Nestled just outside of Fourth Street Live! in downtown Louisville, the Yafa Cafe is a quiet place to come and have a great smoke. It has a more traditional setting, with foreign TV channels on at all times and relaxing Middle Eastern music in the background. Unfortunately, due to Louisville's smoking laws, hookah lovers are required to sit outside on a patio area. The good news is, during the colder winter months, the owners pull out heaters and surround the patio with plastic walls to keep it in.
The employees are few and they easily recognize the regulars. It is a friendly and small environment. The food is fantastic and authentic. You can order pitas and hummus, along with lamb shawarma and gyros. As for the hookahs, they have nice set ups and they are kept relatively clean. The boast an assortment of flavors, probably Al Waha and Al Fakher, along with premium flavors of Starbuzz. As a native of Louisville, I prefer Yafa over Cafe 360. While smokers can sit inside at 360, the hookahs are often dirty and taste of ash. In order to skirt the smoking laws, 360 uses tea leaves instead of genuine tobacco-- and the taste is obvious. Out of the known hookah joints in Louisville, I'd rate Yafa as the highest, followed closely by Falafel House, Shah's and then at the verrrrry bottom, 360.
Overall, I'd give Yafa a 9/10. I docked half a point because the patrons are forced to sit outside and it is bitterly cold in the winter. This isn't Yafa's fault, but instead, the city's. Also, the other half point is because, being downtown, sometimes there are homeless people or drunk people or homeless drunk people that can walk up and bother you. This doesn't happen often, but it's still the city.