Louisville bars stay open late, and with last call at 4 AM, visitors have lots of time to explore this list of Top Ten bars.
New to the city is Holy Grale, a gastropub in an old chapel in the Highlands. The church theme includes hanging glass lanterns, votive candles in the windows, and statuettes like the prayer hands near the cash register. The beer menu provides detailed flavor descriptions and the story of each beer, while the food offerings include tasty fried snacks like frites with sauces, quail eggs and delightful tacos. They also serve a Sunday brunch. The Holy Grale owners also run the Louisville Beer Store on East Market Street, another top beer bar, with an enormous selection.
We always enjoy seeing what's new on the menu at Proof on Main, part of the 21c Museum Hotel complex. One of the stops on the Urban Bourbon Trail, Proof offers bourbon flights, creative cocktails, and the best gin and tonic in the city.
Proof's polar opposite, but still a favorite, is the Back Door, a dive bar attached to a shopping center in the Highlands neighborhood. Drinks are cheap, the food is good, you can meet locals, and the regulars' painted portraits on the walls are unforgettable.
For good music, drinks, and food, visit either (or both) the Monkey Wrench or Zanzabar, both in Germantown. Zanzabar has the wider beer selection, but Monkey Wrench has burgers and a balcony.
The Old Seelbach Bar, in the Seelbach Hotel, takes us back to classy (and pricy) drinking. Another Urban Bourbon Trail stop, the bourbon selection is extensive, and we get excited knowing that F. Scott Fitzgerald drank here.
Finally, the Bluegrass Brewing Company (BBC) has two locations downtown, and yes, we put them both on our list. Gotta love the local beer.
1250 Bardstown Road # 116
2100 South Preston Street
1025 Barret Avenue
Bar and club with excellent burgers... read more
300 West Main Street
Local brewery with solid food options; one of three locations; across from Yum Center... read more
660 South 4th Street, #2 Theater Square
One of three Bluegrass Brewing Company locations; award-winning microbrews... read more