Getting hungry? If you’re in town for the Sweet Sixteen boys high school basketball tournament and you’re looking for places to grab a bite between games, let us help.
Here are some suggestions from Josh Moore, the Herald-Leader’s high school sports reporter, and from me.
▪ Sawyer’s Downtown Bar & Grill, 325 West Main Street. A classic, says Josh. Known for its chili and burgers. Also, it has a bar and lots of TVs, in case you’re also looking to catch the Cats. Again, easy walking distance from Rupp.
▪ Saul Good, also in The Square, on the Broadway side. Great menu, including pizza but lots of options for wide variety of tastes, easy walk. Right down the street from the arena.
▪ HopCat, also in The Square, on the Short Street side. OK, if you’ve never been to HopCat, order the “crack fries” and get the cheese sauce. Trust us on this one. Great beer, lots of sandwiches and burgers, too. Very close to Rupp.
▪ Alfalfa, 141 East Main, is a great place to get locally sourced and vegetarian options. Ask about their Impossible Burgers. And not too far to walk.
▪ Stella’s Kentucky Deli, 143 Jefferson Street, is a bit further away but well worth stretching your legs for. Stella’s also has fantastic local and vegetarian food at reasonable prices. Short walk away.
▪ Joe Bologna’s, 120 West Maxwell, has been a campus area favorite for generations with great pizza and pasta. And, of course, the giant bread sticks doused in melted butter. It’s a couple of blocks from Rupp but there’s parking in the back.
▪ Blue Door Smokehouse, 226 Walton Avenue, is a bit of hidden gem, and it’s probably too far to walk. But if your crowd loves barbecue, then this is the place to come for lunch. Get there early because once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s that kind of place.
▪ Joella’s Hot Chicken, 101 Cochran Road, is also one to drive to but if you’re looking to taste what all the fuss is about, here you go. Great sides and desserts and inexpensive. Always packed at lunchtime.
▪ Crank and Boom Ice Cream Lounge, 1210 Manchester Street, is a terrific place to get a sweet treat if you’re driving. It’s in the distillery district, down Manchester behind Rupp Arena, where you’ll also find Goodfellas Pizzeria, Middle Fork Kitchen Bar and some of the coolest places to eat and drink Lexington.