Downtown Louisville at night

Best Neighborhoods in Louisville for Young Professionals

Considering a change of scenery? Louisville, KY has major appeal for young professionals looking for affordable housing, an on-the-rise “foodie” community, bars that specialize in bourbon and craft cocktails, and a lifestyle with a little bit of Southern charm. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the six best neighborhoods in Louisville for young professionals will. Check out the list below!

Butchertown

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Home Price: $130,700 median purchase; $755 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 68% safer than other cities in Kentucky

Once a booming stockyard district along the Ohio River, Butchertown is now one of the most popular neighborhoods in Louisville, particularly for artists, musicians, and other creative types. With its mix of classic brick buildings and modern apartments—and an entire Historic District on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places—this neighborhood is a favorite for young professionals who want hip coffee shops, eateries, and boutiques, as well as affordable living near Downtown Louisville.

Explore & Shop

Stroll along the Ohio River and enjoy the views at Louisville Waterfront Park. Looking for unique home goods and gifts? The Butchertown Market is your one-stop shop destination for gourmet food, handmade soaps and candles, and hip furniture. If you’re a history buff, stop by Thomas Edison House, a museum dedicated to inventor Thomas Edison and his accomplishments. Love skateboarding? Visit the 40,000-square-foot Dave Armstrong Extreme Park, where you can test your skills on a 24-foot full pipe.

Eat & Drink

Don’t let the name of Butchertown Grocery fool you! This contemporary restaurant serves gastropub favorites and handcrafted cocktails in an old grocery store building. If you’re in the mood for Italian, check out Lupo, where you can get wood-fired pizza and handmade pasta. For a one-of-a-kind experience, head to Copper and Kings Distillery, Louisville’s only brandy distillery. They offer distillery tours and host cigar and brandy events! Want live jazz and pub trivia with your cocktails? The Butchertown Social is the place to be! And for dancing that’s anything but a drag, there’s Play Dance Bar. This LGBTQ-friendly bar has a variety of drag shows and hot dance parties you won’t forget!

Clifton

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Home Price: $142,450 median purchase; $584 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 72% safer than other cities in Kentucky

Located between Butchertown, Irish Hill, and Crescent Hills, Clifton was one of the first suburbs of Louisville, so it offers beautiful tree-lined streets and a variety of small shotgun houses and large Victorian-style houses. Though this quaint neighborhood is popular among established professionals and retirees, it’s also a favorite for local college students and young professionals who enjoy having grocery stores, restaurants, bars, shops, and community spaces within walking or biking distance.

Explore & Shop

Catch concerts, art shows, festivals, and other creative performances at the Clifton Center. Go for a run, take a bike ride, or enjoy a picnic out at Bingham Park. Find amazing vintage clothing from the 1800s up to the 1970s at Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire. Gather a group of friends and see if you can break out of the escape rooms at Escape LOU. Discover old-school records and cassettes at Guestroom Records. And you can’t forget about the neighborhood’s annual Frankfort Avenue Easter Parade! This community event features antique cars, homemade floats, food vendors, and much more!

Eat & Drink

Check out Louisville’s foremost bourbon bar at Bourbons Bistro, where you can get pork chops, steak, and burgers and choose from a selection of more than 130 different bourbons! Stop by neighborhood favorite Clifton’s Pizza, which serves pizza, calzones, pasta, and more. Visit Fork & Barrel and order delicious dishes like Fried Chicken Roulade and Chicken & Waffles. Grab a whiskey at The Silver Dollar, which was named one of the best spots for whiskey in the country by GQ. Get into the Irish spirit at local pub The Irish Rover, where there’s Guinness on tap and a large assortment of Irish whiskeys and single-malt scotches.

Crescent Hill

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Home Price: $237,625 median purchase; $678 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 88% safer than other cities in Kentucky

Old-world charm meets contemporary style in Louisville’s Crescent Hill neighborhood with a variety of historic homes, modern single-family houses, and luxury apartments. For many residents, Frankfort Avenue is the place to be. This neighborhood “main street” is home to a number of local shops, bars, and restaurants that are accessible on foot or by bike! With close proximity to Downtown Louisville and other hip neighborhoods like Butchertown and Clifton, Crescent Hill is perfect for young professionals!

Explore & Shop

Visit Crescent Hill Reservoir and Gatehouse and explore the beauty of its Gothic architecture. Love to exercise? Swim a few laps at Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center or play a round of golf at Crescent Hill Golf Course. For the best in consignment and boutique shopping, walk over to Evolve: The Men’s Resale Store and Margaret’s Consignment. Or if you’d rather discover all that Crescent Hill has to offer along Frankfort Avenue, hop on the free FAT Friday Trolley Hop on the last Friday of every month!

Eat & Drink

Start your day off right with coffee and fresh-made pastries at Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe. Get your meat fix at Red Hog Artisan Butcher & Restaurant, a butchery that offers sandwiches, pizzas, meat plates, and other locally-sourced, ethically-farmed meats. Try amazing chicken platters with your choice of spice level at Joella’s Hot Chicken. Wash down your dinner with more than 40 local craft beers on tap at Crescent Hills Craft House. Or dive into barbecue and beer at Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot and Smokehouse.

Downtown

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Home Price: $268,100 median purchase; $462 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 85% safer than other cities in Kentucky

While downtown living in other major cities can be expensive, Downtown Louisville is the perfect neighborhood for young professionals! With rental rates 50% lower than the national average, new condominium development, and good walk/bike-friendly ratings, Downtown LOU has everything young residents love about urban living without the giant price tag. And with unique features like the zero-emissions, free ZeroBus, it’s easy to explore all of the bars, restaurants, shops, and hot spots in downtown!

Explore & Shop

West Main Street has so many museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions that it’s nicknamed “Museum Row.” Check out attractions like the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Kentucky Science Center, and The Muhammad Ali Center (to name a few). For good shopping, stop by Gifthorse, which sells handmade jewelry, home decor, and more, or Regalo, a gift shop with funky items you won’t find anywhere else! And don’t forget to take yourself out to a Louisville Bats ballgame!

Eat & Drink

Fourth Street Live! has several restaurants and bars to check out, including artisan pizza joint Birracibo, Brazilian steakhouse Brazeiros, and raw oysters bar Bourbon Raw. For a fancy night out on the town, make a reservation at RIVUE, a restaurant with French-inspired cuisine and a rotating dining room with excellent views of Downtown LOU and the Ohio River. As far as drinks go, bourbon is a must! To hit all of the best Louisville spots, pick up an Urban Bourbon Trail passport and discover places like Proof on Main, Haymarket Whiskey Bar, and Sidebar at Whiskey Road. In fact, if you’re Kentucky bourbon lover, mark your calendar for the annual Bourbon Classic, a week-long event that celebrates everything bourbon!

The Highlands

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Home Price: $166,050 median purchase; $735 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 79% safer than other cities in Kentucky

Located a few minutes southeast of Downtown Louisville, The Highlands is known for its eclectic shops, unique restaurants, high density of nightclubs, and funky atmosphere. Comprised of several community pockets, the area offers Victorian and Dutch-style homes, as well as more modern apartments and condos. But it’s the cool, laid-back vibe that attracts new residents and keeps the old residents. In other words, The Highlands might just be the place young professionals will move to and never want to leave!

Explore & Shop

Celebrate the holidays in style at the Bardstown Row Aglow festival, an event where participating vendors have holiday-themed drink and food specials. Grab some friends and head to The Louisville Game Shop, a specialty shop with hundreds of board games for everyone to enjoy. If you’re an outdoorsy type, head a few minutes west to Cherokee Park, where you can walk the dog, jog, or ride your bike around the 2.4-mile Scenic Loop. The Highlands has great options for shopping as well. Pick up a vinyl record at Underground Sounds, find vintage treasure at Nearly New Thrift Shop, or nab consignment furniture at Eyedia Shop.

Eat & Drink

Bardstown Row (known by the locals as “Restaurant Row“) has tons of awesome restaurants and bars! The Highlands Tap Room is a neighborhood staple with a great happy hour and even better karaoke. Enjoy Veal Chop or Duck with live jazz in the background at Jack Fry’s, which has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in Louisville by Spoon University, Thrillist, and The New York Times. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood or beignets, The Fish House/Cafe Beignet has a little something for everybody. Choose from more than 27 beers on tap at Holy Grale, a gastropub housed in a former church. Join the crowd at Flanagan’s Ale House for Thursday Pint Nights. If you’re looking for excellent dancing, Nowhere Bar is a favorite among local residents!

St. Matthews


Home Price: $189,900 median purchase; $890 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: 28% safer than other cities in Kentucky

While it doesn’t have the fast-paced lifestyle that neighborhoods closer to Downtown Louisville offer, St. Matthews blends the classic suburb feel with a quirky neighborhood vibe. With affordable, spacious apartments and single-family homes throughout the area and a median age of 36.6, this Louisville suburb is young, dynamic, and provides a quiet environment for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, it’s a great spot for young professionals who want to start a family!

Explore & Shop

As the largest commercial shopping district in the city, St. Matthews has plenty of options for retail therapy. For the ultimate shopping experience, visit The Mall St. Matthews, which offers more than 122 stores plus a movie theater and several restaurants. There’s also Oxmoor Center, a slightly smaller mall that offers higher end retailers like Coach and Michael Kors. Meet up with some friends at Lazer Blaze for mini golf, arcade games, and laser tag. Or if you prefer a more quiet environment outdoors, sit down for a picnic or take a walk through the 45-acre St. Matthew’s Community Park.

Eat & Drink

Keep it local at Bluegrass Burgers, a quick-serve spot dishing up locally-sourced bison and beef burgers. Order a Ginger Snap or French 75 from Equus & Jack’s Lounge and try their amazing Southern favorites like Shrimp and Grits, Fried Chicken, and Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings. For dinner and a show, stop by Tin Roof Louisville or Gerstle’s Place, where you can get some of the best bar food in the neighborhood while listening to live music. If you’re looking for good bourbon, New Orleans-inspired Lou Lou Food + Drink has a top-notch bourbon menu with 48 options, as well as an extensive wine list.

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Data found from Area Vibes.