Sessions, a free concert series featuring local bands in the parking lot of Rye with several dozen of your new best friends. 900 E. Market (E)

Feast BBQ  Since the New Albany barbecue spot expanded to NuLu, the lines haven’t let up. Feast puts their own spin on Southern delicacies like Fried Pickles with cotija cheese and cilantro or heaping slaw, green onions, and bbq on top of crispy Tater Tots. Don’t forget a Bourbon Slushie to wash it all down. Yes. Bourbon. Slushie. 909 E. Market St. (E)

Climb Nulu  Did you know you can purchase day passes? Yup. Now there’s no reason not to try your hand-over-hand abilities. Get climbing fever. 1000 E. Market St. (D)

The Flea Off Market only happens once a month. Be sure to stay in the loop by checking their Facebook page because you know what a flea market really needs is a d.j. and some cocktails, naturally. 1007 E. Jefferson St. (D)

 

Drive a few miles out scenic River Road to find Chef Varanese’s River House Restaurant and Raw Bar. Voted Best New Restaurant by Louisville Magazine readers, River House has supersized their patio for even more waterside dining in the warm months. Lawn games, firepits, Adirondack chairs, a sweet view, and slurpable half-shells should make River House top your seasonal to-do list. Try the Crispy Grouper Cheeks and Gulf Shrimp served over silky crab risotto. 3015 River Rd. (E)

Nulueastmarket.com or visit their Facebook page to find the latest happenings.

Mark the last Wednesday, April through September, you’ve got plans.  Get down to Waterfront Park by land or boat for WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays. This free concert series features three bands each event who will pack out The Big Four Lawn.  Be prepared for a crowd. Schedule here.

Butchertown 

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop
This feisty little neighborhood with a storied past yields many surprises.  Just take a walkabout.

Stop in Butchertown Market for local delicacies and potions from Moss Hill, Bourbon Barrel Foods, and Cellar Door Chocolates. 1201 Story Ave. (S)

Butchertown Pizza Hall 1301 Story Ave. (E)

Butchertown Grocery  Their gorgeous food, lovely decor, and speakeasy vibe in the lounge upstairs all make for a relaxing evening in Butchertown. 1076 E. Washington St. (E)

Lola’s

Copper & Kings American Brandy  Just knowing they play My Morning Jacket to age their brandy barrels earns our respect. “Happy brandy makes for happy drinking,” after all. Sonic aging isn’t the only thing to dig about Copper & Kings, they happen to produce some incredible copper pot-distilled spirits. Take a tour, have a tasting, ask them about their Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. Louisville Magazine dubbed their rooftop “best view of the city from the city.” We told you there was a lot to love. Be sure to sample the vapor distilled absinthe-Lavender, Ginger or Citrus. 1111 E. Washington St. (D)

The Butchertown Social 1601 Story Ave. (E)

Pop over to Sergio’s World Beers because it is a big world of beers out there, and Sergio knows the scene. Sergio’s was ranked one of the top ten beer destinations in the world by RateBeer. With over a thousand beers in the refrigerated cases, you should allow some time to wander. 1605 Story Ave. (E)

Hi Five Doughnuts 1011 E. Main St. (E)

Stag + Doe  1013 E. Main St. (S)

Louabull 1015 E. Main St. (S)

Pho Ba Luu 1019 E. Main St. (E)

Downtown

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Goodwood Brewing  BBC fans, don’t worry. You can still get your fave, Bourbon Barrel Stout, plus many more nuanced wood-aged beers from these seasoned brewers. Goodwood’s renovated digs will be your perfect casual hang. Try Live Band Karaoke on Wednesdays or Saturdays’ Open Bluegrass Jam. Goodwood also hosts Yoga in the Taproom on second and fourth Saturdays at 11a.m. 636 E. Main St. (E)

Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse  Winner of the Leo Weekly Reader’s Choice award for best local brewery, Against the Grain is a Louisville staple. Go get a tasty meat snack and one of their many innovative brews. 401 E. Main St. (E)

Manny & Merle  If you’re a hot chicken devotee, Manny & Merle’s is your source in the ‘Ville. This honky tonk has a full schedule of local, regional and national acts; and their Green Chili Pork Taco was just voted best in the city by Louisville Magazine. Boot scoot on down…town. 122 W. Main St. (E)

Theatre 502 is “bringing life to theatre and theatre to your life.” Check out their current season here and get out and support the arts! Theatre 502 productions are held all over town including Baron’s Theater 131 W. Main, MeX Theatre in the Kentucky Center 501 W. Main, and Parkside Studio: Inside at Iroquois 1080 Amphitheater Rd.

Catch a play at The Actors Theatre. If you’re lucky enough to be around during the Humana Festival of New American Plays, snatch up tickets to witness the world’s brightest emerging theatre artists. 316 W. Main St. (D)

Head downstairs to MilkWood and check out Top Chef favorite Edward Lee’s fantastic fare. (E)

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience  On Whiskey Row, Evan Williams ups the production value on distillery tours. From the multi-media component to the swanky retro tasting room, you are in for a complete immersion in bourbon history. Pick up a bottle or two of eggnog on the way out and avoid the dreaded scramble to fill your December bar cart. 528 W. Main St. (D)

Atlantic No. 5   We’re suckers for a good bowl of Creamy Tomato soup. Forget the chains, go to Atlantic for a lovingly prepared sandwich on crusty bread. If you’re up early enough, order a Handmade Biscuit with egg and gouda; it is sure to set your morning right. 605 W. Main St. (E)

ReSurfaced is “transforming and activating our underutilized surface lots and vacant spaces to bring back the walkable urbanism Louisville once enjoyed.” If you haven’t been to an ReSurfaced event, check out their future projects here. (D)

When you see the red penguins perched precariously on the roofline, you know you’ve arrived at the 21C Museum Hotel. If you want to see and be seen, squeeze your way to the bar. Order a cocktail next to the bronze sculpture of Pan. Take it all in. Drift downstairs to see the current exhibit. Maybe sit down for a meal at their award winning restaurant, Proof on Main, if you have a hankering. It’s all good. 700 W. Main St. (E)

Once you’ve soaked in a little culture from the modern end of the spectrum, cross the street to experience some earthier treasures at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.  While you’re at it, take a pic next to the giant Louisville Slugger bat on the same block. 715 W. Main St. (D)

Sidebar at Whiskey Row  You knew Louisville was serious about its bourbon right? Sidebar carries 52 selections of bourbon. That is fifty two at present. Oh, and some people go there for the burgers. 129 N. 2nd St. (E)

Rooftop bars are kind of a thing. We are all for it. If you’re going out, have the best view possible. This one’s @8-Up Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen downtown in Louisville. 350 W. Chestnut St.

A photo posted by Hip Green Scene (@hipgreenscene) on

8Up Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen  Head to the roof for the best views of downtown in the city, some awesome fire pits, and expert DJ’s laying it down. If you’re feeling peckish, we recommend the Southside wood-fired pie of oven-dried tomatoes, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and pickled leeks. 350 W. Chesnut St. (E)

Art Eatables is the creator of small-batch bourbon truffles featured in Garden & Gun. But don’t stop there. Make sure you take home another Kentucky tradition–a bag of Modjeskas, caramel wrapped marshmallows; or surprise your friends with Lucky Kentucky Moonshine Lemon Drops. 631 S. 4th St. (E)

The Louisville Palace This 1928 Spanish Baroque theater is truly one of a kind. They book national acts. Don’t pass up the opportunity to see a show here. 625 S. 4th St. (D)

Mercury Ballroom  Go see some live music in this beautifully restored Tudor-Gothic building downtown. Wright-Taylor Building 611 S. 4th St. (D)

Block Party Handmade Boutique is a co-operative handmade boutique downtown in the SoFo district. Pick up a wire- wrapped stone ring from Lindsay Lou Jewelry, a Kinship Goods screenprint tee, or a goat-headed boy illustration by Amy Wiedl. So much to see–shop the vignettes, or sign up for a workshop given by a Block Party artist. Open 11-7 Monday through Saturday, and 12-4 on Sundays. 560 S. 4th St. (S)

The Mysterious Rack is owned by musician Rick Quisol and his wife, designer Olivia Griffin. These San Francisco transplants opened a killer hat shop downtown where you can score swell “hats and apparel made by humans.” They also handle hat repairs should your fedora need a little tenderness. We are partial to the women’s Floppy Hat and the fly Gonzo Distressed for the gents. 558 S. 4th St. (S)

Craft{s} Gallery carries both traditional and contemporary art. We love to be surprised, and Craft fills the bill. Just when we think we know where they’re going, they exhibit Noelle Horsfield’s “Curious Porcelain” or carry iwood ecodesign sunglasses. Put them on heavy rotation. 572 S 4th St. (S)

Regalo  Owner JD Dotson has designed some t-shirts that only Louisvillians can truly appreciate. We laughed out loud. These and many other tongue-in-cheek whimsies are available at the uber popular gift shop. 562 S. 4th St. (S)

Gifthorse  This spirited little shop carries gifts, decor, and clothing. If you are the bow tie type, don’t miss Gifthorse (They even have leather ones–which seems pretty kick ass to us.) Equally impressive are the bourbon, leather, or tobacco-scented soaps. 554 S. 4th St. (S)

J. Graham’s Cafe in the Brown Hotel  Don’t pass up the chance to eat a Hot Brown in the place it originated. We regard this as a serious rite of passage for any Louisvillian or avid traveler. 335 W. Broadway (E)

Meta is slinging artisan cocktails and spinning great sound. If that is your thing, don’t be shy. With Wu-Tang Wednesdays, Thursday Jazz Happy Hour, and Derby City Soul Club on Saturdays, this joint is hopping. 425 W. Chesnut St. (E)

Floyd Street Stock Exchange  From Campaign Side Tables to Indian Oars, you never know what might come up for auction this month. Preview items online and then show up raring to go on the first Thursday of each month. Antiques and architectural salvage, vintage items, and unique goods will be available to the higher bidder. Get your paddles ready. 817 S. Floyd St. (S)

Old 502 Winery  Admit it, Bach’s Wine Slushies rock. It is still hot outside, folks. With events like Wine Down Yoga, Old 502 will give you plenty of reasons to drive past 4th. Drop by the restored warehouse for a tasting or a tour. 120 S.10th St. (E)

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company  They may have just bottled their “first” Peerless Rye Whiskey in Louisville, but their story started 100 years ago in Henderson County. Kentucky Peeless Bourbon is set to be released in Spring 2020, but don’t wait until then to check out this fascinating legacy distiller. Moonshine fans will be stoked for the Lucky tastings at the end of the tour. 120 N. 10th St. (D)

Portland

Tim Faulkner Gallery  This performance and art gallery hosts live music on the weekends, poetry readings, puppet shows–you name it. If it’s funky, it’s probably happening at Tim Faulkner Gallery. 1512 Portland Ave. (D)

McQuixote Books and Coffee  Right inside the front entrance to Tim Faulkner Gallery, you’ll find this lilliputian bookstore and coffee spot. Chat with incredibly smart, warm folk while you sip on your coffee and then stroll the studio hallways. We suggest you take home a cheeky Sainted Writers candle to inspire your next novel. 1512 Portland Ave. Suite 1 (S)

The Table  If you haven’t been to this farm-to-table, non-profit restaurant in Portland, go–go now. Not only is the food delicious, their pay-what-you-can concept is also providing real, sustainable food to your neighbors and forging strong community bonds. Pay it forward today. 1800 Portland Ave. (E)

Old Louisville

Seafood Lady  Yes, those abundant platters of seafood drenched in the Seafood Lady’s special Cajun sauce are now available Wednesday through Saturday 11-9. Go get some soul pleasing eats. 105 W. Oak St. (E)

Pizza Donisi  “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” Just joshing–don’t play with guns. But get your hungry self to Pizza Donisi for some craveable slices. Gluten free crust is available. You can never go wrong with the Chef’s Choice. And don’t forget the cannoli, after paying that is. 1396 S. 2nd. St. (E)

Obsidian 422 W.Oak St. (S)

In Old Louisville, check out The Wine Studio at 610 Magnolia. Sake Fun DaySmoke & Soul pop ups, Pizza and Pinot…if Chef Lee and his peeps can dream it up, it will be happening at The Wine Studio. Check out their next food event on 610 Magnolia’s Facebook page. 621 W. Magnolia Ave. (E)

Enjoy the Bard for free!  Summer brings Kentucky Shakespeare to Old Louisville’s Central Park for a season under the stars. Watch for banners hung around Old Louisville or check the Kentucky Shakespeare website for more details on Shakespeare in the Park.

Bizarre Tip of the Day:  Our favorite celebrity chef, Edward Lee, was quoted in Garden and Gun recently.  Check this–Indi’s Fast Food is purportedly one of his “Must Eats”, specifically the fried keel of chicken with hot sauce and a big ole cup of lemonade.  Whaa??  We think this needs further investigating. You first.

Wagner’s Pharmacy  Since 1922, Louisville’s favorite “recovery” breakfast after a night spent too much in the cups. 3113 4th St. (E)

Germantown

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Scarlet’s Bakery  Pull over, this bright little bakery has a spot for you right near the window. They serve lunch too. Bite into a tender lemon ginger scone and watch the world go by. 741 E. Oak St. (E)

Good Folks Coffee is sticking to wholesale. While you can’t pop in to their good-looking roastery on the fly to pick up a bag of their magic beans, be on the lookout for Good Folks’ partners all around town. As if their single origin or blends weren’t amazing enough, Good Folks is working on a bourbon barrel-aged coffee. We can’t wait! 1151 S. Shelby St. (S)

Nachbar is such an ingrained Three Points tradition that rather then turning 10 this year, you’d think they were eternal. Locals know Nachbar wasn’t always there. Perhaps we all just wish it was. Here’s to ten more years of good cheer, music and mayhem behind the glowing Sterling beer sign. 969 Charles St. (E)

Bean 1138 Goss Ave. (E)

Four Pegs Beer Lounge and Social Eatery  Craft beer pints are $4 on Wednesdays.  The Ky Poutine Fries are, as you would imagine, decadent. The vibe is definitely laid back (which holds true for all of Germantown). We always love a good veggie burger, and Four Pegs makes their own. But there is nothing like the Chicken and Waffle Sandwich with a cold pint. 1053 Goss Ave. (E)

The Post  When you’ve got a craving for New York style pizza, nothing else will do. We suggest you head over to The Post and anguish there over which selection to make.The good news is you can sidle up to their comfortable bar and deliberate over your favorite craft beer or well-poured bourbon.This hopping neighborhood joint is closed on Tuesdays. 1045 Goss Ave. (E)

Not the easiest to find without digital assistance, but worth the trip. Mingle with the natives–Louisvillians love Eiderdown for its rustic comfort food and craft beers. The back patio is definitely the place to be on a crisp fall night. 983 Goss Ave. (E)

El Camino  This spunky tacqueria that could has captured the attention of Garden and Gun, as well as landed on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best list. Louisvillians have been patiently awaiting El Camino’s return since leaving the Highlands. Stay tuned. (E)

Hammerheads  Let me be frank.You will smell of smoked meat when you leave.This little gastropub tucked in a residential neighborhood has a huge local following. 921 Swan St. (E)

Seidenfaden’s Cafe is the quintessential Louis dive bar for dancing and general frolicking into the wee hours. Drop in for the monthly Black Box Film Cult and Louisville Gore Club screenings too! 1134 E. Breckinridge St. (E)

Astro Black Records self-identifies as a “purveyor of counter cultural ephemera and generally transgressive media”–we’re down with that. If you’re looking for something obscure, look here first. While you’re in, peruse Fat Rabbit Thrift and Vintage who shares the space. Two birds, one stone. Solid.  1000 E. Oak St. (S)

The Fish House and Cafe Beignet  White fish, we adore you. Be sure to try the jalapeno tartar sauce. 1310 Winter Ave.(E)

Flora Kitchenette 1004 Barrett Ave. (E)

Hound Dog Press  Let their clever letterpress stationary and posters say it for you. The talented duo of Nick Baute and Robert Ronk can help you with a custom design for your invitation or special announcement as well.  As a bonus you can take a look at the 19th century equipment they use to press everything by hand. 1000 Barrett Ave. (S)

The Nitty Gritty is a super fun costume rental and vintage clothing store.They’ve got ladies’ and men’s attire from virtually all eras. Go in and play dress up. Halloween is right around the corner. 996 Barrett Ave. (S)

Ultra Pop!  When you’re looking for a little creative juice, stop in Ultra Pop! for local art, comic books, collectibles, vinyl, and more. It’s a vibrant dose of pop-culture fun in there. 960 Barrett Ave. (S)

Phoenix Hill

Mile Wide Beer Co.  Their creative brews have gained them plenty of street cred in the ‘Ville. Every Tuesday is Vinyl Night from 6:30-10–bring your favorite wax or just sit back with a frosty glass of Idlewild Vol. 2 and contemplate how you will slay this week. No need to bring your fidget spinner, they’ve got games galore including classic arcade and pinball. 636 Barrett Ave. (E)

Baxter Jack’s Volleyball Club is the original “Volleybar”. Whether you are on the deck with a beer or spiking the ball with white sand between your toes, Baxter Jack’s is a great way to get yourself in the mood for warmer weather. 426 Baxter Ave. (D)

Gravely Brewing 514 Baxter Ave. (E)

Morels Cafe 619 Baxter Ave. (E)

Schnitzelburg

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Finn’s Southern Kitchen  This is the patio you need to be on this summer. The Chicken and Dumplings is like no other. Sigh. 1318 McHenry St. (E)

Monnik Beer Company  Talk of their War Fries is circling the neighborhood. We expected awesome beers. They delivered. Try a beer cocktail. The beer cheese and spent grain bread is mandatory as far as we’re concerned. 1036 E. Burnett Ave. (E)

Lydia House  This newcomer is making the neighborhood a nicer place. Stop by for a homemade seasonal jam pop-tart, a hearty brunch, or just to play a hole of putt-putt on their mini-green in the back with a refreshing beverage like their house sodas. Lydia House serves lunch and dinner too (open 10-2 and 6-midnight Tuesday through Sunday). Pop by for one of their Drink ‘N Draw events and help create a community mural. Bring your pooch and your art supplies; Brooklyn Lagers are only 3 bucks.1101 Lydia St. (E)

New Wave Burritos is slinging your next giant, foil-wrapped obsession. Burritos are life. Finish with a Tres Leches Twinkie or one of their other insanely terrific treats like Chile Chocolate Rice Krispy topped with burnt marshmallows (like being a kid, but better). Hey, they deliver too! 3311 Preston Hwy. (E)

The New Vintage  You will be blown away by the sound in this intimate venue in Schnitzelburg. This musician owned and run venue books a wide variety of acts. Go see some new music. 2126 S. Preston St. (D)

Sunergos Coffee  Get your fabulous cup of locally-roasted coffee from a friendly, chill barista in a super laid back environment (with some mighty spiffy latte art, if you are so inclined). Stay as long as you like. Bring some beans home. You’re welcome. 2122 S. Preston St. (E)

Nord’s Bakery  Do we have to say it? Bacon Long John. You want one.Trust us. 2118 S. Preston St. (E)

Zanzabar  Kick it old school at the Zbar vintage arcade or show up on Sunday nights for the sickly competitive Trivia nights. This dive bar serves up some pretty tasty grub when you need it the most. The music scene can draw a large crowd, so stake your spot early.  2100 S. Preston St. (E)

Irish Hill

Red Hot Roasters is Louisville’s quirky coffee shack drive thru. Don’t mistake this for Mc D’s; we’re talking small batch organic coffee roasted with love just for you. Try one of their specialty drinks like the bombtastic Honey, You Can’t Handle Me Latte or the Iced Coffee Brandy Alexander (made from Peruvian beans roasted in Copper & Kings brandy barrels). 1399 Lexington Rd. (E)

Game  For you adventurous eaters, Game, in Irish Hill, has the Elk Burger you’ve been hunting. The Duck Fat Fries and Bone Marrow appetizer are also standouts. 2295 Lexington Rd. (E)

Le Moo  For those who don’t relish the drive to The Village Anchor, you’ve now got Le Moo to step in with Prince Edward Island Mussels, Wagyu Pigs in a Blanket, Black Hawk Farms Burger, and decadent Chocolate Bread Pudding. The decor is cowboy riche, the bill, gently tucked into a bodice-buster novel. 2300 Lexington Rd. (E)

Clifton/Frankfort Avenue/Crescent Hill

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Bistro 1860  Lobster Hush Puppy with a blood orange gastrique–shut the front door! The only thing better than a beautiful plate of French-American cuisine is enjoying it in a charming turn-of-the-century home. Your date night problems are solved. 1765 Mellwood Ave. (E)

Apocalypse Brew Works  We hope they don’t run out of Watermelon Crack, ever. We know it’s Fall.  We don’t care. We need it. Bring your own nosh, order in, or line up at a food truck. 1612 Mellwood Ave. (E)

Forage  You’ll go gaga for this modern shop featuring “interior plants and curated goods.” Green up your space or pick up a mod planter. Join them for one of their popular terrarium or floral arranging workshops, too. 1731 Frankfort Ave. (S)

Red Herring Cocktail Lounge and Kitchen  Occupying the historic Hilltop Theater, Red Herring boast a hundred classic cocktails and a smart list of their own creative libations, including a rock solid summer pick, the boozy Clifton Donut Shake. They’ve got a small menu of bar noshes, too. This cocktail lounge should keep you pleasantly occupied, diversion or no. We suggest you approach the menu like a long-range bucket list and methodically work your way through. Cheers! 1757 Frankfort Ave. (E)

The Inner Warrior yoga gear will keep you looking tight on the mat. The Inner Warrior stocks “earth friendly yoga apparel and accessories for both men and women.” They also offer donation based yoga classes Wednesdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 5:30. 1760 Frankfort Ave. (S)

Silver Dollar Cafe  The brisket is amazing. Ah-mahz-ing! Even Actor John Cusack tweeted about the place. Do yourself a favor and visit often. 1761 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Architype Gallery  This design house creates stunning architectural leather bags and accessories. 1764 Frankfort Ave. (S)

Guestroom Records  This independent music store began in the outskirts of Oklahoma City.  When they decided to branch out, they knew Louisville would be the place to go with its thriving local music scene.  With events like New Music Mondays at Seidenfaden’s, it is obvious that Guestroom is as passionate about music as they are vibing on their new Louisville home. 1806 Frankfort Ave. (S)

Modern Cult Records  motto is “we live and breathe records”.  While you’ll find an excellent selection of vinyl including local and regional bands, you can also score some artwork created by musicians or pick up tickets for local shows. 2001 Frankfort Ave. (S)

Mirin 2011 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Varanese  We love it when the weather is nice enough to accommodate opening the sliding glass doors for open air dining. But even on a not so nice evening, the food is phenomenal. Go try some of celebrated chef John Varanese’s food. You’ll be smitten. 2106 Frankfort Ave. (E)

5-0-Lou 2235 Frankfort Ave. (S)

The Hub  We are all about hanging out on their front patio with a signature cocktail, or three. The Hey Babe is the boss–a divine concoction of Citadelle gin, Green Chartreuse, housemade Black Pepper Ginger Syrup, citrus, jalapeno and grapefruit bitters. 2235 Frankfort Ave.

Fork & Barrel serves upscale, locally-sourced Southern fare. Their well-conceived menu is beautifully executed and will knock your culinary socks off. Marrow fans will melt over Fork & Barrel’s skillful plating of Bone Marrow and Wagyu Coulotte drizzled with Old Grandad Bourbon Luge. Seriously consider following your fabulous entree with Geoffrey Heyde’s take on Coffee and Donuts: a sinful layering of chocolate mousse, coffee-mascarpone custard, rum chantilly, espresso gelee, and white chocolate milk froth accompanied by petite cake donuts. 2244 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Four Sisters is a lovely stop for a crepe and coffee. 2246 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Con Huevos  There is no law that says you need to wait until the weekend to enjoy the best Chilaquiles in the region. Really. They’ll be here all week folks.Take advantage. 2339 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Please & Thank You on the Avenue  So nice, worth mentioning twice. If you’re on the avenue, drop in for the best chocolate chip cookie in town and a delicious hot cup of Joe, naturally. 2341 Frankfort Ave. (E)

El Mundo is muy, muy popular and muy, muy bueno. This hip little Mexican joint might have detractors, but they are few and far between. Everybody loves some El Mundo2345 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Matt Anthony’s Record Shop  If anybody knows records, it is Matt Anthony. He gained local fame with his D.J. gig and has since opened a great little record store on Frankfort. They’ve got comics too. We hear the Dap Kings stopped by after Forecastle this year which makes us happy.  2354 Frankfort Ave. (S)

At the Italian Table  Learn to make handmade pasta with Chef Gina Stipo on Tuesday evening’s cooking class, or enjoy an authentic Italian four course meal at the communal table Wednesdays through Saturdays. 2359 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Red Hog Artisan Meat  The folks of Blue Dog Bakery opened this Kentucky proud whole animal butchery, and our hearts are singing. Firstly, you can shop for ethically-raised, local, pasture and sustainable beef, lamb, pork and poultry in their retail operation. Secondly, in their adjoining restaurant is a wood-fired oven producing a few lovely pizzas and a Damn Good Cuban which is decidedly so. We mean so, so good. As you might expect, everything from the House Black Bean Chili Dog to the Redneck Sushi is prime. The chalkboard menu is only available until 9, so don’t dally. Order a seasonal cocktail and head for the patio communal tables to watch the sunset. 2622 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Crescent Hill Craft House  With forty area brews on tap and locally-sourced pub food, Crescent Hill Craft House is destined to become your not-so-guilty pleasure. Gorgeous reclaimed wood tables, exposed bricks, and a view to the street action on Frankfort, makes us happy to linger over our Beer Battered Cheese Curds. Order the Jalapeno Cast Iron Cornbread with Apple Butter  to compliment your Shramp and Grits (spelling intentional) or your Dark and Stormy, if that’s how you roll. 2636 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Bourbon Barrel Foods  Take some Kentucky Proud products to your next soiree or simply to stock your cabinets with bourbon-laced goodness. Heck, we can’t stop putting Bourbon Smoked Garlic Salt on nearly everything we eat. 2710 Frankfort Avenue (S)

Consider Boutique  If you are looking for something unusual, you might find it at Consider Boutique. This small shop carries handmade trinkets, housewares, and artwork. 107 S. Bayly Ave. (S)

Crescent Hill Trading Co.  There is nothing better on a lazy day than to browse through Crescent Hill Trading’s eclectic stash of goodies2720 Frankfort Ave. (S)

The Urban Farmhouse Market  Leather cuff jewelry, stamped burlap pillows, Derby tea towels–the ladies of Urban Farmhouse are sure to charm. Urban Farmhouse now stocks apparel; pick up a local baseball tee. 2830 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Peacock Boutique  This upscale boutique carries designer duds with elegant simple lines and just enough edge to keep things interesting. Be sure to check out their shoes and accessories, and if you’re looking to “ruffle some feathers” for Derby, Peacock Boutique is a good bet. 2828 Frankfort Ave. (S)

The Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe  We have a secret. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to wait, so we squeeze our way to the register and pray a few baguette sandwiches are still left in the case up front. The nice person rings them up, along with the peanut butter cookies we can’t resist, and we wing away unscathed and satisfied like a Cheshire cat.  2868 Frankfort Ave. (E)

Momma’s Mustard, Pickles, and BBQ  This is Kansas City style BBQ, and we don’t hear any Louisvillians complaining. If you’re a fan of burnt ends–and we think everyone should be–Momma’s will make you happy, very happy. 102 Bauer Ave. (E)

Joella’s Hot Chicken  The Nashville hot chicken craze has hit the ‘Ville hard. Don’t waste time squabbling, just go eat some crispy hot chicken, and have a big ‘ole drink on standby. 3400 Frankfort Ave. (E)

St. Matthews

Honest Home has all you need to know to make you space green and toxin free. We love their new Rework Collective furniture line–small batch, artisan made furniture using reclaimed and repurposed materials. Their prime location in NuLu makes them an ideal spot for a pop-up concert, too. Pop-in and see what they’re all about. 133 Breckenridge Lane (S)

Lotsa Pasta is a Louisville institution. This little market has its shelves jammed with gourmet groceries; what we really go for is the prepared spreads in the refrigerator case on the back wall and their fresh pasta (for a quick, but impressive meal) in the freezer case.  They also have a terrific cheese selection, including homemade ricotta. The only problem is deciding between the egg papparadelle and the portobello ravioli. 3717 Lexington Rd. (S)

Clodhoppers has been voted best women’s clothing boutique by Louisville Magazine readers. Clodhoppers has plenty of designer apparel to keep you stepping right. We’re groovin on their pom pom dresses for the summer. 3725 Lexington Rd. (S)

Dandelion Boutique carries Kris Nations’ necklaces made of recycled sheet metal. Do your home state proud. But don’t stop there. This dandy little shop is studded with sweet smelling candles, home accents and stylish gifts. Dandelion is a must stop in Louisville. 3729 Lexington Rd. (S)

One of our faves in the ‘Ville. Be your own valentine @shopdandelionloiusville #homedecor #stylishaccessories #beautifuljewelry #apothecary #herbivorebotanicals #soycandles #gifts #stmatthews #louisville #kentucky

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Havana Rumba  You won’t believe how reasonable the prices are for such outstanding Cuban food. From the empanadas to the cafe cubano, Havana Rumba will blow you away. Our personal addiction is the Ropa Vieja served with sweet plantains. 4115 Oechsli Ave. (E)

Cake Flour  Though we are sad they moved away from NuLu, we are oh so happy we can still snag Cake Flour’s all natural baked goods. Now besides the sweet or savory scones of the day that we hoard like contraband, we can also develop an unnatural craving for lunch entrees like Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam.  Thanks, Cake Flour! 2420 Lime Kiln Lane (E)

Headliners Music Hall (Irish Hill) With a great line-up of musicians and amazing acoustics, you’d be hard pressed to find a music fan in Louisville that hasn’t frequented this popular venue. If you haven’t seen a show lately, what are you waiting for? 1386 Lexington Rd. (D)

Bardstown Road/The Highlands/Douglas Loop

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Bardstown Road is an epic stretch of small retailers and restaurants. See the mural "Weird, Independent, and Proud". Yield to the hipster rallying call.

Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Cafe  Why stop by Wiltshire? Besides the flaky-tender hand pies filled with goodness like their housemade persimmon jam and Earl Grey cake doughnuts with lemon glaze, they’ve got local kombucha, cold brewed coffee, tasty sandwiches, soups and salads. Enough? Yeah, we’ll meet you there. 901 Barret Ave. (E)

Mabel and Moss features a nice mix of modern and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories. We love their vintage inspired dresses.This is a must stop in the Highlands. 936 Baxter Ave. (S)

El Taco Luchador  Don’t count on a seat at this busy taqueria. C’mon, it is street food! Take it and go cop a squat somewhere. We just gobble ours down–sitting, standing, poised on our bikes…we’re not particular.  It’s that good.  938 Baxter Ave. (E)

Gralehaus is billed as “Louisville’s finest beer and breakfast.” As If that wasn’t enough to intrigue us, the Haus coffee menu features a Peanut Butter and Jelly Con Panna–you’ve got us now. Try the Biscuit and Duck Gravy and be sure to spend some time hanging in the Gralegarten before the weather turns! 1001 Baxter Ave. (E)

Epic Sammich Co. Massive meaty hunks of love are now being “sammiched” in the Highlands. 2009 Highland Ave. (E)

The Fat Lamb 2011 Grinstead Rd. (E)

Jack Fry’s began during Prohibition and quickly became a “sportsman’s hangout.” Today the décor continues to honor that tradition, giving a nod back to the 30’s. Depending on your frame of reference, you may expect a Copolla to walk in, or at least the mayor. The latter is more likely. Impeccably executed dishes keep this well-loved establishment earning major accolades. 1007 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Steel City Pops is a prime destination for obvious reasons. If you arrive the moment they crack the door,  perhaps you can avoid baking yourself on the pavement while you wait in the inevitable line. Our friend described her obsession with their Avocado pop as “the key lime dream you keep wanting to have. You know the type of dream where you swim in the air and wake up with a smile on your face.” Yeah, we’ve had those dreams. 1021 Bardstown Rd.

Holy Grale instructs you: “Beer and food only.  No wine, whisky, or diet coke.” (But they do have Ale 8, Kentuckians!) With 26 drafts from around the world downstairs and 6 specialty and rare ones upstairs, don’t be shy asking the beertender for help.  You’ll receive table service if you hoof it to the choir loft. The food is way beyond the pub grub you might be expecting, and the ingredients are locally sourced. Food and Wine magazine voted Holy Grale’s sliders the Best in the U.S. a few years back.1034 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Encore Resale  Gentlemen, we realize the heat index is scorching, but you’ll need to drop the t-shirt look on occasion. Here’s the place to up your wardrobe game and still have cash for your other necessities.  1045 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Bardstown Road Bicycle Co. Stop by for bicycle repairs, rentals, or to pimp your ride. These experts have a killer selection of bikes, cycling clothing and accessories, too. 1051 Bardstown Rd. (S)

HopCat Louisville  The original HotCat was opened in Grand Rapids and has since garnered numerous awards including Beer Advocate’s pick as #3 Beer Bar in the world. The Louisville incarnation boasts 132 craft taps and 130 bourbons to boot. As if that weren’t enough of a draw, HopCat is dishing up ample comfort food for when you need it most. Their Madtown Grilled Cheese is veritable kryptonite to hangovers. Their rooftop patio is prime for daydrinking.1064 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Lilly’s Bistro  Frequent James Beard Award nominee Kathy Cary is at the helm of this lovely farm to table bistro and Louisville fine dining staple. Join them for Small Plate Wednesdays and enjoy the nice selection of 1/2 price wine bottles. Kathy’s desserts are remarkable, so leave room for the sinful Chocolate Lava Cake with housemade Old Forrester Chocolate Ice Cream or Kandy Sutton’s Coconut Cake with Blueberry Gelato. 1147 Bardstown Rd. (E)

The Wine Market  This is the kind of wine store where we always seem to find something new, in no small part due to the friendly staff.  They also have a wonderful selection of cheese and noshes to grab out of the case. 1200 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Roots specializes in elevated vegetarian cuisine while their sister restaurant, Heart and Soy, does it a bit more “street.” Watch tofu being made while you blissfully sip your bubble tea. 1216 Bardstown Rd. (E)

The Joy Luck  Stake out a spot on their sweet patio and watch the street circus pass you by while you nosh on Joy Luck’s Taiwanese Sausage Roll and Spicy Wontons. The crispy Beijing Roast Duck and Lettuce Wraps will put you in a state of radiant abundance. 1285 Bardstown Rd. or 9850 Von Allmen Court Suite 101 (E)

Carmichael’s Bookstore  Support Louisville’s oldest independent bookstore.1295 Bardstown Rd. or 2720 Frankfort Ave. Then check out Carmichael’s Kids and encourage the little ‘uns you know to read! 1313 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Discoveries  Jewelry, fringed leather bags, belts, flasks, Turkish evil eye beads–Discoveries is loaded up with exotic treasures for you to seek. 1315 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Roc  Early buzz is excellent for this elegant Italian eatery by Rocco Cadolini. For our money, there is nothing sexier than an authentic Italian meal, and Roc delivers it with gusto. Bring your amore and dive into succulent Grilled Octopus, Roasted Branzino with limoncello sauce or their pillowy housemade Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. If your weekend is feeling a bit lackluster, Roc’s Disco Brunch is the shot in the arm your Saturday deserves. 1327 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Clay & Cotton  This color-saturated women’s apparel and home decor store is a pleasant diversion on Bardstown–bohemian sweater jackets, French soaps, bedding and more. 1341 Bardstown Rd. Check out their new digs in Prospect, too! 10716 Meeting St. (S)

La Chasse features “rustic wood-fired European cuisine with unique wines, craft beer and artisanal cocktails.” The cozy Highlands restaurant creates memorable dishes like Wood-Grilled Duck Breast with Peach and Ginger Compote and Ancho Chile Braised Carnitas that will have you planning your next visit before your Absinthe arrives. 1359 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Highland Morning was voted one of the best breakfasts in America on Urbanspoon. Our money’s always on the Baja Benedict–two eggs atop Southwestern corncakes with chorizo, avocado, cilantro- lime crema, and chipotle hollandaise. Though Highland Morning’s biscuits and gravy threaten to befuddle our pre-coffee brains with their deliciousness.1416 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Parkside Bikes  This bicycle emporium has long been Louisville’s favorite place to find a two-wheeled friend.  You’ll see a do-it -yourself Parkside Repair Station at the Big Four Bridge (that is how awesome they are). Parkside offers full service repairs at the shop and carries the largest selection of new or used bikes in town. 1377 Bardstown Rd. or 2509 Grinstead Dr. (S)

Local Products: Rooibee Red Tea; Louisville Cream; Cardaroo; Elixir Kombucha; Red Hot Roasters Cold Brewed Coffee

Farmers Markets– You know everyone has a favorite. We’ll suggest two:  St. Matthew’s Farmers Market at Beargrass Christian 4100 Shelbyville Road and Bardstown Road Farmers Market 1722 Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church.

If you haven’t heard of Foak Leatherworks, you need to check out their link here. Oscar Parsons crafts some unbelievably cool, well-made leather works of art–bison leather bags,  the “seeing double” leather flask, “sailor’s lament” clutch, leather backpacks, and more. We hear Colin Farrell has one of his pieces. Contact Foak Leatherworks through their website for custom work. (S)

Edenside Gallery  Allow enough time to really appreciate the intricacies of a hand carved box or ceramic vessel. There is a lot to see here, including a stunning selection of jewelry and artwork.1422 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Mark’s Feed Store now has five locations around town. Their hickory smoked meat is the real deal. Voted best of Louisville nine times, Mark’s Feed Store is the place to go when you are feeling carnivorous.1514 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Seviche, A Latin Restaurant  Can you say Duck Nachos?…yes! Keep them coming Chef Lamas. Be sure to try their namesake seviche dishes like the incredible Wahoo Tiradito (watermelon, yuzu, and chile flake) and the Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters. While the offerings change frequently, Seviche’s cuisine is always spectacular. Enjoy Sunday Funday with half-priced bottles of wine.1538 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Dot Fox Clothing Culture  Ladies, grab yourself a little rock star panache.1567 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Wild Dog Rose  Drop in for an Iced Tea Latte, some essential oils to help you sleep, crystals, matcha by the ounce, books, art patches and more. This eclectic tea shop has a little something for mind, body and soul. 1570 Bardstown Rd.

Hey Tiger carries new and vintage apparel and accessories, plus groovy handmade goods. We are digging Jessica Hunter’s ceramic mugs with the Kentucky state outline, their great tees, and men’s grooming products. 1572 Bardstown Rd. (S)

The Leatherhead  has acquired many fans over the last 33 years including Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp.  Nick Boone can craft anything in leather from his patented guitar straps to boots, belts and bags. 1601 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Acorn Apparel was the Leo Weekly Reader’s Choice for Best Clothing Store. Specializing in “Victorian Era through 1980s vintage apparel, accessories, and gear for living,” there’s no telling what they’ll get in next.1602 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Louvino  BuzzFeed voted Louvino the best wine bar in the state. This is definitely the place to explore a new varietal with over 70 plus wines by the glass. What goes with a wine flight better than Duck Fat Frites? Louvino serves their late-night menu on the weekends until 11, and don’t forget their Sunday Brunch. 1606 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Urban Attic  This popular consignment store carries contemporary and vintage duds. Check their huge denim selection and be sure to scope out the locally designed jewelry and accessories. 1608 Bardstown Rd. Unit 2 (S)

Old Souls Vintage offers a carefully curated selection of women’s vintage clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Dust off one of your past lives in a 1950’s chiffon party dress, or velvet mini. 1609 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Better Days Records  Flip through some vinyl at one of the Ville’s favorite music stores. Have patience, grasshopper, and you might run across something awesome in their $1 record bins. Better Days has new and used vinyl, cds, and vintage turntables. 1765 Bardstown Rd. (S)

Great Flood Brewing Co.  Friendly and chill craft brewery with frequent tap takeovers, solid house brews, and cool collaborative beers like the popular citra saison, Beer X-Tacy Vol. 2. 2120 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Havana Rumba Express and Tapas Bar is kicking it in the Douglas Loop. Now delectable Cuban food is closer to the center of things. 2210 Bardstown Rd. (E)

Ten Tables  O.K. Here’s the drill. If you want to be on the cutting edge of Louisville cuisine (of course you do), then put your name in Ten Tables lottery by liking their Facebook page. When you see a Ten Tables Reservation Request Line post, comment with the number of people in your party, then start performing the “luck spell” of choice.

It is a little further afield, but if you need to get your burger on the Mussel and Burger Bar is where you need to do it. Leo Weekly voted them best burger in the ‘Ville. Besides, now that Blind Pig closed, we need a mussel fix. 9200 Taylorsville Rd. (E)

Rec Bar  We know adulting is hard. Take a break with skeeball, retro arcade games and plenty of brews to help you forget your score. 10301 Taylorsville Rd. (D)

 Food Truck Watch:  Get it on a Bun at Bootys, Holy Mole Taco Truck, Longshot Lobsta, Grind-Gourmet Burgers, Las Gorditas, Busta Grill, Hi-Five Doughnuts,V-Grits, holy smokes “the BBQ Cowboy”

Brownsboro and Prospect

Chik’n & Mi  This is the spot to slake your ramen craving and chow down on some dynamite Asian Fried FreeBird Chicken in the same sitting. We are digging Chik’n & Mi’s particular brand of Asian fusion. Order the Miso Sesame Salad and Fried Calamari for starters or sink into the perfect Pork Belly Steam Buns and a fun basket of Bonito Fries. 2319 Brownsboro Rd. (E)

Mojito Tapas Restaurant  The 18-month Reserve Serrano Ham;Tabla de Chimichurri, skirt steak slathered in green chimichurri and shredded potato chips; Datiles Rellenos, dates stuffed with Capriole goat cheese and wrapped in apple wood bacon and drizzled with smoked honey; Chuleta de Cordero, grilled lamb chops served over piquillo pepper hummus–your only choice is to rustle up some friends if you plan on fitting in your pants tomorrow. 2231 Holiday Manor Ctr. (E)

Citizen Seven  Finally a place that respects good tequila as much as we do. Mad props, Citizen Seven. Try this fun spot in Norton Commons. Order the plantains. Stare at the army men wall declaring “you are beautiful.” Feel warmly embraced by the universe. 10715 Meeting St., Prospect

LuluBelle’s  This darling shop is well appointed with everything from charming tea towels to statement chandeliers. Pick up a baby gift or a wooden bow tie for the dapper man. 10638 Meeting St., Prospect

Looking for a little respite from the city?  Put Village Anchor Pub and Roost in your GPS.  You’ll thank us.

Though a mere twenty minutes away, somehow this little hamlet feels like a different world. Enjoy a sumptuous meal on one of the patios surrounded by beautiful gardens or inside where the “lively Parisian Bistro greets the more traditional English Pub.” The food and atmosphere, while great, can’t compare to the pleasure of having your bill arrive tucked into a tawdry romance novel. Well played Village Anchor, well played. 11507 Park Rd. Anchorage (E)

MozzaPi  12102 La Grange Rd. (E)

Out-of-Door Adventures

Louisville is chock full of places to get your aerobic fix. Old Louisville is the third largest historic district in the nation. It is the perfect place for a run, walk or bike. After taking in the diverse architecture, the dogs playing in Central Park, and the U of L students avoiding class work, head to Cardinal Blvd. There at the edge of campus indulge in Comfy Cow’s Chatty Cathy or Bourbon Ball ice cream. It’s o.k., you’re in Kentucky now. 339 Cardinal Blvd.

Runners up: Cherokee Park 745 Cochran Hill Rd. and Waterfront Park 231 Witherspoon Rd.

Skipping Fish Boat School  Live by the Skipping Fish philosophy: “Whenever someone builds a boat, it is an assertion that they still believe in the extraordinary potential of the present.” Skipping Fish offers classes and camps for adults and youth. Build a boat, train, or commune with fellow paddlers. 609 E. Washington St.

Mega Cavern Bicycle Park  Yes, Louisville has a one-of-a-kind underground bitchin’ challenge course. “Over 320,000 square feet including over 45 trails, Jump Lines, Pump Tracks, Dual Slalom, BMX, Cross Country and Single Track all in a former limestone cavern 100 feet sub-surface.” Enough said, load up your bike. 1841 Taylor Ave.

Early to Rise? Grab your camera and gear. The Big Four Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge is waiting for you. I know you’re pushing for your personal best, but pause a moment to capture the breathtaking beauty of a city set on the river. We’ll be watching for your Instagram post. 1101 River Rd.

River City Canoe and Kayak is moving to a different location in the Highlands–in the meanwhile, you can still rent from them in Prospect. 6313 River Rd. Prospect

Jefferson Memorial Forest has 35 miles of trails for you to dig your treads into. Try the Go Ape! Zip Line & Treetop Adventure. Click for more info. here. 11311 Mitchell Hill Rd. Fairdale

Not to Miss Events

Let us not ignore the elephant in the room–The Derby.  We feel it would be remiss not to offer a little advice.  So here’s our take:  people are serious about hats here. Have a derby hat at the ready. Some Louisvillians plan months ahead for the get up they will be sporting. Also, if you will be joining the throngs of revelers at Churchill Downs, be advised the atmosphere is “festive” (festive along the lines of a frat party, or if it rains–a frat party turned mud wrestling match). Our attitude is as follows, much like Mardi Gras, the Kentucky Derby needs to be experienced at least once in your life. If you’d like to blend in with the natives, go on Oaks Day. (Local schools are even out of session, if that tells you anything.) No matter what you do that weekend–place a bet and have a cocktail, preferably with bourbon in it.

The St. James Court Art Show  This massive art festival takes over Old Louisville for one weekend a year (read gridlock).

Forecastle Music Festival  The lineup gets better every year. Don’t miss it!  Cycle to the event if you can; they offer a free bike valet service. Find out all the deets here.

© 2017

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8 Responses to Louisville

  1. Lynn

    One of the newest spots on Frankfort Ave…Good Garbage, a creative reuse store and workshop! Where materials destined for the landfill meets art!

    Reply
  2. Bill

    Hard to believe the Clifton Center was left out. One of the best concert halls in town and a lineup of consistently great music from around the world.

    Reply
  3. Judy Fout

    I was disappointed that there were no shops or restaurants shown in the 2000 block of Frankfort Avenue. Veranese, Osaka Sushi, Nancy’s Bagel Grounds, Nussbaum’s antiques, 2023, Surroundings, A Reader’s Corner Bookstore, Surroundings, Yarn Crossing, Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire and J. Gumbo. I don’t think I saw any of the businesses near Irish Rover either which is a huge foodie area. It seems that Nulu got most of the press. Seems like it could be spread around more evenly. Thanks for your time!

    Reply
  4. victoria reznikoff

    Great information but you left out some wonderful businesses on Frankfort Avenue. Sister Dragonfly Gallery is Louisville’s most unique boutique which rivals anything found in a major city. They have the most eclectic and interesting clothes sold in Louisville. (as well as accessories, gifts, books, etc). Nussbaum Antiques sells beautiful world-class items. It’s like a gallery. There are other great stores and restaurants left out. You might consider adding another article focussing on this area.

    Reply
  5. victoria reznikoff

    I forgot to mention the mid-century shop, 2023 on Frankfort Avenue, next to Sister Dragonfly Gallery. The items there are pure fun – furniture, home accessories, clothes, jewelry, etc. You left out the heart of the neighborhood! Also, where is North End Cafe and Sweet Surrender?

    Reply

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