If you happen to walk into a place and find minimal seating and a tiny space, don’t assume the worst. A little hole in the wall restaurant can be home to big flavor and great food. We have visited some tiny Kentucky restaurants, and never left feeling hungry or disappointed in the quality of food received. The old saying, “big things come in small packages” can really ring true when it comes to a lot in the Bluegrass State, especially diners.
10. Cecconi’s Restaurant at 117 W Main Street in Springfield
The specials are written on the chalkboard with care daily at Springfield’s oldest restaurant. Patron’s have been enjoying the cuisine here since 1937. They still pile in the doors to enjoy fresh roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, chicken, fish and more daily.
9. Cottage Café at 11609 Main Street in Middletown
This cafe has favorites like Hot Brown, Tomato Dill soup, and delicious, deli style sandwiches piled high with ingredients. The food is fixed fresh and tasty, but the desserts are the highlight of every patron’s day. The sweets change day to day, but feature things like a pumpkin praline cheesecake and coconut cream pie.
8. Rick’s Barbecue and More at 5850 US 60 in Ashland
The hickory smoked flavor wafts out the door and into the parking lot to further entice patrons inside. They close by 7 p.m. most days, but that give people time to make it for dinner. The sides are flavorful and the barbecue itself is what keeps people coming back. The flavors are rich and the meat is so tender it almost melts in your mouth.
7. Athenian Grill on 313 S Ashland Avenue in Lexington
You may not be able to turn around, but as long as your utensil can reach your mouth you will be happy here. Athenian is the go to place to get mouthwatering Greek food. The lamb gyro, lemon potatoes, baklava and more are all completely amazing.
6. Kentucky Depot at 119 Melker Trail in Stanford
This family friendly restaurant offers specials daily that you’d expect right out of Grandma’s kitchen. They serve up fresh meals like Tenderloins, vegetable soup, cornbread, fresh vegetables and chicken and dumplings. Everything is fresh and though crowded… everyone feels at home. There is a unique section offering a variety of goods apart from the dining area.
5. Little Town and Country at 355 US 42 in Bedford
This is a diner style family favorite spot where you can get the greatest burgers in town, a fine country fried steak, and southern breakfasts as they are meant to be. If it is breakfast you want, go for their breakfast bowl, which comes with eggs, hash browns or home fries, a choice of meats and biscuits with gravy.
4. Main Bite at 522 Main Street in Covington
This restaurant adds a special flair to common dishes that make patrons keep coming back. Some of their specialty dishes are smoked brisket nachos with roasted poblano cheese, sriracha steak flatbread, lemon risotto with shrimp, Atlantic salmon or honey goat cheese BLT on a croissant. One favorite is the Hillbilly Benedict, which is a flaky biscuit, goetta, poached eggs and a hollandaise sauce.
3. Cunningham’s Creekside at 6301 River Road in Prospect
Cunningham’s offers patrons a peaceful river view along one of the Ohio River’s offshoots. Seating inside is minimal, but the food is fantastic. They have one of the best fish sandwiches in the area, and their gumbo has just the right spice. For appetizers, the fried cheese, oysters and fish fingers are all first rate.
2. El Taco Luchador at 938 Baxter in Louisville
We all get a craving for Mexican food, and though El Taco Luchador is small, it gives customers big flavors in every bite. It is not unusual to see a crowd, and once you get your food you will understand why. This little place is big on variety offering tacos most people have never even heard of. You will find yourself discovering new favorites every time you visit.
1. Piper’s Café at 520 W 6th Street in Covington
This is a special little place perfect for the meat lover’s, vegetarians and vegans of Covington. Piper’s offers some wonderful meat dishes, like the Cajun Beef and Andouille sandwith and local chicken sandwich. The Vegetarian menu offers things like the Ac/Pc Well Grounded sandwich. It contains sprouts, cucumbers, peppers, red cabbage, asparagus pesto and bean spread, but they have many other options.
Sometimes it is worth the wait in a tiny Kentucky restaurant, even when seating is minimal. In most cases, if there is a line, or the dining area is full, the food will be worth the wait. Some of our best meals have been in a tiny diner. What is your favorite tiny restaurant in Kentucky?