With the Breeders’ Cup World Championships right around the corner, it’s time to start making more detailed plans about your trip to Louisville, Ky. These plans include where to eat and the good news for Breeders’ Cup attendees is that good restaurants are not at all hard to come by in “The ‘Ville.” Everyone loves barbecue, or at least most racing fans do. Here are five restaurants in Louisville that all Breeders’ Cup-bound barbecue fanatics should check out.
It’s been open for only six years but despite being such a young establishment, Feast has been able to gain a notable reputation for some of the finest barbecue in town. Whether you stop by for their smoked pulled pork or their soft shell tacos, be sure to order a bourbon slushie to drink! One can choose between their original, made with Ale 8 Soda, or their bourbon slushie of the month. With one of their two locations being in Louisville’s thriving NuLu district, Feast is also not a far commute for those staying close to downtown. For those with an extra appetite, their mac ‘n’ cheese balls and fried pickles are always a great option!
This 30-year-old Louisville restaurant proudly declares itself the “Best BBQ in Louisville” on their website. While that statement is a matter of opinion, Mark’s boasts a resume of awards that gives their self-proclaimed title some legitimacy. They were voted “Best in Louisville” for both barbecue and ribs nine times by Louisville Magazine and gained some exposure on a national level with mentions in both Southern Living and Saveur. One can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. From their popular onion straws to their award-winning ribs, anything is a safe bet at Mark’s!
Founder Chad Cooley had always wanted to start up a barbecue restaurant inspired by home cooking of his mother (hence the name), but 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man turned that dream into reality. Cooley sold his share in the horse, teamed up with chef Jamie Givan and together they opened Momma’s, which serves Kansas City-style barbecue. Momma’s was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and is best known for their dry-rub chicken wings, which are a perfection combination of juicy and crispy. For those that like that juicy, fall-off-the-bone taste, Momma’s is right up your alley!
Right in the heart of Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, Doc Crow’s provides a slightly more upscale atmosphere and offers a nice variety of excellent choices. The smokehouse chicken is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor and those that dig gourmet mac and cheese won’t be disappointed either. If you’re not craving barbecue, Doc Crow’s offers delicious selections like salmon and blackened tilapia. When in Kentucky, drink bourbon, so it’s a good thing that Doc Crow’s has a wide range of bourbons to choose from. And don’t feel too guilty if you order an appetizer of heap‘n chips with pulled pork!
Located where the well-known Lynn’s Paradise Café once was, this Tennessee-based establishment made its way into the Louisville area two years ago on the city’s east end. If you’ve never had real West Tennessee-style whole hog barbecue, then Martin’s has you covered and you will not regret trying it. Wing fanatics are sure to love Martin’s as well with a variety of six different flavors. Be sure to try a Southern fried pie with blackberry filling if you don’t fill up on wings and whole hog, but let’s be honest – that would be nearly impossible to do.