Lexington, KY is my favorite small-town-city. Perpetually locked in an identity crisis between being a small town and being a big city. Perpetually locked as a treasure box of southern days gone by. I lived in Lexington for eight years. I went to school in Lexington. I learned so much about the world outside my tiny western Kentucky town by watching the world slowly creep by in Lexington. Over the past ten years Lexington has experienced a refreshing amount of growth. From new faces and leadership to an ever evolving food and culture scene. Lexington is doing its damndest to catch up to the trendy cities across the US.
By being the northern most southern city in the US—Lexington serves visitors a more liberal and less antiquated version of southern culture. Gone are the vestiges of many of the southern stereotypes. In their place stands an open and colorful town. As I find myself frequently visiting Lexington I wanted create a short guide to a few of my favorites places. This list will grow over time.
Lexington's food scene is quickly putting itself on the map. From trendy bars and farm-to-table spots, to quick lunch spots, to fine dining Lexington has it covered. My personal favorite is County Club in Lexington's Jefferson Street district. The pountine with brisket is the only reason needed to visit. The aesthetics are worth staying for.
I asked my friend James where he recommends:
1) Distilled at Gratz Park
2) Heirloom (a short 10 minute drive to Midway)
4) Cole's 735 Main
5) Lucy's at the Red Light
For those looking for classic southern comfort food, local chain Ramsey's is a must visit. Wallace Station and Windy Corner are both worth the drive outside of town to visit. Malones, the staple of Lexington is 100% worth skipping.
Shopping is not one of Lexington's greatest assets. Beyond a handful of fabulous shops and boutiques you're left with the stand Anthro, Pottery Barn style. My absolute favorite is Fable + Flame near the mall. James, the owner, brings an incredibly pleasing aesthetic to his shop. With legendary sales and constantly rotating inventory the mix of new and vintage is the perfect excuse to visit Lexington.
When it comes to shopping for vintage fashions Foxhouse has it covered. A tiny gem of a shop near UK's campus, Foxhouse offers everything you need for a completely vintage outfit. Recent additions to the shop include American made art, jewelry, and accessories.
Worn + Company is my favorite new store in Lexington. Nick's menwear stores focuses on classic American made men's staples, a flair of hipster, and a timeless, yet modern, southern meets outdoorsman style.
Michler Florist and Greenhouse is absolutely 100% out of a dream. A handful of time worn greenhouses cover the wooded grounds of the urban property. A beer garden and vegan restaurant are carved among the trees. The greenhouse specializes in plants native Kentucky. Every inch of the property is worth photographing, but the plants really do take center stage. If you're looking to bring the outdoors into your home you want to make a stop at Michler's.
This literally doesn't even scratch the surface of places to visit in Lexington. Stay tuned for more.