It is no secret that our state has some amazing food. Residents are blessed with quick access to a variety of wondrous places to enjoy traditional southern cooking, ethnic foods and unique fusion combinations. Visitors are often awed by the sheer volume of tasty choices offered by the vast selection of mouthwatering restaurants in Kentucky. Of course, bigger cities like Lexington, Louisville and Owensboro seem to have a restaurant or two every block in some areas. Smaller towns might have fewer actual choices, but rest assured, what you dine on will have powerful homemade flavor.
Here are 11 mouthwatering restaurants in Kentucky you’ll want to try, but not necessarily in this exact order:
11. The Old Stone Inn at 6905 Shelbyville Road in Simpsonville.
The century-old building gives the place a rustic, yet almost romantic ambiance. The food was excellent, especially the shrimp and grits. The grits had a little spice and you got several pieces of jumbo shrimp. The chicken salad had a unique flavor, almost like fried chicken, very light and flavorful. *Sadly, I just learned the Old Stone Inn is now closed. We can only hope someone opens her again and continues the tradition.*
10. Stone Hearth at 1001 N Mulberry St in Elizabethtown
Sea Bass, scallops, steak and lobster, bisque, and even the Brussels sprouts are absolutely delicious here. You will be awed that the ocean isn’t flowing behind some hidden door just because of the fresh caught flavor and wondrous blend of herbs and spices. The ambiance makes things even better, and perfect for a romantic evening.
9. Wigwam Drive In at 419 3rd Street in Ravenna
They serve up some of the best burgers ever, especially the one topped with homemade slaw. The Country Boy burger is a double burger with 3 pieces of bread that makes the Big Mac look like a baby Mac, plus Wigwams uses actual ground chuck or Bison on their burgers. The coleslaw is rich and creamy and makes a perfect side.
8. Science Hill Inn at 525 Washington Street in Shelbyville
This is an upscale southern style restaurant housed in an 1825 Prep School, which just seems appropriate. It has been said they serve up the best fried chicken in the state, and the country ham isn’t bad either. The deviled crab in a cornbread shell is just amazing also. The ambiance and the food make this an ideal place to visit.
7. Moonlite Barbecue at 2840 W Parrish Avenue in Owensboro
This barbecue joint in Owensboro is as renowned for barbecue as Johnny Depp is for acting in Hollywood. The mutton, pork, beef, chicken and ham are tender, juicy, and have the perfect smoke, spicy tangy barbecue flavor that Kentuckians love. The pit masters of Moonlite travel across the US promoting their own special Bluegrass barbecue. If you are in Owensboro and enjoy barbecue, you will want to go moonliting.
6. Red River Rockhouse at 4000 KY-11 in Campton
This is a seasonal gastropub style restaurant as all the ingredients are fresh and the variety of brews plentiful. The heavenly burger is a favorite among the locals, along with the guacamole. The burrito is the size of a small child’s head, so portions are plentiful. The desserts are memorable as well, especially the carrot and chocolate cakes.
5. Kresno’s at 218 N 3rd Street in Bardstown
The schnitzel comes highly recommended, as does the chicken marsala, the ribeye, Cordon Bleu, and the Angus burger. They have a variety of specialty cuisine, such as the schnitzel, that is really flavorful. These dishes make you want to plan your next visit as you leave from your first.
4. Grey Goose at 133 E Main Street in Midway
This is one of the go to places for pizza in the area. They use a New York style crust that is crispy and light. They do not make pan or thick crusts, but the thin is just fine. If pizza is not your cup of tea, brunch is one of the best meals to have here. They offer up everything from hot cakes to eggs and meats. The steaks served here are thick, juicy, and cooked perfectly to order as well. Overall it's a good experience.
3. Kathy’s Country Kitchen at 20 Black Creek Road in Clay City
You don’t come by potato cakes often, but you do at Kathy’s, and they are delicious! This is a country cooking specialty diner that serves up a little bit of everything, including burgers, steak, fried chicken and catfish. The catfish dinner is great and tastes fresh caught and the chicken gives that renowned Kentucky colonel a run for his money. The fried green tomato burger is a local favorite, with good reason. It comes highly recommended as the crunch of the tomatoes gives it a whole new flavor.
2. Graze Market and Café and 150 Combs Ferry Road in Winchester
This is a great little farm to table spot that is a little out of the way, but worth the visit. Everything comes with a fresh greens salad that has either strawberries or strawberries and blueberries when in season. The steaks, pork tenderloin and fish dishes are cooked to perfection. You only have three or four choices written on a chalk board, not a menu, but each one will leave you with a fond memory.
1. Cunningham’s Creekside Grill at 6301 River Road in Prospect
This is a hidden gem with a wonderful river view from their deck and covered patio. Boaters can even pull up dockside and order a meal. The grilled fish meal and the fried fish sandwich are local favorites, along with their wondrous Sunday brunch. The hashbrown casserole just dissolves in your mouth leaving behind a mouthwatering flavor. The fish fingers, pan fried oysters, and fried cheese are great appetizers, but everything we’ve had has been good. Service can be a little slow during busy hours, but the food is well worth the wait.