Good Espresso In Louisville, KY

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.

#1: Post by Sideshow »

Hi All, I'll be traveling to Louisville, KY in late November and was wondering if anyone knew of some places to get some decent espresso and espresso drinks there. Most of my time will be spent on other drinkable liquids there, but it would be good to know where serviceable coffee spots are. Thanks!


#2: Post by CrabApplesSix »

Quill's Firehouse or Baxter Avenue locations are solid and Sunergo's would be on my short list.

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#3: Post by SteveRhinehart »

This is a great question. Our cafe scene had some very hard times with the initial shut downs. My former Quills location has still not reopened, I know that one other is permanently closed (but is now operating under new ownership). A great deal of the more experienced staff have been displaced and found new work elsewhere outside of coffee or continue to be unemployed. In their layoffs Quills lost their head roaster and their educator. I'm not certain how Sunergos fared.

This is to say: I can tell you where there *was* great coffee, but I'm not confident I can say where there currently *is* great coffee or where it will be in a month. I will say this: please, please tip generously. Barista wages have never been excellent here and tips are a much needed source of income for most service workers in this city especially now that indoor dining is far down below normal levels.

Quills might still be doing good things. I'd second the Firehouse or Baxter locations. Baxter has more parking available nearby. Both have limited indoor seating now. Sunergos on Woodlawn or Preston are good spots. I'm not sure what they might be doing about social distancing at this point but for a good while they were curbside only. Full Stop serves Ritual and was my favorite hangout spot prior to Covid. Last I visited they had no indoor seating but that may have changed now that the temperature has dropped.

Sideshow (original poster)

#4: Post by Sideshow (original poster) »

Thanks for the tips. The Quills Firehouse location is right near where I'll be staying. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing as I've been warned about a bunch of areas of the city in terms of safety (and I don't know if those warnings were overblown too). From what I can tell, it's kind of an up and coming area, and I see there are a lot of restaurants and cool stuff on the map (don't know to the extent COVID disrupted that).

Also, those two places seem to be chains, but I'm assuming they're local chains (nothing wrong with that of course). Anything else in the hopper? Any indie places or one offs that roast their own? Just thought I'd ask.

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#5: Post by SteveRhinehart »

Quills and Sunergos are the Big Two, more or less. There are other decent coffee shops, like Full Stop, or Gralehaus (only open on weekends now, and their long-time head coffee person now works at Full Stop). Right across from the Quills Firehouse is Butchertown Grocery Bakery, which serves Good Folks coffee. Good Folks is a local roaster with no cafe of their own. The main second/third wavey institution in town is Heine Brothers, but I personally shy away from them for reasons I won't get into. Apart from that, there's other coffee to be found for sure, but I've either not really been impressed or simply haven't been able to try it.

Regarding safety, I don't think you've got anything in particular to worry about. Nulu is still somewhat in development but not unsafe, and it is fairly active with pedestrians in the evenings. Car break-ins are possible really anywhere in the city, so don't leave valuables around in plain sight and you should be fine. Covid in a month is anyone's guess. The weather is turning, more people will be wanting to congregate inside. I'd recommend checking out our daily briefings in advance of your visit just to get a sense of how things are faring. I like WFPL's tracker for quick looks - we are Jefferson county: ... 9-tracker/

Sideshow (original poster)

#6: Post by Sideshow (original poster) »

Great info, many thanks!

Sideshow (original poster)

#7: Post by Sideshow (original poster) »

Went to Quills Firehouse location today and was thoroughly impressed. I'll probably take a bag back with me when I return to Chicago. Thanks for the suggestion.