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Best Restaurants in Lexington

Restaurants in Lexington, Kentucky, offer the farm-to-table dining experience and others serve international fare including Japanese, Mexican, West African, and Thai cuisine. Keeping with its Southern roots, Lexington's food scene includes an array of restaurants that serve Southern delicacies such as fried chicken and waffles, creamy grits, braised short ribs, and pound cake. There are several bourbon distilleries in Lexington. Therefore, there is no shortage of pubs and bars that serve bourbon whiskey and house cocktails made with Lexington's own Wild Turkey or Woodford Reserve bourbon. Many of the restaurants in Lexington have received recognition from national publications including the Washington Post, Southern Living Magazine, Conde Nest Traveler, and Forbes Magazine. Local media outlets including radio stations and television networks have also recognized several Lexington restaurants for their customer service and menus (including their cocktail and bourbon drinks).

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The OpenTable Team
14 Restaurants
Updated January 19, 2022
Restaurants:Tony's of Lexington, Merrick Inn, OBC Kitchen
Price Range:$$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Steakhouse, Contemporary Southern, American
Neighborhoods:Lexington
A photo of Tony's of Lexington restaurant

Tony's of Lexington

$$$$
Steakhouse
Lexington
4.8
3943 reviews
Tony's is a nationally renowned restaurant in downtown Lexington, opened in 2014. It's owned by Tony Ricci, an experienced restaurateur who is a native of Italy. Being close to Rupp Arena, Tony's is a good place to dine after watching the University of Kentucky Wildcats play basketball. This restaurant is open during the dinner hours only and specializes in steak and seafood. Some popular items on its menu include oysters, mussels, rack of lamb, filet mignon, and braised short ribs. All of its steaks are USDA prime beef. Side dishes like bourbon whipped sweet potatoes, a five cheese mac or truffle wedges make for a complete meal. Add a cocktail or a glass of wine from its full-service bar to any meal. It also has an extensive list of bourbons and cognacs for the liquor connoisseur. Tony's of Lexington has plenty of seating with two spacious floors for dining. Its decor is somewhat rustic with hardwood floors, a brick accent wall and wooden chairs. Blue walls, off-white high-back leather benches, decorative ceiling panels, and pendant lighting give this restaurant a modern flair.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of Merrick Inn restaurant

Merrick Inn

$$$$
Contemporary Southern
Lexington
4.6
3287 reviews
The Merrick Inn has been a staple in Lexington since 1976. Over the years, this restaurant has been recognized by TOPS (part of the Lexington Magazine) and was listed in Forbes as one of the 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America. It was also named one of "America's Best Bourbon Bars" by the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Merrick Inn offers luxurious dining with a Southern-inspired menu of fried chicken, pork chops, fried green tomatoes, homemade bread, and cobbler or pound cake for dessert. From the bar, diners can order a glass of wine or a cocktail such as an Apple Plum Mule (made with vodka, ginger beer and plum bitters). When the weather is nice, ask to dine outdoors on its covered patio. Diners can also walk the grounds while appreciating its finely manicured lawn and colorful flowers. The Merrick Inn is housed in a beautifully restored manor. In keeping with the period of the building, indoors it has a dark brown decor with chandelier lighting, a cozy fireplace, and muskets hanging like artwork on the wall. The tables are covered with white linen table cloths to give it a somewhat formal feel. And with numerous dining rooms, it is a good place to enjoy a quiet, romantic dinner. Legend has it that the name Merrick comes from a famous horse which is buried on the grounds. The Merrick Inn is a restaurant of the One Holland Restaurant Group owned by Gary Holland. Holland owns over 30 restaurants in Kentucky.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of OBC Kitchen restaurant

OBC Kitchen

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.8
2837 reviews
Dine on Southern dishes with a modern twist at OBC, or Old Bourbon County Kitchen. This stylish bar has the look and feel of a neighborhood tavern. Its decor includes tables made of dark wood, leather seats, wood paneling (made from locally sourced barn wood), and a wall-to-wall glass bar cabinet where the owner's impressive collection of bourbon is displayed. Diners can choose to sit at the bar or at one of its barrel-style tables for a more intimate dining experience. On nice days, there is seating in front of the restaurant. OBC Kitchen opened in 2014 and is owned by the Bluegrass Hospitality Group who owns several restaurants in and around Lexington. Along with Southern dishes such as barbecued shrimp, chicken in country biscuits, and braised short ribs, sides like stoned ground grits and skillet cornbread are also favorites of the locals. Order a glass of wine to go with a meal or choose a bourbon cocktail to pair with a buttermilk donut dessert. It is an award-winning restaurant that was named one of the Best Brunch Restaurants by the WTVQ television station.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Carson's Food & Drink restaurant

Carson's Food & Drink

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.8
3852 reviews
Carson's is a casual dining restaurant with dishes like mahi tuna lettuce wraps, cheese grits, and burgers with a variety of toppings including bacon, eggs, garlic aioli, and onion straws. It also offers a kids' menu with favorites like macaroni and cheese or grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bourbon cocktails and trendy drinks, such as Carson's whiskey sour, are the bar's specialty. The restaurant's interior is rustic with a touch of elegance. Its decor features brick walls, hardwood floors, wooden tables with leather benches, and glitzy chandeliers hanging from its industrial-style ceiling. While at Carson's, diners can watch the Wildcats play on one of its many flat-screen televisions. Outdoor seating is possible on its spacious patio which features a fireplace. Carson's Food and Drink was named one of the "Top 100 Brunch Spots in America" by Whiskey and Culture Magazine. It was also spotlighted in the Fabulous in Fayette publication. Mark Fitchner is the owner and proprietor of this restaurant. He has been dubbed a hometown hero by the local radio station 106.3 FM because of his commitment to his staff. Carson's Food and Drink opened in 2016.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Coles 735 Main restaurant

Coles 735 Main

$$$$
Unspecified
Lexington
4.8
2950 reviews
Coles 735 Main opened in 2012. The menu at Coles 735 Main focuses on locally grown produce and ingredients. It includes appetizers like pork tostadas and lobster bisque and entrees such as filet mignon and diver scallops served with seasonal vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, and Southern succotash. A wide selection of gluten-free dishes is also available for those with special dietary needs. The building that houses Coles 735 main was built in 1938 and was extensively renovated. Its decor is country chic with a whitewashed brick fireplace, cherry wood furniture, chicken sculptures, and yellow walls with sky blue accents. The restaurant also provides outdoor seating on a spacious, covered patio with lots of greenery and a brick floor. This restaurant won the Wine Spectator Magazine's Award in 2018. It was also featured in Kentucky Living and received honorable mention in a restaurant contest sponsored by America's Best Racing. Cole's is named for its executive chef and co-owner, Cole Arimes. Arimes is an award-winning chef and the owner of two restaurants in the city of Lexington.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Malone’s – Hamburg restaurant

Malone’s – Hamburg

$$$$
Steakhouse
Lexington
4.7
2475 reviews
Malone's was ranked as one of the Great Steak Houses of North America and is the perfect place for steak lovers. Its menu consists of prime beef dishes such as filet mignon, prime boneless ribeye or prime center-cut sirloin. Add a side dish like macaroni and cheese or a sweet potato casserole to the order to make a full meal. Family-friendly, this restaurant also offers a special menu with kid-friendly dishes like grilled cheese, chicken fingers or spaghetti with marinara sauce. Desserts like Sal's cheesecake and a chocolate chip cookie are also a favorite of diners. This restaurant has a steakhouse decor which begins with an oversized commercial awning showcasing the name "Malone's". Indoors, its decor includes dark wood furniture, leather chairs, brick walls, and cement floors. All around the restaurant, there are televisions mounted for diners to enjoy and watch sporting events while eating. There is also an outdoor space with heating to make it possible to use the patio year-round. Co-owners Bruce Drake and Brian McCarty are behind the vision of Malone's.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Zen Sushi & Sake restaurant

Zen Sushi & Sake

$$$$
Sushi
Lexington
4.7
285 reviews
The menu at Zen Sushi and Sake is stylish and eclectic. It includes both traditional and modern sushi dishes along with non-sushi dishes like pork dumplings, ramen noodles, bourbon chicken, and miso soup. The chef at Zen Sushi and Sake presents all of its dishes in a creative and artistic way. Each dish is served on boat-shaped platters, adorned with flowers and decorated with drawings on the plate using a variety of sauces. Some of the chef's specials include the volcano roll and a campfire salmon that is prepared over fire right at the table. This restaurant has a contemporary decor and features a black and white color scheme accented with natural wood. Outdoor seating is also available upon request. Zen Sushi and Sake has a weekly Happy Hour where diners can enjoy drink specials on Asian alcoholic beverages including sake, beer (Japanese ale), mio (sparkling sake), and sake cocktails such as a Lavender Cloud, or a Manhattan made with Nikka whiskey.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Dudley's on Short restaurant

Dudley's on Short

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.7
2123 reviews
Residents of the horse capital of the world have enjoyed dining at Dudley's on Short for decades. This downtown restaurant offers fine dining making it a good place to celebrate an anniversary, graduation, or another special occasion. It is located in a building that was built in the Victorian era. Inspired by this period, the interior of the restaurant includes deep red and gold walls, lamp sconces for lighting, and horse-themed paintings for artwork. Diners can also choose to dine outdoors on its large patio with wrought iron tables and chairs and heat lamps for warmth on cooler days. Dudley's is an award-winning restaurant that has been named in Southern Living magazine. Its menu includes nightly chef specials such as roasted beet salad, ahi tuna, or carrot and sweet potato bisque. The chef at Dudley's on Short is a Kentucky native. He trained in Pennsylvania and then worked at restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Boston, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, and Paris, France.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Epping's on Eastside restaurant

Epping's on Eastside

$$$$
Unspecified
Lexington
4.7
1210 reviews
At Epping's on Eastside, all of its dishes are made from scratch. On its menu, there is hanger steak, eggs benedict, crab cakes, pan-fried masala, and smoked chicken spring rolls. Here, diners can enjoy elegant dining in a luxurious dining space. With white chairs, geometric wall paneling, and circle chandeliers, its decor is ultra-chic. One of its main features is a 30-foot bar where diners can eat while socializing. Outdoor seating is also available along the sidewalk. Epping's on Eastside is open for dinner, Wednesday through Sunday, and brunch on the weekends. It is the second restaurant in Lexington that is owned by Cole Arimes.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Distilled on Jefferson restaurant

Distilled on Jefferson

$$$$
Southern
Lexington
4.8
1354 reviews
Enjoy Southern fare at the restaurant Distilled on Jefferson. This is a casual but stylish restaurant with a full-service bar. It has a sophisticated decor with emerald green walls, dark wood tables, off-white fabric-covered chairs, and black and white horse artwork throughout the dining room. Large French doors give the dining room plenty of natural light and provide access to the outdoor dining space. When the weather is nice, diners can enjoy their meal on its spacious patio with plenty of seating. The menu at Distilled on Jefferson features locally grown produce and ingredients which provides a farm-to-table dining experience. Some of its entrees include a spicy Korean chicken sandwich, Carolina catfish, pork chops, and crab ravioli. All entrees are served with side dishes such as warmed yukon potato salad, spaghetti squash, stewed vegetables, or rosemary garlic fries. This restaurant reopened in 2020.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Poppy & Olive restaurant

Poppy & Olive

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.6
64 reviews
Poppy and Olive opened in 2019 and caters to kid diners. Its menu includes dishes like fried pickles, mini mac sliders and chicken wings. Special classes to teach kids dining etiquette are offered regularly at Poppy and Olive. When naming the restaurant, the owner, Cole Arimes, had his kids in mind. The name is in honor of them and reflects what the parents called the kids before they were born. This restaurant is inside of Epping's on Eastside.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Blue Heron Steakhouse restaurant

Blue Heron Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Lexington
4.7
1480 reviews
Blue Heron Steakhouse is locally owned and operated. Its founder and owner, Keith Clark, is a restaurateur who owns other restaurants around Fayette County, Kentucky. It is in a converted home with rustic decor. Some of its design features include hardwood floors, a cozy brick-covered fireplace, wood beams, and wood-planked ceilings. Navy blue tablecloths adorn the tables and give the dining room a touch of elegance. Diners can enjoy the beautiful weather while dining on the restaurant's covered deck. On cooler days, heating lamps are turned on making it possible to dine outdoors on most days of the year at this Lexington steakhouse. The Blue Heron serves high-quality beef and seafood dishes. Its menu includes flat iron steak, lamb porterhouses, and salmon along with side dishes like hand-cut fries, creamed spinach and shrimp with grits. There is also a full-service bar with a wide selection of wines, beers, bourbons, whiskey, and cocktails such as martinis, margaritas and the Blue Heron (made with bourbon whiskey and apricot ginger syrup on ice). This family-friendly restaurant also has a kid-friendly menu for diners under the age of 10.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Honeywood Restaurant restaurant

Honeywood Restaurant

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.5
994 reviews
Ouita Michel (Holly Hill Company) is the owner and operator of Honeywood Restaurant, opened in 2017. Michel is a well-traveled chef who owns several other restaurants in Kentucky. She has also been nominated for several awards including Best Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur. The menu at Honeywood Restaurant changes often to showcase local produce and seasonal ingredients from local farms like Three Springs Farm. Southern dishes such as oven-roasted tilapia served with coconut milk rice and an herb salad with dressing, and pickle brine chicken with winter slaw are just a couple of the stylish dishes served at Honeywood Restaurant. It also has an extensive menu of cocktail drinks, wines and beers. Kids can order from the special kids' menu which includes a quesadilla, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a burger served with grits, veggies or fries. The decor at Honeywood Restaurant is elegant and classy. The exterior of the building is ultra-modern with a wood front, tall windows and a front seating area with a lion fountain. It is tastefully furnished with glass ball chandeliers, brown and green leather bench seating, a checkered pattern floor, lamps with shades, and large ceiling fans to keep the dining room cool on hot days. Both walk-ins and reservations are welcome. This restaurant has been featured in many local and national publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Conde Nast Traveler.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of West Main Crafting Co. restaurant

West Main Crafting Co.

$$$$
American
Lexington
4.8
355 reviews
Visit this cocktail bar for a drink or to grab a burger or another casual meal while out on the town. West Main Crafting Company specializes in American cuisine and popular bar foods such as burgers and chicken wings. Along with burgers, you can order seafood meals like hot pot mussels or corn and crab chowder when dining here. Pasta dishes like pan noodles with vegetables and patis is also served. Add a drink to your meal from its full-service bar. Your options include beer, wine, and craft cocktails made with bourbon or other spirits. When dining here, you can choose to sit at the bar or at a table if dining with a group and looking for more privacy. This cocktail bar is for the 21 and older crowd only making this an ideal spot for date night or a ladies' night out. A wooden bar, wood bar stools, pendant lights, chandeliers, and brick walls make this dining room elegant and chic. West Main Crafting Company is located in downtown Lexington close to the Fayette County Courthouse. You can reach it via West Main Street.

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