Now that it’s finally feeling like Spring, I’ve got the itch to find the perfect downtown Lexington patio. One fantastic spot is The Southern Deli & Tavern on North Limestone, right in the heart of downtown Lexington, and I’m so glad to include this gem as a stop on the Bites of the Bluegrass downtown food tour.
With the motto, “Good Food. Great Friends. Easy Liv’n”, it’s no wonder I feel at home every time I stop by. The Southern Deli & Tavern is a concept that owner, Bryan Henderson, had been carrying around in his back pocket for some time. Having owned many restaurants before, to include previously owning Lexington’s Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant and Local Taco, he knew the time was right when Lexington’s City Center was brought in, changing the landscape of the downtown area. Now, with restaurant parking of his own, along with the ample public parking that’s been added nearby, it’s easy for Lexingtonians and visitors to find their way to this charming home, turned neighborhood restaurant and bar.
The Southern Deli’s starters offer Kentucky favorites like “Frizzled Pickles” and “Matty’s Beer Cheese Basket”. The dill pickle chips are fried to crisp perfection, using only the freshest ingredients, while the beer cheese is house-made and served with soft pretzel bites. Next, you’ll have more than 20 sandwiches to choose from, with many paying homage to Henderson’s migration to Kentucky. Having fallen in love with Lexington’s culture and making it home in 2009, Henderson brings with him flavors from all over the United States. On my last trip, I had the black bean patty, topped with provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, and dill pickle named the “Loma Linda”, as a wink to Henderson’s time in Southern California and this blue-zone city (paired with fries…we’re in Kentucky, y’all). Other creative sandwiches include the “Savannah”, which combines bacon and fresh arugula with fire-roasted peaches and the grilled ham and pimento “Charleston”, served on a French roll. Other standouts include the grilled chicken “Decatur” topped with house-made Alabama white sauce and the sliced banana, peanut butter, and Nutella pressed sourdough treat, the “Memphis”.
The Southern Deli & Tavern is ready to serve fresh eats and delicious drinks every day of the week, except Sunday. Dine inside or hit their red brick-paved patio, equipped with fire pit and lights strung overhead. You can even catch live music on the weekend. Southern living at it’s best!
For more information on where to eat, play and stay in the Lexington and surrounding area, check out our area information page.