restaurants lexington

Laura Madden

5 mins read

Mar 18, 2024


10 Recommended Restaurants in Lexington

It’s no new news that Lexington has a busy visitor season all year, and the breeze of this season has bloomed nice restaurants in Lexington, KY. Finding the best restaurant in town with too many options is as complicated as finding it where none exists. We’re here to help you win this quest.

Whether you’re visiting this city or a Lexingtonian trying to find someplace new, this blog lists the 10 best restaurants in Lexington that will exceed your expectations.

Dudleys on Short

Specialty: Fine Dining, Americal Cuisine

Dudleys on Short is a beloved spot in Lexington, serving delicious dishes since ’81. With a menu full of creative delights, shelves brimming with wine choices, and a snug bar to cozy up in, it’s the ideal blend of fancy without fuss, warmth, and top-notch service.

If you visit during the summer, you should dine on the rooftop terrace to enjoy great food with spectacular views. Visitors recommend trying baked goat cheese paired with bourbon at this romantic restaurant in Lexington, KY.

Carson’s Food and Drinks

Specialty: Chef-Driven Menu, Prohibition-style cocktails.

Carson’s Food and Drinks has been serving the legacy of Kentucky in Downtown Lexington. This charming place is decked out with cozy wood and brick details, fancy chandeliers, and a mix of intriguing decorations.

What makes Carson’s unique is that they use local Kentucky ingredients and partner with nearby breweries to craft delicious dishes and drinks. This place makes statements with the stunning murals that add a pop of color and culture. And the food? There’s something for everyone on the menu, whether you’re feeling adventurous or sticking to a specific diet. This eatery is one of the few restaurants in Lexington, KY, with a kids’ menu.

Since Carson’s is so famous and busy, you should call them to make a reservation ahead of time. That way, you won’t have to worry about finding a spot when it’s bustling.

Merrick Inn Restaurant

Specialty: Southern Dining, Weekly Specials

Merrick Inn has offered the best Southern classics and personal services for over 43 years. This charming Lexington, KY restaurant, covered with a patio, has a menu that keeps upgrading with modern updates. Apart from the mouthwatering food, people visit this place for its pre-Civil War manor home setting and sweeping green lawns.

You can revel in their Sunday Dinners, where they serve Southern Classics like classic fried chicken and steaks. You can also enjoy live music every Monday during the patio session. Wednesdays are reserved for famous fried chicken nights, in which you are offered a platter with two pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes with pan gravy, and two sides of your choice. Since they have a meal for every hour, Merrick Inn will probably be one of the Lexington restaurants offering Mother’s Day brunch.

Bourbon n’ Toulouse

Specialty: Cajun Restaurants, Home-Cooked Meals

Bourbon n’ Toulouse is a cozy spot on Euclid Avenue running with a simple goal: serving delicious food. With a menu bursting with flavorful Cajun and Creole dishes and a line-up of rotating beers, it’s no wonder why fans flock to this place.

Step inside, and you’ll discover vibrant vibes that match the colorful flavors of the kitchen. Comfort food flies out faster than you can find your perfect seat—and don’t forget to grab some hot sauce!

But Bourbon n’ Toulouse is much more than the classics. They’ve got options for everyone, including gluten-free and vegetarian choices. And if you like a bit of heat, the spicy dishes are a perfect match for a local craft beer or a refreshing Ale-8-One, a ginger-infused soft drink straight out of Kentucky.

To top it all off, the owner is as friendly as can be, often hosting festivals and giving back to the community.


Specialty: Ramen, Skewers, and Sushi

Here, you’ll find all kinds of Japanese dishes like ramen, poke, sushi, and boba tea. They have an exceptional setup with a full poke bowl and bubble tea bar, plus a complete range of Japanese drinks at their full-service bar. And get this – they even have a robot server named Bella! Bella can chat with customers and deliver their food right to their table.

This restaurant in Lexington, KY, is, in one word- exceptional. The ramen is amazingly delicious, and their sushi is ahead of anything Japanese you’ll have in Kentucky.

Tony’s of Lexington

Specialties: Steakhouse, Seafood

Step into Tony’s of Lexington and know why it is the talk of the town. This Lexington restaurant offers mouthwatering steaks, delightful seafood, and a cozy bar menu, all in a setting that blends rustic charm with modern vibes. It is one of the best restaurants in Lexington, KY, and it has the potential to impress your parents.

At Tony’s, it’s not just about the food but the entire experience. From the moment you walk in, you experience top-notch service that makes you feel at home. The food is beyond tasty; it’s an explosion of flavors. Tony’s has won many awards for its innovative cuisine and impeccable manners. But what sets it apart is the genuine Southern hospitality that will make you want to revisit this restaurant repeatedly.

OBC Kitchen

Specialty: Gastropub, craft beer

This Lexington, KY, restaurant is a locally owned and chef-driven gastropub that knows how to serve drinks and food. Inside, it feels like you’re in an old-timey Southern house with fancy wooden furniture. If you love bourbon, you’re in luck! OBC Kitchen has over 300 types to choose from.

And if you’re picky about what you eat, no worries! They’ve got more than 10 gluten-free dishes. That includes yummy delicacies like chocolate desserts, special dishes like candied bacon in a glass, short rib tacos, and fried oysters.

CookinGenie Cooks Restaurants Style Meals in your Home

Specialty: Customized Menus, Restaurant-Quality Dining, Convenience, Variety

Have you ever wished you could enjoy restaurant-style meals without leaving the comfort of your home? Well, with CookinGenie, that dream becomes a delicious reality! CookinGenie connects you with talented chefs who can whip up incredible meals right in your own house.

You can customize your meals to suit your tastes and dietary preferences, and your private chef in Lexington, KY, will ensure everything is taken care of. All you have to do is pick up your phone and book a chef to savor dishes cooked better than at restaurants in Lexington.

Stella’s Kentucky Deli

Specialty: Deli, Breakfast

Step into Stella’s Kentucky Deli, where local farmers take the spotlight! Stella supports the community and lets their guests savor the goodness of fresh, local ingredients. Everything is lovingly made from scratch right here in the kitchen, from sandwiches to soups and salads to desserts. Visit their downtown location for a taste of home-cooked meals. If you love what you get at this eatery, you can also give them a call to cater your events at home.

Coles 735 Main

Specialty: Casual Fine Dining, Fireplace, New American Cusine

Another top-rated restaurant in Lexington, KY, is Cole’s 375 Main. What is different here? Juicy meat, crunchy veggies picked fresh, and bread so tasty it’s baked daily. The ingredients used at this restaurant are sourced locally from nearby farms.

The food is undeniably finger-licking good, but handcrafted cocktails with unique twists make the lining golden. Their bourbon selection is worth every hangover and the award-winning wine line-up.

Apart from serving their guests with the best, their mission is also to honor the history of KY, for which they have their restaurant running in a restored historic landmark in downtown Lexington.

Corto Lima

Specialty: Latin-inspired dishes, happy food hour

This restaurant in Lexington, KY, sure knows how to entice foodies in their happy food hour. This eatery has been named All-Inclusive Eater Paradise for its diverse menu, exceptional service and food, great atmosphere, and clean environment. Their brunch is the perfect first taste, with its small plates testing many breakfast items.

Churro sundae with Strawberry Hibiscus and ice Cream plates are known to be addictive among visitors. And if you wish to sip Lexington’s Best Margarita, you must visit Corto Lima. On their Lunch/Dinner Menu of 30 items, 12 items are Vegetarian, 6 are Vegan, and 18 are gluten-free. It doesn’t get any more inclusive than this.

Diggin’ In

This blog post was our take on the best places to eat. From vegan restaurants in Lexington, KY, to rooftop settings, there is something for everyone. So grab your forks and dig in the best Lexington has to offer.  

Laura Madden

Partnerships & Events Manager

With a flair for creating meaningful connections through food, Laura excels in crafting unique and engaging human experiences. Her calm and friendly approach makes complex problems look like a piece of cake. When she's not forging and fostering partnerships in hospitality, she's out trying new restaurants in town.

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