Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Lexington and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Charlie Brown's Restaurant thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Ramsey's Diner, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

Sidebar Grill
This cozy local joint is known for serving up homemade grub at reasonable prices. The menu is somewhat limited, but it offers classic favorites like pulled BBQ, chicken, fish, a homemade veggie burger, and their signature, savory sirloin burger. All come with chips or fries and are priced under 10 dollars. If you're thirsty, they have a number of inexpensive beers available, including Guinness and Blue Moon. But their delectable sweet potato fries, served with brown sugar dipping sauce, alone are well worth the trip. (859-225-8883)

Alfalfa Restaurant
Known for vegetarian fare, this casual establishment near the UK also satisfies carnivores with its menu's wide-ranging scope. For more than a generation, the place has offered healthy alternatives to favorite dishes, serving everything from quiche to chicken and salmon, not to mention plenty of vegetable accompaniments and side dishes. Desserts are available, and theme nights are held regularly, expanding the menu and the fun. You'll also find a terrific weekend brunch and occasional live entertainment. (859-253-0014)

Bronte Bistro
The original Lexington location of the highly successful Joseph-Beth Booksellers chain also showcases the culinary strides made with the opening of an on-site restaurant and wine bar. More than a cafe selling coffee and snacks, Bronte offers full-service dining, and it highlights recipes from cookbooks sold on the premises. Featuring dishes created by folks like Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentis, and Jacques Pepin, the cafe delivers truly delicious gourmet fare and offers a pleasant place to while away some time while you peruse a new volume or catch up with friends. (859-422-1429, 859-273-2911)

Sawyer's Downtown Bar & Grill
Large windows that look out onto West Main fill this casual spot with light, creating an open ambience with exposed ductwork, neon bar signs, and a carved wooden carousel horse. Lots of dining options are available, from a salad bar to burgers, sandwiches, chili, and cafeteria-style fare. Plus, you can take advantage of table service, hang out in a booth, or join individual diners at the counter. Come evening, local business folks and college students cluster around the bar, looking for conviviality and a cold beer, neither of which is hard to find. (859-281-6022)

Courtyard Deli
Beneath green-and-tan-striped awnings, large windows look out on the old courthouse, an apt view given the interior's yesteryear leanings. Mosaic-tiled floors, vintage news articles and photos, and the slow whir of ceiling fans create the feel of days gone by, and folks lounge about, eating well and enjoying it all. Gourmet sandwiches (grilled yellowfin tuna, portabella mushroom melt, smoked salmon, smoked turkey and avocado) comprise the bulk of the menu, along with salads (caesar, chef, Cobb, Mediterranean, spinach) and soups (white chili, wild rice, tomato Florentine). The staff offers a welcome friendliness, and delivery service is available. (859-252-3354)

Greentree Tearoom
Eminently elegant and a haven for "ladies who lunch," this well-received tearoom occupies a pale green brick cottage, complete with wrought iron fencing and a boxwood-lined walk. Adorned with polished antiques, silver, and china, the tearoom serves beautiful, delicate dishes for lunch and for afternoon tea. Set menus offer five courses, including soup, scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, quiche, and perfectly-brewed teas. Many folks bring visiting guests to enjoy this bit of genteel culture, but it's wonderful for any occasion and any time. An antiques shop is adjacent. (859-455-9660)

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 indulge in big portions of incredible, home-cooked food, and the much-loved signature dish is the hot brown: toast, turkey, bacon, tomato, and cream sauce, broiled to perfection. You can also sample old-school fare like chicken and dumplings, pot roast, and plenty of good vegetables. Brunch is a weekend tradition in the area, and hot biscuits and frosty, bottled Cokes are reason enough to visit. (859-259-2708)

The Garden Café at Flag Fork Herb Farm
On a plot of land whose settlement dates from the late 18th century, an area couple grow herbs for commercial purposes and operate a quaint gardening shop. They also make use of the herbs in delightful lunchtime fare, served at the home amid manicured landscaping. The menu features sandwiches, soups, and desserts, tinged with the fragrance of all that grows in the environs. A charming respite from the city and from pre-packaged standards. (859-252-6837, 859-233-7381)

Stella's Kentucky Deli
While lots of high-end restaurants are promoting locally sourced foods, more casual eateries often find it difficult to compete. Not so Stella's. The easygoing place proves that premium foods don't have to come at premium prices. Fresh produce, baked-nearby breads, and local beef, lamb, and cheese figure into the menu, as seen in the classic hot brown sandwich and the seasonal fried green tomato BLT. Fair trade organic coffees and local ginger ale can also be had. Plan for crowds at lunch time. (859-255-3354)

Charlie Brown's Restaurant
When you step inside, pause for just a moment to give your eyes time to adjust. This is, literally, the darkest pub ever. It's also a comfortable haven, thanks to loaded bookcases along the walls and a host of garage-sale sofas perfect for lounging. A few fireplaces also add ambience and a small measure of light. The food, mainly pub fare, is terrific, from great burgers and fries to luscious patty melts and fish sandwiches. Add a cold, iced Bud, and everything's good. A juke box churns out classic rock, and a back patio serves as an awesome hangout. A favorite with local college folks. (859-269-5701)

Maps and Directions

Sidebar Grill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Alfalfa Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Bronte Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, New American
Neighborhood: Airport - Lex
Cost: $
Sawyer's Downtown Bar & Grill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Courtyard Deli 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Deli
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Greentree Tearoom 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, British, European
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Cost: $$
Ramsey's Diner 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner, Soul Food
Neighborhood: Chevy Chase
Cost: $
The Garden Café at Flag Fork Herb Farm 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Cost: $
Stella's Kentucky Deli 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner, Regional
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Charlie Brown's Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Chevy Chase
Cost: $
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