This past weekend I headed a couple hours north to Louisville Kentucky to visit a friend. I am currently on a mission to check off items on my life list and to explore anywhere. The best way to travel, in my opinion, is by visiting friends. You get to catch up on relationships and usually you get a free place to stay, which cuts down on the cost. My friend in Louisville lives only 2 hours and 30 minutes away, it is such a quick and easy drive that going for a weekend could not be any more convenient. We explored the city together, drank lots of coffee, ate lots of food, and took in a few landmarks. Thank you to everyone on Instagram who suggested places that we could not miss! I did not get to them all, but rest assured, I’m going back.
Gralehaus was suggested by several people and it was pretty wonderful! This little coffee shop is set up in a historic house and serves German themed fare. I ordered the veggie hash and a honeybee latte. The honeybee latte was delicious. A cinnamon honey latte is my go to espresso drink so I was not disappointed. The veggie hash was a wonderful option for non-meat eaters! I’m always partial to restaurants that give a good savory option for breakfast loving veggies like myself. So often the only vegetarian options are sweet, pancakes, waffles and the like. But this hash was so tasty and had wonderful flavor! Bravo Gralehaus.
We were in desperate need of an afternoon pick me up! After trying to navigate around the largest block of Irish pubs (on St. Patrick’s Day!) the need for coffee was great. Quills was another one that was largely suggested as a can not miss. The atmosphere was cute and industrial chic, definitely on trend for millennial coffee shops. We both ordered what seemed to be the signature drink, Bourbon Carmel Latte. I was disappointed that they had no food what so ever. On their menu they said dishes were served until 2pm and pastries were available throughout the day. We went about 3pm and there was absolutely nothing available to eat. It would have been so nice to have a nosh with our afternoon pick me up.
Garage Bar (Brunch)
Ok Louisville, I see you! So I guess this town is the kind where you can go to brunch at like noon and actually be seated right away! This is something Nashville has yet to accomplish in the 2 years I’ve lived here. It just isn’t something Music City can do and for that, Louisville, I tip my hat to you. Garage Bar is a cute little bar that is literally in an old garage. They took that theme to heart and everything is car related and vintage feeling. The menu was pretty good, they had standard brunch fare and pizzas as their main deal. However I was a bit disappointed in the vegetarian options. Sure I could have gotten a pizza, or a salad or… pancakes but there was not really a savory breakfast dish that was specifically for vegetarians. I ended up getting a type of egg bake with cheese and veggies and asked for the sausage to be removed. Heads up if you eat here, they will modify a dish but you can not substitute it for anything. Guys I was really craving potatoes so I had to order them on the side. They were delicious!
Chik’n & Mi
RAMEN! I love ramen! Louisville has a lot of places that are food fusion type restaurants. Chik’n & Mi is an asian/ fried chicken joint. They do small plates, ramen, fried chicken, sandwiches you name it! However, I’m a vegetarian so I could only partake in only the non-chicken incorporated dishes. There was plenty to eat! They had tofu lettuce wraps and vegan ramen so I was all set! The ramen was a miso/ roasted sweet potato broth that was so so good! A lot of the time ramen places skip the flavor in their miso broths but this one did not disappoint! Please go to this restaurant the next time you are in Louisville, there are chickens everywhere!
Door to No Where
How cool is this place!? Ok so literally its just the facade of a historic home on a road that no longer exists. However, it’s all that left of a multitude of beautiful historic homes that used to make up the riverside neighborhood. Also it made a lot of “must see” lists for Louisville. I can confirm that is a very instagrammable spot. We went when the weather was grey and threatening rain so we were the only ones there. I plan on adding all the photos later as an outfit post because they just turned out pretty spectacular. Think Hepburn meets Hitchcock.
Finn Flock (Chicken Park)
Let’s talk about Serendipity. My friend and I were driving through downtown and I looked to right and suddenly yelled “Turn! ” No explanation just that I had seen this “Chicken Park” and we needed to go to it. We pulled over for a frolic amongst the foul! There were giant chickens, multi-headed geese, and poultry of all kinds. It turns out that this was an art installation from a native Louisville folk artist. It was just a pure and good space that was so unexpected and yet so much fun!
St. James Court
oh how I wish I had the photography skills to show off how absolutely beautiful this street is. St. James Ct, is on the Historic Places register and is this beautiful avenue of historic homes with a fountain and green park in the middle. This street is in the middle of the Old Lou neighborhood where the historic homes are abundant. We visited in the early evening right around the golden hour. In that light it was absolutely spectacular. I can not express how much I was ready to move right in, or at least set up a tent on the grass and squat as long as possible. It is absolutely a spot worth your time, even if you only have 10 minutes.
Just like Nashville, Louisville has their very own pedestrian bridge. This particular bridge was built in the late 1800s as a rail service bridge but was decommissioned by the rail way in the 1960s. It’s now a mile long jaunt for families, joggers, and ROMANCE! (I’m not kidding that is what the sign said). It is the perfect way to walk from Kentucky to Indiana and get a great view of the Louisville skyline!
21c Museum Hotel
Coolest place ever. Ok, so I know they have one in Nashville, but I have not been yet. The Louisville one is so cool! There are art galleries every where. I know, I know the theme is art museum it says it right in the name but I could not get over how well incorporated it was. The bar space was equally as cool as the gallery space and the drinks were excellent! We wandered around for quite sometime snapping photos and admiring the art work. Of course I was enthralled with the 18th century fashion piece but I know what I like.
Jimmy Can’t Dance
Ok so this is the part of the night where I started taking not so great photos. Cocktails were to blame. But Jimmy Can’t Dance was probably one of the best places I have ever been. The bar is located in the basement of a sandwich shop and be warned there is cover to get in but its worth it. Jazz musicians put there own spin on classic tunes from the likes of Stevie Wonder and other greats. I think that was the first time I’ve ever seen a real trombone solo, let me tell you, it’s a thing of beauty. AND the bathroom has flamingo wallpaper! how cute is that? I was so excited to get to a jazz club because it is on my Life List. It is one of the smaller things on the list but being able to visit a new city and check something off my list feels so incredible.
So Louisville is cool town. It has great historic charm and some real gem places to visit and eat. The nightlife is nothing to shake your head at and it was a truly enjoyable experience. I love getting to visit friends and see where they live and how that shapes their lives. I love learning about their favorite places and what they find enjoyable about their city. Traveling is a special thing, even if it isn’t that far away, it always enriching your personal story. Louisville is only 2 hours away but it was still so different than Nashville and I am so grateful I got to explore it!