Signature KY Dishes

Explore delicious down-home Kentucky staples, packed with flavor and served with love.

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy inventive dishes and exotic cuisine in Lexington, but if you have a hankerin’ for some of the true Kentucky fixins we’re known for, look no further. Explore the time-honored Kentucky culinary traditions that are still practiced fervently in town, prepared traditionally and sometimes with inventive twists.


Fried Chicken

Kentucky has been nationally associated with finger-lickin’ good fried chicken since Colonel Sanders made us the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken back in the ‘30s. From traditionally-prepared recipes to modern takes on this southern classic, you’ll find that we know a thing or two about chicken.

Best Bets:

The Merrick Inn

1074 Merrick Drive | website

Parkette Drive-In

1230 East New Circle Road | website

Winchell’s Restaurant & Bar

348 Southland Drive | website

The Sage Rabbit

438 South Ashland Avenue | website


Bread Pudding

This baked dessert is made from cubed bread pieces, eggs, sugar, butter and milk and then smothered in a rich sauce (often infused with bourbon). Originally known as the “poor man’s pudding,” as it was made with stale leftover bread, this treat has evolved into a rich Kentucky staple.

Best Bets:

Bourbon n’ Toulouse

829 Euclid Avenue | website


191 Jefferson Street | website

Keeneland Track Kitchen

4201 Versailles Road | website


Beer Cheese Macaroni, Dad’s Favorites
Beer Cheese

Ah, beer cheese – a cheddar cheese-based spread seasoned with beer that commonly includes spices such as dry mustard, horseradish and cayenne pepper. A Lexington staple, you’ll find this cheesy delight in any local’s fridge. You can also explore dozens of local recipes at the annual Winchester Beer Cheese Festival.

Best Bets:

A.P. Suggins

345 Romany Road | website

Dad’s Favorites

2 Locations | website

Limestone Blue

133 North Limestone | website

Windy Corner Market & Restaurant

4595 Bryan Station Road | website


Hot Brown

This open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon is covered in Mornay cheese sauce and baked to a crisp perfection. Created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in 1926, the Hot Brown is rooted in Kentucky tradition. Stella’s, Winchell’s and Ramsey’s hot browns were included on USA Today’s “Top 10 Hot Browns in Kentucky” list.

Best Bets:

Winchell’s Restaurant & Bar

348 Southland Drive | website

Stella’s Kentucky Deli

143 Jefferson Street | website

Ramsey’s Diner

4 Locations | website

Nick Ryan’s Saloon

157 Jefferson Street | website