If you’re in town for the Kentucky Derby (May 6-7), you know you’re about to down your weight in mint juleps. But before all that, you ought to fill up on breakfast.
All four Louisville locations of this buzzy breakfast spot draw crowds, so budget some time to wait and plan for a little noise. If you’re in the mood for bourbon (this is Kentucky, after all) dive right into the Sweet Home Apple Bourbon Crepes with sweetened cream cheese, apple bourbon compote, candied pecans and vanilla bourbon sorghum topped with whipped cream. Maybe savory is more your speed: Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict, featuring two egg- and chorizo-topped green chili cheddar corn cakes, is a dang good option.
Multiple locations, wildeggs.com
Look for this spot’s sunny yellow storefront to signal the best daybreak Mexican food
in town. Start with a cup of Mexican Chiapas coffee to get your bearings, then move on to chilaquiles—fried eggs, tomatillo green salsa, crema, pickled onions and queso fresco atop corn chips. (Spend the extra $2 for an ample chorizo topping.) You’ll find no hair of the dog here, but a glass of fresh-squeezed red grapefruit juice will put you halfway to a cocktail and a good step down the path to a brighter morning.
2339 Frankfort Ave., conhuevos.com
If you’re jonesing for a Bloody Mary, this bright little cafe makes a proper one by dusting the glass rim with bacon salt. Go big on carbs with the French Quarter Meets French Toast, a mashup of bananas and apples caramelized in brown sugar over cinnamon raisin French toast. Have your breakfast buddy order the Baja Benedict, a pair of eggs perched atop Southwestern corn cakes, chorizo, avocado, chipotle hollandaise and cilantro-lime crema, and you’ll both be set.
1416 Bardstown Road, highlandmorning.com
Late night bite: When The Back Door opened in 1985, drinks were strong and cheap, but the only food available was microwave popcorn. Now the menu is solid, replete with bulky sandwiches designed to stave off hunger pangs and guard against a tough morning-after. The Black and Blue Chicken Sandwich with ham and cheese is a spicy, melty treat, and the Chipotle Honey Lime Wings are strongly recommended. Just don’t play pool until you’ve finished—no one likes a sticky cue.
1250 Bardstown Road, thebackdoorlouisville.com