23 Best Seafood Restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky
One of the best parts of living in Louisville is getting to enjoy all of the many restaurants popping up all the time. Somehow Louisville has become a foodie capital in the South that many people still don’t know about. In our city, there are hundreds of great restaurants – and that includes some of the best seafood restaurants in Louisville.
A LITTLE HISTORY: A big part of the drive for Louisville’s many seafood restaurants – our cities large Catholic population. Home to approximately 200,000 Catholics, they account for 17.7% of our population! This means that every spring during Catholic Lent celebrations – many restaurants create a fish-based option for their customers. You’ll find a ton of great local restaurants offering a seasonal dish!
Best Fried Fish Sandwich In Louisville
Although we have a ton of great seafood, some places are especially known for their fried fish sandwiches. Some local spots also have seasonal options not available year-round. From Royals Hot Chicken to south end favorites like Mike Linnings – there are plenty of fried fish sandwiches just waiting to be smothered in tartar sauce!
Yes, they’re a chicken place – but Lord is their hot fish sandwich delicious!! We sampled both the dipped hot fish sandwich and the plain fried fish sandwich for dinner one night and they were equally delicious. Royals has two locations in Louisville, downtown in East Market and on Shelbyville Road in Middletown.
While we would gladly drive downtown to get our Royals ‘fix’ – we’re super excited to have one recently opened (2020) in our neck of the woods in Middletown. If you’re new in town or have the time – we highly recommend seeing the one downtown and grabbing a picture in front of their awesome mural! (See our post here for all Louisville murals!)
Address to downtown Royals: 736 E Market St | Hours: Su – Th 11am-9pm + F – Sa 11am-10pm
Checks Cafe has been serving Louisville good Southern cooking since 1944! Fried catfish or cod and baked cod options if you’re looking for something a little healthier! One of our favorite parts about this place is that it’s in Germantown, Louisville. Right across the street from Monnick Brewery – you’ll taste the german influence through the beer and all of the cooking in this neighborhood.
Cool little neighborhood bar type setup that every-time I’ve visited they seem to have a regular rotation of regulars. They have pretty tasty burgers and a good atmosphere. This location is a staple of its community and has been a long time and it’s easy to tell why. Worth checking out if you have never been.JOseph G. From Yelp
Reviews like this from Yelp are always our favorite because they completely describe everything perfect about local spots like Check’s.
Address: 1101 E Burnett Avenue | Hours: M – Sa: 11am -9pm & Su: 12pm-9pm
Whitefish, hushpuppies, coleslaw, and fried catfish are staples in this west-end fish house!
STORYTIME! I (Shelbs) was really hungry and craving a fish sandwich one day (grew up Catholic and I can’t help it during the fish fry season of Lent). This place was close by and totally glad I stopped. A really – dare I say it – *moist* piece of fish that wasn’t too greasy and perfectly warm hushpuppies are what I got and I’m NOT sad about it. Will go back when I’m craving fried fish while running around Louisville.
Available for pickup or dine-in – the Hill Street Fish Fry has been serving Louisville some of the best seafood for over 20 years! Most people wouldn’t know about this little hole in the wall but it’s a must-try!
Address: 111 E Hill St
One of the newer seafood restaurants in Louisville – Pier 17 is located in a bustling shopping center off of Hurstborne Lane. Smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest neighborhoods in Louiville, Pier 17 is a must try if you’re rolling through!
Our experience was pretty great tbh. First, they bring out a sample of their ‘seafood bread’ to try and it was pretty delicious! (Kinda like the way Texas Roadhouse brings you those delicious rolls for free!) Basically thin shavings of seafood sprinkled on buttery bread can’t be bad right? The fish is perfectly plump and delicious as well. Side note: do yourself a favor and order the hushpuppies.
Address: 1975 South Hurstbourne Parkway
If you haven’t heard of Mike Linnig’s yet – just do yourself a favor and make it a point to head out to their riverside restaurant in the South end of Louisville. Voted the best seafood restaurant, best fish sandwich, and best onion rings by the Courier Journal Reader’s Poll and serving Louisville since 1925. They have some of the sweetest stories and employees who have worked there for over 40 years!
One of the best things about Mike Linnig’s is the enormous patio! I (Shelbs) have such awesome memories of being a kid and running around the playground and down to the river. Highly recommend spraying on a heavy dose of bug spray before you head out. You’re going to want to sit outside and drink a cold beer while you enjoy all of the onion rings and fried fish you can eat! (Mosquitoes in Kentucky are vicious!)
Address: 9308 Cane Run Road
A third-generation BBQ business, Lucretia’s Kitchen is a must-stop in West Louisville. Along with her delectable BBQ treats – Lucretia’s Kitchen serves up a tasty fried catfish sandwich better than most we’ve ever tried! (Not to mention the incredible ‘Nanner’ Puddin’. If you don’t know what that is– don’t worry. We’ll put out a post soon to explain how to make this perfectly tasty southern dessert!)
Since it’s a small operation (soon to go big with how delicious it is!) – Lucretia’s kitchen offers a rotating menu. Only open Wednesday through Friday and Sundays – feel free to head there every time you can to try something new! So along with one of Louisville’s best-fried catfish sandwiches available on Fridays and Sundays – treat yourself to a soulful dose of Southern favorites.
Address: 1812 W Muhammad Ali Blvd
Louisville’s Best Local Fish Houses
What makes a place a ‘fish house’? It’s all they serve – and they’re really. really. good at it.
When we started looking for the best seafood in Louisville because of the aforementioned cravings – we really had no idea just how many local restaurants we were going to find. Sometimes you grow up on certain things, (my mom LOVEs Moby Dick fish sandwiches), and you forget to look around and see what else your city has to offer. In Louisville, there are 5 fish houses all equally worth your time!
Yes. It’s literally called ‘The Fish House’ & Cafe Beignet. It’s the kind of local fish restaurant that makes you feel like you’re in a locals-only tavern down in old-school Nawlins (or New Orleans if you don’t speak Southern).
If you don’t know what a beignet is – head to The Fish House & Cafe Beignet is to try one of these deliciously fried French pastries smothered in powdered sugar. It’s a New Orleans-style traditional dessert that you really don’t want to miss! They’re only open to grab these tasty treats 8-12 Saturday and 8-2 Sunday.
As for their seafood options – besides the typical shrimp, catfish and tilapia – they also have fresh scrod, haddock, oysters, and clams. (Grab the seafood platter to try a little of everything: fish, shrimp, clams and oysters!) For a hilarious review of the restaurnt – watch Goodall’s Country Kitchen review on Youtube!
TIP: Try the jalapeno tartar sauce!! It’s the perfect spicy deliciousness that I haven’t seen in any other seafood restaurants in Louisville! Bonus: It’s made in-house.
Address: 1310 Winter Avenue
Owners Matt Clark and Carol Clark-Kassai have been in business for over 18 years – and self proclaim the best fish sandwich in Louisville! The Fishery earns its spot as one of the best seafood restaurants in Louisville for many reasons, and for us one of them includes their Lobster Roll! It’s the only one we know of in Louisville.
This down-home-local-dive-bar favorite has been in business for 18 years, feeding Louisville and even catering large parties! Not only do they have your typical fried fish, onion rings, and po-boys – The Fishery also provides a variety of healthy options, including a delicious blackened catfish salad. (Good for anyone eating keto!)
P.S. If you don’t know what a po-boy is: it’s basically the seafood version of a sub sandwich – with a little Louisiana flair. AKA – real good.
Address: 3624 Lexington Rd
In the up-and-coming Crescent Hill neighborhood near the river – Frankfort Avenue is home to a slew of delicious food. Fish, shrimp, clams, and all of the fixins’ you need to have a perfect seafood dinner in Louisville. The dish you absolutely need to try is the fish nuggets. We’ve never seen fish nuggets anywhere else in Lou and these are delicious smothered in tartar sauce… especially when you’re drowning in Kentucky’s humid summers? There is just nothing better than fried fish and a nap sometimes…
We also recommend grabbing your meal and snagging a photo next to Hooked on Frankfort’s awesome mural!
While their seafood is legendary in Louisville, one of the best things about Hooked on Frankfort is they carry Sweetwater! Sweetwater Brewery is out of Atlanta Georgia and growing in popularity – boasting a bunch of flavorful fruity Southern brews. They don’t carry it at many restaurants in Louisville, but they go perfectly with a fish sandwich on a hot summer day!
Address: 3200 Frankfort Ave
Starting out in Old Louisville and upgrading into a new space in Nulu, The Seafood Lady has exploded onto the scene! As one of the best seafood restaurants in Louisville – they rightly deserve a spot in one of America’s top foodie neighborhoods. Rubbing shoulders with some of Louisville’s more famous restaurants like Proof on Main and Royals Hot Chicken will put them on the map for a long time coming.
The most popular dishes at The Seafood Lady are the seafood mac and cheese, Chee Sea (loaded seafood french fries – a must-try novelty), and the fried shrimp platters. See their episode on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!
Address: 601 E. Jefferson St.
And now for the dive bars that we all need when we’re looking to make friends in low places and just chill out. Starting with The Passtime Fish House, located in the up-and-coming J-Town foodie district – head here to grab a yummy bite for dinner. The best things about this place are the inexpensive big portions, cold beer, and chill atmosphere. One Yelp reviewer even calls it “The best-kept secret in Louisville, KY. This is a great little hole in the wall fish house. Everything in the restaurant is cook to order.”
A fried fish sandwich big enough for two is only $7.50!! (Sounds like the perfect thing to pick up on your way home and not cook dinner?)
When we’re looking for the best seafood in Louisville -it’s places like this we always keep an eye out for. They’re not fancy – it’s just good food. It’s the kind of thing that belongs on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives ya know?
Address: 10801 Locust Rd
Casual Seafood Restaurants In Louisville
From riverfront patios to casual dinner stops – there are plenty of places around Louisville not dedicated to seafood but worth trying still!
This place has been in business since 1870! That’s longer than most restaurants in Louisville – and their story is fascinating. From a grocery store to a hotel, to getting through prohibition throughout the US. The history of this place is worth making a drive out to Prospect.
Not to mention they have an awesome deck that you can pull your boat up to? As a riverside dive – it’s absolutely what you’d expect it to be. Good fried fish and hush puppies, cold beer, and perfect on a Friday with a bunch of friends.
Think of Cunningham’s as the place where Luke Byran would hang out after chillin’ on the river all day.. singing about Margaritas? The string lights, the subtle breeze off of the river, and large portions of fried fish sandwiches..? Not a bad vibe!
Address: 6301 River Rd Prospect
Right up the road from Cunningham’s – Captain’s Quarter’s is another great riverfront seafood restaurant. Close to our heart – it’s also where we had our wedding reception! Great food and an even better riverside deck and patio –
Captain’s Quarters is the place to go when you want to watch the sunset and get some great seafood in Louisville. It’s like one huge party on most good summer nights!
The best thing about getting seafood here is that you have healthy options! Baked fish etc – leaving you plenty of room to enjoy a margarita or two?
Address: 5700 Captain’s Quarters Rd
Bonefish Grill is a chain located in almost every state across the US, with 3 locations in Kentucky. A lot of times we focus on local restaurants and rightfully so – they’re usually the best. Bonefish Grill is a great exception to this rule. Famous for their ‘Bang-Bang Shrimp’ (at least to Evan lol), the quality of their food is actually really good!
Address: 657 S Hurstbourne Pkwy
A quaint little restaurant located in the historic neighborhood of Anchorage. The Village Anchor is a cute stop while traveling through some of Louisville’s most picturesque neighborhoods. After you’re done grabbing some delicious seafood – head downstairs to the Sea Hag Pub!
Address: 11507 Park Rd
Affectionately known by us locals as ‘Mojitos’ – this Spanish tapas bar is great for date nights (especially group date nights!) All of the dishes are made to be shareable as in traditional Spanish culture. The owner of this restaurant, Marcos Lorenzo, takes incredible pride in his food, and it shows! He also owns Havana Rumba – another one of our favorite restaurants. Eat at any of his restaurants, and you’ll never be disappointed.
WHAT WE RECCOMEND: The polenta and the croquettes. Both are traditional dishes and to die for!
East End Address: 2231 Holiday Manor Ctr
Highlands Address: 3939 Shelbyville Rd Suite 103
Upscale Seafood Restaurants in Louisville
If you’re looking for a more upscale experience while still satisfying your need for delicious seafood – Louisville has some beautiful upscale seafood restaurants. Since we live in town – we’re always scoping out the best date night spots! Take our word for it when we say all of these restaurants are worth taking a little extra time to get ready – and making a reservation.
Starting with our hands-down favorite seafood restaurant in Louisville – Mussel & Burger Bar.
With two locations (because they’re doing so well), both have equally incredible service and food every time. A farm-to-table concept with gourmet dishes across the menu – Mussel & Burger Bar is a can’t miss in Louisville. We go here AT LEAST once a month, and when they were shut down during quarantine – we mourned.
WHAT TO ORDER: Blue Cheese & Pancetta Mussell (Extra bread for sopping up the buttery delicious broth!), the Seafood Burger.. sweet potatoes fries with house-made jalapeno ranch. Everything you order will be good, but those are our favorites!
Rockefeller oysters, lobster Mac and cheese, and crab legs galore – Brendon’s Catch 23 is making a HUGE splash! Showcasing a true flair for the surf and turf style dishes – they also have an impressive range of Kentucky bourbons. With their plush interior and upscale mixologist-style cocktails – it’s a perfect date night dinner after seeing a concert downtown on 4th Street.
Address: 505 S 4th St
Another great Latin-inspired restaurant! Seviche is a long-time favorite for Louisville’s locals. Gourmet dishes, good wine, and great seafood! Some of the best seared tuna I’ve ever had on a salad also make or perfect Keto options. When we go out for a dinner date – eating heavy isn’t always something we want (especially if we’re gonna get drinks after).
Address: 1538 Bardstown Rd #1156
Doc Crows is a downtown seafood stop in Louisville that you can’t miss! We highly recommend doing a tour at Old Forester’s new downtown distillery and then grabbing dinner at Doc Crow’s if you’re in the mood for steaks and raw oysters.
**Hint Hint: If you’re looking for a fun date day: catch a baseball game at the Louisville Bat’s stadium, grab a few brews at Against the Grain Brewery, take a tour at Old Forester and then grab dinner at Doc Crows. Perfectly full fun day!
Doc Crows is a ‘Southern Steakhouse & Raw Bar’ – and since we usually stick to what restaurants do best – steaks and oysters on ice it is! We love that they also tell you every day where they get their oysters from! Written in chalk on the wall are places like Winter Harbor, Maine, and Malpeque, Pennsylvania. Straight from the ocean and into your belly!
Address: 127 W Main St
One of our favorite restaurants in general in Louisville – Mesh has a great vibe that you don’t find in many places in East Louisville. If you’re looking for a fancy night out with a large group – this is going to be the place to go. We once had a group of friends celebrate college graduation there – and the service was awesome!! Not only do they have seafood, but they also have one of my (Shelbs) all-time favorite dishes – Lobster Bisque. If you don’t know what that is – just head to Mesh and grab some dinner.
The best part about Mesh is their cozy little patio. A big tree grows in the middle, and with the pretty Edison bulbs hanging along the tree limbs. There’s also an outdoor bar so your drinks come super fast – perfect for a girls’ night out!
Address: 3608 Brownsboro Rd
One of the best seafood places in Louisville – River House has an awesome patio and it’s a fun shareable atmosphere. This seafood tower is amazing on a hot summer day – not to mention that they have an awesome bar. You can even get a smoked Old Fashioned that comes out of an actual smoking box.
The owner of River House also opened a second restaurant in the same building. The Levee at the River House. The Levee is a higher end lounge and bar. Their menu is about 50% seafood , and equally as good as River House. The River house is definitely more casual – but both of them are equally amazing for a date night.
**Hint Hint** – would be a stunning place to get engaged!
Address: 3015 River Road
Last but not least on the list for the best seafood in Louisville: 610 Magnolia. Dedicated to sourcing their food sustainably and seasonally – their menu varies from week to week. There’s almost always a seafood option (but we highly recommend calling ahead to check what the options are?) No matter what’s on the menu – it will be good!!
Address: 610 W Magnolia Ave
If you’ve got your fill of reading about seafood and you’re ready to try some – Louisville’s best seafood is ready and waiting!
Make sure to snag all of your road trip basics (below) and have fun jamming to a new playlist!
Until next time friends,