Lexington Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Lexington; our list of the best things to see, including Kentucky Wildcats, Merrick Inn and Bella Notte.
  • The best place in Lexington: Kentucky Wildcats

    Kentucky Wildcats

    Rupp Arena
    Tickets $35–$46 face value, but expect to pay illegal scalpers much more, especially for games against quality opponents. The sports teams representing the University of Kentucky, a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) along with 12 other major public universities in the larger southeastern region plus the private Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The Kentucky men's basketball team, one of the most storied programs in all of college sports, boasts eight NCAA championships, most recently in 2012. It is immensely popular throughout the state, with the partial exception of the immediate Louisville area (where loyalties are divided between UK and the University of Louisville), and even more so in Lexington itself. Home games are held at Rupp Arena in the Lexington Convention Center downtown. The football program has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years, although it continues to struggle to establish itself in arguably the country's most competitive football conference. Nonetheless, the team frequently sells out the on-campus Commonwealth Stadium, at least for SEC home games and the major rivalry game with U of L (hosted by UK in odd-numbered years).
    Central Downtown food nearby
  • Merrick Inn

    Merrick Inn

    1074 Merrick Drive
    Mo-Th 5:30PM-10PM, Fr-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM; cocktail lounge open till 1AM. Main courses $16-$32. Reservations recommended. Boasts a classy restaurant nestled within the ritzy gated community "Merrick Place".
  • Bella Notte

    Bella Notte

    3715 Nicholasville Rd
    Su-Th 11AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 11AM-11PM. This local Italian restaurant is inspired by trattoria, gathering places for family and friends. The dimly-lit interior features stone floors and greenery throughout the rooms.
    Blueberry Hill-Brigadoon-Stoneybrook-Baralto
  • Alfalfa


    141 E Main St
    Lunch: Mo-Fr 11AM-2PM, Sa-Su 9AM-2PM; Dinner We-Sa 5:30PM-9PM, closed Su-Tu. The best meat/vegetarian combination to eat in downtown Lexington. The menu will satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores alike with innovative and eclectic homemade foods. Try their delicious Red Beans & Rice or an Avocado Grill Sandwich.
    Central Downtown
  • Marikka's Restaurant & Bier Stube

    Marikka's Restaurant & Bier Stube

    411 Southland Dr
    Mo-Sa 5PM-closing; Su closed. With 30 beers on draught and hundreds more in bottles, this is a place to go for beer lovers. If beer is not your thing, they have an equally-hearty selection of hard liquor, including a dozen bourbons you probably haven't heard of.
    Southland-Deerfield-Open Gates
  • Charlie Brown's

    Charlie Brown's

    816 E Euclid Ave
    Mo-Th 11AM-1AM, Fr-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Virtually all sandwiches are $6.50. Hip sandwich restaurant where patrons lounge in sofas and armchairs while chatting in the permanently low lighting. Bookshelves line all four walls and are crammed with old hardbacks; patrons may take any book they please as long as they replace it with another.
    Chevy Chase-Ashland Park
  • Cheapside Bar & Grill

    Cheapside Bar & Grill

    131 Cheapside
    Lunch Mo-Fr 11:30AM-2:30PM; Brunch Sa-Su 11AM-4PM; Dinner Mo-Sa 5PM-midnight, Su 4PM-9PM. Thanks to its great, two-level patio—which has its own bar, outdoor heaters, and plenty of greenery—Cheapside attracts frequent downtown crowds. Also accompanying the spacious bar is great food and lots of fun especially on summer nights.
    Central Downtown
  • Natasha's Bistro & Bar

    Natasha's Bistro & Bar

    112 Esplanade at Main St.
    Lunch Mo-Sa 11AM-2PM (sandwiches until 4PM); Dinner Mo-Fr 5PM-10PM, Sa 5PM-11PM; Bar Mo-Fr 5PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-midnight. Natasha's airy environs incorporate a medley of international influences, from Balinese artifacts to African carvings, masks to textiles, basketry to rusted Moroccan lanterns. The effect is worldly but comfortable, an easy place to indulge in unusual dishes from central Europe to North Africa and beyond.
    Central Downtown
  • Common Grounds

    Common Grounds

    343 East High St
    Mo-Sa 7AM-midnight, Su 8AM-midnight. Housed in an historic brick building, this neighborhood coffee house attracts a wide mix of folks, from college students to professionals. The laid-back ambience is ideal for lounging and chatting. Hot and cold coffee drinks are featured, along with teas, hot chocolates, and sodas.
    Central Downtown
  • Coffee Times Coffee House

    Coffee Times Coffee House

    2571 Regency Rd
    M-Th 7:30AM-9PM; F-Sa 8AM-11PM; Su 11AM-5PM. Excellent selection of whole-bean coffee and loose-leaf tea for sale or drinking on site.
    Indian Hills-Stonewall Estates-Monticello
  • The Chop House

    The Chop House

    2640 Richmond Rd
    Su-Th 11AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 11AM-11PM. Great steaks and chops in a warm, friendly environment.
    Idle Hour
  • A la Lucie

    A la Lucie

    159 N Limestone
    Mo-Th 11AM-10PM, Fr 11AM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM. A romantic downtown restaurant with Parisian flair featuring Lucie's own inventive continental menu.
    Central Downtown
  • Billy's Hickory-Pit Bar-B-Q

    Billy's Hickory-Pit Bar-B-Q

    101 Cochran Rd
    Simple and laid-back, this local joint takes pride in its Western Kentucky–style barbecue, which is slow-cooked pork shoulder, pulled from the bone, chopped and sauced up, and often served on grilled bread. Also available are chicken and mutton.
    Chevy Chase-Ashland Park
  • Atomic Cafe

    Atomic Cafe

    265 N Limestone
    A laid-back restaurant and bar that offers a screened courtyard and reggae music on the weekends.
    Central Downtown
  • Dudley's on Short

    Dudley's on Short

    259 W Short St
    Lunch daily 11AM-2:30PM; Dinner Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, Fr-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. An old mansion that has been converted into a posh commercial complex. Dudley's occupies several rooms and serves American fare.
    Central Downtown
  • Lexington Green

    an independent bookstore with an impressive selection of books in their cavernous
    Authors on book-signing tours are practically guaranteed to stop at Jo-Beth, and they often have extra copies of recently signed books available.
    Central Downtown
  • Hamburg Pavilion

    an open-air
    Hamburg is a power center, an open-air, auto-oriented shopping district marked by large discount department stores, "big box" stores (large stores specializing in one category of merchandise) and smaller shops like Victoria's Secret and the Black Market. An accompanying residential area sprang up with the shopping complex just at the turn of the millennium. The area continues growing daily; expect plenty of traffic.
    Central Downtown
  • Nicholasville Road

    particularly between Man o' War Boulevard and New Circle Road
    Fayette Mall (Nicholasville Rd. & Reynolds Rd., just south of New Circle Road). The largest mall in the state. Recent construction has added a new wing to the mall itself and created a more open commercial campus and doubled the number of stores offered.Adjacent Lexington Green strip mall features Joseph-Beth Booksellers, an independent bookstore with an impressive selection of books in their cavernous, sunlit interior. Authors on book-signing tours are practically guaranteed to stop at Jo-Beth, and they often have extra copies of recently signed books available. Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Cir #B (in Lexington Green, at Nicholasville Rd & New Circle Rd), ☎ +1 (859) 273-2911. Mo-Th 9AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM.
    Garden Springs
  • The Kentucky Theatre

    214 E Main St
    A historic two-screen cinema with restored architecture and beautiful interior murals located downtown on Main Street. Its schedule tends to emphasize foreign, independent, and art films, plus occasional concerts and panel discussions at the premiers of controversial films. During the Summer Classics Series every Wednesday night a classic film is shown. The theatre has an offbeat side as well, and raucous midnight showings of movies like the Rocky Horror Picture Show draw crowds of nearby University students, adults, and teens every weekend.
    Central Downtown food nearby
  • Bourbon n' Toulouse

    Bourbon n' Toulouse

    829 E Euclid Ave
    All plates are $6.50 (tax included); half-orders are $4.50, and are still plenty of food. This popular eatery brings a bit of New Orleans to the Bluegrass. The way Bn'T works is quick and painless: pick what you want from the day’s selections listed on the chalkboard menu, then order and pay at the register. Not sure what you want? Just ask them for some samples. Standards include Cajun and Creole classics like étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya, as well as barbecue sandwiches and a few unique creations. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
    Chevy Chase-Ashland Park
  • Tomo


    848 E High St
    Lunch Mo-Fr 11AM-2PM; Dinner Mo-Th 5:30PM-10PM, Fr-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. Reservations recommended Friday and Saturday nights. A Traditional Japanese menu in a sleek modern atmosphere. Excellent dishes include tempura, hibachi chicken and steak. Of course best known for their sushi rolls. Voted a top sushi restaurant by several publications over the past several years.
    Chevy Chase-Ashland Park
  • Oasis Mediterranean

    Oasis Mediterranean

    868 E High St
    One of the best Middle Eastern places in town! Their Chicken Shwarma is served in a generous portion (that is great for leftovers) that is accompanied by your choice of salad. The hummus and pita is excellent as well. The lunch buffet is expansive with many dishes to choose from sure to satisfy anyone. Worth the trip!
    Chevy Chase-Ashland Park
  • Portofino


    249 E Main St
    Lunch Mo-Fr 11AM-2:30PM; Dinner Su-Th 5PM-10PM, Fr-Sa 5PM-11PM. Italian cuisine with a California accent. Try one of the fabulous pasta dishes in this renovated warehouse that also features local artwork and great atmosphere.
    Central Downtown
  • The Mouse Trap

    The Mouse Trap

    3323 Tates Creek Rd.
    Serves up sandwiches, soups, and other delectable items avalible behind a huge glass display case. Always made right in front of you. When you're finished dining you can revel in the shopping part of the store that includes cookware, chocolates, homemade bread, and more.
    Blueberry Hill-Brigadoon-Stoneybrook-Baralto
  • Gumbo Ya-Ya

    Gumbo Ya-Ya

    1080 S Broadway
    Mo-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-8PM. Small plates $5.50; large plates $6.50; the hungry can get a super size for $8.00. Cajun like no other. Menu changes every week, but standards like White Chile, Gumbo, Jambalaya are usually on. If you are lucky, you can end up there on a day they are dishing up Pazole Stew or Jambalaya Ya-Ya. And their famous Yat-wich is something to suprise you: sort of a turkey-based sloppy joe with a lemony kick.
    Cardinal Hill-Pine Meadow
  • Parkette Drive In

    Parkette Drive In

    1230 E New Circle Rd
    Mo-Sa 11AM-closing. Built in the 1950s and recently restored to its original condition, this Lexington establishment offers delicious burgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken.
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Lexington uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.