Kentucky Food & Dining November 20, 2022
12 Bucket List Worthy Restaurants To Try In Kentucky, One For Each Month Of The Year
Kentucky has emerged as a culinary force in recent years, with the bourgeoning Bluegrass dining scene gaining national attention and acclaim. Our cuisine is a melting pot of regional food, cultural influences, and farm-to-table fare, and it’s wholly unique to Kentucky. This year, we recommend checking out the best the Bluegrass has to offer, by eating your way through the state one restaurant at a time! Here are 12 bucket list restaurants in Kentucky, one for each month of the year:
1. January: Pompilio's
Let's kick off the year with a bang, at one of Kentucky's most famous restaurants! While
as the location of the iconic toothpick scene in "Rainman," Pompilio’s is a place well worth visiting in its own right. It's *the* place to go for authentic Italian cuisine in the Bluegrass. And we're not talking about the so-called Italian fare you’ll find at most restaurants, either. Traditional Italian food is
smothered in sauces, mountains of cheese, and served with never-ending breadsticks. It’s nuanced and veg-forward; fresh and light; balanced and best served with a glass of red. Which is precisely what you’ll find at Pompilio’s in Kentucky!
Pompilios, 600 Washington Ave, Newport, KY 41071, USA
2. February: The Brown Hotel
For the most romantic month of the year, we recommend checking out (or *into*)
The Brown Hotel
. Home of the world-famous hot brown, the Brown Hotel is the perfect mix of Southern hospitality and five-star luxury. From premier fine dining in the English Grill to the effortless elegance of J. Graham’s Café to the jaw-dropping glamour of the Lobby Bar and Grill, The Brown Hotel is home to Louisville’s most exceptional and memorable dining experiences, and a bucket-list must!
The Brown Hotel, 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
3. March: Starnes Bar-B-Q
As soon as the weather shows any hint of warming up, you'll find us dining outside. And Starnes Bar-B-Q is perhaps the best place to sit and celebrate spring's arrival. This
is famous for its slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone ribs, which are prepared in a massive smoker behind right the eatery. Our tip? Buy a bottle (or two... or 10) of their signature barbecue sauce to take home.
Starnes Barbecue, 1008 Joe Clifton Dr, Paducah, KY 42001, USA
4. April: Wallace Station Deli and Bakery
In April when the birds and bees begin to buzz in the Bluegrass, hop in the car for a scenic drive in horse country. And when you get hungry, stop at
Wallace Station Deli and Bakery
, one of the most adored restaurants in the Bluegrass. Located along the idyllic Old Frankfort Pike, this darling little eatery is housed in a building that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was built around the turn of the 20th century. While rustic and unassuming, this restaurant is led by Ouita Michel, a highly respected, James Beard Award-nominated chef, and her hot, fried chicken sandwich is the stuff of fried chicken dreams!
Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA
5. May: Castle Farms Restaurant
In May when the rolling blue hills of Kentucky are awash in verdant greens and bold blooms, the Kentucky Castle is almost too beautiful to be real. It is a spectacular destination in and of itself; a place of pure fantasy and revelry in the idyllic hills of Versailles. This majestic property is wonderfully unusual and bucket-list worthy, and has a hotel, spa, and restaurant. This castle restaurant in Kentucky is easily the most unique dining experience in the Bluegrass State —
a fairy tale fantasy come to life
The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA
6. June: Patti’s 1880's Settlement
There's no place in Kentucky quite like
, a long-standing Bluegrass favorite. Patti's is so much more than a restaurant and has earned statewide and national recognition for food and hospitality, and truly is one of the best country restaurants in Kentucky. From the appetizers to desserts, their food earns rave reviews; Patti's is known for Southern-style cooking, offering items like steak and potatoes, catfish fillets, and their specialty two-inch pork chops. Make sure you get a side of their flowerpot bread -- and be sure to bring your appetite, as the portions at Patti's are as big as the restaurant's hospitality!
Patti's 1880's Settlement, 1793 J H O'Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, USA
7. July: Sanders Cafe
Here in Kentucky, we know our fried chicken. Not to brag, but we’re kind of world-famous for it. And in the Bluegrass, the
is a place that belongs on every Kentuckian’s bucket (of fried chicken) list — not simply because it’s the amazing restaurant that birthed a culinary legend, but also because it has its own museum that’s devoted to all things fried chicken!
Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum, 688 US-25W, Corbin, KY 40701, USA
8. August: The Freight House
Owned and operated by Bluegrass chef (and “Top Chef Kentucky” runner up) Sara Bradley, at
The Freight House
, you’ll dine on down-home Kentucky cuisine. From cornbread and grits to burgers and fried chicken, everything on this menu feels like a big, warm hug! The Nashville Hot Chicken is an absolute must-try, and the deviled eggs are downright, well, sinful.
the freight house, 330 S 3rd St Suite 102, Paducah, KY 42003, USA
9. September: Rich's Proper Food & Drink
After a hot summer spent outdoors, we recommend getting dressed up and a bit *fancy* for a night out on the town. And in Kentucky, one of our favorite places to go for a fine dining (yet accessible) experience is
Rich's Proper Food & Drink
. The eatery opened in 2018, and has quickly become a standout for its incredible food, next-level cocktails, and wholly unique ambiance (Rich's operates out of a 100-year-old building formerly occupied by Rich's Gruen Watches, a high-end jewelry store).
This restaurant boasts an incredible bourbon bar and an expansive menu that's a casual take on American pub fare with a dash of Southern and Creole influences thrown in for good measure. Dining here truly is an experience, and one you'll remember long after the last drink!
Rich's Proper Food and Drink, 701 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011, USA
10. October: Barn8 Restaurant
Just 30 minutes outside the hustle and bustle of Louisville, Hermitage Farm is 683 acres of pure Bluegrass beauty: rolling hills, bucolic farmland, original horse barns, historic buildings -- and a fantastic, farm-to-table restaurant. Originally building number 8 of Hermitage Farm's historic horse stables,
Barn8 Restaurant is a converted barn restaurant
that's easily one of the most unique places to dine in Kentucky. And in October, when the fall foliage is at its peak in the Bluegrass? Perfection.
Barn8 Restaurant, 10510 W Hwy 42, Goshen, KY 40026, USA
11. November: The Bluebird
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, pause for a family brunch at The Bluebird. This
delightful spot in Stanford
dishes up Southern classics, but with a modern twist. From cornbread stuffing to crawfish tacos, this Bluegrass dining spot is serving up some truly inspired, next-level Southern cuisine.
Bluebird, 202 W Main St, Stanford, KY 40484, USA
12. December: The Old Talbott Tavern
We're closing out our epic year of Kentucky eats with a place worthy of a
. Located in the heart of Bardstown,
Old Talbott Tavern
is the oldest restaurant in Kentucky -- and it's also the oldest bourbon bar in the world! The ambiance here is everything: a step back in time with amazing food (and drink!) to boot. And make an entire night of it, if you can, as Bardstown is Kentucky's most dazzling Christmas town, sure to put you in the proper holiday spirit!
Old Talbott Tavern, 107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, USA
Now this is a resolution we can get behind! And of course, this is by no means an extensive list of the best restaurants in Kentucky. Did we miss one of your can’t-miss restaurants?
Nominate it for a chance to be featured!
For more delicious Kentucky fare, be sure to check out
this comprehensive guide to the state’s superlative superstars. Address: Barn8 Restaurant, 10510 W Hwy 42, Goshen, KY 40026, USA Address: Bluebird, 202 W Main St, Stanford, KY 40484, USA Address: The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA Address: Old Talbott Tavern, 107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, USA Address: Pompilios, 600 Washington Ave, Newport, KY 41071, USA Address: Rich's Proper Food and Drink, 701 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011, USA Address: Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum, 688 US-25W, Corbin, KY 40701, USA Address: Starnes Barbecue, 1008 Joe Clifton Dr, Paducah, KY 42001, USA Address: The Brown Hotel, 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, USA Address: the freight house, 330 S 3rd St Suite 102, Paducah, KY 42003, USA Address: Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA Address: Patti's 1880's Settlement, 1793 J H O'Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, USA
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.
The Best Food In Kentucky
November 25, 2022
What are the most iconic foods in Kentucky?
The most iconic foods in Kentucky are:
Hot Brown. This Kentucky staple is an open-faced sandwich with turkey, tomato, bacon, and Mornay sauce.
Burgoo. An Appalachian dish made of leftover meats like pork and rabbit with root vegetables like potatoes and carrots.
Beer Cheese. Usually used as a dip for soft pretzels, bread sticks, chips, and more.
Fried Catfish. A local dish found all over the state with breaded, deep-fried, freshly-caught catfish.
Find out about many more of the most iconic foods in Kentucky.
What are the hidden gem restaurants in Kentucky that everyone should try?
The hidden gem restaurants in Kentucky that everyone should try include:
Joe’s Drive-In Chicken. An old-fashioned place near Isom where you can walk up to the window and order some of the best fried chicken in Kentucky.
Bread of Life Cafe. Located in Liberty, this family-owned restaurant has an excellent buffet and a gift shop with homemade fudge.
Big Dipper. A local, cash-only favorite in Owensboro for burgers, onion rings, and shakes.
Paula’s Hot Biscuit. Located in Hodgenville, this old-timey breakfast restaurant serves hearty Southern breakfast food.
Learn more about these and several more hidden gem restaurants in Kentucky that everyone should try.
What are the most historic restaurants in Kentucky?
These are some of the most historic restaurants in Kentucky:
Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant. This iconic restaurant was built in Berea in 1909 and has hosted several dignitaries.
Greyhound Tavern. Located in Fort Mitchell, this was originally the Dixie Tea Room, built in 1921.
Old Talbott Tavern. This historic tavern was built in Bardstown in 1779 and has been visited by President Lincoln and other notable figures.
The Old Seelbach Bar. Nestled in the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, this place opened in 1905 and was a favorite haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Al Capone.
There is more to discover about these and many more of the most historic restaurants in Kentucky. Address: Barn8 Restaurant, 10510 W Hwy 42, Goshen, KY 40026, USA Address: Bluebird, 202 W Main St, Stanford, KY 40484, USA Address: The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA Address: Old Talbott Tavern, 107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, USA Address: Pompilios, 600 Washington Ave, Newport, KY 41071, USA Address: Rich's Proper Food and Drink, 701 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011, USA Address: Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum, 688 US-25W, Corbin, KY 40701, USA Address: Starnes Barbecue, 1008 Joe Clifton Dr, Paducah, KY 42001, USA Address: The Brown Hotel, 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, USA Address: the freight house, 330 S 3rd St Suite 102, Paducah, KY 42003, USA Address: Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA Address: Patti's 1880's Settlement, 1793 J H O'Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, USA
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.