Bourbon Restaurants Near Me

Restaurants and Bars in Kentucky

Top 10 Restaurants in Frankfort, KY

7 min read
Restaurant, seating and bar counter

Kentucky, often heralded for its scenic rolling hills, illustrious horse races, and world-renowned bourbon trails, harbors a lesser-known but equally tantalizing gem in its embrace: the city of Frankfort. As the state’s capital, Frankfort not only stands as the epicenter of political discourse but also as a burgeoning culinary haven. This spirited city, enriched with history and culture, offers an unexpected mosaic of flavors and dining experiences, making it a gastronomic destination par excellence. From charming bistros tucked away in historical neighborhoods to modern eateries that echo the city’s evolving culinary scene, every corner of Frankfort beckons food lovers with its unique allure.

Heirloom – Midway

In the tranquil town of Midway, a gastronomic gem called Heirloom emerges, capturing the essence of what it means to dine in the heart of Kentucky. Here, culinary artistry converges with history, as the restaurant itself is housed within a preserved heritage building. The ambiance is an elegant blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication.

Dishes to Try:

  • Southern Fried Chicken: A golden crispy delicacy that pays homage to Kentucky’s culinary roots;
  • Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly: Kentucky’s famous bourbon finds its way to elevate this dish, blending tradition with innovation.

But what truly sets Heirloom apart is its commitment to locally-sourced ingredients. Their farm-to-table approach ensures the freshness of every dish, making each bite a story of the region’s agricultural bounty.

Castle Farm

Restaurant in the form of a castle, top view

At Castle Farm, the dining experience transcends the plate. Set against the backdrop of a mesmerizing castle and sprawling lawns, it’s no less than dining in a fairytale setting.

Unique Features:

  • Live Music Nights: The ambiance is enhanced by melodious tunes that waft through the evening air;
  • Outdoor Dining: The vast grounds provide a unique al fresco dining opportunity amidst nature.

Their menu is a beautiful mosaic of classic and avant-garde dishes. And while the ambiance is royal, the approach to food is grounded, emphasizing fresh, local produce.

Signature DishesDescription
Bluegrass Beef TenderloinJuicy beef with hints of bluegrass herbs.
Castle’s Caesar SaladA royal twist to the classic Caesar with golden croutons and fresh parmesan.

Vallozzis Versailles

Restaurant, tables near a brick wall

Sitting in the midst of Kentucky’s countryside, Vallozzis Versailles is an unexpected Italian haven. Its rustic charm is complemented by a warm, family-centric environment, making diners feel as though they’ve been transported to a quaint Italian village.


  • Pasta Workshops: The restaurant occasionally offers workshops where diners can learn the art of pasta-making from the maestros;
  • Wine Pairing Evenings: Expert sommeliers guide guests through a curated journey of Italian wines.

The dishes seamlessly blend Italian tradition with Kentucky flair. From classic spaghetti carbonara getting a hint of local herbs to tiramisu with a dash of bourbon, the fusion is both surprising and delightful.

Carson’s Food & Drink

People spend time in a restaurant

At the heart of the bustling streets of Frankfort, Carson’s Food & Drink is more than just a restaurant; it’s a complete sensory experience. The venue itself is adorned with contemporary art, plush seating, and a bustling bar, ensuring that diners are captivated from the moment they step in.

Signature Elements:

  • Crafted Cocktails: Their bar is famed for concoctions that are both innovative and classic. From bourbon-infused drinks that pay homage to Kentucky’s heritage to tropical delights, there’s something for every palate;
  • Live Jazz Evenings: Regular musical events lend a vibrant atmosphere, ensuring that your meal is paired with soul-soothing tunes.

Dishes Not to Miss:

  • Maple Bourbon Salmon: A delicate salmon fillet, glazed with the richness of maple and the depth of bourbon;
  • Southern Comfort Bowl: Think of this as a warm hug in a bowl, with creamy mashed potatoes, crunchy fried chicken, and velvety gravy.

Holly Hill Inn

Restaurant terrace with tables

Away from the city’s hustle and bustle, the Holly Hill Inn is a serene escape into Kentucky’s countryside. The restaurant exudes a rustic charm with wooden beams, vintage furniture, and a fireplace that crackles with warmth in the colder months.

Special Features:

  • Seasonal Menus: Emphasizing freshness, the restaurant changes its menu based on the produce available in each season;
  • Cooking Classes: For those keen to learn, Holly Hill occasionally hosts classes where guests can learn the secrets behind their favorite dishes.

Top Picks:

  • Bourbon Barrel Stout Pie: A delightful dessert that marries the richness of stout with the sweetness of pie;
  • Kentucky Farm Salad: Fresh greens sourced from local farms, adorned with seasonal fruits and a light vinaigrette.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Lexington

Colorful restaurant design with a round bar in the center

For those who adore the finer things in life, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is a must-visit. The ambiance is reminiscent of a classic 1920s club, with leather booths, sparkling chandeliers, and an air of luxury.

Why Dine Here?

  • Prime Steaks: Their steaks are sourced from the best ranches, ensuring top-notch quality in every bite;
  • Extensive Wine List: From reds and whites to sparkling, their wine list is curated to complement their delectable dishes.

Star Dishes:

  • Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye: Aged to perfection and grilled to your liking, this dish is a meat lover’s dream;
  • Ruby’s Sushi Platter: A surprising yet delightful addition to a steakhouse menu, it’s a nod to modern tastes.

Malone’s – Palomar

Restaurant sign at night

Malone’s is not just a restaurant; it’s an institution in Frankfort, KY. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, Malone’s has cemented its reputation through its impeccable service, diverse menu, and inviting atmosphere.


The vibe at Malone’s strikes a balance between upscale sophistication and welcoming warmth. Dark wood furnishings, ambient lighting, and elegant décor set the tone, while the friendly staff ensures every diner feels at home.


  • Prime Cuts: Malone’s takes pride in offering the finest cuts of beef, each cooked to perfection and bursting with flavor;
  • Seafood Delights: Apart from their renowned steaks, the seafood options are a must-try. Whether it’s the jumbo shrimp cocktail or the freshly caught salmon, it’s a treat for the palate.


  • BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: A delightful medley of sweet and savory, this dish promises a burst of flavors with every bite;
  • Kentucky Bourbon Glazed Ribs: Slow-cooked ribs, drenched in a bourbon-infused sauce, capturing the spirit of Kentucky.

Tony’s of Lexington

Restaurant with stairs to the second floor

As you step into Tony’s of Lexington, you’re greeted with an ambiance that’s both modern and timeless. This place isn’t just about dining; it’s about celebrating life’s moments, big and small.

Distinct Features:

  • Patio Seating: Overlooking the city’s vibrant streets, the patio is perfect for those looking to dine under the stars;
  • Extensive Bar: Whether it’s a classic cocktail, a local brew, or an imported wine, the bar caters to every preference.


  • Tony’s Signature Steak: A dish that stands testament to their culinary prowess, this steak is tender, juicy, and full of flavor;
  • Truffle Fries: A side that often steals the show, these fries are crispy, decadent, and downright addictive.

AZUR Restaurant & Patio

Meat, snacks and wine on the table

In a city teeming with culinary gems, AZUR stands out with its commitment to innovative dishes, fresh ingredients, and an ambiance that’s both chic and relaxed.

What Sets It Apart:

  • Chef-driven Menu: The ever-evolving menu reflects the chef’s creativity, ensuring that regulars always have something new to look forward to;
  • Events & Gatherings: The restaurant often hosts themed nights, brunch events, and live music, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Signature Dishes:

  • Bourbon Barrel Salmon: A fusion of Kentucky’s love for bourbon and fresh seafood, this dish is a testament to the chef’s innovative approach;
  • Farm Fresh Salad: Sourced from local farms, this salad is a vibrant mix of greens, fruits, nuts, and a tangy dressing.

OBC Kitchen

Tables with wine glasses

OBC Kitchen is where rustic charm meets gourmet dishes. With its exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and eclectic décor, it’s a space that invites diners to relax and indulge.

Key Features:

  • Craft Beer Selection: For those who appreciate a good brew, OBC boasts an impressive selection of craft beers;
  • Handcrafted Cocktails: Their mixologists whip up concoctions that are as visually appealing as they are delicious.

Dishes to Dive Into:

  • Bourbon & Honey Glazed Pork Chop: A hearty dish that promises a melange of sweet, spicy, and savory notes;
  • Farmhouse Cheese Board: A selection of the finest cheeses, paired with nuts, fruits, and artisanal bread.


Frankfort, KY, is a tapestry of culinary wonders, each restaurant telling its own tale. Whether it’s the history-infused meals at Heirloom, the royal decadence of Castle Farm, or the Italian-Kentucky fusion at Vallozzis, the city offers a plate for every palate. Dive into these culinary experiences, and let the flavors of Frankfort take you on a journey like no other.


Is outdoor dining available at all these restaurants?
While AZUR is known for its patio dining, Castle Farm also offers a unique outdoor dining experience amidst its majestic setting.

Are vegetarian options available at these establishments?
Most restaurants, including Vallozzis Versailles, offer a diverse menu catering to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Which restaurant would be ideal for a romantic evening?
Castle Farm, with its serene backdrop, stands out as the perfect spot for a romantic dinner.

Do these restaurants offer local Kentucky dishes?
While each restaurant has its own specialty, places like Heirloom focus on dishes that resonate with Kentucky’s culinary heritage.

Are reservations required for dining?
Given the popularity of these establishments, it’s recommended to make reservations, especially during weekends and holidays.

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