It’s a little tough to narrow 120 counties worth of eateries into just five, but here’s a start for an empty stomach…and it had better be empty!
1. Patti’s Settlement in Grand Rivers
Call ahead for a seat here, because it’s full year-round. They are known for their flower pot bread with strawberry butter and of course, a giant pork chop. Folks from St. Louis have flown in on private jets just to eat here. Bill Clinton came here and ate when he was the President.
2. Moonlight BBQ in Owensboro
This town has a BBQ heartbeat with more than a few outstanding eateries serving pork, mutton and such. Moonlight has made “going out to eat” an event. Get the full-on buffet, buy the t-shirt, then have your friends and neighbors comment on your love for food in general.
3. The Whistle Stop in Glendale
Legendary since the mid 1970s, this restaurant is still in the shadow of an active railroad track in the antiques district; it lures hungry people from Kentucky and beyond with fried green tomatoes, country ham and sought-after desserts.
4. Dovie’s Restaurant in Tompkinsville
You don’t come in here and ask for a Dovie Burger. You either want one “squeezed or unsqueezed” as it comes up out of the, um, soybean oil. Juicy is an understatement. It’s food you won’t forget miles down the road.
5. Bank 253 in Pikeville
This is a newer establishment out of the five, but still a favorite on the trips I’ve taken to eastern Kentucky. Bank 253 is an old, downtown bank that has found a new life as a sports bar. It’s burgers, fries, and nightlife in a very fun downtown Pikeville.