How do I narrow down my top picks in a city that helped shaped who I am--and a city with a lot more to offer than horses and bourbon? I love all things Bluegrass, of course, but Lexington offers plenty of cultural experiences that the average visitor might not expect. If, like me, you want to support local and diverse places in the city, check out a few of my favorite minority-owned businesses here in Lexington.

Creaux Bar - Bourbon


310 West Short Street

Open Wednesday – Saturday

Located on Short Street, Creaux is one of the coolest spots in downtown Lexington. Their Creole and New Orleans inspired menus really influence the overall vibe. They’re fairly new--they just opened at the end of 2017--but they’ve quickly become a go-to spot for music lovers with their variety of weekly live jazz bands. After starting out with only cocktails, they now serve mouthwatering Creole food. My favorite drink here is the traditional Vieux Carre, but if you’re into sweeter cocktails, try the “Slurricane.” Served in a large beaker, it’s a local favorite (and it’s great for sharing). Don’t skip the food, either--my favorite item on the menu is the shrimp and grit cakes.

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The NoLi Night Market

714 North Limestone

First Friday of the month, May – December

The history and culture of Lexington’s NoLi (North Limestone) community is quickly making it a hotspot for millennial Lexingtonians. The Night Market, orchestrated by the NoLi Community Development Corporation, was developed as a place for local artists, chefs, makers and causes to launch their businesses. The monthly market features a variety of local food and retail vendors--many of them minorities--as well as live music. Whether you’re looking for spicy Thai food, delicious tacos, or beautiful handmade jewelry, you’re sure to have an amazing time at The Night Market. The Night Market takes place the first Friday of the month from May through December.

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4248 Saron Drive & 325 Roosevelt Blvd

Kentucky is known for fried chicken, but a true Kentuckian will tell you that we don’t eat KFC if we have a better option--and we have plenty of great options here in Lexington. My favorite chicken spot is Grimes’s (formerly known as Richie’s), a family-owned business that’s been cooking for 30 years. I don’t know what their family recipe is, but it keeps you wanting more. With two locations (one on the south side and another on the north), no matter where you are in Lexington, you’re not far from the best fried chicken in the city.