When it comes to traditional foods in the Bluegrass State, many of ours were made popular because they were hearty ways to easily feed the family. One of the most well known is our famed Kentucky burgoo. Why? It is one of the most versatile soup/stews you will ever experience. Every cook who prepares burgoo adds their own special touch to the dish. Originally, it was prepared with squirrel, possum, rabbit, or whatever meat was available. Now, we tend to utilize beef, pork, mutton or chicken and occasionally venison.
Depending on where it is prepared, burgoo is both a hearty and tasty way to make do with what you have. These 11 restaurants serve up the best Kentucky burgoo:
11. Dave's Sticky Pig at 206 Madison Square Drive in Madisonville
This great little hole in the wall is all about the food. You will be mesmorized by the Hickory smoked flavor as soon as you near the restaurant. Everything on the menu is tempting, but at least get a side of burgoo. You will not be disappointed in the slightest. You might even order more to go.
10. Fire Fresh BBQ at 81 Jeanie Drive in Shelbyville
This is one of the best burgoo soups you will ever experience and it comes with a firehouse themed environment. It is hearty, flavorful and they don’t skimp on the meat or vegetables. Everything served here comes in a generous portion with a healthy slathering of sauce if you go for barbecue with a burgoo side. Well worth the trip.
9. Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot at 3204 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville
You can smell the smoky flavored goodness as soon as you step out of the car. The scent wafts through the air like a pied piper, calling you in. The burgoo here is always flavorful and one of the better burgoos you will find in Louisville. If you are in town thinking about burgoo, you will want to give their version a try. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good picture of the burgoo, but their chili is nice too.
8. Knockum Hill Barbecue at 11185 Hwy 107 South in Herndon
This place is barbecue and burgoo heaven. It sits off the road not really close to an expressway, but you will smell the hickory smoke flavor if you happen to be driving downwind. It closes around 7, and has a thick, hearty burgoo that will stick to the ribs. The ribs… they fall off the bone. It's really worth the trip.
7. Old Hickory Bar B Cue at 338 Washington Avenue in Owensboro
The fine folks at Old Hickory have been preparing mouthwatering bbq and burgoo for family and locals. You might say they have perfected their recipe. Though located in the same town as Moonlite, you will find Old Hickory has a unique flavor all its own. Deciding between Moonlite and Old Hickory can be a real challenge.
6. Moonlite Barbecue at 2840 W Parrish Avenue in Owensboro
Moonlite has been around since 1963 and is renowned for its barbecue and burgoo. As a matter of fact, it is so good people buy it by the gallon. They use mutton as they feel it adds the wild flavor like the original squirrel burgoo had over a century ago. The folks at Moonlite travel around the U.S. sharing the wonders of burgoo and barbecue with others.
5. Red Top Barbecue at 9580 Russellville Road in Guthrie
The burgoo has been described as “extra” good by diners over the years. It is a hearty stew with a bit of a twang, but not overpowering. This burgoo goes great with their cornbread or as a side for a tangy barbecue sandwich.
4. Harvest at 624 E Market in Louisville
The Harvest puts a unique spin on the classic Burgoo. Instead of serving primarily barbecue, they offer a very flexible menu with something for everyone. Their burgoo dish is Grits and Goo, which serves an egg, biscuit and grits with the burgoo. The egg sits atop the stew for a whole new flavor experience.
3. Woodshed Pit Bar B Q at 1821 W 7th Street in Hopkinsville
The barbecue here is delicious and the burgoo is both unique and memorable. The way they spice it balances out the flavors. It isn’t weak or over powering with any particular taste. You can make a meal out of the stew or have it as a side with a tasty barbecue meal.
2. Stella's Kentucky Deli at 143 Jefferson Street in Lexington
Stella’s is renowned for their burgoo, drop biscuits a gravy is a big favorite. The food here has that special kind of flavor that only comes when there is love in the cooking. A side of country ham is never a disappointment, even if it is just going home for later.
1. The Old Talbott Tavern at 107 W Stephen Foster Avenue in Bardstown
When you think traditional in Kentucky, the Old Talbott Tavern should come to mind. Whatever you decide to order here, get a side of the burgoo. This historic tavern and restaurant has been serving this classic fare since before most of us were born. They have an amazing array of delicious dinners ranging from steaks to fish, and burgoo can compliment them all.
We have probably all had a version of Kentucky burgoo at some point. I’ve had both thin soup versions and thicker stew-like versions myself, with a variety of meats. What is your favorite style of burgoo and restaurant to get it at?