According to Travel & Leisure magazine, Lexington, Kentucky, is home to an exciting and diverse culinary scene. Between unique eateries, indoor and outdoor entertainment options, and local breweries—many of which are a short walk from The Flats at 345 and studios180 there is always something new to try. If you recently moved to the area, or want to explore your own city, here are 18 can’t-miss spots to eat, drink, and play in Lexington.

EAT

Nick Ryan’s

Order Kentucky classics like hot browns or fried chicken and choose from more than 50 regional bourbons, local and craft beers, wine, and cocktails.

 

Stella’s Kentucky Deli

Stella’s has sandwiches, salads, and soups made with fresh, local ingredients. They also offer locally baked bread, Kentucky bourbon, local beer, and locally roasted coffee.

 

The Grey Goose

Known for its pub food and New York-style thin-crust pizza, Grey Goose is the perfect place for pre-Rupp Arena fuel.

 

Corto Lima

You can get your chips and queso fix at this Latin-inspired eatery. It has shareable small plates, plenty of tacos, and main dishes like sweet and spicy glazed salmon on the menu.

 

Pies & Pints

Pizza and beer, need we say more? They serve traditional pizzas (re: Margherita, pesto, and build-your-own options) and unique specialty pies (re: chicken gouda, thai, and pine, and swine). They also have more than 30 rotating craft beers on tap.

 

Zim’s Cafe

Specialty southern items on this casual eatery’s menu include Kentucky trail chili, and the Kentucky Proud big brown burger (which was named one of Guy Fieri’s top five burgers on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and the inside out hot brown.

DRINK

Blue Stallion Brewing Co.

This local brewery is known for authentic German lagers and British ales. P.S. Be sure to grab a sandwich from Dad’s Favorites Deli while you’re there.

 

Bar Ona

Named one of Esquire magazine’s 12 Best Bars in America in 2018, this under-the-radar spot is located on a narrow side street. It has a rotating cocktail menu, plus wine, cider, shooters, and more.

 

Lexington Distillery District

Grab a slice of pizza from Goodfellas and some homemade ice cream from Crank & Boom before drinks at Ethereal Brewing or The Break Room. You can even catch a live show at The Burl or Manchester Music Hall while you’re in the area.

 

West Sixth Brewing

This brewery—also a short walk from The Flats at 345—is home to flagship, seasonal, limited release, and taproom-exclusive beers. You can also grab a bite to eat at Smithtown Seafood, located inside the taproom. (Pro-tip: Try the fried banana pepper rings!)

 

Belle’s Cocktail House

You can sip on handcrafted cocktails, bourbon (they have more than 100 types available), and craft beer on the first floor, second floor, or rooftop of this unique bar that has a relaxed atmosphere.

 

Bourbon on Rye

This prohibition-era style bar has craft cocktails, 12 rotating beer taps, a wide selection of bourbon, and freshly made small plates on the menu. Plus, they use house-made bitters, syrups, and freshly squeezed juices in their drinks.                                                        

PLAY

Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park

Listen to live music at Thursday Night Live (April-October), shop for fresh produce at the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturdays, and more.

 

Triangle Park

Watch films on an inflatable screen, throw a frisbee on the lawn, or sit by the fountains and take advantage of free wifi during warm-weather months. In the winter, check out the ice rink and Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

 

Lexington Opera House

Catch off-broadway musicals, intimate concerts, comedians, and more at this historic Lexington theatre.

 

Legacy Trail

Need some fresh air? Run, walk, or bike this 12-mile paved trail that connects downtown Lexington with neighborhoods, parks, and historic sites on a course to the Kentucky Horse Park.

 

Rupp Arena

Home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, you can attend basketball games, concerts, family-friendly events, and more in this 23,000-seat area.

 

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Visit the grounds of this historic estate for free, pay for one of their educational tours, or attend regular community events like wreath-making workshops, storytime for kids, and more.

(featured image courtesy of Visitlex.com)