Best Lexington, KY Restaurants

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    10. Old San Juan

    Cuban food might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're looking for a meal in Blue Grass Country, but Old San Juan does it, and does it well. Their portions are a good value for the price, and menu...

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    6. Gumbo Ya Ya

    While gumbo is in the name of the restaurant (and it's certainly good), the étouffée and jambalaya are killer as well at this Cajun joint in Lexington. All the sauces (including a few vegetarian options) come...

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    5. Merrick Inn

    In previous days, Merrick Inn was a private manor house, but for more than a generation now, it's been a preferred destination for local folks, especially those in the horse industry. The interior boasts fireplaces...

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    4. Ramsey's Diner

    Although Ramsey's has several locations in town, this one � set in a big, white house � is the original. Everything's casual, nothing matches, and folks love it that way. People come from all over to...

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    3. Bella Notte

    Evoking a Tuscan farmhouse, this inviting restaurant boasts plaster walls, rustic beams, touches of greenery and wrought iron, and even a life-sized "tree" growing from the floor. In keeping with the name ("beautiful...

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    1. Bourbon n' Toulouse

    Brightly painted and adorned with bold art, this little eatery delivers classic Cajun fare at incredibly reasonable prices. Entrees ring up at $6 each, which is an amazing bargain considering the zesty,...

Local Expert Restaurant Recommendations

About Lexington, KY Restaurants

Food in Lexington – whether low-brow or high – often has a strong American impulse behind it. While that tendency could be interpreted as staid in the culinary world, it really asserts that folks know what they like. Moreover, even the basics are being enlivened these days, courtesy of premium ingredients and culinary experimentation, and the results can be astounding. Healthful fare also makes inroads, and in a town that reveres a dish as decadent (and delicious!) as the hot brown – ham, turkey, tomato, and bacon on toast, drenched in mornay sauce and broiled –that's quite an accomplishment. Lots of elegant restaurants occupy classic manor homes – notably Merrick Inn and Holly Hill Inn Restaurant – and downtown venues like the venerable deSha's and the highly regarded Jonathan at Gratz Park prove worthy competitors thanks to exquisite menus and gracious service. Long-lived mainstays like Ramsey's Diner also have legions of fans far and wide, thanks to the place's laid-back attitude, terrific brunches, and unbeatable down-home fare. Lest you think middle Kentucky is devoted exclusively to domestic cuisine, take note of establishments like Marikka's, which offers excellent German dishes and an amazing supply of beers, or Atomic Café, with its flair for Caribbean style and food. It's more than evident that restaurants with international appeal shake up the local dining scene, paying tribute to Lexington's diverse population, a rainbow-broad contingent with tastes to match.

About Kelly Sigmon

Senior editor Kelly Sigmon is Southern born and Ivy educated. During his tenure with the company, Kelly has prized being a mystery traveler and overseeing the printed 10Best Travel Guides for San Francisco, Miami, and Atlanta.

Read more about Kelly here.

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Cuisine