From crepes and Vietnamese sandwiches to hearty Southern fare in a former auto garage, and tea-infused hillbilly hooch to award-winning biscuits and gravy, Louisville, Kentucky certainly offers an eclectic brunch and breakfast dining experience. Check out our top 10 late breakfast spots in town.
Featuring a menu inspired by the cuisine that arose from the diaspora of American Midwesterners and Southerners to California in search of work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, The Silver Dollar is a popular restaurant and bar that is achieving acclaim for its extensive whiskey selection. Fans rave about its brunch, which offers traditional, working-class fare with Southern and Californian flavors. Chef Tyler Powell prepares dishes like the Silver Dollar dog, a house-smoked breakfast sausage with maple syrup, and a cornbread pancake and the hearty brisket sandwich with homemade hickory barbecue sauce.
A popular Louisville dining destination for over a decade with two locations in the city, North End Café focuses on healthy and organic dishes created from locally sourced produce, and is a loyal member of Kentucky Proud, an organisation that promotes state-grown ingredients. The cafe even has its own vegetable and herb garden in the neighboring town of Simpsonville. Since it opened in 2003, North End Café has kept its menu simple with an emphasis on healthy and wholesome fare. Its breakfast and brunch dishes have become some of the most popular in town with options like house-smoked trout hash with eggs and toast, or oatmeal topped with dried fruit and walnuts.
A firm favorite with Louisville brunch fanatics since it opened in 1996, The Café is a charming haunt serving delicious food with a distinct emphasis on Southern flavors. Located in Louisville’s bustling commercial district, The Highlands, The Café is operated by Sal and Cindy Rubino who take a hands-on approach to serving customers. Cindy brings years of culinary experience to her role as chef. Guests can choose to dine inside The Café in its beautiful industrial-chic dining room or outside on its patio complete with a picturesque pond and shaded tables. Brunch options include classic dishes like the three egg omelet with mild cheddar cheese and biscuits smothered in homemade sausage gravy.
Another much-loved restaurant in the vibrant Highlands neighborhood, Highland Morning is a locally operated and family-owned establishment specializing in authentic breakfast and lunch dishes. Opened by the Coe family 2011, Highland Morning has received plenty of acclaim, including the ‘People’s Choice Award for Best Biscuits and Gravy’ at Louisville’s 2013 Gravy Cup. Try the legendary biscuits and gravy, or indulge in strawberry shortcake pancakes with homemade syrup, fresh strawberries and whipped cream or French toast topped with maple syrup and powdered sugar.
Located in Louisville’s arty East Market Street district in lively Downtown NuLu, Harvest offers seasonal, farm-to-table fare with a delightful menu full of rustic, regional dishes. Devised by local farmer and regional food champion Igor Chodkowski, 80% of Harvest’s ingredients are sourced from within a 100-mile radius. The restaurant’s decor is as equally eco-friendly with up-cycled elements like mason jars fashioned into lamps and reclaimed church pews. Brunch is a particularly mouth-watering affair with dishes like scrambled egg sandwiches and brioche French toast alongside the Kentucky classic burgoo— a stew of chicken, pork, turkey, potatoes, corn, heirloom tomatoes and pretzel croutons.
Proof On Main, Louisville | Courtesy of Seviche: A Latin Restaurant
Proof on Main
Hailed as one of Esquire Magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurants’ when it opened in 2006, Proof on Main is located in the heart of historic downtown Louisville at the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel, a unique hotel concept that integrates contemporary art into hospitality, with many of the hotel’s frequent art exhibitions extending into the restaurant. Focusing on local flavors from trusted regional purveyors and classic dishes of the American South with a global twist, executive chef Levon Wallace and his talented team create healthy breakfast dishes like the mixed fruit smoothie with apple cider, banana and berries or the egg white frittata. Proof on Main’s brunch menu features options like shrimp and grits with roasted mushroom, cippolini onions, tomato and farm egg.
A relatively new addition to Louisville’s dining scene, Four Sisters is a creperie and cafe operated by four sisters originally from Vietnam. First opened in spring 2013, the cafe features a stylish and cozy interior, full of comfy sofas and sumptuous wood, a welcoming haven in which to enjoy breakfast or brunch. Four Sisters’ menu abounds with sweet and savory crepes, homemade granola and dishes like breakfast bread pudding with ham, eggs and cheese alongside a number of banh mi, a Vietnamese-style sandwich. Guests who need a caffeine kick-start to their day won’t be disappointed with options like the Nutella latte.
Boasting a quirky location in a former auto service garage in Downtown NuLu, Garage Bar comes complete with its own auto-themed artwork, including Brooklyn-based artist Jonathan Schipper’s kinetic sculpture Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle. This casual neighborhood bar specializes in wood-fired pizzas and serves up an impressive weekend brunch menu full of hearty fare with distinct Southern touches. Try a plate of smoked salmon from local Shuckman’s Fish Co & Smokery; it comes with capers, tomato, onion, cream cheese and toasted homemade bialy.
A trendy tea-house with a mouth-watering brunch menu, Hillbilly Tea is a popular spot that opened in 2010 to rave reviews, and gained a following for its organic and fair trade teas, its unique tea-infused hooch concoctions and beautiful converted loft dining room. Though Hillbilly Tea’s chef Arpad Lengyel originally hails from Hungary, the cuisine is unabashedly Appalachian and imaginative. Try the cornmeal skillet pancake with pumpkin syrup and chai-infused butter or the pork jowls on corn pone bread with a poached egg and molasses drizzle. Wash it down with a cup of high mountain oolong tea—noted for its floral, zesty and stimulating flavors.
Established earlier this year, Gralehaus has already gained a firm following—thanks to its unique focus on beers and breakfast. Gralehaus is a venture from Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter, owners of the popular Holy Grale pub and restaurant next door with which the cozy cafe shares a beer garden. Chef Andy Myers focuses on traditional, regional dishes like lamb sausage and grits with a sunny side up egg alongside inventive crepes like the duck confit with goat’s cheese, orange and pickled pear.