Guidebook for Lexington

Grace
Guidebook for Lexington

Food Scene

If you're looking for fine dining and GREAT food, go here. Not to mention their service is impeccable and has a lovely atmosphere.
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Coles 735 Main
735 East Main Street
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If you're looking for fine dining and GREAT food, go here. Not to mention their service is impeccable and has a lovely atmosphere.
This bakery turned cafe is a Lexington staple. Not only has it been around for decades, it continues to bring in business every day. They close around 2, so make sure to get there early! Try their southern pecan coffee and chicken biscuit with gravy. To die for.
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Magee's Bakery
726 East Main Street
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This bakery turned cafe is a Lexington staple. Not only has it been around for decades, it continues to bring in business every day. They close around 2, so make sure to get there early! Try their southern pecan coffee and chicken biscuit with gravy. To die for.
This is one of the best coffee shops in Lexington. Not only is the building cool as hell, with all the different rooms and nooks and crannies, the staff is genuine and the coffee is killer. Try a Cubano - you won't regret it. They are open late and if you are here on a Monday, pop in for open mic night!
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Common Grounds Coffee House
343 E High St
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This is one of the best coffee shops in Lexington. Not only is the building cool as hell, with all the different rooms and nooks and crannies, the staff is genuine and the coffee is killer. Try a Cubano - you won't regret it. They are open late and if you are here on a Monday, pop in for open mic night!
Okay. This place is the place in Lexington for tacos - not your average tacos. Get anything from Spicy Shrimp to The Brisket to The Vegetarian Taco or my personal favorite, the Southern Fried Taco. Want the best guacamole and salsa? It's made fresh twice a day. Margaritas? They hand squeeze the lemons and limes. Conveniently located between Campus and Downtown, this restaurant and scene is one NOT to miss.
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The Local Taco
315 South Limestone
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Okay. This place is the place in Lexington for tacos - not your average tacos. Get anything from Spicy Shrimp to The Brisket to The Vegetarian Taco or my personal favorite, the Southern Fried Taco. Want the best guacamole and salsa? It's made fresh twice a day. Margaritas? They hand squeeze the lemons and limes. Conveniently located between Campus and Downtown, this restaurant and scene is one NOT to miss.
Y'all. If you are visiting during late spring, summer or early fall, GO HERE. It is in the middle of Lexington, however the second you walk in you feel like you're in a jungle in fairy world. The Cafe itself is located inside of a greenhouse/florist shop, need I say more? It is vegetarian but if you're a meat lover, don't let that deter you. Alcohol is always served as well. Go on a Friday night and catch some live music. This place is truly magical.
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Kentucky Native Café
417 East Maxwell Street
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Y'all. If you are visiting during late spring, summer or early fall, GO HERE. It is in the middle of Lexington, however the second you walk in you feel like you're in a jungle in fairy world. The Cafe itself is located inside of a greenhouse/florist shop, need I say more? It is vegetarian but if you're a meat lover, don't let that deter you. Alcohol is always served as well. Go on a Friday night and catch some live music. This place is truly magical.
If you asked me for a restaurant that is delicious but also sums up the soul of Kentucky, I would tell you this one. Wallace Station. If you have a car, or are able to make the drive, it is located about 15 minutes outside of Lexington. The drive is down one of Kentucky's most beautiful country roads, Old Frankfort Pike, so you are getting a sensational view the entire drive out there. This is one of Chef Ouita's restaurants, AKA the best Chef in the Bluegrass (or in the surrounding states in my opinion). You can get anything from a Kentucky Hot Brown to a Shrimp Po Bo. Not to mention, the views while eating are out of this world. Welcome to horse country!
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Wallace Station Deli and Bakery
3854 Old Frankfort Pike
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If you asked me for a restaurant that is delicious but also sums up the soul of Kentucky, I would tell you this one. Wallace Station. If you have a car, or are able to make the drive, it is located about 15 minutes outside of Lexington. The drive is down one of Kentucky's most beautiful country roads, Old Frankfort Pike, so you are getting a sensational view the entire drive out there. This is one of Chef Ouita's restaurants, AKA the best Chef in the Bluegrass (or in the surrounding states in my opinion). You can get anything from a Kentucky Hot Brown to a Shrimp Po Bo. Not to mention, the views while eating are out of this world. Welcome to horse country!
Donuts. Coffee. Cool storefront. Need I say more? Seriously, these donuts are out of this world and they are not your average glazed and chocolate donut. This place is definitely worth checking out if you've got a sweet tooth.
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North Lime Coffee & Donuts
575 North Limestone
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Donuts. Coffee. Cool storefront. Need I say more? Seriously, these donuts are out of this world and they are not your average glazed and chocolate donut. This place is definitely worth checking out if you've got a sweet tooth.
If you're looking for a nicer restaurant in Downtown Lexington, go here. But make sure you make a reservation!! This place is delicious, fun, youthful and modern. Get the Caprese Salad or the Fried Soft Shell Crab. You can't go wrong with this place!
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Carson's Food & Drink
362 E Main St
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If you're looking for a nicer restaurant in Downtown Lexington, go here. But make sure you make a reservation!! This place is delicious, fun, youthful and modern. Get the Caprese Salad or the Fried Soft Shell Crab. You can't go wrong with this place!
If you need to feel like you're in Florida, go check out Palmer's. This restaurant is literally floating on water. The views are stunning, the patio/porch/tiki hut is great, and most of the time live music is happening. Even if you eat inside, the floor to ceiling windows give you the illusion that you are still outside. What to order? The Oysters Rockefeller. To. Die. For.
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Palmers Fresh Grill
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If you need to feel like you're in Florida, go check out Palmer's. This restaurant is literally floating on water. The views are stunning, the patio/porch/tiki hut is great, and most of the time live music is happening. Even if you eat inside, the floor to ceiling windows give you the illusion that you are still outside. What to order? The Oysters Rockefeller. To. Die. For.
The best place to brunch! This is the place for early risers and fruit lovers. It is probably one of the healthiest places to brunch in Lexington, and the food is just scrumptious. I recommend the Floridian French Toast.
First Watch
1080 S Broadway
The best place to brunch! This is the place for early risers and fruit lovers. It is probably one of the healthiest places to brunch in Lexington, and the food is just scrumptious. I recommend the Floridian French Toast.

Drinks & Nightlife

This place is fun. The crowd is diverse in every way, including age. It is three stories, with a bar on every story. The best part? It's a rooftop bar! These are few and in between in Lexington, so we like to take advantage of this one.
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Belles Cocktail House
156 Market Street
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This place is fun. The crowd is diverse in every way, including age. It is three stories, with a bar on every story. The best part? It's a rooftop bar! These are few and in between in Lexington, so we like to take advantage of this one.
My favorite brewery/scene in Lexington. I cannot recommend this whole place enough. Go to Ethereal, and enjoy so SO much more. This place is ALWAYS busy on the weekends and during nice days so plan in advance. If you want someone else's opinion, ask any local about the Pepper Distillery (also listed separately). It is truly loved around here
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Ethereal Brewing
1224 Manchester Street
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My favorite brewery/scene in Lexington. I cannot recommend this whole place enough. Go to Ethereal, and enjoy so SO much more. This place is ALWAYS busy on the weekends and during nice days so plan in advance. If you want someone else's opinion, ask any local about the Pepper Distillery (also listed separately). It is truly loved around here
Love this brewery. Great beer, great atmosphere. There are tons of places to sit and lounge, as well as pool tables and darts if you're into bar games. If you get bored of that, ask one of the bartenders to give you a quick tour. They're always down and the brewery behind the scenes is awesome. Grab a sandwich from Dad's Favorites - the best subs in Lexington!
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Blue Stallion Brewing Co.
610 West 3rd Street
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Love this brewery. Great beer, great atmosphere. There are tons of places to sit and lounge, as well as pool tables and darts if you're into bar games. If you get bored of that, ask one of the bartenders to give you a quick tour. They're always down and the brewery behind the scenes is awesome. Grab a sandwich from Dad's Favorites - the best subs in Lexington!
Because who doesn't love a good Irish Pub, right? McCarthy's feels like home the second you walk in and the staff certainly makes you feel like family. You won't hear many southern accents in this bar, the regulars who hang out here are the real deal - Irish accents and all. We love it here and will consistently be my favorite pub in Lexington.
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McCarthy's Irish Bar
117 South Upper Street
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Because who doesn't love a good Irish Pub, right? McCarthy's feels like home the second you walk in and the staff certainly makes you feel like family. You won't hear many southern accents in this bar, the regulars who hang out here are the real deal - Irish accents and all. We love it here and will consistently be my favorite pub in Lexington.
How to put into words? Basically, you park in a big gravel parking lot, and all around you are bars, breweries, the best ice cream shop, bourbon tasting, food trucks, live music, fire pits, games, cornhole, Goodfella's Pizza (the best in Lexington). If you can't find what you're looking for here, then you won't find it anywhere. This place is a local favorite.
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Pepper Distillery
1200 Manchester St
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How to put into words? Basically, you park in a big gravel parking lot, and all around you are bars, breweries, the best ice cream shop, bourbon tasting, food trucks, live music, fire pits, games, cornhole, Goodfella's Pizza (the best in Lexington). If you can't find what you're looking for here, then you won't find it anywhere. This place is a local favorite.
Lexington's own Thursday Night Live! If you're in town on a Thursday night during the time of April-October, go down to TNL at Cheapside Pavilion. EVERYONE in Lexington comes out to play! You have food trucks, you have all the local beer, live music, dancing, some crazy guys doing street performances, its great. You'll love it. It's a huge point of pride for Lexingtonians. (If you do not like crowds, I would not go here). Get an Uber - there is very limited parking on this night.
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Cheapside
115 Cheapside
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Lexington's own Thursday Night Live! If you're in town on a Thursday night during the time of April-October, go down to TNL at Cheapside Pavilion. EVERYONE in Lexington comes out to play! You have food trucks, you have all the local beer, live music, dancing, some crazy guys doing street performances, its great. You'll love it. It's a huge point of pride for Lexingtonians. (If you do not like crowds, I would not go here). Get an Uber - there is very limited parking on this night.

Sightseeing

Visit Keeneland. I can't think of one thing that truly encapsulates our city like Keeneland does. The home of the horse races! Every April and October, people from all over Kentucky (and all over the world) come to Keeneland to watch our thoroughbreds race. Get there early to tailgate and then head inside for the opening race. Eat some Burgoo. Get a Kentucky Mule or Kentucky Breeze. You can go in off season too and just walk around the grounds which is stunning by itself. It's southern, it's tradition, it's Lexington.
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Keeneland Race Track
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Visit Keeneland. I can't think of one thing that truly encapsulates our city like Keeneland does. The home of the horse races! Every April and October, people from all over Kentucky (and all over the world) come to Keeneland to watch our thoroughbreds race. Get there early to tailgate and then head inside for the opening race. Eat some Burgoo. Get a Kentucky Mule or Kentucky Breeze. You can go in off season too and just walk around the grounds which is stunning by itself. It's southern, it's tradition, it's Lexington.
Did you know there are more barrels of bourbon in Kentucky than there are people? We take huge pride in our Bourbon around here, and love to tell people about it. Drive down Old Frankfort Pike, go to Woodford Reserve Distillery and take the Bourbon Tour. You won't regret it. The best part? The tour includes a flight tasting, paired with a chocolate bourbon ball. Stop at Wallace Station Deli on the way back. Perfect Kentucky day.
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Woodford Reserve Distillery
7855 McCracken Pike
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Did you know there are more barrels of bourbon in Kentucky than there are people? We take huge pride in our Bourbon around here, and love to tell people about it. Drive down Old Frankfort Pike, go to Woodford Reserve Distillery and take the Bourbon Tour. You won't regret it. The best part? The tour includes a flight tasting, paired with a chocolate bourbon ball. Stop at Wallace Station Deli on the way back. Perfect Kentucky day.

Parks & Nature

Calling all outdoors lovers! Hiking, camping, climbing, repelling, biking, kayaking - come to the Red River Gorge. This place is unparalleled to anything you will experience. We have people from all over the world come to climb and hike these famous trails. Don't believe me? Do a little research on it. Located about an hour from Lexington, it is more than worth the drive. After your hiking is finished for the day, head to Miguel's for the best pizza you'll ever eat. Plus just a really cool campground/meeting spot for all hikers/campers combined.
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Red River Gorge
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Calling all outdoors lovers! Hiking, camping, climbing, repelling, biking, kayaking - come to the Red River Gorge. This place is unparalleled to anything you will experience. We have people from all over the world come to climb and hike these famous trails. Don't believe me? Do a little research on it. Located about an hour from Lexington, it is more than worth the drive. After your hiking is finished for the day, head to Miguel's for the best pizza you'll ever eat. Plus just a really cool campground/meeting spot for all hikers/campers combined.
This is our own little hiking sanctuary located in Lexington! While only about a 15 minute drive away, you'll feel like you have been transported to another state. Beautiful hikes down to the Kentucky River with stunning views all around. Hikes can range from super easy to pretty advanced. Park is only open from dawn to dusk, so plan accordingly!
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Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
3885 Raven Run Way
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This is our own little hiking sanctuary located in Lexington! While only about a 15 minute drive away, you'll feel like you have been transported to another state. Beautiful hikes down to the Kentucky River with stunning views all around. Hikes can range from super easy to pretty advanced. Park is only open from dawn to dusk, so plan accordingly!
Fan of a good park? Come check this one out. A block up from the heart of Downtown, Gratz Park is on Transylvania University's campus and is just stunning. There are fountains, cobble stone streets, old houses, and a beautiful culture center called Carnegie Hall at the bottom of the hill. This is definitely worth visiting on a beautiful day.
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Gratz Park
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Fan of a good park? Come check this one out. A block up from the heart of Downtown, Gratz Park is on Transylvania University's campus and is just stunning. There are fountains, cobble stone streets, old houses, and a beautiful culture center called Carnegie Hall at the bottom of the hill. This is definitely worth visiting on a beautiful day.

Arts & Culture

Calling all History buffs! Henry Clay's house is located in central Lexington, in a stunning neighborhood. Take a tour of the home, have a picnic on his back lawn or simply stroll through his *gorgeous* gardens. Even if you're not into history (or have no clue who Henry Clay is) this place is worth checking out. Antebellum South, anyone?
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Ashland - The Henry Clay Estate
120 Sycamore Road
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Calling all History buffs! Henry Clay's house is located in central Lexington, in a stunning neighborhood. Take a tour of the home, have a picnic on his back lawn or simply stroll through his *gorgeous* gardens. Even if you're not into history (or have no clue who Henry Clay is) this place is worth checking out. Antebellum South, anyone?
21C is a great hub for arts/culture and hospitality. While the building itself is a hotel, the first and second floor is a modern art museum. Also located on the first floor is 21C's restaurant, The Lockbox. Award-winning food and beverages you don't want to miss (if you don't mind shelling out a little extra $). Don't have time for dinner? That's okay. Sit at the bar and order a quick drink and snack. Its just as good.
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21c Museum Hotel Lexington
167 W Main St
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21C is a great hub for arts/culture and hospitality. While the building itself is a hotel, the first and second floor is a modern art museum. Also located on the first floor is 21C's restaurant, The Lockbox. Award-winning food and beverages you don't want to miss (if you don't mind shelling out a little extra $). Don't have time for dinner? That's okay. Sit at the bar and order a quick drink and snack. Its just as good.

Shopping

This isn't your average shopping mall, since it is not all under one roof (all the stores are stand alone). The Summit has everything - Whole Foods, Free People, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Arhaus, LUSH, Frye Boot Co., Madewell, CycleBar, Cru Wine Bar and Shake Shack just to name a few. If you like high end clothing and high end food, spend a day here.
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The Summit at Fritz Farm
120 Summit At Fritz Farm
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This isn't your average shopping mall, since it is not all under one roof (all the stores are stand alone). The Summit has everything - Whole Foods, Free People, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Arhaus, LUSH, Frye Boot Co., Madewell, CycleBar, Cru Wine Bar and Shake Shack just to name a few. If you like high end clothing and high end food, spend a day here.
Lexington's public mall! Pretty much your average shopping mall that has all the stores you can dream of. Great place to go check out on a rainy day!
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Fayette Mall
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Lexington's public mall! Pretty much your average shopping mall that has all the stores you can dream of. Great place to go check out on a rainy day!
Heads up: this place is weird. Hippies, incense and "tobacco pipes" are just a few things you'll see. But give it a chance, its the BEST store for finding unique presents. Not to mention their book selection is INSANE. This is the only place I will go to buy cookbooks, reading books, candles, etc. Any odd or fun little thing you can think of, they have it.
sQecial Media
371 S Limestone
Heads up: this place is weird. Hippies, incense and "tobacco pipes" are just a few things you'll see. But give it a chance, its the BEST store for finding unique presents. Not to mention their book selection is INSANE. This is the only place I will go to buy cookbooks, reading books, candles, etc. Any odd or fun little thing you can think of, they have it.

Essentials

Whole Foods Market is my go-to grocery store for produce and regular food. They have a bar inside it as well as a restaurant and fire-pit on the side porch, truly a luxurious shopping experience. Fresh pasta every day from Lexington Pasta Company? Yup. If you have time, go here and treat yo self.
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Whole Foods Market
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Whole Foods Market is my go-to grocery store for produce and regular food. They have a bar inside it as well as a restaurant and fire-pit on the side porch, truly a luxurious shopping experience. Fresh pasta every day from Lexington Pasta Company? Yup. If you have time, go here and treat yo self.
Kroger is everything. Kroger is life. Your go to place for groceries, toiletries, produce, alcohol, pharmacy. Everything. Go to the one on Euclid, they have rooftop parking and is the biggest store nearby.
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Kroger
704 Euclid Avenue
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Kroger is everything. Kroger is life. Your go to place for groceries, toiletries, produce, alcohol, pharmacy. Everything. Go to the one on Euclid, they have rooftop parking and is the biggest store nearby.
This place is perfect because it's so close! Just a mile down the road, Trader Joe's is ideal for those last minute meals. Specializing in international, healthier foods, they are the kings of frozen meals (that are actually good). Plus, their flower selection is off the charts.
Trader Joe's
2326 Nicholasville Rd
This place is perfect because it's so close! Just a mile down the road, Trader Joe's is ideal for those last minute meals. Specializing in international, healthier foods, they are the kings of frozen meals (that are actually good). Plus, their flower selection is off the charts.
Roughly 2 miles from my apartment. Need I say more?
Target
131 W Reynolds Rd
Roughly 2 miles from my apartment. Need I say more?