Join us for this special networking event where you choose your dining spot in our Dine-Around! This is an opportunity to network, share, and learn over dinner. Coordinate to dine with old AIB friends or make new ones. Transportation will be provided to and from the areas with dine-around restaurants. Self-guided walking tour information for the dine-around districts will be available for those wishing to explore our host city. Reserving your seat during the Dine-Around is free, but the cost of dinner is NOT provided. Registration closes one week before the conference on Friday, September 21st*.
*A list of last minute options will be available for attendees who do not preregister. It is highly encouraged that you register for dinner before the conference in order to avoid a wait time. Lexington is a busy city on weekend nights. There is limited seating available at each restaurant location, so reserve your spot ASAP!
Check out our list of restaurants, grouped by location. Choose your dining option and explore Downtown West, Downtown East, Jefferson Street, or Chevy Chase. Each spot has a unique setting with plenty to choose from. Are you vegetarian? No problem! Gluten allergy? No worries! Read through restaurant descriptions or check out their websites (highlighted in blue) to learn more.
|Buddha Lounge||$$||A modern, metropolitan sushi and tapas bar, featuring exposed brick walls, a 3–foot walnut bar, natural wood seating and a semi-open kitchen where you can watch sushi be made and presented. It’s one of the most exciting additions to a blossoming downtown dining scene – one you’ll definitely want to check out.||v/g|
|Dudley’s||$$$||Adventurous contiental entrées, an extensive wine selection and a cozy bar have made Dudley’s a local favorite since 1981 (even after moving locations). Now settled in the historic Cheapside District, you’ll find a perfect balance of upscale elegance and comfort, with impeccable service. The modern and inventive menu also features favorites such as the steak frites and Pasta Dudley.|
|Ruddy Duck Grille||$$||With a menu featuring everything from duck fat fries and frog legs to smoked brisket tacos, fried chicken, steaks and hot browns, the Ruddy Duck Grille has something for every taste. Take advantage of beautiful Lexington nights with seating on the multi-level patio|
|Saul Good||$$||It’s the kind of place that serves chicken and waffles and chocolate beer floats, a creatively cosmopolitan pub that specializes in soul food and sweet surprises. The menu pulls from Thai, Mexican, French, Hawaiian and, of course, Southern influences, adding delightful twists in all the right places. It’s a local favorite, and a place you just might have to visit more than once.||v|
|Shakespeare & Co||$$||From the turquoise wrought iron molding to ornate sofas, this fine dining destination is as lavish as it gets. The menu is on par too, feauting comfort foods like eggs benedict and European delicacies like penne arrabiata. With multiple Lexington locations, this café restaurant is reminiscent of old-world riches and extravagant luxuries.||v/g|
|Tony’s||$$$||An upscale addition to downtown’s “The Square,” Tony’s is dedicated to delivering elevated hospitality and artful dishes. This white-tablecloth eatery offers hand-cut USDA Prime steaks and an ultra-fresh selection of seafood, plus exquisite side dishes like the popular bourbon whipped sweet potatoes.||v|
|Village Idiot||$$||Lexington’s first gastropub, the Village Idiot’s simple, yet inventive menu and an outstanding craft beer selection make for a guaranteed good time, every time. Classic dark wood finishes and a laid-back atmoshpere give this spot a real pub feel, while serving unique sharables like “The Pot” of mussels or the “pulled pork mac & cheese.”||v|
|Alfalfa’s||$$||Fresh, locally sourced and veg-friendly for nearly 40 years. Alfalfa cares about their ingredients and it shows, claiming “local before local was cool.” Their community-centri urban eatery grounded in “granola roots” sports blackboard specials every day, but it’s hard not to try local favorites such as the blueberry buckwheat pancakes or the signature “Hoppin’ John.”||v|
|Corto Lima||$$||Headed up by celebrated Lexington chef Jonathan Lundy, Corto Lima features Latin-inspired cuisine with a modern twist. Enjoy a creative variety of small and large plates, as well as tacos made with homemade artisanal corn tortillas. Plus, their imaginative cocktail menu offers tasty margaritas and house-made cocktails.||v/g|
|Lockbox at 21C Hotel||$$$||Located within 21c Museum Hotel, experience fresh, farm to table options from acclaimed chef, Jonathan Searle. His “thoughtful yet simple preparations” will leave your taste buds delighted. And while you’re there, you’ll notice it’s not just the food that’s creative; enjoy “Tomorrow’s Weather,” a multimedia work of art that hangs from the ceiling. Truly an all-around experience no one should miss!|
|Portofino||$$$||Located in a beautifully renovated downtown building, this fine Italian eatery is all about sophistication. Complementing an award-winning wine list, the menu features pizzas, pasta, sandwiches and salads made from the best ingredients alonside elegant décor and walls lined with artwork from Kentucky artists.||v|
|School Sushi||$$||Japanese tapas, traditional noodle dishes and delectable sushi creations are on the menu at this downtown eatery, creatively located in an old bank vault. Choose from a variety of fresh, family-inspired lunch and dinner menu items||v|
|County Club||$$||County Club is a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky committed to exploring and expanding the American tradition of smoking meats using hardwoods and low temperatures. It examines barbecue classics by utilizing responsibly raised Kentucky cow, hog, sheep, goat, and chicken while applying flavor traditions from around the world.||v|
|Nick Ryan’s||$$||A neighborhood restaurant and bar named after the Ryan family who ran a number of saloons in Lexington at the turn of the century. Enjoy their contemporary American favorites and Prohibition-era drinks while unwinding on the porch, facing the happening Jefferson Street.|
|Smithtown Seafood||$$||Another farm-to-table venture and one of Lexington’s most celebrated restauranteurs, Ouita Michel, Smithtown serves both creative and traditional made-from-scratch dishes that feature local and sustainable ingredients. Pop in and enjoy wild-caught fried catfish, flavorful salads, fish tacos, fresh-shucked oysters, ethnic tilapia dishes and more. Their neighbor Foodchain grows their greens, herbs and tilapia at their aquaponics operation.||v|
|Bear & the Butcher||$$||Come feast on local sausages, street tacos, sliders and more at this two-story, open-aired fast-casual hotspot in the heart of Chevy Chase. Their cocktail menu offers several original cocktails and beers on tapp — all of which can be enjoyed from their first or second story patios during warmer months.||v/g|
|Bourbon & Toulouse||$||Featured on UrbanSpoon’s “100 Most Popular Cheap Eats.” Try the chicken or crawfish etouffée and grab a bottle (or 3) of their wide array of hot sauces. Plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options as well||v/g|
|Josie’s||$$||An electic family diner atmosphere where you can order breakfast any time oy day. The menu covers a lot of bases, so everybody can find something they’ll love — pancakes and bacon, reuben, build-your-own salad or pasta, fried chicken… the list goes on and on, and it’s all quite delicious. Fresh, made-from-scratch quality meets warm hospitality.||v|
|Louie’s Wine Dive||$$||They celebrate great wine, locally sourced cuisine and the joy of savored moments shared with friends. At Louie’s Wine Dive, you’ll discover a new attitude food and beverage. Featuring a food-friendly selection of wines, craft beer, and cocktails, it’s the perfect setting to sip and socialize while diving into our chef-driven menu.||v/g|
|Sage Rabbit||$$$||“Sustainable, seasonal, and local” is the unwavering motto of Chef John Foster’s artisanal Chevy Chase restaurant. The menu is constantly changing to highlight the absolute freshest ingredients in town — local meats, house made pasta and seafood seasoned with fresh herbs and vegetables “two hours out of the ground.” In the mood for a classic? Their always-on-the-menu hamburger, “the Hoppy,” is made from house-ground local beef and a secret ingredient that will keep you guessing. The covered patio, which is also dog friendly, is an inviting and casual venue. Serving lunch and dinner and Saturday brunch.||v|
For questions or issues regarding registration with the Dine-Around, contact us:
Restaurant descriptions are taken from Beyond Grits, a guide to the best dining in Lexington.