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5 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Kentucky

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These 5 hidden gem restaurants in Kentucky need to be on your radar when you pass through!

Tucked away in this beautiful state I live in are some amazing restaurants.

I have had the privilege to eat at a few so today I thought I would share with you my 5 hidden gem restaurants in Kentucky.

These are not in any particular order, but I will share my love of each one with you.

hidden gem restaurants in KY

5 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Kentucky

#1 Belew's Dairy Bar

Okay — this is, hands down, my absolute favorite restaurant ever. I have been coming to this little dairy bar since I was about 3 years old.

This little gem of a restaurant is tucked away on Highway 68 down at Land Between the Lakes in Aurora, KY. You won't be able to miss it if you visit because of the iconic ice cream cone sign out front.

belews dairy bar 2

They are only open from April-October and serve burgers and other yummy foods. There is nothing really spectacular about this place that makes it stand out, but those burgers will have you drooling for more.

Belews dairy bar

Crusty edges, buttered toasted bread, and ooey-gooey melted cheese. Seriously — we buy them by the sackful when we visit there.

#2 The Trustee's Table at the Shaker Village in Harrodsburg

I recently got to visit the Shaker Village and immediately fell in love with The Trustee's Table Restaurant located on the property.

The food here is farm-to-table and is absolutely delicious and fresh.

trustees table at skaker village

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I had a taste of all 3, and they were all equally delicious. The lunch was as simple as a bowl of roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich — but oh my stars — so simple and delicious.

#3 Patti's 1880s Settlement

Now, I live just minutes from Patti's 1880s Settlement and let me be the first to tell you how amazing the food here is. They are known for their 2″ porkchop which is better than any steak I have ever put in my mouth.


They serve bread at the table in a flower pot and it is served with a yummy homemade strawberry butter — and their mile-high pies are the best I have ever had in my entire life.

You are taken back in time when you visit here. The staff all dress from the 1880s and the whole area where the restaurant is located has all kinds of things to see and do.

The best time to visit here is during Christmas– they really light it up.

#4 Flamingo Row in Paducah

We discovered Flamingo Row one day when I was searching for new restaurants to try in our area. They offer a Caribbean feel atmosphere and all the food here is so scrumptious.


They have this amazing shrimp dish that always has me wanting to lick the plate afterward. What? You've never licked the plate before? Me either — but that doesn't mean I haven't wanted to.

#5 Mad Mike's Burgers in Hebron

When we visited the Creation Museum 3 years ago, we took to Yelp to find a good restaurant in our area. We pulled up to this empty parking lot which always leaves us wondering if it is really good or not, considering there is NO ONE there, but Mad Mike's was above and beyond delicious.

Mad Mikes

They have a specialty menu full of burgers, chicken sandwiches, and dogs. So so good!

Now that you know my top 5, have you visited any restaurants in Kentucky that are MUST stop at choices? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

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Tuesday 5th of February 2019

Excellent recommendations! If you ever find yourself wanting high quality sushi and Japanese food, go to Jo An (on Olympic blvd, in Hebron KY). It’s a diamond in the rough and has the best sushi I have ever eaten in my life.


Thursday 14th of April 2016

Thanks for sharing this list! Belew's sounds like my kinda place. I love US travel and anything remotely #Americana. I think Americans unfairly view traveling the US. Our states have soooo much to offer, so I'm always glad to see a fellow traveler feature the great things about their state!


Wednesday 13th of April 2016

I'm a huge burger lover and those looked pretty damn good!


Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Absolutely sinful food. :D . Loved your food pics.

Rob Taylor

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

One of my friends has used this same phrase regarding Kentucky food. "Hidden gems" everywhere. I think the bbq might give the Carolinas a run for their money.

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