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SPEAKING FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

SPEAKING FOR THOSE WHO
CAN’T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

19 Animal-friendly options in Louisville, KY

Appropriately for those who choose not to eat animals, the city of Louisville had its humble beginnings on Corn Island, in the Ohio River near the Falls of the Ohio, in the late 1780s while the Revolutionary War was still being waged. As French soldiers were aiding the colonists in their fight against the British, the city was named in honor of France’s then King, Louis XVI. Corn also plays a major role in the state’s favorite beverage, as you’ll soon see.

Today “The Ville” (population 625,000) is Kentucky’s largest city and one of the most significant in the Southeast. Brimming with history and a thriving and growing vegan scene, one can easily spend a day or three taking it all in while barely scratching the surface. Louisville is ripe with culture, history, sports, spirits, and plenty of vegan food—savory and especially sweet.

JUST A FEW OF THE GOODIES FROM THE FLOUR SHOPPE

Here are The Animals Voice top 19 things to do, eat, and see while enjoying your visit:

SITES

THE BLUEGRASS VEGFEST

Bluegrass VegFest
This annual vegan festival, stuffed to the brim with top national speakers, scores of vendors, a parking lot full of food trucks, and a children’s center attracts more than 6,000 visitors each year and is the ideal time to plan your Louisville trip (you certainly don’t want to visit on the first Saturday in May). See The Animals Voice review of the event here.


Waterfront Park
Officially “Louisville Waterfront Park,” this nearly 100-acre urban renewal project has won awards for its design, reclaiming what was not too long ago an industrial wasteland. The park, within easy walking distance of downtown, is host to dozens of events annually including the city’s Juneteenth celebration. You can stroll alongside the Ohio River and view Corn Island. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Waterfront, dedicated in 1999.

THE BEAUTIFUL WATERFRONT PARK
THE ALI CENTER

Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center is many things: museum, memorial, education center, and event space. Co-founded by Ali in 2005, the center is guided by the boxing great’s six core principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality. In addition to the important work of the center, it’s also a beautiful building architecturally, both inside and out—much like The Champ himself. • 144 N 6th Street


Tribe Animal Sanctuary
A trip to Louisville for any ‘animal person’ is not complete without a stop at Tribe Animal Sanctuary. To learn about the sanctuary’s history and when you can visit, see our review here.


BIRTHPLACE OF BOURBONISM

The Bourbon Trail
“If I cannot drink bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go.” That historians have yet to document if Mark Twain ever actually spoke these words has not put a damper on the spirit of the quip. Originating in Bourbon Country, Virginia, before Kentucky became a separate state in 1792, today bourbon and Kentucky are as inseparable as the Hatfields and the McCoys. So much so that the corn-based spirit has no less than five Bourbon Trail adventures.


The two-day Louisville jaunt begins at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center in the Frazier History Museum and visits four distilleries within the first mile of the tour. Rest assured that Kentucky’s favorite son has got your back: “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” —Abraham Lincoln • 829 West Main Street


Louisville Slugger
You need not be a baseball fan to appreciate the history of the company that literally has the city in its name. Louisville Slugger has been making bats for major and minor league players almost since Americans began playing hardball and has provided the wood for some of the game’s most notable icons, including Pete Browning (the original “Louisville Slugger”), Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Derek Jeter.

LOUISVILLE BATS

The company is also recognized as originating sports marketing, for better or worse, as it paid Honus Wagner to use his signature on a bat way back in 1905—the very first time an athlete endorsed a product. Located in the heart of downtown, today you can visit the Slugger Museum and also get a factory tour. Just up the road you can also catch a minor league game at the very modern Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats, the top farm team of the Cincinnati Reds. • 800 W Main Street


ANTIQUES!

Louisville is a well-known scene for those who enjoy antiquing. Here are just two of the more than 20 visit-worthy destinations scattered about the city.

Mellwood Antiques and Interiors
Anchoring the Art Center of the same name, and the location of the Bluegrass VegFest (see above), is Mellwood Antiques and Interiors, a sprawling 45,000-square-foot maze of more than 100 vendors selling everything from art and books to jewelry and vinyl record albums. You’ll enjoy getting lost in yesteryear and it’s quite easy to while away the hours while re-discovering cherished childhood memories your mother tossed when you refused to clean your room. • 1860 Mellwood Avenue


FLEUR DE FLEA

Fleur de Flea
Billing itself a “Vintage Urban Market,” Fleur de Flea takes its too cutesy name from its location in Paristown. The 150 vendors in this former warehouse rival Mellwood in selection and host a cocktail bar on weekends. Flea also sponsors pop-ups beyond its walls, including a Vintage Market in Waterfront Park (where else?!) in September, the outdoor Paristown Flea Market in its own ’hood each October, and Thread Heads, “Kentucky’s largest vintage clothing market” for the hipsters. • 947 E. Breckenridge Street


EATS

Heart & Soy / Roots
Huong “Coco” Tran is a legend in Louisville foodie circles. A post-war 1970s Vietnamese refugee, Tran opened her first establishment, Egg Roll Machine, in 1980—the city’s first Chinese take-out restaurant. She’s since opened Louisville’s first Vietnamese restaurant, first Asian veg restaurant, and its first (and only) Asian tea house. Her latest two ventures are Heart & Soy, Asian “street food” and Roots, “upscale vegetarian dining.” The two eateries are side-by-side under one roof because having only one option is not an option. • 1216 Bardstown Road

HALF-PEACH BAKERY

Half Peach Bakery
Mother-daughter team Sue Zhao and Tina Gao had a full-fledged vegan restaurant beginning in 2015. Four years lately the roof of the rented building caved in. Then came COVID. Today they have scaled down to a smaller space and while still serving light savory fare (including pizza) Half Peach Bakery is known mostly for special orders of birthday cakes, pastries, cookies, and other sweet things. During our too-brief Sunday morning visit, we witnessed three customers pick up special orders and leave with giant smiles. • 170 Sears Avenue


V-GRITS

Logan Street Market/V-Grits
Once the huge distribution center of the Axton Candy & Tobacco Company has since 2019 been the bustling Logan Street Market (LSM), Louisville’s first public indoor market and a must-visit destination. Featuring more than 25 locally owned and operated artisanal shops, an event space, live music, rotating workshops, and a warm, welcoming sense of community, LSM feels much like the town center of times past.

One of LSM’s many restaurants (and our fave) is V-Grits, serving up “fast casual vegan comfort food” that also just happens to be delicious. The Gouda Mac Bites are unreal, a meal in themselves, while the “wow spicy” Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich proves, once again, that it’s foul to eat fowl. • 1001 Logan Street (between E. Kentucky and E. St. Catherine)


The Flour Shoppe
Baking is all about combining the correct ingredients. When Ashley Bender, owner of Sugar High teamed up with Erin Tachi of Julian’s Vegan Kitchen, Louisville vegans were the clear winner. The Flour Shoppe opened the doors to its colorful, open, and inviting space in February 2023 and mixes wild donuts (Julian’s specialty) alongside classic cakes and pastries (Sugar High’s claim to fame). Whoever is doing the baking is fine by us. Just get there early for the best selection. • 619 Baxter Avenue


THE FLOUR SHOPPE

Craft Breweries/Chimera Brewing Company

CHIMERA BREWING

If bourbon isn’t your firewater of choice, Louisville has no shortage of craft breweries. According to Craft Beer Guide, the “beer scene … has been exploding in recent years,” making it “one of the most exciting beer cities” in the United States. At least one of these, Chimera Brewing Company, is vegan owned. Craft beer lovers just need to do a quick web search to find what’s brewing where, as the River City is, shall we say, overflowing with options. • 1025 Barret Avenue


Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food
With a huge vegetarian menu, generous portions, reasonable prices, and late hours Shreeji is the go-to place for Indian cuisine. Whether craving a dosa, masala, Indian bread or sweets, you’ll find it here. Many of the dishes do include paneer (cheese), so just be sure to let them know you are vegan. • 1987 S Hurstbourne Parkway

SHREEJI INDIAN

Cheezmageddon (Indiana)
Strategically located inside the Louisville Athletic Club just across the river in Clarksville, Indiana, Cheezmageddon dishes up comfort food including burgers, wraps, smoothies, loaded tots, grilled cheese, patty melts, and an all-day breakfast. Not exactly our idea of post-workout food, but hey, to each their own. The restaurant is vegan except for optional whey powder added to smoothies. • 951 E Lewis and Clark Parkway, Clarksville, IN


Spinelli’s Pizzeria

SPINELLI’S PIZZERIA

With three locations around Louisville, Spinelli’s is a traditional pizza chain that also offers a vegan menu. It’s comforting to be able to order a cruelty-free pizza without having to explain what it is or supply your own cheese. Also on the menu are Vegan Knots, Chicken Parmesan and Beyond Meat Italian Sausage Sandwiches, and Cheese Fries. Locations are downtown (delivery only), and in the Highlands and St. Matthews neighborhoods.

When to visit? With four distinct seasons, and never Arizona hot nor Minnesota cold, the preference is yours. Be warned, though, as Ella Fitzgerald noted, once visited, you’ll be yearning to go back to Louisville, K-Y.

If you liked this article Please share it!

19 Animal-friendly options in Louisville, KY

Appropriately for those who choose not to eat animals, the city of Louisville had its humble beginnings on Corn Island, in the Ohio River near the Falls of the Ohio, in the late 1780s while the Revolutionary War was still being waged. As French soldiers were aiding the colonists in their fight against the British, the city was named in honor of France’s then King, Louis XVI. Corn also plays a major role in the state’s favorite beverage, as you’ll soon see.

Today “The Ville” (population 625,000) is Kentucky’s largest city and one of the most significant in the Southeast. Brimming with history and a thriving and growing vegan scene, one can easily spend a day or three taking it all in while barely scratching the surface. Louisville is ripe with culture, history, sports, spirits, and plenty of vegan food—savory and especially sweet.

JUST A FEW OF THE GOODIES FROM THE FLOUR SHOPPE

Here are The Animals Voice top 19 things to do, eat, and see while enjoying your visit:

SITES

THE BLUEGRASS VEGFEST

Bluegrass VegFest
This annual vegan festival, stuffed to the brim with top national speakers, scores of vendors, a parking lot full of food trucks, and a children’s center attracts more than 6,000 visitors each year and is the ideal time to plan your Louisville trip (you certainly don’t want to visit on the first Saturday in May). See The Animals Voice review of the event here.


Waterfront Park
Officially “Louisville Waterfront Park,” this nearly 100-acre urban renewal project has won awards for its design, reclaiming what was not too long ago an industrial wasteland. The park, within easy walking distance of downtown, is host to dozens of events annually including the city’s Juneteenth celebration. You can stroll alongside the Ohio River and view Corn Island. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Waterfront, dedicated in 1999.

THE BEAUTIFUL WATERFRONT PARK
THE ALI CENTER

Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center is many things: museum, memorial, education center, and event space. Co-founded by Ali in 2005, the center is guided by the boxing great’s six core principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality. In addition to the important work of the center, it’s also a beautiful building architecturally, both inside and out—much like The Champ himself. • 144 N 6th Street


Tribe Animal Sanctuary
A trip to Louisville for any ‘animal person’ is not complete without a stop at Tribe Animal Sanctuary. To learn about the sanctuary’s history and when you can visit, see our review here.


BIRTHPLACE OF BOURBONISM

The Bourbon Trail
“If I cannot drink bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go.” That historians have yet to document if Mark Twain ever actually spoke these words has not put a damper on the spirit of the quip. Originating in Bourbon Country, Virginia, before Kentucky became a separate state in 1792, today bourbon and Kentucky are as inseparable as the Hatfields and the McCoys. So much so that the corn-based spirit has no less than five Bourbon Trail adventures.


The two-day Louisville jaunt begins at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center in the Frazier History Museum and visits four distilleries within the first mile of the tour. Rest assured that Kentucky’s favorite son has got your back: “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” —Abraham Lincoln • 829 West Main Street


Louisville Slugger
You need not be a baseball fan to appreciate the history of the company that literally has the city in its name. Louisville Slugger has been making bats for major and minor league players almost since Americans began playing hardball and has provided the wood for some of the game’s most notable icons, including Pete Browning (the original “Louisville Slugger”), Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Derek Jeter.

LOUISVILLE BATS

The company is also recognized as originating sports marketing, for better or worse, as it paid Honus Wagner to use his signature on a bat way back in 1905—the very first time an athlete endorsed a product. Located in the heart of downtown, today you can visit the Slugger Museum and also get a factory tour. Just up the road you can also catch a minor league game at the very modern Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats, the top farm team of the Cincinnati Reds. • 800 W Main Street


ANTIQUES!

Louisville is a well-known scene for those who enjoy antiquing. Here are just two of the more than 20 visit-worthy destinations scattered about the city.

Mellwood Antiques and Interiors
Anchoring the Art Center of the same name, and the location of the Bluegrass VegFest (see above), is Mellwood Antiques and Interiors, a sprawling 45,000-square-foot maze of more than 100 vendors selling everything from art and books to jewelry and vinyl record albums. You’ll enjoy getting lost in yesteryear and it’s quite easy to while away the hours while re-discovering cherished childhood memories your mother tossed when you refused to clean your room. • 1860 Mellwood Avenue


FLEUR DE FLEA

Fleur de Flea
Billing itself a “Vintage Urban Market,” Fleur de Flea takes its too cutesy name from its location in Paristown. The 150 vendors in this former warehouse rival Mellwood in selection and host a cocktail bar on weekends. Flea also sponsors pop-ups beyond its walls, including a Vintage Market in Waterfront Park (where else?!) in September, the outdoor Paristown Flea Market in its own ’hood each October, and Thread Heads, “Kentucky’s largest vintage clothing market” for the hipsters. • 947 E. Breckenridge Street


EATS

Heart & Soy / Roots
Huong “Coco” Tran is a legend in Louisville foodie circles. A post-war 1970s Vietnamese refugee, Tran opened her first establishment, Egg Roll Machine, in 1980—the city’s first Chinese take-out restaurant. She’s since opened Louisville’s first Vietnamese restaurant, first Asian veg restaurant, and its first (and only) Asian tea house. Her latest two ventures are Heart & Soy, Asian “street food” and Roots, “upscale vegetarian dining.” The two eateries are side-by-side under one roof because having only one option is not an option. • 1216 Bardstown Road

HALF-PEACH BAKERY

Half Peach Bakery
Mother-daughter team Sue Zhao and Tina Gao had a full-fledged vegan restaurant beginning in 2015. Four years lately the roof of the rented building caved in. Then came COVID. Today they have scaled down to a smaller space and while still serving light savory fare (including pizza) Half Peach Bakery is known mostly for special orders of birthday cakes, pastries, cookies, and other sweet things. During our too-brief Sunday morning visit, we witnessed three customers pick up special orders and leave with giant smiles. • 170 Sears Avenue


V-GRITS

Logan Street Market/V-Grits
Once the huge distribution center of the Axton Candy & Tobacco Company has since 2019 been the bustling Logan Street Market (LSM), Louisville’s first public indoor market and a must-visit destination. Featuring more than 25 locally owned and operated artisanal shops, an event space, live music, rotating workshops, and a warm, welcoming sense of community, LSM feels much like the town center of times past.

One of LSM’s many restaurants (and our fave) is V-Grits, serving up “fast casual vegan comfort food” that also just happens to be delicious. The Gouda Mac Bites are unreal, a meal in themselves, while the “wow spicy” Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich proves, once again, that it’s foul to eat fowl. • 1001 Logan Street (between E. Kentucky and E. St. Catherine)


The Flour Shoppe
Baking is all about combining the correct ingredients. When Ashley Bender, owner of Sugar High teamed up with Erin Tachi of Julian’s Vegan Kitchen, Louisville vegans were the clear winner. The Flour Shoppe opened the doors to its colorful, open, and inviting space in February 2023 and mixes wild donuts (Julian’s specialty) alongside classic cakes and pastries (Sugar High’s claim to fame). Whoever is doing the baking is fine by us. Just get there early for the best selection. • 619 Baxter Avenue


THE FLOUR SHOPPE

Craft Breweries/Chimera Brewing Company

CHIMERA BREWING

If bourbon isn’t your firewater of choice, Louisville has no shortage of craft breweries. According to Craft Beer Guide, the “beer scene … has been exploding in recent years,” making it “one of the most exciting beer cities” in the United States. At least one of these, Chimera Brewing Company, is vegan owned. Craft beer lovers just need to do a quick web search to find what’s brewing where, as the River City is, shall we say, overflowing with options. • 1025 Barret Avenue


Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food
With a huge vegetarian menu, generous portions, reasonable prices, and late hours Shreeji is the go-to place for Indian cuisine. Whether craving a dosa, masala, Indian bread or sweets, you’ll find it here. Many of the dishes do include paneer (cheese), so just be sure to let them know you are vegan. • 1987 S Hurstbourne Parkway

SHREEJI INDIAN

Cheezmageddon (Indiana)
Strategically located inside the Louisville Athletic Club just across the river in Clarksville, Indiana, Cheezmageddon dishes up comfort food including burgers, wraps, smoothies, loaded tots, grilled cheese, patty melts, and an all-day breakfast. Not exactly our idea of post-workout food, but hey, to each their own. The restaurant is vegan except for optional whey powder added to smoothies. • 951 E Lewis and Clark Parkway, Clarksville, IN


Spinelli’s Pizzeria

SPINELLI’S PIZZERIA

With three locations around Louisville, Spinelli’s is a traditional pizza chain that also offers a vegan menu. It’s comforting to be able to order a cruelty-free pizza without having to explain what it is or supply your own cheese. Also on the menu are Vegan Knots, Chicken Parmesan and Beyond Meat Italian Sausage Sandwiches, and Cheese Fries. Locations are downtown (delivery only), and in the Highlands and St. Matthews neighborhoods.

When to visit? With four distinct seasons, and never Arizona hot nor Minnesota cold, the preference is yours. Be warned, though, as Ella Fitzgerald noted, once visited, you’ll be yearning to go back to Louisville, K-Y.

If you liked this article Please share it!