Take a stroll down lively Jefferson Street and discover the best places to eat, drink and take in the bustling scene.
The historic Western Lexington area has seen a revival over the past several years, with an influx of fantastic restaurants concentrated around the Jefferson Street corridor. You’ll find everything from Southern delis to white-tablecloth steakhouses on this stretch. If you find yourself here in September, see if you can catch the Jefferson Street Soiree, a block party celebrating Keeneland’s annual Yearling Sale featuring dozens of local food vendors, live music and bourbon-infused libations.
555 Jefferson Street
Emphasizing the tradition of smoking meats using hardwoods and low temperatures, County Club’s mouthwatering meats are sourced from local farms and served in a stylish industrial space. Their blackboard specials are always a hit, but you can’t go wrong with their menu staples either. Menu picks: Poutine, Salad or Meat Special, Smoked Garlic Potato Hash (Brunch only, Sundays 11-3) countyclubrestaurant.com
286 Jefferson Street
On the corner of Third Street and Jefferson sits a micro-brewery, coffee hub and pizza place all housed in one urban, open-air setting. Brewing new and inventive beers right in their back room, their taps rotate on a weekly basis – and if you’re in the mood for a game of darts, you’ve come to the right place. chasebrewing.com
218 Jefferson Street
A hidden “hive” nestled behind rustic brick walls, the Apiary is one of Lexington’s most sophisticated entertaining spaces. You can do a walk-by and peek in at their gardens, or schedule a tour if you’re interested in the event space. the-apiary.com
191 Jefferson Street
An elegant wine and Spanish-style tapas bar with a wine list curated by Lexington’s only certified Sommelier, Enoteca offers a stylish and rustic ambiance in its cozy interior and quaint outdoor patio. Menu picks: Chorizo puffs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Gamba al ajilo. enotecalex.com
185 Jefferson Street
A cozy-chic steakhouse and cocktail bar, Blue Heron’s menu features a mix of steakhouse classics and Southern fare with an impressive wine and cocktail list to boot. The charming ambiance features a two-sided wood burning fireplace, or in warmer weather you can relax on their outdoor patio facing Jefferson Street. Menu picks: Porterhouse Steak, Grilled thick cut bacon appetizer, The Blue Heron cocktail. blueheronsteakhouse.com
157 Jefferson Street
A neighborhood restaurant and bar featuring a winding Southern double porch, Nick Ryan’s offers contemporary American cuisine and Prohibition-era drinks in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Menu picks: Shrimp & Grits, Hot Brown, Braised Beef Short Ribs. nickryans.com
143 Jefferson Street
Inside a sunny yellow house on the south side of Jefferson is this beloved locavore deli offering creative sandwiches, soups and salads with classic Southern twists. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Stella’s offers an easygoing, homey atmosphere and locally loved cuisine. Menu Picks: Fried Green Tomato BLT, Grilled PB&J, Pimento Cheese. stellaskentuckydeli.com
591 West Short Street
This authentic, “family-owned and homegrown” BBQ joint serves up plates of savory meats seasoned with blends of Memphis-style and Western Kentucky spin dry rub, smoked for 15 hours and finished off with a secret family sauce. Menu picks: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Cherry Cobbler. wagonbonesgrilllex.com
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