The Highlands is most well-known for three things: its oddity stores, its stretch of bars, and its diverse selection of restaurants. In fact, many people consider the Highlands the best neighborhood in Louisville to head toward if you're going out for a nice dinner. While there are many chains and fast food joints along the Bardstown Road stretch, the following Highlands restaurants are among the most popular and original.
Address1321 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204-1319, USA
The Bristol Bar and Grille is an upscale-casual restaurant with five locations, four in Louisville and one in Jeffersonville, Indiana. One of the Highlands' Bristol's best features is its late hours – the establishment is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, making it a great place to stop for a late steak and cocktail in a setting that is anything but bar-like. Some of my favorites, though I have too many to include them all, are the Fried Calamari, Artichoke Fritters, and California Club salad. Also, they have amazing steaks.
Address1007 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204-1317, USA
Jack Fry's is a Highlands steakhouse that has been a Louisville fixture since 1933. The food at Jack Fry's is fantastic, and the presentation is so much like art that you'll hesitate to eat it. Jack Fry's offers a variety of menu items at prices suitable for all diners – whether you're on a budget or out to splurge, there's something on the menu for you at Jack Fry's. Though the tables are covered in white tablecloths, the sports-like atmosphere makes Jack Fry a comfortable place for everyone.
Address2266 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40206, USA
August Moon is a Chinese bistro with an extensive wine list and a menu full of contemporary Chinese dishes. The food at August Moon is surprisingly inexpensive, and the atmosphere is interesting and classy. While August Moon offers a number of chicken, beef, seafood, and pork entrée choices, they are best known for their high number of tasty meatless choices among the vegetarians of Louisville.
Kashmir Indian Restaurant
Address1277 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204-1303, USA
Kashmir Indian Restaurant is one of only a few authentic Indian food establishments in Kentuckiana. The second you walk through the door at Kashmir you're overwhelmed with the smell of Indian spices and greeted by hosts and hostesses dressed in traditional Indian attire. Diners at Kashmir can choose the level of heat they want in their food on a scale of one to five. I love spicy food, but the highest I can tolerate is a three. Kashmir is a fantastic restaurant, just make sure you arrive equipped with tissues if you're like me and spicy food tends to open your sinuses.
Address1147 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204-1301, USA
Lilly's Bistro is an upscale restaurant, though you'd never know from its outside appearance. However, you realize its true identity the second you walk through the door. Lilly's Bistro has a different menu every week. The chefs use locally-grown produce, so the dishes evolve with the changing seasons. Some of my favorite dishes at Lilly's include duck and halibut, though I've never ever had anything there that wasn't the best meal of my life up to that point. The only downside at Lilly's is the price – a meal for two including appetizers, dinner courses, and dessert generally runs close to $100.
Address1293 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204, USA
Ramsi's Café on the World is one of the most unique establishments in town. Featuring a menu of international foods, an outdoor garden dining area, a full bar, and even an occasional pianist, Ramsi's attracts an eclectic and diverse group of diners. Ramsi's biggest claim to fame lies in its high volume of vegetarian and vegan menu items. A downside to dining at Ramsi's is that you almost always have to wait for a table, but, on the bright side, you can spend your waiting period browsing the book collection at Carmichael's next door.
Address975 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204-2046, USA
I spent a good year of Sunday nights singing karaoke at Wick's Pizza Parlor in the Highlands after I turned 21. While I'm not a huge fan of the pizza at Wick's, there are a lot of people in this city that say Wick's has the best pizza in town. I do think that Wick's is a fantastic establishment, however, both as a family dining joint and a laid-back drinking establishment. My personal favorites include the Pizza Bread, Cheese Bread, Stromboli Sandwick, and Tye-Dye Cheesecake.
July, 2016 note: This article was updated by a current expert.