80/20 at Kaelin's

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4.3
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247 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Opening June 7th!
In 1934 in a neighborhood community known quaintly as the Highlands a local couple named Carl and Margaret Kaelin decided to open a family restaurant. Kaelin’s Restaurant was born and over the years thrived creating countless memories for generations of Louisvillians. The restaurant became known as the “birthplace of the cheeseburger” serving the first version of this timeless classic for over 70 years. This claim to fame is argued amongst historians and the real origins are unconfirmed for the record books. However, if you mention the name Kaelin’s Restaurant to anyone from Kentucky you will resoundingly here, “the cheeseburger place?” As this angle wasn’t enough Kaelin’s boasts another equally impressive distinction, Kentucky Fried Chicken. In its infancy KFC and specifically Harland Sanders himself cooked and sold his famous chicken within these walls. Kaelin’s will forever be the first business to serve the colonels famous recipe in the city of Louisville.
What 247 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
Louisville
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The burgers our in-laws got looked good and they said they were. My first experience ever with chicken and waffles was not so great. The waffles were flat and tasteless and the chicken was just some chicken strips. They were moist at least. The waiter joked that the Colonel himself was still alive in the basement making the chicken. I don't think the Colonel would have been too happy with it. My wife got some cheese grits that were really good. She didn't like the French toast but that was because she didn't read the description good enough and it just wasn't for her. I tasted them and they were good. Our waiter was OK, but he couldn't keep up. I would go back and just try something else when it is less busy.

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AF
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service and delicious food. We will definitely be back here!

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AC
Louisville
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my first time at Kaelin's and I have to say that it was a great experience. The burgers are amazing, as is the homemade ice cream. The salmon croquettes were wonderful, as was the 80/20 cocktail. The hush puppies were better than most's, but I don't care for hush puppies in general, particularly theirs since they had whole kernels of corn.

The service was excellent--prompt and thorough. The decor is interesting but not distracting. My main complaint would be that the place has poor sound design. Noise carries all over the restaurant and the sound system has too low a balance, so the only thing I heard was a mild cacophony of random conversation snippets and the bass line of the songs playing. That said, I plan on returning because the food quality is top-notch and the serving staff is wonderful. Highly recommend!

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r
Naples
61 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really great burger and shakes. Disappointed that the onion rings and fries are the frozen crap you get anywhere.

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MD
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our first experience here. Burgers were delicious, fries addicting, drink specials were scrumptious, and service was fantastic! Only 1 downfall is the music is VERY loud, turn it down a notch and everything would've been perfect.

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AR
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Burgers were very greasy. The restaurant lacks any atmosphere or charm. A step above fast food. Good fries though.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The appetizers, burgers, and dessert were all awesome.... the service couldn’t be any better as well. Our server was new but just rocked it.

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AE
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Simply put, this is a casual burger joint with an expanded dinner menu. Nothing spectacular, yet many things done well.

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m
Louisville
24 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was great, service was stellar. With the lack of any fabric and all that cement and metal, it is terribly loud. Also those chairs are the most uncomfortable chairs ever. If your goal is to get us fed and out, it worked. Unfortunately not lingering means no dessert, no more drinks and less tip.

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RD
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place and great reception. Food is good and best cocktails

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 3

Cute outdoor seating, to me the food lacked flavor but the fries were great.

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BW
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Classic Louisville
Support local

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AB
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were great!

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LW
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We dined here for Mother's Day and had a 5:30 reservation on a Sunday. They weren't busy by any means when we arrived, but our server was mostly MIA for the majority of our dining experience. It took forever to order drinks, then to order food, then to get food, and then to get some extra items we asked for after our food arrived. The food itself wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything worth going back for...especially at the prices they charge. Burgers were greasy and very lacking on the 80/20 sauce and the cheesy grits weren't cheesy. Order any beer that isn't on tap and apparently they don't think they need to bring you a glass with the can/bottle. Very disappointed and won't be back. There are too many good restaurants in this city, mediocre food and bad service isn't going to win you any business.

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Mother’s Day

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JH
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

The service was spotty, the food was not prepared correctly, and was "luke warm."

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OT
Louisville
24 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great neighborhood spot with a cool bar and patio. Nice options on menu.
Will be back.

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

Mothers Day

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C
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience and fantastic Shrimp & Grits. Service was excellent!

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C
Louisville
18 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Kaelin's has become a go-to for me. One of the best burgers in Louisville, along with some of the best fried chicken you will find anywhere. The patio is wonderful and the service is friendly and attentive. Also, try a malt or milkshake...you will not be disappointed.

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EB
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

This was our second visit to 80/20 after our visit during it's second week of operation - which was I total disaster. The food was much better this time, although once again, there was a longer than expected wait for both service (first two waiters then none), drinks (which took almost 15 minutes), and then food courses (when they finally came) overlapping before we had finished the previous one. That being said, the fried green tomatoes were and improvement over the previous "bites", the crab cakes were good but portion size was tiny, and unfortunately, the hushpuppies were totally non-uniform. Some big, some small, some with corn and pepper, some with just bland corn meal. I had a specialty salad for dinner, which was good - but not to the point that I actually remember what I ordered and my wife patty melt was excellent, minus the Texas toast which seems to make a mess of the otherwise we'll constructed sandwich. Rye is the way to go. I will mention that Blanton's for only $1 more than other Bourbon was an excellent price, but again, a high quality Bourbon in a dirty glass was a shame. Quality control, quality control, quality control. I hope the restaurant continues to improve because the location is very convenient for me, but I fear without a big step up in all areas, they will have a rough time of it in our city. The name can only carry you so far.

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RL
Atlanta
21 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food. Sat outside because it was very noisy inside.

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OT
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went after Thurby, fun continued! Will be back!

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AG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been to Kaelin’s twice now for family dinners. The service was excellent both times and the food is very good. Great atmosphere and aesthetics. We will recommend to friends and family!

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MM
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went there for out Easter meal. Everything was great. Service was great as we had 9 people there.

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AB
Louisville
6 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

I had the Ribeye Burger and it was PERFECT! So much flavor! Hubby had an 80/20 burger and said the same! We followed dinner with shakes from the malt shoppe! Highly recommend Kaelin's!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food & service!!!

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BB
Louisville
14 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All good. Like the new arrangement. Everything was good. The bean soup was excellent and the classic Kaelin;s cheeseburger was also good. I look forward to my next visit. Our server was extra-good. Patience was wonderful.

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A delight and yummy food

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NS
Louisville
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We booked a table on Open Table and arrived on time. There were three parties ahead of us waiting for a hostess to appear. We stood there in the very crowded entryway for 10-15 minutes waiting for someone to appear. There were multiple empty tables. When the two hostesses appeared they seemed flustered and unsure where to seat people. I told the hostess that she was not making a good first impression and she had no reply. We were seated and our server, who was very nice, seemed overwhelmed as well. The food was delicious but the overall mood that evening was just not what we have come to expect of this restaurant. There was a large party upstairs and kids were running up and down the stairs, out to the parking lot and back again (numerous times), right by our table, as well as a constant stream of adults I guess going back and forth to the bathroom.

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MD
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 1

Very loud. Uncomfortable chairs. Drink tasted like soap and was $2 more than quoted.

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OT
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good overall. I did ask for no bun on the burger, extra lettuce instead. Got the bun, so did not get to try the sauce, but it was still a great burger. ,y kids absolutely loved their burgers.

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KT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the relaxed feel of this place – like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. I definitely would return to try more dishes.

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J
Louisville
43 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

There were hits and misses. The pretzel baguette and beer cheese were fantastic. I would go for just that, along with a beer, and watch a game. The burger and fish sandwich were not as good. The burger, according to my husband was NOT the Kaelin's burger (and they don't call it that, but you kind of expect it). The fries were coated and that just means more grease and less potato flavor. I wouldn't have ordered them if I have known they were coated/battered. The fish sandwich was a little better. The tartar sauce was tasty, although there was too much of it. It would have been better to have it served on the side so the diner could customize the amount. The grilled rye was a nice touch. The fish itself was pretty greasy, but hey....it's fried fish. The Brussels sprouts were very good.

If you're looking for elevated bar food with some other options, too, this might be a good place for you.

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RZ
Louisville
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There was a band which was a surprise. Luckily we had about 30 minutes before they started because obviously conversation became more difficult. The ambiance before was perfect for a girls get-together. The food was fresh and nicely portioned. The waitress answered all our questions and they even brought a server and dishes so we could share the pie my friend baked for my birthday! They went above and beyond to make our time there awesome. I would recommend making reservations with open table to ensure you have a seat!

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LJ
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time here, but we will be back! The food, people, and atmosphere were all amazing!

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OT
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Way over priced, for the quality of food. Very disappointing, will not go back.

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l
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Out new favorite restaurant! Food is amazing, drinks are delicious. Might need more servers on s busy night. Our server was so nice but he had too many tables so our service suffered a bit. Overall it was wonderful and we can’t wait to sit on the patio this summer

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AJ
Indiana
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Other than the $9 beer, everything was great. The beer was good, just didn't expect to pay $9 for it.

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SM
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

With so many great restaurants with this price point - quality of food fell way short. I would likely go back for lunch to grab a burger but would pass for dinner.

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