Horses and bourbon are typically the first things people think of when they think of Kentucky. However, Kentucky is renowned for its amazing culinary scene as well.
In particular, Louisville frequently wins prizes for its cutting-edge eateries and cuisine. The city won the top honor in the 2016 Food Trekking Awards presented by the World Food Travel Association.
Kentucky’s restaurants may satisfy your cravings for traditional fare like hot browns, fried chicken, Derby pie, and Benedictine, as well as more unusual and memorable dishes. Here are the ten best restaurants in Kentucky.
10. Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY
Colonel Sanders, the man behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, and his wife Claudia launched the family-style Southern restaurant Claudia Sanders Dinner House in 1968 after selling his renowned restaurant empire to investors.
The Colonel had already spent many years perfecting his now-famous chicken recipe in Corbin, Kentucky. The establishment, which goes by the moniker “The Colonel’s Lady,” provides classic southern fare like fried chicken, chicken livers, trout, catfish, cornbread, and creamed spinach.
The construction of Interstate 75, which avoided Corbin and the location of his restaurant, drove his relocation to Shelbyville. But it was from this precise structure that Kentucky Fried Chicken expanded into a global company.
9. Proof on Main, Louisville, KY
In a distinctive setting, Proof on Main delivers modern southern cuisine. Proof on Main, located inside the 21c Museum Hotel, is an excellent place for a date. Start by strolling through the hotel’s 24-hour modern art museum.
After viewing and debating 21c’s intriguing—and occasionally upsetting—collection of artwork, visit Proof on Main to sample one of their creative takes on classic southern cuisine. You can choose your poison from a selection of more than a hundred different bourbons at the Proof Bar to end the night.
8. Havana Rumba, Louisville, KY
Kentucky may be the last place you’d expect to find outstanding Cuban cuisine, but Havana Rumba will defy your assumptions.
Marcos Lorenzo, the owner, arrived from Cuba in 2000 and brought with him family recipes that had been passed down through many generations. In 2004, he launched the first Havana Rumba, serving up classic family recipes made with high-quality ingredients, and it quickly became a success.
There are now three Havana Rumba locations in Louisville, and visiting any of them will make you regret America’s strict restrictions on travel to Cuba.
7. Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg, KY
The James Beard Foundation’s coveted America’s Classics Awards were given to the Beaumont Inn in 2015.
America’s Classics Honors are granted to eateries that best exemplify the cuisine and culture of their areas, as opposed to other awards given out by the James Beard Foundation, which are often given to innovative and distinctive restaurants.
A trip to the restaurant at the Beaumont Inn is a terrific way to sample traditional Kentucky cuisine and culture. The restaurant at the Beaumont Inn serves deep-fried comfort food and covers nearly everything in gravy.
6. Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, Owensboro, KY
It is dishonorable to travel to the south without indulging in some BBQ. A decent barbecue restaurant, like the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, may also be enjoyed by vegetarians because the sides are equally as important as the barbecue.
Moonlite serves only the greatest southern barbecue dishes, including juicy ribs served with baked beans, cornbread, and potato salad, as well as sandwiches made from slow-roasted pulled beef, hog, and mutton topped with tangy barbecue sauce.
5. Wunderbar, Covington, KY
Just across the river from Cincinnati, in Northern Kentucky, is the picturesque town of Covington, which is well-known for its MainStrasse Village.
German restaurants, bars, and shops dominate the streets of MainStrasse Village, giving you the impression that you are strolling through the late 1800s.
However, if you don’t stop by Wunderbar, a cozy neighborhood pub serving craft beer and classic German cuisine like sausage, beer cheese, and corned beef hash, your journey to MainStrasse Village won’t be complete. Try the huge pretzel if you’re game. The name is truthful.
4. Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, Midtown, KY
One of Guy Fieri’s top five burgers, The Famous Big Brown Burger, can be found at Wallace Station. In Fieri’s selection, locally sourced beef is topped with ham, bacon, tomatoes, and a white cheddar Mornay, a spin on the legendary hot brown served in Kentucky.
The eatery also serves standard deli fare like sandwiches, salads, and soups. The finest part of your lunch might be the pastry case at Wallace Station, which is usually stocked with freshly baked goods cooked at home.
3. Holly Hill Inn, Midway, KY
The Holly Hill Inn is a fine dining establishment in Midway, Kentucky, serving regionally produced, traditional Kentucky cuisine that is skillfully cooked and presented in a beautiful and tranquil environment.
Numerous major media, such as CBS’s The Dish, Southern Living, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times, have written about the restaurant.
2. The Old Spaghetti Factory, Louisville, KY
In a distinctive and lovely setting, Louisville, Kentucky’s Old Spaghetti Factory, serves traditional Italian food. The Old Spaghetti Factory in Louisville, Kentucky, is unique, even though it is a chain restaurant that you may find in towns outside of Kentucky.
Horse-drawn carriages are almost always parked in front of the restaurant, surrounded by rich wood and housed in a historic old downtown building. The carriages are waiting to take couples on a romantic ride across the city.
These components work together to give The Old Spaghetti Factory the sensation of a distinctly Louisville experience and make it the ideal location for a special night out.
1. The Silver Dollar, Louisville, KY
The Silver Dollar in Louisville, Kentucky, appears to be a whiskey bar from the exterior. You might be surprised by what you discover inside this tiny building, which advertises “Whiskey By The Drink.”
While the Silver Dollar has plenty of whiskeys, it also offers a comprehensive menu of Southern California-inspired interpretations of classic southern foods. Come for brunch on the weekend and get the enfrijoladas or cornmeal pancakes for the ideal meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kentucky’s main food?
Most of Kentucky’s food has a distinctive Southern flavor to it. Fried chicken, country-fried steak, fried catfish, and hushpuppies are typical evening fare.
What dessert is Kentucky known for?
The Kentucky Dairy Farmers Association first created the Kentucky butter cake in 1953 as a component of an advertising effort selling milk from Kentucky farms. Since then, Kentucky residents have come to love this dish more than any other.
Does Kentucky have good food?
Kentucky’s food is extensive and diverse, ranging from the traditional Derby feast of Louisville and exquisite Kentucky bourbon to the unique mutton barbecue found in Owensboro and the subsistence cooking in the Appalachian mountain region.
What is Kentucky’s drink?
It makes sense that since Kentucky is known for its bourbon, this all-purpose alcoholic beverage would also serve as the state beverage of the Bluegrass. Yet it isn’t. Ale-8-One, a soft drink created in the Bluegrass, is the state beverage of Kentucky.
Is Kentucky known for fried chicken?
The state of Kentucky is renowned for its fried chicken. After all, this is where Kentucky Fried Chicken originated.
- Top 10 Restaurants In North Carolina: Exploring The State’s Vibrant Food Scene
- Top 10 University in Kentucky: Where Excellence Meets Education
- Top 10 Restaurants in Georgia Serve up Fresh and Flavorful Cuisine
- Top 10 Restaurants in Ohio – #7 Will Leave You Speechless
- Top 10 Restaurants in Michigan You Haven’t Tried Yet!
“Business, marketing, and Branding – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, Branding, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.”