12 Aug Eat More Good Food
The best chefs don’t stay in New York
Each year, the James Beard Foundation invites some chefs from across the country to come to New York to cook an amazing meal. It’s not exactly work, but among the highest culinary honors in the world, signifying that the chef is among the best of the best. Louisville has sent more than its fair share, and (thankfully) they all found their way home just fine. They include Ed Lee, Milkwood; Anthony Lamas, Seviche; Dean Corbett, Corbett’s; and Kathy Cary, Lilly’s. If you want the best, go to the best. The meals are pricey, but it’s worth it to taste some of the best food in the United States.
Louisville has a global cooking scene with restaurants offering every type of cuisine.
Travel the world 10 minutes from campus
College is about learning new things. You’ve got to eat—why not extend learning to dining? Louisville has a global cooking scene with restaurants offering every type of cuisine. Want tacos? El Mundo on Frankfort Avenue. Want sushi and tacos? Dragon King’s Daughter on Bardstown Road. Hankering for German? Eiderdown in Germantown. Vietnamese? Vietnam Kitchen near South Third Street.
Eat local locally
There’s something a bit more flavorful about a tomato grown on a Kentucky farm instead of one shipped from hundreds of miles away. It’s fresher, juicier, tastier—not to mention, it’s environmentally friendly. Many Louisville restaurants are taking the use of locally grown foods to a higher level, committing to get the majority of their ingredients from Kentucky or Indiana farmers rather than shipping in goods from farther away. Two to check out are The Mayan Cafe and Harvest in NuLu.
Monster food trucks
Louisville’s restaurants come on wheels, too. Food trucks—not ice cream trucks—have hungry patrons lining up for the next hot dish. That’s right. They’re stocked with full kitchens and staff, and show up at different spots across town all of the time. Check social media to see when the trucks will be near you (or better yet, find them and explore whatever neighborhood they’re in.) We’re big fans of Holy Molé, which servces tacos and plantains, and Lil Cheezers, which rocks grilled cheese to a whole new level.
The winner in the pizza war—you. They all offer great pies at pretty reasonable prices.
So pizza is kind of a staple of college life. It’s quick, fast and reliable. And while there are a lot of commercial options close to campus for quick delivery and pickup, you should venture over to Baxter Avenue in the Highlands to witness a sort of pizza war that’s started in recent years. New shops have popped up to face old favorites like Spinelli’s and Wick’s. The winner in the pizza war—you. They all offer great pies at pretty reasonable prices. Plus, if the Cards are on, you can enjoy your pizza among family.
You don’t have to stay there to eat there
You live in Louisville, but some of the city’s best kitchens are in chic hotels. They’re not cheap, but if you can splurge try Proof on Main at 21c Hotel and Museum, The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel and the English Grill at the Brown Hotel. People flock to Proof for its signature dish—Charred Octopus with Bagna Cauda, Lime and Toast. (Don’t worry, they also have an awesome burger.) The Oakroom is the city’s only five star restaurant, according to AAA. While at the English Grill, try the Hot Brown, a hot open-faced sandwich with turkey, Texas toast and a Mornay sauce. Love it or hate it, it’s one of the city’s signature dishes.
For a long time, it seemed like there was one thing missing from Louisville’s dining scene—brunch. But in the last few years, more restaurants have begun offering this mainstay of social eating or for people who don’t rise with the sun on Sundays. (We’re looking at you, students.) You can’t go wrong kicking off your Sunday at Toast on Market in Nulu, North End Cafe in Clifton and any of the Wild Eggs locations. If you’re looking to get a truly Louisville experience, try getting your ham, eggs and biscuits at Wagner’s Pharmacy near Churchill Downs. Esquire magazine named it one of the 59 best breakfasts in America. Besides the classic breakfast fair, the neat thing is that you’ll eat alongside horse owners, trainers and jockeys all vying to be the best on the dirt track.
Eggs not your thing? Three words: Maple Bacon Doughnut. Nord’s Bakery, Preston Street. Less than a mile from campus.