Chef Jonathan Searle’s Insider Guide

Looking for a recommendation from an insider in the Lexington food and drink scene? Lexington’s own Jonathan Searle, Executive Chef at acclaimed 21c restaurant, Lockbox, shares a few of his favorite spots with us.

“Lexington is a truly special combination of Horse Country, Bourbon Country and genuine Southern hospitality.”
Favorite Eats

County Club
555 Jefferson Street website

“Try any special they come up with on weekends,” Jonathan says. Be prepared for a full house from 11-3 on Sundays during their weekly brunch, which features always-on-the-menu classics like Biscuits & Gravy, or innovative breakfast sandwich specials.

Winchell’s
348 Southland Drive website

“Country fried steak, catfish, you name it. There’s hardly a miss on that menu.” One of Jonathan’s favorite dinner spots, Winchell’s is also a great place to catch a game, having been voted Lexington’s Best Sports Bar by the Lexington Herald Leader.

Must-Do's

Lexington Farmer’s Market
Cheapside Pavilion website

“The Lexington Farmer’s Market is considered one of best farmer’s markets in America because of its beautiful downtown centralized Pavilion and the amazing variety of purveyors with high-quality offerings. It’s a dream come true being a stone’s throw away.” The Farmer’s Market has seasonal hours and locations, so take a peek at their website to see where to find them.

Bourbon Country
Various locations website

As you’ve probably heard, one of the reasons Lexington is so unique is due to its proximity to world-famous bourbon distilleries – and locals agree. “Outside of food, I have no greater passion than bourbon.” Jonathan tells us, “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Jonathan Searle

Jonathan Searle

Jonathan Searle began his culinary career in 2008 at Lexington restaurant staples Dudley’s on Short, Bourbon n’ Toulouse, and Bellini’s. He then joined acclaimed restaurant Proof on Main at Louisville’s 21c hotel, rising through the ranks to become Executive Sous Chef. Searle helped the restaurant earn numerous accolades including a place on Bon Appetit magazine’s list of “10 Best Hotels for Food Lovers.” With a successful tenure at Proof and a strong network of the region’s craft purveyors, Searle returns to Lexington as the Executive Chef of Lockbox. His menus feature simple ingredients and nod to Kentucky’s rich Southern heritage and Lexington’s unique cultural identity.