2013 has been a fabulous year for Louisville. We got some amazing accolades (CNN named us the top US top travel destination , and we were recently recognized as one of National Geographic’s “Best of the World” ); we’re kind of like that awkward teenager that left school in the spring with braces and glasses, and came back tan, fit from a summer of swimming, wearing contacts, stunningly hot. Obviously Louisville has always been cool, but 2013 has been particularly kind to us.
The ‘Ville got some awesome new bars this year. Here are five of our favorites.
Located downtown right next to the KFC Yum! Center, Down One touts itself as “Louisville’s best kept secret” and we have to agree. They have an enormous bourbon list, an incredible cocktail list, and a speakeasy vibe we love. Down One has received some national attention of its own from National Geographic. 
2. Nowhere Bar 
Nowhere Bar started out as a gay bar, but the actual gay-to-straight ratio on a given weekend is about 50/50. Nowhere has a slick dance floor surrounded by video screens, a uber-trendy crowd, great open floor plan, and events for every night of the week.
3. Meta 
Only open for a few weeks, Meta is doing much to fill the place in our hearts that was carved out by the closing of Meat . Meta serves artisan cocktails in a re-done strip club downtown. The drinks are $10 (ish), the floor is pennies, the syrups are handmade and the coolness is actually palpable.
4. El Camino 
A bar and restaurant from the creators of the much-beloved Silver Dollar, in the space where the much-lamented Avalon used to be, El Camino has this wicked Day-of-the-Dead-meets-tiki-bar vibe and beautiful cocktails. Their food is delicious too. 
5. Play 
Play, a very new, very hot dance club in Butchertown, has dance parties, drag shows, Karaoke, and much more. People are raving about Play, and if you want to go somewhere flashy and uber-trendy this is it.
Want more bar news? Check out our list of 10 Best Bourbon Bar in Kentuckiana , and our list of Dance Parties for Every Night of the Week in Louisville.
photos are credited in the headings. Cover photo is courtesy of Louisville Magazine and Chris Witzke