The only thing better than a 3-day road trip, is a 3-day Kentucky restaurant road trip. The hardest part is deciding which of our delicious dining establishments you want to try. This trip combines historic places with unique views and memorable dining experiences. Each place offers something special for the visitor, be it the food, the history, the ambiance, or all the above.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Day 1: Start the day in historic Harrodsburg.
Day 1 Lunch: Giovanni’s Pizza
The Old Fort Harrod State Park at 100 South College Street is a great place for a picnic lunch, and Giovanni’s Pizza at 621 South College Street makes picnicking easy. You can grab one of their fantastic pies to go and enjoy it at the park. Pizza offers the easiest clean up and Giovanni’s has a real taste of Italy in their pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. The combination of history and Italian cuisine just make for a memorable afternoon. If the park doesn’t appeal, the restaurant itself is very comfortable, offering friendly service and a family type atmosphere.
Day 1 Dinner: Old Bus Station Restaurant
Try dinner at the historic Old Bus Station Restaurant at 227 South Greenville Street, which was once a Greyhound Station. Road Trips featured the Old Bus as a great place to stop for a home cooked southern meal, and they spoke the truth. They have specials like the Titan Burger, which comes piled high with fixin’s including bacon and country ham. The banana soft serve is to die for, as is ANY pie you happen to try. This is diner style food at its highest mark, filled with flavor and made with love.
Day 2 Breakfast: Shaker Village on Pleasant Hill
Shaker Village on Pleasant Hill at 3501 Lexington Road offers wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. With around 3,000 acres to explore, the Shaker Village offers a beautiful look into the ways of the past. You could easily spend an entire afternoon here enjoying the historical exhibitions, farm, gardening area, nature preserve, riverboat and equestrian rides and the delicious, homemade food. They offer overnight accommodations in rustic, yet comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The best part is you start your day with a home cooked meal made with farm fresh ingredients. The eggs, vegetables and meats are all created in the true vision of the Shaker way of life. Grocery store food will never taste as good once you experience home grown goodness like this.
Day 2: Bardstown, one of the most charming small towns in America.
Day 2 Lunch: Rickhouse Lounge
Understand the bourbon culture by visiting the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History at 114 N 5th Street and then enjoy lunch at the Rickhouse at the Rickhouse Lounge. It is located under the museum, but has the address of 112 Xavier Drive. This fine dining experience gives us a variety of choices from vegetarian to signature steaks, pastas, seafood and poultry dishes. There is NOTHING bad on the menu, which can make ordering a real challenge. You will find whatever you order cooked to perfection with a generous portion. They also have a phenomenal selection of bourbon, which should come as no surprise.
Day 2 Dinner: Old Kentucky Dinner Train
End your day with the relaxing sound of a train going clickity-clack across the track. The Old Kentucky Dinner Train at 602 N 3rd Street provides a gourmet meal during a several hour scenic railway ride. This is a unique way to see the beauty of Kentucky while enjoying the last meal of the day. Diners can choose a full course meal including their choice of Prime Rib, Pork Ribeye, Seared Chicken, Fresh Salmon and more, plus a specialty dessert like Bourbon Pecan Pie or Blackberry Spice Cake. Everything is cooked to perfection and staff takes care of the passenger’s needs.
Day 3 Breakfast: The Historic Talbott Inn
The historic Talbott Inn at 107 W Stephen Foster Avenue provides comfortable, yet elegant rooms with en suite baths. Each room has a mini fridge and coffeemaker for convenience, but is otherwise filled with antiques. Some rooms have claw foot tubs, the others have whirlpools, so ask for your preference. It is a perfect place to spend the evening for the second leg of your journey and dine on a home cooked breakfast of your choosing the next day. There is something special about spending the night in a historic inn where some of the most famous people in history have dined and slept.
Day 3: Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city.
Day 3 Lunch: Asiatique Restaurant
The Highlands is an interesting place to visit, as the entire area is filled with boutiques, cafes and specialty shops. A memorable dining experience with a low lit ambiance can be had at Asiatique, located at 1767 Bardstown Road. They also have an open patio for seating on sunny days. This Asian fusion restaurant has a sleek, sophisticated, yet comfortable atmosphere with impeccable service and first professional, first class Chefs. The uniquely different menu offers things like Indochine inspired Grilled Angus Kabobs with Asian Pesto, Soft Shell Crab with Garlic Tempura and Wasabi Caesar Dressing, Ginger Crusted Sea Bass, Roasted Rosemary Lamb Chop, Saffron Rice, Calamari with pickled root vegetables and more. When it comes to drinks, the bar has the finest selection of bourbon and mixed drinks in the city. The bartender is a master of mixology, creating works of alcohol art for patrons to enjoy, like the Asiarita. Afterwards, you can take a stroll down Bardstown Road and check out some of the local shops.
Day 3 Dinner: Captain's Quarters Riverside Grille
Hit the Ohio River for lunch at Captains Quarters Riverside Grill on 5700 Captains Quarters Road. You can sit inside in their comfortable dining area with climate control. We personally love to sit outside on one of their several patio or deck areas and soak up the Ohio River scenery. They have a versatile menu with salads, steak, specialty sandwiches, seafood, chicken and even pizza. Every item has a special twist that makes it distinctly a CQ dish and the service is almost always perfect. Not to mention, watching the sun set on the Ohio River is an unbelievable experience.
(BONUS) Day 4 Breakfast: Central Park B&B
Historic Old Louisville is another wonderful place to visit in the city, as it is the largest preserved Victorian neighborhood in the world. A perfect place to catch the morning meal after a good night sleep is the Central Park B&B at 1353 S 4th Street. Each morning breakfasts are custom made with all the love southern hospitality can muster and served up hot and fresh. The hot breakfast is accompanied by fruits, yogurt, fresh bread, a special blend of coffee and your choice of the many available tea varieties. The rooms are comfortable with antique furnishing reminiscent of the Victorian era and plush bedding. You can relax out back by the fish pond and garden, stroll around Central Park, or see the Shakespeare in the Park plays from June 1 to August 7.
After breakfast, you can hit the road home or have lunch at another Louisville attraction. There is no shortage of things to do and see. We have even included a
map for your convenience. What would you add to this Kentucky restaurant road trip?