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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect address for Salt & Vinegar at Public House. The actual address is 102 West Vine Street, and the story has been corrected. We apologize for the error.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer!

Experts from AAA are expecting a busy travel season ahead of Memorial Day. With an expected 7% increase in travel and about 90% of Kentuckians will be taking to the roads.

With Kentuckians taking to the roads and the skies more and city tourism about to peak, FOX 56 has taken to Yelp to answer the question: What are the five best restaurants in Lexington?

1. Carson’s Food and Drink

The winner of three different Herald-Leader Reader’s Choice awards and being named one of the 100 best restaurants in America in 2018, Carson’s Food and Drink combines Kentucky Proud products and craft drinks from area breweries.

With a menu filled with various salad options, over a dozen sandwich and burger options, and a variety of other entree and steak options, Carson’s gives their customers all the “old Kentucky elegance” the Bluegrass has to offer.

2. Salt & Vinegar at Public House

Founded in 2021 by Henry Clay High School alum and Lexington native, Greg Spaulding also works as the chef of Salt & Vinegar German-American Cuisine.

Fans of Salt & Vinegar are quick to heap their praise on the “quality and ingenuity” of the food and how their meals are “exceptionally well executed and exceedingly flavorful.”

One reviewer referred to Spaulding’s menu as “where creativity meets execution”. The menu features items like paprika schnitzel, hanger steak, or bratwurst & mash.

Salt & Vinegar at Public House is tucked away at 102 West Vine Street.

3. Zundo

Zundo offers a variety of authentic ramen, skewers, and sushi among many other Japanese specialties.

This popular ramen and sushi bar offers a full poke bowl and bubble tear bar along with a full service bar stocked with Japanese alcohol. Zundo also has a “server robot” named Bella.

Bella the bot will talk to customers and even bring their food right to them.

Visitors to Lexington can find Zundo at 127 West Tiverton Way Suite 184.

4. Bourbon on Rye

Sitting at 115 West Main St. is Bourbon on Rye, a prohibition-style restaurant and bar lit by chandeliers.

Famous for its list of over 100 bourbons on hand, Bourbon on Rye also offers over 20 specialty drinks and numerous different beer and wine options.


Their menu consists of a variety of different entrees and appetizers like the grilled gouda chicken sliders, pork roll and beer cheese sliders, and a bourbon beer cheese plate filled with different dunkable foods.

5. OBC Kitchen

Old Bourbon County Kitchen features over 300 different bourbon options this Lexington gem is a favorite for bourbon lovers.

With more than 10 gluten-friendly options, including a chocolate creme brulee dessert and popular dishes like candied bacon in a glass, short rib tacos, and fried oysters, OBC Kitchen is a popular dining spot for anyone who enjoys food.

With over 370 five-star reviews, travel out to 3373 Tates Creek Road and find out firsthand whether all of the OBC Kitchen fanfare is worthwhile.