Just try to pick one!
Kentucky might be most famous for three things: Daniel Boone, the Kentucky Derby and bourbon. We set out to find the best Kentucky bourbon restaurant in the state. Guess what? We couldn’t! There are simply too many high-quality establishments to choose one over the other.
Maybe some day we’ll return to do a more in-depth article on one of these restaurants, but in the meantime, we’re going to shine a light on several. The next time you’re hungry (or thirsty) in Kentucky, do yourself a favor and try one of these tempting taverns.
Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
The official Kentucky Bourbon Trail (kybourbontrail.com) features several bourbon restaurants worthy of a visit. For example:
- Beaumont Inn: A Kentucky establishment for more than 95 years, the inn has several fine dining options to pamper your taste buds. Plus, they offer a huge selection of bourbons.
- Bour-Bon: French-inspired cuisine and hand-made cocktails go together at this restaurant. As their name implies, they also serve bourbon, although it’s their craft cocktails that make the headlines.
- Bourbons Bistro: “Fine dining” should be in the name along with bourbon because while their bourbon list is lengthy, it’s their food you may remember the next morning.
- Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge: Even though it’s part of the Marriott Louisville East, this restaurant still qualifies, since it serves 80 different bourbons as well as bourbon-laced food.
- Distilled at Gratz Park: A boutique hotel’s restaurant features farm-to-table cuisine and, as the name suggests, a certain quality of spirits. Imbibe.
- Harrison-Smith House: In the heart of famous Bardstown, KY, this place serves locally sourced food and a selection of fine bourbons. Bardstown is the Bourbon Capital of the World™.
- Holly Hill Inn: A fine dining experience in the midst of Bluegrass Horse Country, the inn offers large selection of bourbons. Find out about their special events, too.
- Talbott Tavern: Its Southern cooking pairs well a healthy (or unhealthy) selection of bourbons. The tavern’s building is historic, but their Bourbon Bar rocks out.
- The Woodford Inn: This bed-and-breakfast is situated perfectly for a full-on bourbon country assault, but they also serve many of the local varieties in its own restaurant.
- Woodford Reserve Distillery: You normally don’t think of a distillery as a “restaurant,” but this one has a front porch specifically for picnics. Tasty food, such as the bourbon chili, and bourbon tastings: a recipe for success.
Off the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Kentucky loves its bourbon, so don’t limit yourself. The following establishments welcome guests with open arms and upraised glasses:
- Bristol Bar & Grille: It’s not pretentious, but it is tasty. This isn’t your neighborhood bar and grill; they know their Kentucky bourbon and proudly offer it up. They have multiple locations.
- Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant: It has 150 bourbons! 150! That means you could have a glass every day, and it would be five months later that you would have sampled them all. And their food is Americana flavored with a splash of Southern.
- Kentucky Bourbon House: Colonel Michael Masters is “The Kentucky Bourbon Master.” His House offers daily (but limited) bourbon tastings and dinner. Make your reservations now!
- Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge: You know everything by the name except that its food is (mostly) Southern cooking at its finest. That means lots of meat in addition to lobster options.
- The Miller House: Serving fine brunch, lunch and dinner, this beautiful restaurant stocks more than 300 bourbons to accompany its Americana menu offerings.
- Pomopilios: Here’s a switch -- a bourbon restaurant that serves Italian food. So you don’t have to have Chianti with your noodles. Not in Kentucky.
Photo credits: camelsandchocolate.com, iandrinstitute.com