My Life Well-Lived Lists

David
My Life Well-Lived Lists

Groceries

As an admitted foodie I have an eclectic list of favorite eateries, but I also have an impressive list of groceries and markets I visit for variety of reasons.
For many years we had a little "Whole Foods" in name only that was originally a Wild Oats, with which I had a love-hate relationship. It lacked all the things I loved about the Whole Foods I would see when traveling. Then they built The Summit shopping center and we finally got a brand new top of the line Whole Foods. Our's even has the best pizza of any WF I've been to - including the best WF in world, which IMO is the one off Jamboree Road in Irvine, CA, and also the one in Venice, CA. Grab a slice of pizza or something from the salad bar or hot bar and enjoy it on their great outdoor patio.
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Whole Foods Market
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For many years we had a little "Whole Foods" in name only that was originally a Wild Oats, with which I had a love-hate relationship. It lacked all the things I loved about the Whole Foods I would see when traveling. Then they built The Summit shopping center and we finally got a brand new top of the line Whole Foods. Our's even has the best pizza of any WF I've been to - including the best WF in world, which IMO is the one off Jamboree Road in Irvine, CA, and also the one in Venice, CA. Grab a slice of pizza or something from the salad bar or hot bar and enjoy it on their great outdoor patio.
No grocery list is complete without the obligatory Trader Joes. If there's a bottle of wine in the fridge, usually Butter Churn chardonnay, it came from here. I also like the frozen potstickers - definitely some of those in the freezer - and, well, you know what Trader Joe's is.
Trader Joe's
2326 Nicholasville Rd
No grocery list is complete without the obligatory Trader Joes. If there's a bottle of wine in the fridge, usually Butter Churn chardonnay, it came from here. I also like the frozen potstickers - definitely some of those in the freezer - and, well, you know what Trader Joe's is.
We are located an almost equal distance from three Kroger, this one is about halfway between the house and the airport if you want to stop on the way in - it's also a Supercenter, so you'll find things here that you won't at the others on this list. There are also other eateries on these lists in the immediate area.
Kroger Marketplace
3175 Beaumont Centre Circle
We are located an almost equal distance from three Kroger, this one is about halfway between the house and the airport if you want to stop on the way in - it's also a Supercenter, so you'll find things here that you won't at the others on this list. There are also other eateries on these lists in the immediate area.
If you're not familiar, it's a little more high-end. They have a good meat and seafood case - and here's my pro-tip - look for the pre-made oysters Rockefeller on the half-shell, take them back to the house and put them under the broiler setting in my toaster oven until they get a little crisp on top. Almost as good as my homemade version. They also have a great collection of unusual sodas, bulk snacks (I love the wasabi mix) and great rotisserie chicken.
The Fresh Market
3387 Tates Creek Road
If you're not familiar, it's a little more high-end. They have a good meat and seafood case - and here's my pro-tip - look for the pre-made oysters Rockefeller on the half-shell, take them back to the house and put them under the broiler setting in my toaster oven until they get a little crisp on top. Almost as good as my homemade version. They also have a great collection of unusual sodas, bulk snacks (I love the wasabi mix) and great rotisserie chicken.
I usually only go to this Kroger when I'm out doing other errands - like on my way home from Whole Foods and I needed some random something that I didn't want to pay $20 for at WF. But it's in the same shopping center as the closest Starbucks to the house.
Kroger
3650 Boston Rd
I usually only go to this Kroger when I'm out doing other errands - like on my way home from Whole Foods and I needed some random something that I didn't want to pay $20 for at WF. But it's in the same shopping center as the closest Starbucks to the house.
This is the Kroger handiest to get to from the house and the one I use most. Probably because it's very close to Trader Joes and a few other favorite stops. Also in the same shopping center is a TJ Maxx if you like to hit those.
Kroger Pharmacy
150 W Lowry Ln
This is the Kroger handiest to get to from the house and the one I use most. Probably because it's very close to Trader Joes and a few other favorite stops. Also in the same shopping center is a TJ Maxx if you like to hit those.
This is a high-end butcher shop where you can find good country ham (pro tip, get it shaved for sandwiches) good quality meats, steaks and game.
Critchfield Meats Retail Store
2220 Nicholasville Rd
This is a high-end butcher shop where you can find good country ham (pro tip, get it shaved for sandwiches) good quality meats, steaks and game.
If you're into organic and/or food cooperatives please make it to our Co-op. Think Whole Foods without the Amazon. Locally owned by its members (I'm an owner) it has been part of the organic movement in Lexington for 40 years. You will find a really good hot bar here especially on weekend mornings for breakfast. The coffee is good - I like Mind Body and Soul blend. They have a really good collection of beer cheeses - one of my all time favorite snacks - look for the siraccha flavored in the cold case next to the self-serve coffee bar. Also, while you're in the area, right next door is Habitat for Humanity Restore - if you're not familiar with these shops, drop in this one, you're welcome.
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Good Foods Co-op
455 Southland Drive
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If you're into organic and/or food cooperatives please make it to our Co-op. Think Whole Foods without the Amazon. Locally owned by its members (I'm an owner) it has been part of the organic movement in Lexington for 40 years. You will find a really good hot bar here especially on weekend mornings for breakfast. The coffee is good - I like Mind Body and Soul blend. They have a really good collection of beer cheeses - one of my all time favorite snacks - look for the siraccha flavored in the cold case next to the self-serve coffee bar. Also, while you're in the area, right next door is Habitat for Humanity Restore - if you're not familiar with these shops, drop in this one, you're welcome.
This is the absolute closest grocery store from the house and I use it as my "convenience store"
Meijer
351 W Reynolds Rd
This is the absolute closest grocery store from the house and I use it as my "convenience store"
A cute little gourmet shop in the same shopping center with Fresh Market, so if your cobbling together some gourmet foods for the house you might as well stop in here. The have decent prepared foods - their pimento cheese is well regarded.
Mouse Trap
3323 Tates Creek Road
A cute little gourmet shop in the same shopping center with Fresh Market, so if your cobbling together some gourmet foods for the house you might as well stop in here. The have decent prepared foods - their pimento cheese is well regarded.
Not the biggest or best asian market in town, but it's a good one and super close to the house - you could walk to it if you want. They also have a good Korean cafe in the back. Here's a pro-tip, in the far back right corner of the market are small packages of frozen meat, like bulgogi and sliced chicken breast that are prefect for a quick asian stir-fry.
DY Market
3101 Clays Mill Rd
Not the biggest or best asian market in town, but it's a good one and super close to the house - you could walk to it if you want. They also have a good Korean cafe in the back. Here's a pro-tip, in the far back right corner of the market are small packages of frozen meat, like bulgogi and sliced chicken breast that are prefect for a quick asian stir-fry.
A good Mediterranean market directly next door to the best Mediterranean restaurant in Kentucky - by the same name. If you like the awesome unfiltered, aromatic olive oil in the window next to the blender - I get it here.
Sahara International Grocery
3061 Fieldstone Way
A good Mediterranean market directly next door to the best Mediterranean restaurant in Kentucky - by the same name. If you like the awesome unfiltered, aromatic olive oil in the window next to the blender - I get it here.

Let's Eat! (and maybe drink)

Even though I like to cook, I still eat out most meals. I like a pretty good variation of food types and price points, however you won't find much in the way of national chain restaurants. And you will probably notice a disproportionate number of Asian joints. I don't drink, so I don't have a well curated list of bars, but I'll share what I know.
This is as close as Lexington gets to legitimate dim sum, and is a place known to be legit among the local Chinese community. Panda has a good buffet for lunch/brunch hours on the weekend. I also pick up the Szechuan dumplings from time to time.
Panda Cuisine
2358 Nicholasville Rd
This is as close as Lexington gets to legitimate dim sum, and is a place known to be legit among the local Chinese community. Panda has a good buffet for lunch/brunch hours on the weekend. I also pick up the Szechuan dumplings from time to time.
This is my favorite, period - I get carryout from here often, both dinner and to take back to my desk at work for lunch. My favorite dish is the basil beef (shown in the pic with this listing). Nat has a special everyday, which is where is skills really shine. The daily menu, while a bit limited, is great. You can usually find the special of the day on his Facebook page. He is a master with Thai curries (especially green and Panang) but also watch for his noodle dishes. If I were to get the death penalty, his Kee Mow would be last meal request. There is seating on the patio out back and for lunch you can eat next door at McCarthy's but otherwise there is no seating so carryout works best.
NAT'S
111 South Upper Street
This is my favorite, period - I get carryout from here often, both dinner and to take back to my desk at work for lunch. My favorite dish is the basil beef (shown in the pic with this listing). Nat has a special everyday, which is where is skills really shine. The daily menu, while a bit limited, is great. You can usually find the special of the day on his Facebook page. He is a master with Thai curries (especially green and Panang) but also watch for his noodle dishes. If I were to get the death penalty, his Kee Mow would be last meal request. There is seating on the patio out back and for lunch you can eat next door at McCarthy's but otherwise there is no seating so carryout works best.
If you like big fish sandwiches or fried fish platters, Charlie is your guy. I also usually add a half order of fried oysters.
Charlie's Seafood & Carry-Out Restaurant
926 Winchester Road
If you like big fish sandwiches or fried fish platters, Charlie is your guy. I also usually add a half order of fried oysters.
This is the latest concept from a local company best known for their steak houses - Malone's. They also own Drakes, which has recently expanded to other cities and Aqua - their sushi joint. You can typically order their best known dishes from the various concept at any of the restaurants. So if you're in the mood for an unusual sushi type dish - try the very popular crab rangoon roll. But back to OBC... I love and often crave the short rib mac and cheese, but it's only on their lunch menu every day except Sundays. But their other short rib dishes are great too - including the short rib has on the Sunday brunch menu.
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OBC Kitchen
3373 Tates Creek Road
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This is the latest concept from a local company best known for their steak houses - Malone's. They also own Drakes, which has recently expanded to other cities and Aqua - their sushi joint. You can typically order their best known dishes from the various concept at any of the restaurants. So if you're in the mood for an unusual sushi type dish - try the very popular crab rangoon roll. But back to OBC... I love and often crave the short rib mac and cheese, but it's only on their lunch menu every day except Sundays. But their other short rib dishes are great too - including the short rib has on the Sunday brunch menu.
When I'm recommending restaurants that are uniquely Lexington - something you can't get just anywhere, this place along with County Club are my picks. Middle fork is located right in the middle of the Distillery District which is an absolute must for any visit to Lexington. If you love my preference for mid-mod industrial architecture then you'll love the aesthetic here.
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middle fork kitchen bar
1224 Manchester St
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When I'm recommending restaurants that are uniquely Lexington - something you can't get just anywhere, this place along with County Club are my picks. Middle fork is located right in the middle of the Distillery District which is an absolute must for any visit to Lexington. If you love my preference for mid-mod industrial architecture then you'll love the aesthetic here.
Along with Middle Fork, this is more most often recommended eatery that is unique to Lexington. They specialize in smoked meats, but this IS NOT a barbecue joint - a common misconception. The menu is rather limited, but they have a great specials board. The chef, Johnny, likes to infuse his dishes with Asian flavors, which is probably why I like the place so much - for example, get the Asian dry rub wings. This is a popular spot for brunch on the weekends. It's located next door to West Sixth brewery and is on the Legacy Trail.
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County Club Restaurant
555 Jefferson Street
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Along with Middle Fork, this is more most often recommended eatery that is unique to Lexington. They specialize in smoked meats, but this IS NOT a barbecue joint - a common misconception. The menu is rather limited, but they have a great specials board. The chef, Johnny, likes to infuse his dishes with Asian flavors, which is probably why I like the place so much - for example, get the Asian dry rub wings. This is a popular spot for brunch on the weekends. It's located next door to West Sixth brewery and is on the Legacy Trail.
Goodfellas is located next door to Middle Fork at the Distillery, and is my favorite example of midcentury industrial architecture. They are the best New York-style slice of pizza pie you will find outside of NYC. Their original location is downtown on Mill Street if you would rather have it there, and they have now expanded to other cities - including Cincinnati.
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Goodfellas Pizzeria - Distillery
1228 Manchester St
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Goodfellas is located next door to Middle Fork at the Distillery, and is my favorite example of midcentury industrial architecture. They are the best New York-style slice of pizza pie you will find outside of NYC. Their original location is downtown on Mill Street if you would rather have it there, and they have now expanded to other cities - including Cincinnati.
This place is relatively new to the local food scene, they just recently moved here from New York - you'll find their menu on the refrigerator door. Check out my listing for Nat's, which is my favorite Thai hands down, there's not even a close second. However, this place is very good and the best of the "others" and you can't beat the location and convenience from my house. All of their noodle dishes are very good.
Thai Street Food Kitchen
3340 Clays Mill Rd
This place is relatively new to the local food scene, they just recently moved here from New York - you'll find their menu on the refrigerator door. Check out my listing for Nat's, which is my favorite Thai hands down, there's not even a close second. However, this place is very good and the best of the "others" and you can't beat the location and convenience from my house. All of their noodle dishes are very good.
Save room for desert and make this part of your North Limestone dining experience. This small batch, hand crafted gelato is as good as I've had anywhere including Italy.
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Sorella Gelateria
219 N Limestone
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Save room for desert and make this part of your North Limestone dining experience. This small batch, hand crafted gelato is as good as I've had anywhere including Italy.
Very good fast casual cajun joint in Chevy Chase, my favorites dishes are the gumbo, red chili, black bean and corn.
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Bourbon n' Toulouse
829 Euclid Avenue
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Very good fast casual cajun joint in Chevy Chase, my favorites dishes are the gumbo, red chili, black bean and corn.
Very popular micro brewery in an old bread factory. If you're a jogger/runner you might won't to go on Tuesdays for group runs. Inside is Smithtown Seafood, one of the half-dozen or so eateries by local celebrity chef Ouita Michel. I highly, highly recommend the shrimp and grits.
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West Sixth Brewing
501 West 6th Street
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Very popular micro brewery in an old bread factory. If you're a jogger/runner you might won't to go on Tuesdays for group runs. Inside is Smithtown Seafood, one of the half-dozen or so eateries by local celebrity chef Ouita Michel. I highly, highly recommend the shrimp and grits.

Morning Joe!

Okay, here's the thing, I'm a bit of a coffee snob. At home I only do freshly ground, pour-over style coffee. That Keurig on the kitchen counter is strictly for you guys. But I do most of my coffee drinking at home, mostly because I have a very specific variety of coffee bean I like and I order it online. So when I get coffee out it's admittedly Starbucks more often than not - I love the app which is a total game-changer - the coffee is sitting there waiting for you when you walk in. Anyway, I know a good coffee joint when I see one, and Lexington has a fairly impressive coffee culture.
These guys are extremely popular with the millennial crowd. Their schtick is super friendly, super engaging as soon as you hit the door. They have a pretty good selection of small-batch coffees from a lot of good roasters. Definitely worth a visit. If sipping chocolates are your thing, they have a chocolate bar not too far from their downtown coffee shop called Chocolate Holler.
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A Cup Of Common Wealth
105 Eastern Avenue
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These guys are extremely popular with the millennial crowd. Their schtick is super friendly, super engaging as soon as you hit the door. They have a pretty good selection of small-batch coffees from a lot of good roasters. Definitely worth a visit. If sipping chocolates are your thing, they have a chocolate bar not too far from their downtown coffee shop called Chocolate Holler.
While there may be coffee I like better and donuts I like better, if you want coffee AND donuts, this is definitely your spot. They are walking distance from the house - and I encourage you to stroll down there one morning. They are very popular and you should expect a healthy line on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This is their second location - the original is in the uber hipster NoLi (North Limestone) neighborhood North of downtown.
North Lime Coffee & Donuts - Clays Mill
3101 Clays Mill Road
While there may be coffee I like better and donuts I like better, if you want coffee AND donuts, this is definitely your spot. They are walking distance from the house - and I encourage you to stroll down there one morning. They are very popular and you should expect a healthy line on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This is their second location - the original is in the uber hipster NoLi (North Limestone) neighborhood North of downtown.
If you are looking for coffee and/or tea supplies, flavored coffee or you're looking for a large selection of bulk teas, you'll want to drop in here. This place is fairly handy and close to the house, and be sure to walk through the vintage store next door.
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Coffee Times Coffee House
2571 Regency Road
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If you are looking for coffee and/or tea supplies, flavored coffee or you're looking for a large selection of bulk teas, you'll want to drop in here. This place is fairly handy and close to the house, and be sure to walk through the vintage store next door.
Located in a new shopping center nearby, this is the second location - the original is located downtown on Main Street across from the convention center. They usually have a good selection of their own treats.
Daily Offerings Coffee Roastery & Cafe
124 Malabu Dr
Located in a new shopping center nearby, this is the second location - the original is located downtown on Main Street across from the convention center. They usually have a good selection of their own treats.
You can find the Starbucks that works best for you on your app, but I'm listing this one so you will know which one to pick in the app if you are headed into downtown or headed through downtown. This location is just south of downtown and is ground zero for the University of Kentucky off campus student housing neighborhood, so it's always busy with college kids and the parking lot is always a challenge. Whatever you do, DO NOT park next door at the Shell convenience store, they are just waiting for you to get out of your car to swoop in and tow you. And or that reason, I would not buy a bottle of water there if I was on fire.
Starbucks
870 South Broadway
You can find the Starbucks that works best for you on your app, but I'm listing this one so you will know which one to pick in the app if you are headed into downtown or headed through downtown. This location is just south of downtown and is ground zero for the University of Kentucky off campus student housing neighborhood, so it's always busy with college kids and the parking lot is always a challenge. Whatever you do, DO NOT park next door at the Shell convenience store, they are just waiting for you to get out of your car to swoop in and tow you. And or that reason, I would not buy a bottle of water there if I was on fire.

Shops, Stores and More

Here you will find recommendations for shopping, curiosities and other favorite stops.
I assume since you chose my house we share a certain aesthetic that blends midcentury modern and industrial with more traditional. In other words you also have impeccable tastes. If so, you must visit Scout. You might also want to seek out the offerings from one of their curators, Freddie. I don't know anybody who knows more about furniture collecting that Freddie. Scout owner, Jeff, is also a great person to chat. They rotate inventory very regularly, so you'll want to return often.
Scout Antique & Modern
935 Liberty Road
I assume since you chose my house we share a certain aesthetic that blends midcentury modern and industrial with more traditional. In other words you also have impeccable tastes. If so, you must visit Scout. You might also want to seek out the offerings from one of their curators, Freddie. I don't know anybody who knows more about furniture collecting that Freddie. Scout owner, Jeff, is also a great person to chat. They rotate inventory very regularly, so you'll want to return often.
If multi-vendor antique and collectible stores are your thing then you'll want to check this place out, it's also situated very close to the distillery district.
Feather Your Nest
1317 West Main Street
If multi-vendor antique and collectible stores are your thing then you'll want to check this place out, it's also situated very close to the distillery district.
The fun little vintage/midcentury modern store shares adjoining space with Coffee Times and both are worth dropping in if you're in the area.
Street Scene
2575 Regency Rd
The fun little vintage/midcentury modern store shares adjoining space with Coffee Times and both are worth dropping in if you're in the area.
Very cool salvage/rummage store to pick up building materials, used furniture, appliances, etc., you never know what you're going to run into and it all benefits Habitat for Humanity. It's a very popular stop so true "bargains" are kind of rare these days, but it's still fun.
Lexington Habitat for Humanity ReStore
451 Southland Drive
Very cool salvage/rummage store to pick up building materials, used furniture, appliances, etc., you never know what you're going to run into and it all benefits Habitat for Humanity. It's a very popular stop so true "bargains" are kind of rare these days, but it's still fun.
Higher-end shopping with 18 eatery options last time I counted. Shops include Whole Foods, Bonobos, Brooks Brothers, Warby Parker, Crate and Barrel, Frye, Lulu Lemon, Cycle Bar, Orange Theory and more.
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The Summit at Fritz Farm
120 Summit At Fritz Farm
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Higher-end shopping with 18 eatery options last time I counted. Shops include Whole Foods, Bonobos, Brooks Brothers, Warby Parker, Crate and Barrel, Frye, Lulu Lemon, Cycle Bar, Orange Theory and more.
The best vinyl and music store in town.
CD Central
377 South Limestone
The best vinyl and music store in town.
The brand new Lexington Visitor's Center is on the ground floor of the newly and beautifully restored Old Fayette County Courthouse. It's definitely worth a visit to pick up some gifts and souvenirs and information on all the places to visit while you're in Lexington.
Lexington Convention
250 West Main Street
The brand new Lexington Visitor's Center is on the ground floor of the newly and beautifully restored Old Fayette County Courthouse. It's definitely worth a visit to pick up some gifts and souvenirs and information on all the places to visit while you're in Lexington.
Trendy and cool homegoods and furnishing in Lexington's hippest venues, The Distillery District.
RELIC Lexington
1170 Manchester St
Trendy and cool homegoods and furnishing in Lexington's hippest venues, The Distillery District.
Next door to the The Burl music venue, The Arcade is great place to unwind with friends, and drink or two and some old school video and arcade games. Make it part of your Distillery District Visit.
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The Burl Arcade
369 Thompson Rd
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Next door to the The Burl music venue, The Arcade is great place to unwind with friends, and drink or two and some old school video and arcade games. Make it part of your Distillery District Visit.
"The Distillery District" is Lexington's hottest and hippest eating, drinking and entertainment destination. You will find two working distilleries, a brewery, a restaurant, three bars, Lexington's favorite small batch ice creamery, an axe-throwing venue and more. This is where you want to be.
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Pepper Distillery
1200 Manchester St
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"The Distillery District" is Lexington's hottest and hippest eating, drinking and entertainment destination. You will find two working distilleries, a brewery, a restaurant, three bars, Lexington's favorite small batch ice creamery, an axe-throwing venue and more. This is where you want to be.