Explore Lexington’s signature Kentucky food that will have you relish every bite


Lexington has a magnitude of local restaurants that truly makes every dish with love. Kentucky has tons of culinary traditions that still use the original recipe, and some have a few new tricks and twists to tantalize your taste buds. Kentucky is known for good southern comfort food that will definitely have you asking for seconds or thirds. If you are looking for some traditional Kentucky home cooking on a budget, I have the perfect restaurants for you.


Most delicious on a budget signature food. Most bang for your buck. I am a college student on a budget that loves food. Grown and raised in Kentucky I know exactly how good southern food should taste and the best places to get it on a budget! If you’re a college student on a budget or just looking for some local signature food, you’re at the right place. Although don’t blame me if your waistline gets a bit bigger after trying these delicious places, trust me I know the struggle and don’t blame me if you’re drooling by the end of this article!



Hot Brown


Don’t let the name fool you.  This open faced sandwich smothered in Mornay cheese sauce stacked with turkey, bacon, tomato and baked to a crispy golden brown perfection smacks to delight. Your mouth will water the second you see this masterpiece. The hot brown was created by Chef Fred Schmidt in 1926 at the Brown Hotel for his dinner dance patrons.


Stellas KY Deli $8.5 https://www.stellaskentuckydeli.com/lunch-menu/

Ramsey’s Diner $9.95 http://ramseysdiners.com

Winchell’s Restaurant and Bar $14.99 https://www.winchellsrestaurant.com




Fried Chicken   


Kentucky and fried chicken go hand in hand. Colonel Sanders put Kentucky and fried chicken on the map in the 1930’s. As a Kentuckian I can truly say its finger lick ‘in good. A southern buttermilk bathed chicken breast deep fried to its peak is a classic for a reason. If you think KFC is good wait till you have a local’s recipe.


Indi’s fast food $1.70-$14.99 https://www.menupix.com/lexington/restaurants/1705358/Indis-Fast-Food-Restaurant-Lexington-KY

Parkette Drive Inn $5-7 http://www.theparkette.com

Raising Canes $6.38 https://www.raisingcanes.com/location/kentucky/lexington/school-house

Ramsey’s $9.45 http://ramseysdiners.com

Grimes $5-11 grimes https://www.grimessfastfood.com



BBQ- Barbecue


The local BBQ restaurants in Lexington truly know the meaning of melt off the bone fresh smoked meat. From brisket, ribs, pulled chicken and pork your mouth is guaranteed to water. Pair with potato salad, collard greens, coleslaw, mac and cheese and add a famous Ale-8 to drink. Blue Door is known to run out of food for the day… it’s that good. Make sure you get there early!



Blue Door Smoke House $6-15 http://bluedoorsmokehouse.com/Home_Page.html

Red State $7-15 https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g39588-d2370674-Reviews-Red_State_BBQ-Lexington_Kentucky.html

City Barbeque $7-13 https://www.citybbq.com



Fried Catfish


There is a reason we call it Kentucky Proud catfish. We are very proud of this delicious dish. Lightly breaded catfish fillets fried to a crisp brown and try with a side of hush puppies, vinegar slaw, and or some classic French fries. The catfish always comes with a delicious zesty tartar sauce that you would consider eating alone. If you like seafood you have to try some local catfish!


Smithtown Seafood $12.99 https://smithtownseafood.com

The Ketch Seafood Grill $11.99 https://www.ketchseafoodgrill.com

Windy Corn Market $12.99  https://www.windycornermarket.com

Zim’s Café $12.99 https://www.zimscafe.com


Beer Cheese


A Lexington staple truly, you can find this cheesy seasoned beer spread in any local home. We love it so much that we have an annual Winchester Beer Cheese festival. If that doesn’t scream love for beer and cheese, I don’t know what does. Once you try this cheddar cheese spread seasoned perfectly with dry mustard, horseradish and cayenne pepper you will understand the obsession. If you love beer and cheese, you have to try this amazing spread at one of these local restaurants!


A.P. Suggins $6.95 http://www.suggins.com

Windy Corner Market $6.99 https://www.windycornermarket.com

Dad’s Favorites $5  http://dadsfavorites.com/deli/

Winchell’s $3 https://www.winchellsrestaurant.com


Bread Pudding


Who doesn’t love bread… carbs… or a great dessert! Trust me you haven’t tasted heaven until you have tried Kentucky bread pudding. This decadent dessert is made from cubed bread pieces, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk then covered in a delicious to die for rich sauce that is often infused with a Kentuckians favorite drink… Bourbon. Kentucky gave birth to bourbon, and Kentucky distillers still make 95 percent of the world’s bourbon today, so you see why we had to find a way to consume it than just drinking it. Bread pudding originally known as “poor man pudding” due to being made with stale leftovers bread is richer than any dessert you’ll try. It has evolved to a Kentucky rich staple today leaving everyone a piece!


Bourbon n’ Toulouse $2.50  http://www.ilovecajun.com

The Village Idiot $7 https://www.lexingtonvillageidiot.com/to-share/

Winchell’s Restaurant $5.99 https://www.winchellsrestaurant.com


Corn Pudding


Kentucky corn “pudding” is a unique side dish baked to a sweet corn custard. Mixture of eggs and cream that is perfectly mixed with sweet corn. No jiffy cornbread mix, rather a sweet fluffy corn perfection. Many Kentucky home cooks depend on a five generation widely shared recipe that stays on the menu at Beaumont Inn, in Harrodsburg, KY. If you love delicious corn, come try the best southern comfort food around!


Merrick Inn $10 https://www.themerrickinn.com

City Barbeque $2.29 https://www.citybbq.com

Ramsey’s $2  http://ramseysdiners.com