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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 foodie crowds are flocking to at the moment. (The restaurants are listed not by rank, but in the order in which this editor got around to finishing their descriptions.)

Added: Mussel & Burger Bar.
Removed: None.

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


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Seviche: A Latin Restaurant

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1538 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40205
Yep, repeat James Beard Southeast semifinalist Anthony Lamas's Nuevo Latino restaurant is in its seventh year. But it's still as hot as some of its blistered shishito peppers.

2. Decca

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812 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206
Called "an icon in the making," in April 2012 by LEO Weekly, this modern American restaurant in the city's hottest neighborhood is still packing them in.

3. Rye On Market

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900 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206
"Is Yelp Really for Morons?" Time magazine asks. That this NuLu hotspot, which emphasizes seasonal and regional cuisine, only nets 3.5 stars on that user-review site answers Time's question with a resounding "fuck yeah."

4. The Silver Dollar

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1761 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206
Open for barely a year, this East End honky-tonk, "centered around Bakersfield Sound music and Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey" already has spawned one local imitator.

5. Proof on Main

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702 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202
Because plopping a 30-foot-tall golden naked David (penis) in front of its entrance wasn't surprising enough, in August, this top Louisville restaurant changed executive chefs. While the reviews of David are mixed, Levon Wallace's menu has drawn near universal praise.

6. St. Charles Exchange

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113 S. 7th Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 618-1917
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Located in one of downtown's oldest buildings, its list of craft cocktails is almost as long as its bar Executive chef Mitch Prensky must have sold his soul for that deviled eggs recipe.

7. Hammerheads

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921 Swan St
Louisville, KY 40204
Diners were walking into this former walkout basement for chicken and waffles before that dish was cool (again). And three of our industry experts listed it as one of their top standbys of 2012.

8. Harvest

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624 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 384-9090
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Two newer restaurants (Decca and Rye) have opened just down the street, but Harvest's commitment to all-things local still attracts Louisvillians to dine under the eyes of the watchful farmers.

9. Holy Grale

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1034 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40204
Sure this converted Unitarian Church is more bar than restaurant, but its elevated pub food (like the cassoulet dog) attracts even teetotalers. And its gradual expansion (first the choir loft, then the beer garden, soon a beer and breakfast out back), keeps it fresh.

10. 610 Magnolia

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610 W Magnolia Ave
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 636-0783
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Probably the only way 610 Magnolia and its "contemporary approach to the Southern table" won't rank among Louisville's hottest restaurants will be when its chef/owner Edward Lee opens a new spot (which is set to be next week at Actors Theatre).

11. 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.

12. Feast BBQ

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116 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150
Dishes like its barbecued tofu provide a reason to ford the river (other than to play the slots or see the naked ladies, of course).

13. Guaca Mole

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9921 Ormsby Station Road
Louisville, KY 40223
502-365-4822
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.

14. Mussel & Burger Bar

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9200 Taylorsville Rd.
Louisville, KY 40299
The owners of Guaca Mole opened this American bistro to equally rave reviews (especially of its namesake dishes) in early February 2013, making it one of the few reasons to eat in Jtown.

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1. Seviche: A Latin Restaurant

1538 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205
Yep, repeat James Beard Southeast semifinalist Anthony Lamas's Nuevo Latino restaurant is in its seventh year. But it's still as hot as some of its blistered shishito peppers.
1538 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40205

2. Decca

812 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206
Called "an icon in the making," in April 2012 by LEO Weekly, this modern American restaurant in the city's hottest neighborhood is still packing them in.
812 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206

3. Rye On Market

900 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206
"Is Yelp Really for Morons?" Time magazine asks. That this NuLu hotspot, which emphasizes seasonal and regional cuisine, only nets 3.5 stars on that user-review site answers Time's question with a resounding "fuck yeah."
900 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40206

4. The Silver Dollar

1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
Open for barely a year, this East End honky-tonk, "centered around Bakersfield Sound music and Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey" already has spawned one local imitator.
1761 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY 40206

5. Proof on Main

702 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
Because plopping a 30-foot-tall golden naked David (penis) in front of its entrance wasn't surprising enough, in August, this top Louisville restaurant changed executive chefs. While the reviews of David are mixed, Levon Wallace's menu has drawn near universal praise.
702 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202

6. St. Charles Exchange

113 S. 7th Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Located in one of downtown's oldest buildings, its list of craft cocktails is almost as long as its bar Executive chef Mitch Prensky must have sold his soul for that deviled eggs recipe.
113 S. 7th Street
Louisville, KY 40202

7. Hammerheads

921 Swan St, Louisville, KY 40204
Diners were walking into this former walkout basement for chicken and waffles before that dish was cool (again). And three of our industry experts listed it as one of their top standbys of 2012.
921 Swan St
Louisville, KY 40204

8. Harvest

624 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202
Two newer restaurants (Decca and Rye) have opened just down the street, but Harvest's commitment to all-things local still attracts Louisvillians to dine under the eyes of the watchful farmers.
624 E Market St
Louisville, KY 40202

9. Holy Grale

1034 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204
Sure this converted Unitarian Church is more bar than restaurant, but its elevated pub food (like the cassoulet dog) attracts even teetotalers. And its gradual expansion (first the choir loft, then the beer garden, soon a beer and breakfast out back), keeps it fresh.
1034 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40204

10. 610 Magnolia

610 W Magnolia Ave, Louisville, KY 40208
Probably the only way 610 Magnolia and its "contemporary approach to the Southern table" won't rank among Louisville's hottest restaurants will be when its chef/owner Edward Lee opens a new spot (which is set to be next week at Actors Theatre).
610 W Magnolia Ave
Louisville, KY 40208

11. 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

12. Feast BBQ

116 West Main Street, New Albany, IN 47150
Dishes like its barbecued tofu provide a reason to ford the river (other than to play the slots or see the naked ladies, of course).
116 West Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150

13. 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

14. Mussel & Burger Bar

9200 Taylorsville Rd., Louisville, KY 40299
The owners of Guaca Mole opened this American bistro to equally rave reviews (especially of its namesake dishes) in early February 2013, making it one of the few reasons to eat in Jtown.
9200 Taylorsville Rd.
Louisville, KY 40299