The Hot Brown, an open-face turkey sandwich slathered in a rich Mornay sauce.
These days, Louisville, Kentucky, is more than Derby hats and baseball bats. It’s also a hot, hip foodie destination. Culinary travelers will have their hands full trying to keep up with eating establishments both new and long-established. The hottest of them all: Iron Chef Edward Lee’s 610 Magnolia (, and his newest, MilkWood (, both serving up Asian-Southern hybrid comfort bar food. Cured wagyu and lamb salami, anyone?

Head for the St. Charles Exchange, paying homage to Louisville’s Southern roots with pimento cheese and country ham appetizers, or Game, a burger joint where you can order an elk, antelope, or wild boar patty.,

The city’s Urban Bourbon Trail provides more bars and stops than you can easily hit in a week — among them, the Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge — though you are heartily encouraged to give it a shot by collecting stamps in your very own Bourbon Trail passport, available in print and app form. Get six stamps and you’ll win an official Urban Bourbon Trailblazer t-shirt.

Base yourself at The Brown Hotel, where the legendary Louisville classic known as the Hot Brown, an open-face turkey sandwich slathered in a rich Mornay sauce, was first launched into the world.