TOP 5 DINING: HIDDEN GEMS

By Madison Rexroat

 

Bad Wolf Café
Formerly known as Meadowthorpe Café, Bad Wolf Café is a classic diner with breakfast, sandwiches and weekly specials – but they’re known for their burgers. With options ranging from Penrod Pineapple to Burke Barbeque, this is no ordinary burger joint. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the Signature Spalding burger, which consists of bacon, egg and cheese on a Spalding doughnut. If you’re feeling as hungry as a wolf, this is definitely the place to be. 
1415 Leestown Road • (859) 258-2222
Kentucky Native Café
Located right inside Michler’s reimagined greenhouse, the Kentucky Native Café is as close to a secret garden as you may get. With cozy, outdoor seating under the trees, live music every Sunday, and bountiful greenery all around, this café is a pet friendly venue with plenty of character. The restaurant features fresh salads with ingredients ranging from cauliflower to cous cous, an assortment of local cheeses, and a variety of craft beers to enjoy under the Kentucky stars. 
417 East Maxwell Street • (859) 281-1718 • michlers.com
Tachibana
For over 25 years, Tachibana has offered beautifully prepared Japanese meals to the people of Lexington. This restaurant features authentic Japanese cuisine with a variety of options ranging from a sushi bar to a Hibachi grill. Guests enjoy their meals at low tables while seated on floor cushions, much like a traditional Japanese setting, all while in the heart of Lexington. 
785 Newtown Court • (859) 254-1911 • tachibanarestaurant.com
Wheeler Pharmacy
A restaurant inside a pharmacy? Sure, why not? As if from a scene from Grease, Wheeler’s Fountain has an atmosphere reminiscent of a 50s diner with a prominent curved counter and retro teal barstools – oh, and shelves full of medical supplies in the background. Wheeler’s often attracts regular customers with their classic burgers, breakfast, sandwiches and shakes, and you might as well pick up your prescriptions while you’re there!
336 Romany Road • (859) 266-1131 • wheelerpharmacy.com
Lexington Diner
Described by one customer as “a New York diner with southern charm,” The Lexington Diner offers a wide array of options for foodies looking for a local restaurant with a worldly twist. The executive chef, Ranada West-Riley, has appeared on the Food Network shows Cutthroat Kitchen and Guy’s Grocery Games, and she uses that expertise to create tastes ranging from Southwest to South Asian, with all the benefits of southern comfort food in between. Case in point: the Bourbon burger with Deep Fried Twinkies for dessert. Using local ingredients and featuring artwork by local artists, this diner represents everything great about Lexington, especially the food!
124 North Upper Street • (859) 303-7308 • lexingtondiner.com

 

 

 



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