If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Lexington guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Lexington for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Marikka's to busy places like Two Keys Tavern that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Downtown area? No fear - we share all the facts!



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 and civilized details, and the...  Read More

Rosebud Bar and SILKS Lounge


In tandem, these adjacent bars make for a host of nighttime fun. Rosebud, to the left, features murals, photo collages, and an eclectic ambience. It's often packed shoulder-to-shoulder with college students and young professionals looking to...  Read More

Two Keys Tavern


This cream-colored brick building is often the site of campus festivities. A cavernous interior of brick and rough pine, punctuated with beer memorabilia and UK artifacts, hints at the casual atmosphere, and a back deck, several bars, and...  Read More



Dim, atmospheric, and trendy, Pazzo's definitely adds to the cool quotient along South Limestone. The multi-leveled pizzeria is a favorite of college students and makes for a great hang-out any time of day. Constantly busy, the casual place...  Read More

Airport - Lex


Known for hearty meals packed with rustic flavor, Marikka's is a fabulous destination for German fare. From wienerschnitzel to sauerbraten, the menu offers a host of great dishes. However, the place is just as renowned for its extensive listing...  Read More

Airport - Lex
The Pub Lexington


As close as you can get to an authentic pub outside of the UK, this Lexington establishment was built with most of its interior assembled in Britain and then shipped across the pond. As a result, the ambience is classy and fun, great for an...  Read More

Horse & Barrel


Offering a dash of British style and a wealth of Kentucky bourbons, this oft-frequented establishment draws a wide range of patrons. Its affiliation with deSha's offers a built-in clientele, and the pub's reputation for relaxed drinking, good...  Read More

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...  Read More

Atomic Café


Tropical flair colors this lively restaurant, which sports bright interior murals and rhythmic Caribbean music. The cuisine follows suit, from crisp sweet potato chips to zesty jerk chicken, tropically-flavored fresh fish, conch fritters,...  Read More