Summer is a fine time to branch out–read a new book, sit on a different patio, try out that gallery you’ve been meaning to hit up. Whether you’re planning an exotic get-away or chained to your desk, it’s always a great time to be a tourist in your own town. Besides, what better season to act like you’re on vacation, even when you’re not?
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.
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.
Extra credit: Hunt down the Louisville Cream truck for the ‘Ville’s fav small batch gourmet ice cream.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speed Art Museum The new addition is finally open, and it’s epic. Go see. Add some culture to your life this summer. 2035 S. 3rd St.
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.
Biscuit Social at Fontleroy’s The best kind of social…the kind with biscuits. 2011 Grinstead Dr.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taj Bar You know you’re curious. Don’t deny it. The gargoyles only add to the mystique. 807 E. Market St.
Grind Burger Kitchen We’re always been fans of Grind, but now that you’re closer in, even more so. Get your house trimmed and ground, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed beef. We like ours with habanero jam, but you do you. 829 E. Market St.
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
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.