Bites, Brews & Bourbon in Lexington, Kentucky

  • golden machines in distillery

  • large wooden barrel of ingredients

  • small store with wood interior, walls filled with ice cream toppings

  • wooden board with holes, glasses of different brews occupy hole

  • two glass mugs filled with vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate fudge

  • tan restaurant building with roosters on top

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Bluegrass Region, Lexington, Kentucky is best known for its prestigious thoroughbred racing tracks and nearby bourbon distilleries. To the locals, however, Lexington has evolved over the years to become a charming city with a thriving culinary scene. Whether your taste is sophisticated or inspired by “Southern comfort,”- Lexington has bites, brews and, of course, bourbon for everyone.

History Meets Modern
Located just west of Downtown, the Lexington Distillery District invokes a fusion of historic city spirit and contemporary dining. Dive into New York style-pizza in a former distillery at Goodfellas, or share a host of new American small plates at middle fork kitchen bar.

After dinner, toast over a flight of handcrafted microbrews at Ethereal Brewing or catch a live music experience just across the train tracks at The Burl.

Local Gems
A Lexington cult favorite, Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge boasts unique flavors like “Bourbon & Honey” and “Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk.” Kick it up a notch with an ice cream cocktail like the “Salted Caramel S’mores Barrel,” a tantalizing combination of Salted Caramel ice cream, bourbon caramel sauce, and brownies.

Savor fresh ingredients and support local Kentucky farmers with a Southern-style breakfast at Doodle’s. Get your sweet tooth fix with “Pigs & Puffs,” strips of sizzling bacon served over fluffy beignets, or revel in a tasty spin on a Southern classic with the “Kentucky Hot Brown Quesadilla.”

Housed in the Bread Box, a former bread factory, West Sixth Brewing epitomizes the city’s emerging craft beer scene while supporting the Lexington community. For every flight of West Sixth beer purchased, you receive a Wooden Nickel worth $1 towards a local non-profit.

Just Outside the City
Of course, a weekend in Lexington wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the many nearby bourbon distilleries. Just thirty minutes outside the city, Woodford Reserve Distillery tours guide bourbon enthusiasts through whiskey-making methods dating back hundreds of years, followed by tastings of their award-winning bourbon.

Voted by CNN Travel as a “Must See Hidden Treasure of the U.S.,” Equus Run Vineyards offers a surprising alternative to the nearby bourbon distilleries. Stroll through the scenic gardens and take in the beautiful countryside, while enjoying a glass of wine harvested from Kentucky’s unique soil.

While the equestrian industry put Lexington on the world map, its emerging culinary scene is quickly making this city a must-visit foodie destination. From locally-owned hideaways to modern cuisine served in historic structures, Lexington’s unique allure will make you (and your taste buds) fall in love with Kentucky.

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This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Grace B. Are you interested in traveling to Lexington? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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