clock menu more-arrow no yes

How Many Kinds of BBQ Are There In Louisville?

View as Map

While Kentucky has several idiosyncratic barbecue styles (Hello, Owensboro mutton lovers!), Louisville lacks its own signature style. There are many pits, pulled smokers and other purveyors of "BBQ" around Metro Louisville offering everything from Kansas City to Western Kentucky to "Texican" style. Eater put together several of Louisville's standout slingers of pork, chicken and even tofu—all smoky, savory and delicious. Any snipes, suggestions or opinions on what "Louisville style" barbecue might be would be appreciated, and best left in the comments.


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Feast BBQ

Copy Link
116 W Main St
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 920-0454
Visit Website
Ryan Rogers is only in his twenties, but is producing some of the finest barbecue in the Metro. Feast takes no reservations, food and seating is "first come, first served," and people can't seem to get enough. Many fine meats and sauces are available, but Crispy Pork Cakes and BBQ tofu are exceptional.

2. Rubbies Barbeque and Brew

Copy Link
6905 Southside Dr
Louisville, KY
(502) 367-0007
Visit Website
The Courier-Journal's Marty Rosen believes Rubbies' "combination of slow smoke, house-made sauce and a vigorous house-made rub turns out barbecue that easily holds its own against the city’s most prominent barbecue specialists." There's also a Bloody Mary made with BBQ sauce and rub spices, garnished with lime, celery and "a couple of fresh, hot, skewered smoked wings."

3. Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

Copy Link
127 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 587-1626
Visit Website
BBQ expert Wes Berry says Doc Crow's is "the swankiest restaurant featuring smoked meats" he's ever visited. Just down from the Yum! Center in an old bourbon warehouse, Doc Crow's has "[t]ender, moderately smoked meats and quality sides developed by classically trained chefs."

4. Smoketown USA

Copy Link
1153 Logan St
Louisville, KY
(502) 409-9180
Visit Website
The 19th century Germantown/Smoketown buildings originally housed a grocery, feed and seed store and a livery. Now they're home to Eric David Gould's "unique gathering place" serving up dry-rubbed meats with a glaze of spicy sauce and sides including "soul greens."

5. Bootleg Bar-B-Que

Copy Link
7508 Preston Hwy
Louisville, KY 40219
(502) 968-5657
Visit Website
Bootleg says that for more than two decades it has been "a true Kentucky original with lean and tender pit-smoked barbecue, made-from-scratch side dishes, desserts, sauces, and Louisville’s best wings."

6. Rob-a-Que

Copy Link
4214 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
(502) 365-1871
Visit Website
"I like pig butts and I cannot lie" reads the counter front at Rob-a-Que, award-winning smoker Rob Bailey's first foray into table service. He's selling smoked brisket, pork and chicken, St. Louis-style ribs, smoked wings, smoked meat loaf and more out of a refurbished former Subway across the street from the Vanhoose Education Center.

7. Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot

Copy Link
3204 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 895-3223
Visit Website
The FABD smokehouse folk proudly point out that 610 Magnolia's Edward Lee endorsed them with this quote: "For those looking for good ole BBQ, Frankfort Ave Beer Depot is the best. A dingy watering hole but the food is great and they usually have ping pong tables set up in the patio."

8. Momma's Mustard, Pickles, & BBQ

Copy Link
102 Bauer Ave
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 290-7998
Visit Website
Claiming that "in true Kentucky style" horse race winnings enabled the purchase of a food truck and smoker, Chad Cooley and partner Chef Jamie Givan "traveled to Kansas City" for "detailed and exhaustive training with The Baron Of BBQ himself, Chef Paul Kirk, winner of 7 WORLD BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIPS." Their Kansas City style BBQ has been a hit since it opened in St. Matthews.

9. Atypical Man BBQ

Copy Link
119 Saint Matthews Avenue
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 893-3925
Visit Website
Marty Rosen enjoyed Atypical's "charmingly unfinished feel" and "idiosyncratic sauces" such as Derby City Bourbon Sauce ("smoke and spice, and notes of caramel and vanilla") along with its ribs ("juicy, firm to the bite and pleasantly smoky"), chicken ("nearly melted in the mouth") and brisket ("matched intriguingly with a Texas style coffee sauce that had espresso notes, a buttery finish and a vinegar tang").

10. Mark's Feed Store

Copy Link
11422 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 244-0140
Visit Website
Voted “BEST OF LOUISVILLE“ by Louisville Magazine's readers "no less than 9 times." They have a mustard-based sauce available for those nostalgic for South Carolina.

11. Texican's Barbeque Pit

Copy Link
6608 W Highway 146
Crestwood, KY
(502) 241-9227
Visit Website
Author Wes Berry, in The Kentucky Barbecue Book, says: "I love this place—one of the best barbecue restaurants in Kentucky." Berry raves about the brisket, the pulled pork, the spicy Louisiana-style hot links and the homemade sides.

1. Feast BBQ

116 W Main St, New Albany, IN 47150
Ryan Rogers is only in his twenties, but is producing some of the finest barbecue in the Metro. Feast takes no reservations, food and seating is "first come, first served," and people can't seem to get enough. Many fine meats and sauces are available, but Crispy Pork Cakes and BBQ tofu are exceptional.
116 W Main St
New Albany, IN 47150

2. Rubbies Barbeque and Brew

6905 Southside Dr, Louisville, KY
The Courier-Journal's Marty Rosen believes Rubbies' "combination of slow smoke, house-made sauce and a vigorous house-made rub turns out barbecue that easily holds its own against the city’s most prominent barbecue specialists." There's also a Bloody Mary made with BBQ sauce and rub spices, garnished with lime, celery and "a couple of fresh, hot, skewered smoked wings."
6905 Southside Dr
Louisville, KY

3. Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

127 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
BBQ expert Wes Berry says Doc Crow's is "the swankiest restaurant featuring smoked meats" he's ever visited. Just down from the Yum! Center in an old bourbon warehouse, Doc Crow's has "[t]ender, moderately smoked meats and quality sides developed by classically trained chefs."
127 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202

4. Smoketown USA

1153 Logan St, Louisville, KY
The 19th century Germantown/Smoketown buildings originally housed a grocery, feed and seed store and a livery. Now they're home to Eric David Gould's "unique gathering place" serving up dry-rubbed meats with a glaze of spicy sauce and sides including "soul greens."
1153 Logan St
Louisville, KY

5. Bootleg Bar-B-Que

7508 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY 40219
Bootleg says that for more than two decades it has been "a true Kentucky original with lean and tender pit-smoked barbecue, made-from-scratch side dishes, desserts, sauces, and Louisville’s best wings."
7508 Preston Hwy
Louisville, KY 40219

6. Rob-a-Que

4214 Bishop Lane, Louisville, KY 40218
"I like pig butts and I cannot lie" reads the counter front at Rob-a-Que, award-winning smoker Rob Bailey's first foray into table service. He's selling smoked brisket, pork and chicken, St. Louis-style ribs, smoked wings, smoked meat loaf and more out of a refurbished former Subway across the street from the Vanhoose Education Center.
4214 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

7. Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot

3204 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
The FABD smokehouse folk proudly point out that 610 Magnolia's Edward Lee endorsed them with this quote: "For those looking for good ole BBQ, Frankfort Ave Beer Depot is the best. A dingy watering hole but the food is great and they usually have ping pong tables set up in the patio."
3204 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206

8. Momma's Mustard, Pickles, & BBQ

102 Bauer Ave, Louisville, KY 40207
Claiming that "in true Kentucky style" horse race winnings enabled the purchase of a food truck and smoker, Chad Cooley and partner Chef Jamie Givan "traveled to Kansas City" for "detailed and exhaustive training with The Baron Of BBQ himself, Chef Paul Kirk, winner of 7 WORLD BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIPS." Their Kansas City style BBQ has been a hit since it opened in St. Matthews.
102 Bauer Ave
Louisville, KY 40207

9. Atypical Man BBQ

119 Saint Matthews Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207
Marty Rosen enjoyed Atypical's "charmingly unfinished feel" and "idiosyncratic sauces" such as Derby City Bourbon Sauce ("smoke and spice, and notes of caramel and vanilla") along with its ribs ("juicy, firm to the bite and pleasantly smoky"), chicken ("nearly melted in the mouth") and brisket ("matched intriguingly with a Texas style coffee sauce that had espresso notes, a buttery finish and a vinegar tang").
119 Saint Matthews Avenue
Louisville, KY 40207

10. Mark's Feed Store

11422 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40243
Voted “BEST OF LOUISVILLE“ by Louisville Magazine's readers "no less than 9 times." They have a mustard-based sauce available for those nostalgic for South Carolina.
11422 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY 40243

11. Texican's Barbeque Pit

6608 W Highway 146, Crestwood, KY
Author Wes Berry, in The Kentucky Barbecue Book, says: "I love this place—one of the best barbecue restaurants in Kentucky." Berry raves about the brisket, the pulled pork, the spicy Louisiana-style hot links and the homemade sides.
6608 W Highway 146
Crestwood, KY