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Horse Capital of the World

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Home to a winning college basketball team and legendary thoroughbreds, Lexington, Kentucky, scores big in the sports world. But it’s more than hoops and horses. Fed by limestone-rich water, the fertile fields surrounding the city yield abundant crops and a majority of the world’s bourbon. It also boasts hoppin’ craft breweries, an array of dining options ranging from downhome to highbrow, and some seriously locavore chefs. It all combines to create a sure-bet culinary scene that’s giving its other appealing aspects a run for their money. Start in NoLi (North Limestone), an edge-of-downtown neighborhood that’s transformed from abandoned properties to an arts hub. Fuel up for a day of exploring at Doodles, a former gas station now serving Lex-sourced breakfast staples like cornmeal-crisped pancakes drizzled with sorghum molasses. Head to the historic James E. Pepper Distillery District and grab a cold one—an ice cream cone or a Kentucky craft beer—at Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge. When in the horse capital of the world, a stop by Keeneland is a winning choice. Hooves pound the historic track each April and October, but its idyllic green grounds and facilities are open for tours year round.

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Snapshot: Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky has upped its culinary game in the form of a playful downtown dining renaissance soaked in Southern charm.

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At the Table

New Restaurants in Kentucky

From bourbon to boudin, the Local Palate's roundup of new restaurants in Kentucky swings from rugged ambiances to contemporary concepts and global menus.

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Central Kentucky Bluegrass Bites

Samantha Fore takes us on a culinary tour through Eastern Kentucky, sharing the diverse bites, from noodles to burritos, savored along the way.


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The Local Palate Marketplace Ad: I'm Just Here for the Snacks

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Discover the Local Palate's thoughtfully curated selection of regional food products.