The Most Delicious Kentucky Road Trip Takes You To 7 Hole-In-The-Wall Barbecue Restaurants
By Sarah McCosham|Updated on February 07, 2023(Originally published February 02, 2023)
I write like it's my job - because it is! I have a Master's in English and love words: crossword puzzles, Scrabble games, Wordle, and, of course, good, old-fashioned books.
I'm a writer and editor at OnlyInYourState, and a contributing writer at Cincinnati Magazine. I love the Great Outdoors and am endlessly awestruck by this beautiful country of ours. Coffee keeps me going, yoga keeps me sane, my kids keep me grounded, and my writing keeps me inspired.
There’s no barbecue like Bluegrass barbecue. It’s a fact. Sticky and sweet, slow-smoked and fall-off-the-bone tender, Kentucky barbecue is an art form that simply cannot be beat. And we’ve devised the most delicious Kentucky road trip to prove that Bluegrass barbecue really is the best. Bring your appetite – and wet naps – on the following road trip to seven hole-in-the-wall barbecue restaurants in Kentucky.
There’s nothing like Bluegrass barbecue, and we hope you enjoyed each and every stop on this delicious road trip in Kentucky!
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Sarah M.|February 07, 2023
Why is Kentucky known for barbecue?
The Bluegrass and barbecue go hand in hand, with Kentucky home to some of the very best BBQ joints in the country! (And it’s not just us who think so… Southern Living named this Paducah institution among the “South’s Most Legendary Barbecue Joints!”) But there’s one town in Kentucky that’s at the heart of the Bluegrass barbecue scene, and that’s Owensboro. Why? Well, this "big little town" is home to an abundance of great barbecue restaurants. Owensboro, Kentucky, is colloquially referred to as the "Bar-B-Q Capital of the World," in fact, and it certainly lives up to such a title, as it's home to Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, Old Hickory Bar-B-Q, and Ole South Barbeque! (Craving Hawaiian-style BBQ in Kentucky? Tri-R-Tips Hawaiian-style BBQ is *the* place to go!)
What are the best restaurants in Kentucky?
Looking to add some restaurants to your Bluegrass dining list? We recommending adding all 12 of these best restaurants in Kentucky, including:
Pompilio’s: *The* place for authentic Italian food in Kentucky.
The Brown Hotel: A Kentucky icon, The Brown Hotel is home of the world-famous hot brown and the perfect mix of Southern hospitality and five-star luxury.
Wallace Station Deli and Bakery: Craving classic Southern lunch favorites? The Pimento Cheese sandwich from Wallace Station is delicious, as is the classic fried chicken 'wich!
Castle Farms Restaurant: If you're looking for the royal treatment in Kentucky, it doesn't any better than dining at a real castle!
Patti’s 1880's Settlement: 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!
Sanders Cafe: This 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!