5 Best Burgers In Louisville

One of the many things I love about Louisville is the fact that we have a lot of great places to eat, especially for a mid-sized city. We’ll talk about a lot of these places and the wonders of various ethnic foods in the future, but today let’s talk burgers. Here’s my Top 5 Burgers In Louisville:

For years, Flanagan’s was the regular Sunday night hangout after sermons, although recently we’ve gravitated to the great new joint by Sojourner Smitty Smith, Four Pegs.

I could go on and on about Flanagan’s burgers. They have the delicious Murphy Melt, the Highland Classic cheeseburger, a Ribeye burger and more.

Cumberland Brews
Make sure you top Cumberland’s burger with pepperjack cheese and bacon. Mmmm! Sojourn and Cumberland both started the same year, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve enjoyed their burgers. It seemed like they lost something for a little while, but now they’ve come roaring back and are again making one of the best burgers in Louisville.

Proof on Main
The vibe is great in Louisville’s revived downtown, and Proof is one of the main reasons. Their burger is juicy and succulent (and they have fantastic breakfast plates as well).  The bison burger comes with smoked bacon & Tillamook cheddar.

This is a heavy burger — you’ll wake up in a meat sweat, but it will be worth it. They call it the Nachburger, and unlike most bacon cheeseburgers that lay bacon strips on top of the burger patty, Eiderdown works their bacon into each patty (local grass fed beef, too).

Jack Fry’s
This place is a Louisville staple, like Churchill Downs or the Louisville Slugger museum. You’ll feel like you’re stepping back into the 1930’s (but leave your Tommy gun at home). Jack Fry’s burger comes topped with caramelized onions, and you can get either cheddar or swiss cheese, and bacon.

And honorable mentions to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe and the Bristol Bar & Grill.

What about you? Have I left off one of your favorites? Do you have a Top 5, or 3, or 10? And don’t be ashamed if your favorite is White Castle. Different strokes for different folks, so tell me what makes your taste buds dance with joy.

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36 Responses to “5 Best Burgers In Louisville”

  1. Laura Beth February 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Bluegrass Burger is THE BEST!

  2. Rae Whitlock February 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Daniel, you just did all of the pastors and elders in the PCA a huge service for when we’re in town in June. Many thanks.

    • Daniel Montgomery February 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      I’ll be posting lots more restaurant ideas between now and then, Rae. Stay tuned!

  3. Hillary Conway February 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    I just can never get past the awesomeness of a simple Steak-n-Shake double steakburger with cheese! However….my brother and his friends tackled this question themselves a few weeks ago…Their top 2 were (2)WW Cousins and (1) the Bunz “Baxter Ave Burger”. I haven’t tried either yet.

  4. Kevin Lemmons February 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Bungalow Joes on Beulah Church makes a great burger, big and juicy, with home-made chips. My fav is the Hickory Burger, a half-pound burger, pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon and chipotle aoli sauce, oh and it is topped with fried onion rings. Throw in an order of surfboards (beer battered fried pickle flats served with surf sauce). Man, my mouth is literally watering right now!

  5. Kirk February 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these!

    I hate to disagree with you (and those are all fantastic choices), but any Louisville-burger list that doesn’t include Bluegrass Burgers is somewhat lacking 😉

    P.S. When you try BB, if you haven’t already, get the Bison burger with Bacon, & Smoked Gouda. You will rejoice with me.

  6. Bobby Gilles February 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    All good choices (well, I’ve never been to Jack Fry’s, but I’m sure it’s great).

    In the “best quick, cheap burger” category, I’d nominate Five Guys. Also, I have to say that Smitty’s new burger at Four Pegs is fantastic.

  7. Karey Kilgore February 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I agree with the comment on Bluegrass Burger! Super Yummy and it is easy to customize!

  8. Daniel Montgomery February 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Laura Beth and Kirk:

    You’re right — how could I have left Bluegrass Burgers off my list? It’s so good.

    I repent in sackcloth and ashes. Thank God there is grace, right?

    Thanks for all the comments, friends. Keep the suggestions coming!

  9. Danny Loeschen February 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Flannagans Murphy melt is my favorite burger of all time recently I tried The Blind Pig’s bison party melt add bacon and it was amazing.

    • Jason Spencer February 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      yes the party AKA patty melt is great

  10. Lance Limanti February 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m a burger guy, so I had to chime in here…

    Oddly enough Wolfgang Puck downtown has one of the best burgers in town. Not kidding. Personally, Jack Fries is up there and I still need to try Four Pegs.

    Bluegrass Burger is pretty good, but best? Its new and there is a lot of hype like the whole ‘in and out’ craze. Think about it.

    As for Cumberland, I’ve been disappointed too many times, especially with their bison burger -Pint night. Its hit or miss, so maybe top 10.

    Excited about the coming reviews on Louisville. I need some recommendations.

  11. Suzanne February 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I got to say, the only burger on your list I have an issue with is the Bristol. Not so much the burger, but the bun. What is up with using english muffins? Really?

  12. Drew Trenz February 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I agree about Flanagans, the Murphy Melt is on the list for the best burgers I’ve ever had. Do you have any plans for a tribute to the great Louisville staple Skyline Chili in a future post?

    • Jonah Sage February 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      I agree. if this blog is going to talk about food so much, it needs a little more love for Skyline.

  13. Chip February 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Woah woah woah . . . have you been to WW Cousins?

  14. Randy February 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Bourbon Bistro makes an awesome burger as well. I rank it a tie with Smitty’s at #1.

  15. Nathan February 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Even though it isn’t local, Five Guys still needs to be on any burger list. Just yesterday I enjoyed a food coma from Five Guys. If you want another great local burger head over to Lilly’s on Bardstown. Great place to spend an evening. And I haven’t tried it yet, bur I hear Smash Burger is on the rise.

  16. Chris Davis February 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Smash Burger is pretty good. It’s a chain, but not bad.

  17. Josh Haywood February 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Bunz Burgers across from Flanagans is the best burger in town.

  18. James K February 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    The two best burgers in the city are Bluegrass Burgers and Jack Fry’s. The Jack Fry burger is stupendous.

    I’m very loyal to Bluegrass, though. Those guys do it right.

  19. Todd February 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Love the Tijuana Burger at Granville Inn on Old Louisville. Simple, tasty with a kick.

  20. Micah W February 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    can’t believe you left out the Elk Burger on a pretzel bun at Hammer Heads right around the corner from Mary St.

  21. Jason Spencer February 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    See here’s the thing. Up until about November of this past year, Bunz had my vote for tha absolute best! However, they are now under new ownership and their process is terrible so therefore the quality has really gone down. I’m going to have to submit my vote for Bluegrass Burgers.

  22. Troy February 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    +1 for Flanagan’s

    When in Lyndon, J Alexander’s.

  23. J. Linneman February 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Have you ever been outside of Germantown?

    Top 5 East-end Burgers:

    1. Bluegrass
    2. AP Crafters
    3. Five Guys
    4. BBC
    5. White Castle

    Not even close to kidding on #5!

    Pastor Jeremy (Sojourn EAST)

    • Nathan February 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      Love it when Pastor Jeremy throws down.

  24. Brent February 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    The best burgers are prepared indivudally with love and care by trained professional chefs. No chain restaurant has ever had a burger worthy of being included on any “Top Burger” lists.

    Bluegrass Burgers is my hands down favorite. They use premium local ingredients and hand prepare each burger. My only complaint is that the restaurant is way too small!

    Bunz Burgers have changed ownership and they new owners have changed the way the burgers and prepared and cooked. It’s led to a terrible decline in taste and quality.

    If you want something unique and incredible, try the Burger at Harvest in NuLu. It’s served on a pretzel bun and is wonderful!

  25. Kristen Gilles February 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I second my hubby about the Four Pegs Beer-glazed burger topped with crisp, meaty bacon, melted cheese AND fried green tomatoes, all beautifully assembled on a tasty, just-hearty-enough wheat bun!
    FOUR PEGS BEER LOUNGE. Try it! http://louisville.metromix.com/restaurants/restaurant_review/review-four-pegs-beer/2956231/content

  26. Sarah Cosper February 11, 2012 at 5:11 am #


    Mike Cosper’s burger with goat cheese, bacon and arugula (with toasted wheat bun and/or gluten free bun) and roasted potatoes

    Second best

    Bluegrass Burger, Bison with pepper cheese and chipotle mayonnaise and sweet potato fries

    I think the most best most affordable Kentuckiana burger is 5 guys

  27. Robbie Melton February 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    Bunz… the Baxter Ave burger is THE BEST…

  28. Rob Maine February 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Hands down, Mayan Cafe has the best burger in town: grass-fed beef, greens, pickled onions, tomatoes, havarti cheese, cilantro-caper aioli, and fried plantains. I know, I know – sounds expensive. Only $11. I’ve tried most on the list and none compare to this burger.

    Bunz come in at #2

  29. Sam Ellington February 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Cumberland Brews is the best hangout in Louisville and the bison burger rocks! My wife and daughters love it also. Also have to say a kind word for the Nitro Porter. Grace and peace.


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