Lexington’s favorite dining offers plenty of treats. The good news is, you’re not going to go hungry in Lexington. The bad news? You can only eat so many meals in one day. Decisions, decisions. Lexington, typically associated with The South, serves up some amazing options for fried chicken and home style food. But, Lexington can run with the big boys too, featuring some fine dining establishments. So when you are asking “Where am I going to eat?” Hopefully you’ll find something in this list of Lexington’s Favorite Dining establishments.
When Keeneland Race Track is running or the University of Kentucky has a home basketball game, the restaurants are packed and it is easy to see where the locals go, just look for the line out the door. I’ve rounded up some classic Lexington-locals favorites, now you’ve just got to decide what you are in the mood for.
In the downtown proper, there are several fabulous places within walking distance of the city-center, better known as Rupp Arena. Saul Good Restaurant and Pub is one of those places that is just the right mix of neighborhood bar and bar food that has been taken to the next level. Another classic eatery is the Cheapside Bar & Grill, which has terrific food and a lively, happenin’ kind of ambiance. If you want a white table cloth kind of place, the kind with a wine list, try Dudley’s on Short. Or, if you are craving French cuisine, you will find a délicieux, as well as authentic menu at Le Deauville.
For fine dining, Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano has been a Lexington favorite for more than 20 years. If you still want Italian, but want to take to down a notch to more casual fare, you can’t go wrong at Joe Bologna’s Restaurant & Pizza or Pazzo’s Pizza Pub. Although there are lots of steak restaurants in Lexington, Malone’s always gets voted the best, but die hard natives choose Columbia Steak House, which is a more home-towny kind of place. Warm, inviting, and slightly upscale, the Merrick Inn oozes Southern charm. Set in an old home, the staff is so welcoming, you feel like you are in their home. The menu features Kentucky favorites like fried chicken and hot brown.
If you are looking for more of that southern cuisine but one of the upscale, Ramseys is like dining at your neighbor’s house. Very casual, but with a menu that is packed with stick-to-your-ribs choices. For fast food, American Graffiti style, you won’t want to miss the Parkette Drive In, where they still bring food out to your car – just like the 50s.
Speaking of service, Hall’s On the River is an ages-old, landmark kind of place where they treat you like family. Order the beer cheese, it is phenomenal. Speaking of cheese, at Stella’s Deli they have massive, not-so-typical sandwiches and they use Kentucky cheese, which means you can’t go wrong. Another deli-style restaurant featuring one fantastic sandwich after the next is Wallace Station Restaurant and Bakery. The food is unbelievable, but another good thing is it is in the middle of horse-country, so you might pick up some betting tips from the guys at the next table.