Some of the most prestigious thoroughbred farms in the world hang their saddles in Lexington, Kentucky — rightfully standing as the Horse Capital of the World. And, there’s no better time to understand the language of winning this Bluegrass town is so fluent in than October when the Fall Meet happens at Keeneland Race Course. Just over a three-hour drive from Nashville, the city has a leg up on the food and beverage scene, embracing an area rich in history and culture. From food halls to award-winning chefs where folks come for the bourbon, stay for the beer, and savor dishes way beyond grits, everyone can find their own stride with some of these local favorites.
Greyline Station / Julietta Market
Once home to the Southeastern Greyhound Lines, the 65,000 square-foot space was built in 1928. Listed on the National Register of Historic Spaces, it’s now one of the area’s newest dining and shopping attractions. Featuring a handful of food options, a full-service bar, a local grocer, an event space, a commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs, and shopping. Also within the Greyline, the Julietta Market is a nonprofit public market meant to foster opportunity, growth, and connection for all while leveling the playing field. A few highlights are Black Soil Kentucky, Hemp Cattle Company, and Inebriated Baker.
History repeats itself at the oldest continuing running James E. Pepper Distillery along the Branch River where Barrel House Distillery continues the tradition as well. While the distilleries anchor the behemoth of #SharetheLex attractions, there are plenty of other musts. GoodFellas Pizza boasts the best New York Style pizza in all of Kentucky, while Ethereal Brewing perfects Belgian farmhouse with the only yeast lab in town, along with American craft beer, and experimental brews. Crank and Boom Ice Craft Cream proudly makes all their desserts with JD Country Milk, while the Pepper Rickhouse remains the most prominent structure in this district featuring a cidery and brewery. Don’t miss what can easily be considered Lexington’s best live music venue, The Burl to wrap up a most spirited day.
And, no Lexington list of restaurants would be complete without including James Beard Foundation lauded Chef Ouita Michel’s family restaurants. She champions everything that Kentucky Proud stands for by shaking the very hands that feed us as often as possible. Several of her restaurants such as Holly Hill Inn are actually located in the heart of Bluegrass Horse Country. Not to mention Bourbon Country where Glenn’s Creek Cafe resides upon the premises of Woodford Reserve.
Disclaimer: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here. It is highly advised people wear masks indoors or when in crowded situations, regardless of vaccination status, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.Read More