After a long day of exploring Kentucky's distilleries, you and your travel companions will need to refuel with a hearty meal. These great restaurants near Louisville guarantee friendly service, Southern hospitality, and mouth-watering meals. ShelbyKY — Shelbyville, Simpsonville, and Shelby County — is Your Bourbon Destination and nothing pairs better with Kentucky Bourbon than a great meal. Bring your appetite, because you’ll need it in this neck of the woods as you enjoy these great places to eat near your favorite distilleries in Louisville and Lexington.
Located within a historic home constructed in 1902, the Bell House Restaurant has served classic American and Southern cuisine on Shelbyville's Main Street since 2007. Before lunch and dinner service, the historic bell in the front yar — which first served as the city of Shelbyville’s fire bell, which was rung to alert the town to a fire — is rung to call guests and patrons of the restaurant to a meal. Executive Chef Brent Evans has built a menu of unique favorites, like a blackberry and feta pork tenderloin, with Kentucky classics, like the Kentucky Hot Brown. The in-house pastry chef makes every dessert fresh, each day. Be sure to make a reservation — this cozy restaurant fills up quickly and you won't want to miss out. Whether you’re inside in one of the quaint dining rooms or enjoying the fresh air on the recently added front porch, the Bell House Restaurant is sure to delight.
Bell House Restaurant
721 Main Street
Shelbyville, KY 40065
Little Mount Lavender Company started as a small but mighty shop focused on all things lavender. In the intervening years, and after relocating to the historic Old Stone Inn in Simpsonville, the team at Little Mount Lavender has expanded to a full café and bakery serving seasonally appropriate, European-inspired dishes. The fall menu includes mouth-watering dishes like aubergine au gratin, chicken chasseur, and shepherds pie. Menu staples include massive, picture-perfect charcuterie boards. Every dish is homemade and prepared with care. Pair with a lavender lemonade — served NA or boozy, whichever is your preference — and leave plenty of time for shopping for every self-care essential you could need. Don’t forget dessert, like the towering cream puff or rich and creamy cannoli, as each and every item in the pastry case is made by hand every day.
Combining the best of Kentucky hospitality and Texas barbeque, KenTex is a longstanding favorite in the Louisville area. Prepared the Texas way of smoking meat for long hours to impart lasting flavor, customers new and old say “sure smells good in here,” upon entering the restaurant. The warm and friendly staff form the perfect pairing for your meal. Make sure to add all the sides and you can’t forget dessert.
Known the world over for its hospitality and delicious Southern meals, Claudia Sanders Dinner House is a must-stop while in Kentucky. KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders and his wife, Claudia, moved to Shelbyville in 1959 to oversee the expansion of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise. After selling the KFC brand, he and Claudia opened Claudia Sanders: The Colonel’s Lady Dinner House. KFC sued; Colonel Sanders changed the name to Claudia Sanders Dinner House. The restaurant has been open ever since and is the only non-Kentucky Fried Chicken branded restaurant in the world allowed to serve Colonel Sanders’ original fried chicken recipe. The classic country sides and yeast rolls are the cherry on top of perfectly fried and seasoned chicken.
In Bagdad, Kentucky — an unincorporated community in eastern Shelby County — lies B&N Food Market, a community hub for good conversation and even better food. Named as one of Kentucky Living’s best hamburger, best barbeque, and best down-home restaurant in the state, B&N Food Market is the classic country store with delicious meals. Daily specials, like fried fish on Fridays, are joined daily by perfectly grilled cheeseburgers and Kentucky's best brisket — but get there early, once it's gone, you'll have to come back tomorrow for more. Friendly service and good food prepared with love are paired with lively locals who, before you know it, you’ll be chatting with like a life-long friend.
Best places to eat near Louisville distilleries
These are just five examples of places to enjoy a meal in Kentucky. When you’re in a hurry and need a quick bite, stop in at It’s Convenient for classic, down-home style cooking on Shelbyville's historic Main Street and whose specials include fresh-grilled hamburgers, meatloaf, fried chicken, and more. Satisfy your morning sweet tooth with a fresh-baked sourdough cinnamon roll from Weathered Oak Farms in Simpsonville and have dinner across from Bulleit Distilling Co., Channel Cat Fish House which overlooks picturesque Guist Creek Marina. And don't forget to grab a snack at the Creed Cafe at Jeptha Creed Distillery after your tasting. There are so many wonderful places to eat in Shelbyville, Simpsonville, and Shelby County, Kentucky that you’ll need to come back time and time again to try them all!