Restaurants

Whether it’s revisiting the past to try the world-renowned original recipe of 11 herbs and spices, or savoring authentic homemade Appalachian fare, gourmet cuisine or local farm-to-table favorites, you can experience the unique flavors of this special region at many locally owned restaurants, diners, eateries, bakeries and coffee shops scattered throughout The Kentucky Wildlands.

Dine in the original Sander’s Café operated by Colonel Sanders in 1940 (now restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places). Learn how the Colonel developed his secret recipe against all odds and went on to create the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand (one of the most iconic international restaurants in existence) while you tour the adjacent Sanders Café Museum filled with early Americana memorabilia in Corbin.

In Monticello, you can try your hand at a game of nine-ball while enjoying a famous Pool Hall Burger at City Pool Hall, established in 1946 and complete with an original RC menu board. Sample some authentic Appalachian BBQ at The Hogs Trough in Grayson. Grab a handcrafted slice at Portal Pizzeria (named after the infamous coal mine built in 1917 and featured on the hit show, Justified) in Harlan. Stop in for certified Angus hand cuts, ribeye and salmon at Shades Café & Steakhouse in Middlesboro. 

Top it all off with a tasty delicacy at Amon’s Sugar Shack (featured in Southern Living Magazine) in Somerset, a baked goodie at Cozy Corner Café in Jackson or a handmade scoop at Rolled Over Rolled Ice Cream in Morehead. Just kick back and relax with friends over a freshly brewed cup at The Axis Coffee Shop and Gathering Place in Manchester.

For delicious breakfasts and desserts in the Red River Gorge area, visit Red River Rockhouse. For fine dining, linger over a special dinner at the Blue Raven in Pikeville.

You’ll find these and many other exclusive dining experiences located among the various cities, towns, mountains and valleys of The Kentucky Wildlands.

Two Places Worth Adding to Your Kentucky Bucket List

Cumberland Falls

Deep in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls State Park is home to renowned Cumberland Falls, a stunning 125-foot wide waterfall cascading over a boulder-rich gorge, revered as the Niagara of the South, and...