If you’re thinking of moving to Lexington or if you’re new in town, I’ve compiled a list of Lexington Ky restaurants for you to add to your bucket list. Lexington has an amazing dining selection with over 100 non-chain, independent restaurants- so there is no way I can include everything. But if you want to get a taste of the restaurant vibe, this list is a good place to start. The following restaurants are a mix of old and new, formal and casual, that I believe should be on your must-visit list whether you live here, are visiting or are moving to Lexington KY!
Dudley’s • 259 West Short Street • 859.252.1010859.252.1010
Located in the heart of downtown,is an upscale restaurant that has been a Lexington favorite for over thirty years. It’s a popular spot for happy hours, especially during Thursday Night Live, where live bands perform directly across from the restaurant. Go on a Friday or Saturday night to soak in the city vibe from the sidewalk tables. Make dinner reservations for their amazing rooftop to wow someone special.
Windy Corner • 4595 Bryan Station Road • 859.294.9338859.294.9338
Drive about 8 miles north of downtown via Broadway which turns into Paris Pike, and turn right onto Muir Station Road, continuing about a mile until you see colorful Windy Corner Market. The scenic ride past some amazing horse farms and historic stone walls is a gorgeous example of prime Kentucky Bluegrass. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a casual eatery where you line up to place your order. The food is fresh and local, with sandwiches featuring fresh baked bread from their in-house bakery. Family-friendly, Windy Corner is the perfect spot for a Saturday lunch.
Merrick Inn • 1074 Merrick Drive • 859.269.5417859.269.5417
If you’re looking for classic Kentucky fine dining, look no further than the. They have been serving Southern cuisine for over 40 years. The restaurant is set in a historic manor house that was at once part of a horse farm. Menu favorites include the Hot Brown, Filet Mignon, and Southern Fried Chicken. With white table cloths, valet parking, and an “Old Kentucky” feel, this is a great choice for celebrating an anniversary or entertaining out of town guests.
Good Foods • 455 Southland Avenue • 859.278.1813859.278.1813
A Lexington treasure for decades, Good Foods is an organic grocery store with a large cafe. The buffet-style eatery features foods that are local, organic, and vegetarian friendly. The community-owned coop offers an ever-changing menu with items like Okra Gumbo, Coconut Lentil Casserole, Asian Tilapia and Mediterranean Chicken Wraps. You will also find real fruit smoothies, desserts, and fair trade coffee. Good Foods offers lunch and dinner during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekends. The cafe is the place to take college kids and those who are passionate about non-GMO and sustainability. Click the link to see photos and my blog post about Good Foods.
Shakespeare & Company • 367 West Short Street • 859.367.0411859.367.0411
There is nothing in town quite like the lavishly decorated interior of(see photo at the top of this post). The dining room is filled with inviting couches and chairs and a variety of seating arrangements. You can actually eat dinner nestled on one of the many plush sofas. Shakespeare’s also has outside dining at its courtyard and on the sidewalk along Broadway. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a 15-page menu of Mediterranean and American cuisine. Since patrons get to pick their own table, have a large menu to choose from, and the decor is a good conversation topic, Shakespeare’s gets my vote as the best place to go on a first date.
Doodles • 262 North Limestone • 859.317.8507859.317.8507
Doodles has been a breakfast favorite ever since they launched over two years ago. Open for breakfast and lunch, the emphasis is on locally-sourced and organic. The southern-style menu features beignets, stratta, johnny cakes, grits, corned beef hash, as well as traditional breakfast fare. You line up to place your order and the service is fast and efficient. First timers are advised to sit down and peruse the extensive menu for a few moments before joining the ordering line. Conveniently located on the north side of downtown, Doodles is a great choice for breakfast any day of the week, except Mondays.
Grey Goose • 170 Jefferson Street • 859.233.1500859.233.1500
Looking for a place to watch the big game or to hang out with a group of friends? Look no further than the Grey Goose, in the hip and trendy Jefferson Street neighborhood in the west end. There’s indoor seating and a large outdoor patio, including a covered area with TVs. New York style thin crust pizzas with a wide variety of toppings (fried egg, anyone?) are the highlight of their menu, which also has typical pub food such as wings and spinach dip.
Athenian Grill • 313 South Ashland Avenue • 859.303.5048859.303.5048
Authentic Greek food can be found for lunch or dinner atin the Chevy Chase neighborhood. Line up to place your order and then eat at one of the small tables in the front, outside, or upstairs in the cozy dining area. Explore the best Greek food in town by trying the classic Gyro pita sandwich with the beef and lamb, hummus, mousaka, spanikopita, and many others. Athenian Grill is a popular place with not a whole lot of seating so it gets my vote for best take out.
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