Grease moves everything around me.
I’ve asked a few friends recently what they think Louisville’s quintessential food is. Some responses have been our hallmarks: The Hot Brown. Benedictine. The modjeska.
These are all worthy, historic and delicious parts of the fabric of our city.
But I’ve been curious about a broader question; what food does Louisville do well?
Memphis and Kansas City have their barbecue. NYC and Chicago boast their pizza. Someone told me recently that San Diego is the best place for fish tacos. But what does Louisville do best?
I wouldn’t disparage the incredible BBQ, taco, and pizza spots around town, many of whom are getting regional and national recognition.
But I’d like to submit that what Louisville does best is burgers. And you can try one my the best around right in the heart of the Highlands.
Many of you likely know Louisville has some historic claim (though, it’s debated) to the origin of the cheeseburger.
And we have numerous incredible institutions, both new and old, carrying the flag.
One of my favorite places to take a bite into our burger culture is Bunz Burgers on Baxter Avenue.
Life is hectic. Take a moment to enjoy your meal.
Pull up a patio chair as your burger is being prepped and enjoy people-watching on Baxter Ave. Bunz is a small shop but located right in the heart of the Highlands, near Wick’s Pizza and El Nopal. It’s a stone’s throw from the late-night dancing, live music, and general ruckus occurs on the weekends in the Irish Triangle.
Those that have tried Bunz know that this establishment doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It’s a huge part of the charm.
Bunz sizzles up deliciousness day in and day out without frills but topped with plenty of heart.
Oh, and grease.
Good ole grease is an integral part of a quality burger.
When you approach the understated exterior of Bunz Burgers you’ll smell deliciousness wafting through the air. Neon light bleeds out on the pavement and you’ll suddenly feel more alive on arrival.
You enter, and there’s a good chance your ears will perk up as Bronze Nazareth or Wisemen fill the space between kick-punch sounds coming from the kung fu b-movie on the tv.
And the walls around you are lined with local art, often exigent, passionate pieces that are aggressive and beautiful and silly and everything in between.
Also dotting the walls are the numerous awards that Bunz has earned over the years. Despite being a neighborhood favorite and worthy contender for best burger in town, I still find many folks around who have never stopped in here. Hopefully in a small way, these words spur someone to pop in and order a burger that’ll change their world. (Hyperbole aside, thank me later)
A man with a dream with plans to eat burgers.
My favorite selection at Bunz is the Baxter Avenue burger. (See photos below.) This beauty has two patties, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, red onions, and their signature Bunz sauce. And don’t expect to leave without having to loosen your belt a notch or two because undeniably it is a hefty portion.
For something a little smaller, go for the Highland Burger: a single patty with feta, fried capers, chopped olive blend and mayo.
The Bunz teams make their beer cheese in house and it’s an incredible addition to any burger on the menu. But if you really want to go all in, the Beer Cheese Burger: beer cheese, habagardil pickles, grilled onions, bacon and Bunz sauce.
There are also turkey and chicken options on the menu, if that’s your style. And every burger on the menu is less than $10. You can add fries and drink while still spending noticeably less than most other top-notch burger joints.
Bunz Burgers is a staple for many Highlanders who love a giant stack of beef, cheese and toppings. The Bunz team emphasizes the quality of their ingredients, heavy portions, and quick service. You’re missing out if you haven’t popped in here yet!