Kentucky has great American food restaurants, but occasionally one might crave ethnic food. When that time comes most Kentuckians aren’t disappointed with our broad selection of delicious ethnic places to dine. We can go for Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Greek, Indian, Italian or more, depending on the city. The bigger cities such as Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green tend to have bigger selections, but smaller towns will likely have one or two “out of this world” restaurants. Those are the ones you want to eat at because if they survive in a small town, they really are good.
12. Alwatan Restaurant
If you love Gyros, kabobs, falafa and a mouthwatering selection of Mediterranean cuisine, you will want to visit Alwatan at 3707 Klondike Lane in Louisville. The lamb gyro is a high demand favorite and the baba ganouge just dissolves on the tongue. The friendly service, fresh preparation and overall delightful food makes this a must visit.
11. Anna's Greek Restaurant
For a delightful dining experience, get to the Greek at 607 Happy Valley Road in Glasgow. Anna’s offers friendly service, authentic Grecian food, and weekly belly dancers as entertainment for the diners. This is not what one expects from a restaurant tucked into a mid-size city, so it makes for a very pleasant surprise. The meatballs and fresh pita bread are delicious, and the desserts are something you won’t want to skip.
10. Mi Pequena Hacienda
Located at 3501 Lansdowne Drive in Lexington, this Mexican restaurant is known as the best in the area. They make fantastic burritos, tacos, fajitas and other fine Hispanic cuisine that is actually authentic, not Americanized. They have a newer location at Brannon Crossing, which is said to be equally amazing.
9. Mis Amigos
(It's so good, even the Amish dine here!)
This authentic Mexican eatery at 600 KY-259 in Brownsville, is renowned for its high quality service, a fair price and fantastic food. The salsa is a favorite among locals and is considered the absolute best in the area. Portions are always generous and made to order with fresh ingredients. If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you will want to make a trip to Mis Amigos.
8. Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant
Miyoshi offers a unique atmosphere at 8660 Bankers Street in Florence, including a tatami room. The food is served up fresh and patrons can sit and watch the sushi chefs creating edible works of art. The service here is impeccable, along with each and every dish they make. For authentic Japanese cuisine, including some lesser known dishes, this is a fantastic spot hidden away in Florence.
The food at 111 S Upper Street in Lexington is made with fresh ingredients and a passion for the cuisine. They say the chef at Nat’s is completely passionate about Thai food and has perfected the art of preparing it. The Basil Beef comes with high recommendations if you like spicy food, but everything on the menu is fantastic.
6. Safier Mediterranean Deli
This delightful traditional Mediterranean food restaurant is located in the renowned 4th Street area of Louisville, at 641 S 4th. It is one of the local favorites to frequent for authentic Indian cuisine, providing not only fabulous food, but also friendly, fast service. The chicken shwarma, kabobs, sauces and sandwiches are all mouthwatering and made fresh daily. It's well worth the visit if you happen to be in the Louisville area.
5. Suplex Tacos
Gas station food is usually something you want to avoid… but not at 3613 13th Street in Ashland. Instead, you will want to line up at this authentic Mexican food grill neatly tucked inside what appears to be a gas station. The food is comparable, but better than Moe’s or Chipotle, with generous portions and an authentic touch. Suplex has a Luchador theme, which gives it an unusual but unique and interesting atmosphere. The 619 and Atlantis Burritos come highly recommended, but all food served here is to drool for.
4. Thai Smile
The atmosphere at 1193 Old US Highway 127 Road in Frankfort is low key and comfortable, but the food is an explosion of flavor. The traditional Thai food prepared here is like dining in the actual country with every bite offering an explosion of flavor and spice. The portions are generous, the ingredients fresh and the food, absolutely mouthwatering. There is also a Richmond location.
3. Tres Hermanos Nunez
This family owned and operated authentic Mexican restaurant located at 502 E Main Street in Grayson has the best food for a fair price in the area. The service is friendly, portions are generous and the flavor is everything you’d expect when craving authentic Mexican food. This is a must visit place if you happen to be in the Grayson area and have a fondness for ethnic foods.
2. Tsunami Asian Cuisine
Those that are fans of sushi, sashimi and authentic Asian cuisine won’t want to miss this restaurant at 1689 Campbell Lan in Bowling Green. The Bunh Mi, Com Ga and Pho are flavorful and spiced perfectly. Every dish seems to be made with care and the flavors all pop out, just as they should. Nothing there could be considered bland. Even the milder dishes have enough flavor to make them more appealing than they’d be elsewhere.
1. Vietnam Kitchen
This Vietnamese restaurant is a real gem of a find if you enjoy Vietnamese cuisine. Nestled in at 5339 Mitscher Avenue in Louisville, this fast and friendly restaurant serves up very generous portions of made to order dishes of variable spice levels. Their menu has a variety of both vegetarian and meat dishes, both of which are incredibly appealing. They make mouthwatering egg rolls and patrons are known to drive all the way from Cincinnati to dine on their Bun Bo Hue.
Not everyone in Kentucky enjoys ethnic cuisine, but those who do will want to check out the above restaurants, depending on your preference. These are just a few of many non-American fare restaurants scattered across the Bluegrass. Obviously, I cannot visit them all, so I need the input of OIK readers. What are your favorite places to dine on ethnic food in the Bluegrass State?