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Bourbon Bar - Try the Best Bars of Bourbon Country, Bar None

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In many places, a bar stocked with more than a dozen bourbons could be considered “a bourbon bar,” but not in Louisville, not in Bourbon Country.

The city’s bourbon heritage dates back to 1774 and continues to evolve to this day. One of the most exciting evolutions is the growth of restaurants celebrating bourbon in their cuisine, cocktails, décor and on the bar shelf. Many of the stops along the Urban Bourbon Trail exude a sense of history and connection to bourbon, while others put their own modern twist on America’s only native spirit.

Yes, they have at least 50 bourbons on the bar, some as many as 170, but it’s the stories, atmosphere, food and well-trained staff that set them apart.

Urban Bourbon Trail Founding Members

UBT Founding Member 2013 Five locally owned and operated bars and restaurants have been proud members of the Urban Bourbon Trail since its inception in 2008. Those include:

The Bar at BLU

280 W. Jefferson St.
For a modern Louisville experience, step into a fresh new space of contemporary design at BLU. Sample 60+ bourbons from the “Wall of Bourbon” or try one or more of the bourbon tasting flights.

Bourbons Bistro

2255 Frankfort Ave.
Marty Rosen from the Courier-Journal says “Even in the land of bourbon, where massive catalogs of whiskey are the pride of many bars, Bourbons Bistro stands out as one of the key destinations on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail."

Brown Hotel Lobby Bar

335 W. Broadway
It’s easy to let your imagination take you back to another era as you sip an Old Fashioned in the lavish lobby bar of the Brown Hotel, which Southern Living described as “straight from a 1930s movie set.”

The Old Seelbach Bar

500 S. 4th St.
Opened in 1905, the Seelbach Hotel has hosted gangsters, politicians, and celebrities for generations. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Seelbach’s gilded-era luxury served as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for The Great Gatsby, and the hotel’s Oakroom restaurant was a favorite hangout of Al Capone.

Proof on Main

702 W. Main St.
Located in downtown’s 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main features a diverse selection of Kentucky’s finest bourbons. Named one of three American “New Whiskey Temples” by GQ , Proof offers a library of small batch and single barrel bourbon as well as proprietary bourbon selections.

The Bars & Restaurants of the Urban Bourbon Trail

Over the years, additional local bars and restaurants have stepped up their bourbon knowledge and offerings and joined the ranks of the Urban Bourbon Trail. Although newer to the trail, they include well-established favorites to places that have been open at least one year. Those include:


1767 Bardstown Rd.
Nestled in the city’s original restaurant row, Asiatique offers a bourbon experience with a unique Eastern flair. Asiatique offers a Pacific Rim-style twist on the state’s signature drink. Backlit bourbon bottles greet you upon entry — part of a contemporary minimalist zen design.

 Bistro 301

301 W. Market St
Located in a historic building in the heart of downtown, Bistro 301 features fresh, local and regional foods served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The bar at Bistro 301 was even spotlighted in the beginning of Bill Murray’s hit 1981 movie “Stripes.”
Bistro 301 

Bourbon Raw

446 S. Fourth St
(502) 568-9009 
Located downtown in 4th Street Live!, Bourbon Raw offers a unique Southern-inspired menu highlighted by an extensive raw bar. The 57-inch-long marble table is the perfect location to try one of its 80 Bourbons or unique, handcrafted cocktails.
bourbon raw

Bristol Bar & Grille – Downtown*

614 W. Main St.
Winner of more “Best of Louisville” awards than any other local restaurant, the Bristol features an assortment of dishes highlighting local farmers and their famous, local favorite – green chili wontons with guacamole.

Bristol Bar & Grille – Highlands

1321 Bardstown Rd.
This original Bristol Bar & Grille opened on Bardstown Road in the heart of the Highlands in September 1977, and it quickly became a favorite local dining destination and a favorite place to drink fine bourbon.


425 W. Ormsby
Set among the stately Victorian mansions of Old Louisville, be one with the bourbon at the only bar adorned with bottles within arm’s reach. Check the chalkboard at Buck’s for each week’s bourbon feature offered at a special price.

Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge*

1903 Embassy Square Blvd.
From the food to the décor, Charr’d is truly bourbon inspired. The restaurant features local and regional ingredients harvested in Bourbon Country and serves it in a classy dining room inspired by bourbon barrels and limestone.

Derby Cafe: at the Kentucky Derby Museum

704 Central Ave.
The Derby Café features an array of Kentucky Proud products, the finest bourbon, and Kentucky delicacies including country ham wontons with bourbon mustard, Kentucky Burgoo, the classic Hot Brown, bourbon brisket of beef and out-of-this-world bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

Dish on Market

434 W. Market St.
Dish on Market is a value-based neighborhood bar offering everything from Truman’s Breakfast (the President liked a shot of bourbon with his daily egg) to the #1 burger in the city (LEO Readers Choice Awards).

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

127 W. Main St.
Doc Crow’s name is a nod to the Scottish-born physician responsible during the mid-19th century for scientific advances that gave greater spirit consistency in the American whiskey industry. Most notable was his refinement of the “sour mash” process.

Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant

321 W. Main St
With a selection of more than 120 bourbons, including a proprietary barrel program, Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant has some of the rarest bourbons. The bar/restaurant was featured in National Geographic magazine’s “Best in the World: Must-See Places for 2014.”

Down One


624 E. Market St.
At least 80% of Harvest’s food is sourced from farmers and growers within a 100-mile radius of the city. These are not just ordinary farmers…these are people who are custodians of the country side, people who are committed to sustainable farming practices and impeccable standards of animal welfare.

Haymarket Whiskey Bar

331 E. Market St.
The Haymarket Whiskey Bar is a great place to imbibe, enjoy a band or play vintage pinball. The Haymarket is the only “dive bar” in downtown Louisville to feature more than 75 bourbons, 100 whiskeys, 50 craft beers and a full menu of signature house cocktails.

Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar

140 N. Fourth St
Featuring the country's largest selection of Kentucky Bourbons with more than 150 to choose from, Jockey Silks is one of Louisville's oldest bourbon bars. The selection includes those rare bourbons you'll have a hard time finding elsewhere - all served with a generous pour.

Jockey Silks


1147 Bardstown Rd.
Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Lilly’s has been a part of the Louisville dining scene for more than 25 years. Kathy Cary’s, head chef and owner, great-grandfather was responsible for beginning local brand, Kentucky Tavern, and her bourbon heritage is reflected in the menu.


Manny & Merle

122 W. Main St.
Manny & Merle is a toe-tapping, honky-tonk in downtown Louisville's Whiskey Row. It features an award-winning menu of Southern/Soul cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, as well as live music from national artists.

Marketplace Restaurant

651 S. 4th St.
Southern comfort food meets Italian flair and live jazz in an eclectic atmosphere. Located in downtown Louisville, Marketplace Restaurant emphasizes fresh local ingredients and the highest quality meats and seafood.

Momma's Mustard, Pickles & BBQ

102 Bauer Ave.
Recently named one of the Top 100 BBQ restaurants in America, Momma's Mustard, Pickles & BBQ was opened using winnings from a small ownership share of Breeders' Cup Classic Champion Mucho Macho Man. The restaurant specializes in Kansas City-style BBQ mixed with Kentucky flavors.

North End Cafe

1722 Frankfort Ave.
For more than a decade, North End Cafe has been Louisville's fine diner. The restaurant strives to provide friendly service and wholesome food, offering both traditional menu choices and special diet selections, along with an amazing bar program that offers some 60 Bourbons and Bourbon specialty cocktails.
north end

O'Shea's Downtown

123 W. Main St
O'Shea's Downtown is a 15,000 square-foot, four-story building located on historic Main Street in the Iron Quarter District of downtown Louisville, also known as Whiskey Row.


Ramsi’s Cafe on the World*

1293 Bardstown Rd.
Son of the only female liquor store owner in Jerusalem, Ramsi brings his international perspective and world flavors to Bourbon Country. In the center of Louisville’s quaint, yet hip, Highlands neighborhood is Ramsi’s Café on the World, a local favorite for 20 years with an extensive bar and late night hours.


900 E. Market St
Rye believes that local and regional food simply tastes better. Capitalizing on the unrivaled products of its local farms, Rye focuses on sustainable, seasonal, unadulterated ingredients...allowing them to provide you with fresher, cleaner, more flavorful cuisine.


Seviche, A Latin Restaurant 

1538 Bardstown Rd.
Seviche consistently ranks as one of Louisville's best establishments with a laid-back, yet stylish atmosphere. Chef Anthony Lamas, a 2010, 2011 and 2012 semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards for Best Chef: Southeast is regularly recognized as one of the city's best chefs.

Sidebar at Whiskey Row

129 N. Second St
Sidebar at Whiskey Row, home of bourbon, burgers and beer, is located inside the beautiful Whiskey Row Lofts. This historic limestone structure was originally built in 1877 by the L&N Railroad to serve as their headquarters.

Side Bar

The Silver Dollar

1761 Frankfort Ave.
Featuring over 100 Kentucky bourbons, ryes, and a proprietary barrel program. The Silver Dollar has whiskey that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and every whiskey in the house is available in a tasting pour.

Sway at the Hyatt Regency Louisville

311 S. Fourth St
Based on the farm-to-fork concept, Sway brings Southern fare inspired by the rich heritage of the region to Fourth Street. The seasonal menu combines flavors of Southern kitchens, American favorites and Sunday dinners with the freshest ingredients from local farms, dairies and butchers.


Troll Pub Under the Bridge

150 W. Washington St
The Troll Pub Under the Bridge is a unique, underground dining experience that is located in the historic Whiskey Row building at the corner of Second and Washington streets. The menu consists of classic pub favorites such as burgers, sandwiches and delicious appetizers.

Troll Pub


2106 Frankfort Ave.
Once home to a service station in the mid-1950’s, Varanese’s building has been renovated into an elegant, upscale casual restaurant with a 25-foot slate water wall and an all-season patio enclosed with a serpentine of glass doors which can be retracted during nice weather.

Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant

150 S. 5th St.
Chef Agostino especially enjoys cooking many of his favorite Italian dishes with Bourbon, and has been known to whip up special “off the menu” Bourbon-enhanced entrees. So, be sure to ask the Chef about these when you visit, and have your Bourbon the Italian way – straight up!


Volare Ristorante

2300 Frankfort Ave.
Chef Josh Moore presents farm-to-table menus of modern Italian cuisine served with Southern Hospitality that celebrate the season’s bounty from locally sourced products and produced from his own, 10-acre farm in Taylorsville, Kentucky.


stave logo

Stave & Thief Society Bourbon Certification is a premier training and education program established to promote and uphold bourbon’s unique and distinguished culture through hospitality channels by preparing establishments and individuals to deliver on the promise of the authentic bourbon experience. For more details: www.staveandthief.com



The “Urban Bourbon Trail” mark is being used with the permission of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, its member distilleries and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau ask that you please enjoy Kentucky Bourbon responsibly. You must be 21 to participate in the Urban Bourbon Trail passport program.