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It’s safe to say that Louisville is foodie central. With new local restaurants popping up all the time, it’s hard to decide which new spot to try on a Friday night. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite gems we’ve been keeping to ourselves that even some locals don’t know about. From hole-in-the-wall to hiding in plain sight, here are some of Louisville’s most delicious hidden gems.

Hidden Gems: 10 Eateries Even Locals to Louisville May Not Know About

Cottage Cafe

11609 Main St, Middletown, KY 40243  (502) 244-9497
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tucked away on Main Street in Middletown is a charming little cottage filled with big flavor and old family recipes. Cottage Cafe has everything a cafe should with 10 times the deliciousness. But don’t even think about leaving without a free sample of one of their cakes. You’ll be taking a full one home to your family, only to eat it by yourself before they’ve had a bite.

Hidden gems even locals don't know about

Cottage Cafe looks exactly like a little cottage on Main Street. Image: Cottage Cafe

hidden gems in louisville

The sub sandwich with Nana’s potato salad … YUM! Image: Cottage Cafe

Clean Socks Hope & 8th Street Pizza

800 E 8th St, New Albany, IN 47150  (502) 645-6974
Hours: Wednesday & Saturday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Across the river is a pizza place that gives the community much more than delicious pies. With their “pay what you can” policy, anyone can enjoy a meal and have the opportunity to pay it forward. It’s great pizza with an even better mission!

hidden gems even locals don't know about

This nonprofit offers the perfect way to feed yourself and those less fortunate with their “pay what you can” mission. Image: 8th Street Pizza

RELATED: The Table: An Unusual Concept That Everyone Can Enjoy

The Falafel House

1317, 1001 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204  (502) 454-4407
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Where can you find fresh hummus made in-house every day and lentil soup that’s so good you might consider going vegetarian? On the corner of Bardstown Road and Highland Avenue sits The Falafel House in all of its tasty Mediterranean glory. While dining in, you can expect amazing service and even a free sample while you wait for your food — then you’ll probably order more of what you sampled to go.

hidden gems even locals don't know about

We highly recommend the hummus! It’s made fresh daily (like everything in this fabulous eatery) and has a perfectly spicy kick. Image: The Falafel House

Atlantic No. 5

605 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 883-3398
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Created with professionals in mind, Atlantic No. 5 is the perfect stop for a morning cup of coffee or a lunch meeting with a client. From sandwiches and soups to healthy salads and bowls, their dishes range from beloved classics to flavors with a creative twist. With fresh, healthy choices and some of the best chocolate chip cookies in Louisville, this convenient cafe is sure to become a new favorite.

Hidden Gems Even Locals Don't Know About

Stop in to find out what delectable treat is the dessert of the day, and take home something special from their “general store” of goods by local and regional artisans while you’re at it!

Queen of Sheba

2804 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville, KY 40205  (502) 459-6301
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

If you’re looking to take the gang out for a family-style dinner with a unique, cultural atmosphere, Queen of Sheba is just the place. Enjoy flavorful, authentic Ethiopian food served communally or on individual plates. Be prepared for an adventure, though — as everything is to be eaten with your hands!

hidden gems even locals don't know about

The communal plate is to die for! Image: Rachel’s Healthy Plate

Tea Station Asian Bistro

9422 Norton Commons Blvd, Prospect, KY 40059  (502) 423-1202
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

If you’re on the prowl for a taste of some fine Asian dining, you can’t go wrong with Tea Station Asian Bistro. With an impressive offering of sushi and traditional Eastern cuisine, one of Norton Commons’ best-kept secrets sets itself apart from a sea of delicious options with unbeatable customer service. If you find yourself in Louisville’s hip new master-planned, mixed-use community, make sure to stop by and grab yourself a sushi roll … or 12.

hidden gems even locals don't know about

Have a glass of wine outside on a nice day while you wait for your sushi!

Hidden Gems even locals dont know about

The owner threw together a special roll for us — and it was as tasty as it was beautiful!

Spring Street Bar and Grill

300 S Spring St, Louisville, KY 40206 (502) 584-6630
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jazzy vibes and twinkling neon lights turn Spring Street Bar and Grill from just another quirky Louisville pub to a must-experience oasis of authentic River City culture. With its winding aisles and well-worn hardwood floors, a stop in Spring Street takes you back in time in the best way. Next time you’re strolling through Irish Hill, stop in, grab a drink, order a burger and enjoy the vibe. We call this one unforgettable for a reason.

hidden gems in louisville

Come early and stay late! Image: Spring Street Bar and Grill

Inwave Restaurant & Juice Bar

10310 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40223 (502) 916-2177
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

It’s a secret hideaway for vegans, vegetarians and health nuts alike. Inwave offers tasty treats and juices that make living a healthier lifestyle easy, fun and, most importantly, delicious. Grab lunch to go, or enjoy with friends and family. Your taste buds — and your body — will thank you!

hidden gems in louisville

Even Inwave’s decor exudes healthiness! Image: Inwave

hidden gems in louisville

Try one of their delicious veggie burgers! Image: Inwave

RELATED: 16 Healthy Louisville Restaurants with Delicious Eats for All Diets

Sidebar at Whiskey Row

129 N 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40202  (502) 384-1600
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sidebar is the law of the land in more ways than one. Inside the slanted walls of this law-themed bar and grill just off Whiskey Row is one of Louisville’s best burgers, known to some locals, undiscovered by transplants. Take a walk off Fourth for a good time and a sinfully good burger. They change up the “burger of the week” every Monday, so stop by if you’re feeling adventurous!

hidden gems in louisville

Chow down on this burger of the week — The 2nd Amendment! Image: Sidebar


316 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 584-6455
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Underground and attached to Actors Theatre, Milkwood is the definition of a literal “hidden” gem. With an eclectic Asian-infused, Southern-inspired menu, this chef-driven eatery offers culinary treats that are sure to satisfy. When you’re craving soul food infused with authentic global flavors, this is your spot. MilkWood’s a secret worth spilling — and savoring — if you can find it, that is!

hidden gems in louisville

MilkWood celebrates how Southern cuisine and Asian ingredients can go hand-in-hand. Image: MilkWood

Don’t sleep on these culinary gems. Try a few of them out — you just may become a regular!


When Tuesday rolls around, eat tacos. Here’s where to go: Where to Spend Your Next Taco Tuesday in Louisville.

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