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The Eater Louisville Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, where to sip the it cocktail. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change often to highlight where the Louisville crowds are flocking to at the moment. (The restaurants are listed not by any rank.)

Eater Heatmaps traditionally are only for restaurants less than a year old, with the Eater 18 (or 38) highlighting outstanding places that have survived the one-year mark. Now, if Eater Louisville adhered to that policy, the Heatmaps would either include just a few places or some crappy ones. So effective right now, we're gonna draw the line at two years. And no restaurant will appear on both the Heatmap and Eater 18. That being said...

Added: Havana Rumba Express & Tapas Bar.
Removed: Garage Bar, Harvest, Holy Grale, Proof on Main, Seviche: A Latin Restaurant.

Again, their removal wasn't a knock on these restaurants at all—in fact, expect to see most of them on next Tuesday's latest update on the Eater 18—but rather it was just a bit of housekeeping.

Have any suggestions? Any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments.


Eater Louisville Heatmap history

·Dec 6, 2012: Initial Eater Louisville Heatmap
·Jan. 3, 2013: Added Feast BBQ, Guaca Mole and Relish
·Feb. 7, 2013: Added Mussel & Burger Bar
·March 7, 2013: Added MilkWood and Game, removed 610 Magnolia and Hammerheads
·April 4, 2013: Added The Exchange Pub + Kitchen
·May 2, 2013: No changes
·June 6, 2013: Removed St. Charles Exchange
·July 11, 2013: Added La Coop: Bistro à Vins
·Aug. 1, 2013: Added Garage Bar
·Sept. 5, 2013: No changes
·Oct. 3, 2013: Added Havana Rumba Express & Tapas Bar. Removed: Garage Bar, Harvest, Holy Grale, Proof on Main, Seviche: A Latin Restaurant.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Decca

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812 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 749-8128
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A San Francisco transplant, chef Annie Pettry's NuLu kitchen has quickly impressed in Louisville with its "commitment to locally farmed and small production ingredients."

2. Rye On Market

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900 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 749-6200
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"We would love to establish ourselves based on our chef-driven menu and ingredient-focused philosophy," Rye's general manager wrote recently in an email. Based on the crowds at this NuLu new American restaurant, however, it's already done so.

3. The Silver Dollar

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1761 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 259-9540
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This East End honky-tonk, "centered around Bakersfield Sound music and Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey," was named one of the top 10 whiskey bars in America by GQ. It's also a hot spot for brunch.

4. Relish

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1346 River Road
Louisville, KY 40206
Former Jack Frye's owner Susan Seiller's ditches clubby for clean and simple (think pressed ropa vieja—Cuban-style brisket, manchego, Cuban roll) to rave reviews.

5. Feast BBQ

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116 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 920-0454
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Dishes like its barbecued tofu and brisket provide a reason to ford the Ohio (other than to play the slots or see the naked ladies, of course). Tater tots, vinegar slaw and collard greens sides pair well with everything.

6. Guaca Mole

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9921 Ormsby Station Road
Louisville, KY 40223
(502) 365-4822
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Our experts called this Mexican restaurant, best known for its namesake dish, one of the city's top newcomers in 2012—and Urbanspoon proclaimed it among the best in the nation.

7. Mussel & Burger Bar

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9200 Taylorsville Rd.
Louisville, KY 40299
This February 2013 opening, one of the few reasons to eat in Jtown, has quickly thrust itself into "best burger in town" conversations.

8. MilkWood

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316 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
The "comfort bar food with an Asian pantry" at Edward Lee's Actors Theatre spot appeals to diners with tastes as traditional as Shakespeare (go with the burger) and as experimental as Pinter (the scallop and pork belly entree).

9. Game

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2295 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40206
The Hammerheads' guys' February 2013 opening is just another burger joint off the highway. Except for the kangaroo meat. And the ostrich meat. And the wild boar meat. And the...

10. The Exchange Pub + Kitchen

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118 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150
Rave reviews in LEO Weekly and Louisville Courier-Journal help explain why this New Albany gastropub is drawing big crowds, even in the middle of the week.

11. La Coop: Bistro à Vins

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732 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 410-2888
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Its Southern twist on traditional French cuisine, paired with the deep wine list you'd expect, made this Green Building spot Louisville Magazine's readers' choice for the best new restaurant.

12. Havana Rumba Express & Tapas Bar

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2210 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205
Whether it's at the Cuban side with the kids or the Spanish tapas side while the kids are at home with a sitter, the Highlands crowd is flocking to this summer opening

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1. Decca

812 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206
A San Francisco transplant, chef Annie Pettry's NuLu kitchen has quickly impressed in Louisville with its "commitment to locally farmed and small production ingredients."
812 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206

2. Rye On Market

900 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206
"We would love to establish ourselves based on our chef-driven menu and ingredient-focused philosophy," Rye's general manager wrote recently in an email. Based on the crowds at this NuLu new American restaurant, however, it's already done so.
900 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206

3. The Silver Dollar

1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
This East End honky-tonk, "centered around Bakersfield Sound music and Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey," was named one of the top 10 whiskey bars in America by GQ. It's also a hot spot for brunch.
1761 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206

4. Relish

1346 River Road, Louisville, KY 40206
Former Jack Frye's owner Susan Seiller's ditches clubby for clean and simple (think pressed ropa vieja—Cuban-style brisket, manchego, Cuban roll) to rave reviews.
1346 River Road
Louisville, KY 40206

5. Feast BBQ

116 West Main Street, New Albany, IN 47150
Dishes like its barbecued tofu and brisket provide a reason to ford the Ohio (other than to play the slots or see the naked ladies, of course). Tater tots, vinegar slaw and collard greens sides pair well with everything.
116 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150

6. Guaca Mole

9921 Ormsby Station Road, Louisville, KY 40223
Our experts called this Mexican restaurant, best known for its namesake dish, one of the city's top newcomers in 2012—and Urbanspoon proclaimed it among the best in the nation.
9921 Ormsby Station Road
Louisville, KY 40223

7. Mussel & Burger Bar

9200 Taylorsville Rd., Louisville, KY 40299
This February 2013 opening, one of the few reasons to eat in Jtown, has quickly thrust itself into "best burger in town" conversations.
9200 Taylorsville Rd.
Louisville, KY 40299

8. MilkWood

316 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
The "comfort bar food with an Asian pantry" at Edward Lee's Actors Theatre spot appeals to diners with tastes as traditional as Shakespeare (go with the burger) and as experimental as Pinter (the scallop and pork belly entree).
316 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202

9. Game

2295 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40206
The Hammerheads' guys' February 2013 opening is just another burger joint off the highway. Except for the kangaroo meat. And the ostrich meat. And the wild boar meat. And the...
2295 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40206

10. The Exchange Pub + Kitchen

118 West Main Street, New Albany, IN 47150
Rave reviews in LEO Weekly and Louisville Courier-Journal help explain why this New Albany gastropub is drawing big crowds, even in the middle of the week.
118 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150

11. La Coop: Bistro à Vins

732 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202
Its Southern twist on traditional French cuisine, paired with the deep wine list you'd expect, made this Green Building spot Louisville Magazine's readers' choice for the best new restaurant.
732 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40202

12. Havana Rumba Express & Tapas Bar

2210 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205
Whether it's at the Cuban side with the kids or the Spanish tapas side while the kids are at home with a sitter, the Highlands crowd is flocking to this summer opening
2210 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205