Restaurant News & Reviews

Where to eat before, during, after the Sweet Sixteen: Our picks

Looking for Sweet Sixteen eats?

Herald-Leader food writer Janet Patton and high school sports writer Josh Moore have suggestions for where to grab a bite or a beer.
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Herald-Leader food writer Janet Patton and high school sports writer Josh Moore have suggestions for where to grab a bite or a beer.

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.

▪  Pies & Pints, in The Square on Main Street. Great pizza, lots of beer and fast service all within walking distance of Rupp.

▪  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 pizza
Saul Good, also in The Square, is a big fan favorite for its pizzas and burgers and, well, everything. Photo provided

▪  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 is offering free Crack Fries with cheese sauce on Election Day beginning at 11 a.m. They will host a watch party for results this evening, too. Photo provided

▪  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.

Impossible Burger (1)
Alfalfa on Main Street has great locally sourced and vegetarian options, including the Impossible Burger, when they haven’t run out. It’s that good. Photo provided

▪  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 blt
Stella’s on Jefferson Street is worth the walk for locally source food such as the BLT. And check out the pies while you’re there. So good. Pablo Alcala Herald-Leader

▪  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 b's bread sticks
Sure Joe Bologna’s has pizza and pasta ... but everybody loves the bread sticks most of all. Mark Mahan Herald-Leader

▪  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 pulled pork
Blue Door Smokehouse has some of the best pulled pork in Lexington. But you gotta get there early or you’ll miss out. Pablo Alcala Herald-Leader

▪  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 chick
If you’ve been wanting to try hot chicken, get to Joella’s ... which has tasty sides and desserts and isn’t expensive. Matt Goins Herald-Leader

▪  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.

bourbon ball sundae
Crank and Boom has great ice cream for everybody and specialty treats for grownups including the Bourbon Ball Sundae made with Buffalo Trace’s Bourbon Cream. Crank and Boom/Facebook

▪  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.