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What is the best food to eat in Kentucky?

Exploring Kentucky’s Culinary Delights: A Guide to the Bluegrass State’s Best Eats

Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, is renowned for its rich culinary heritage, offering a smorgasbord of flavors that are as diverse as its landscapes. When it comes to identifying the best food to eat in Kentucky, one dish stands out: the legendary Hot Brown.

Originating from Louisville’s Brown Hotel in the 1920s, the Hot Brown is a mouthwatering open-faced sandwich that has become a Kentucky staple. It’s crafted with thick slices of toasted bread, topped with succulent roast turkey, and draped in a creamy Mornay sauce. A heavenly blend of cheeses browns to perfection under the broiler, and the dish is finished with crispy bacon and ripe tomato slices.

But Kentucky’s culinary scene doesn’t end there. The state is also famous for its barbecue, particularly mutton and pork shoulder, slow-cooked to tender perfection and often served with a side of tangy, vinegar-based dip. For those with a sweet tooth, the Derby Pie, a chocolate and walnut tart named after the state’s iconic horse race, is an absolute must-try.


Q: What is a Mornay sauce?
A: Mornay sauce is a béchamel sauce (a white sauce made from butter, flour, and milk) that is enriched with cheese, typically Parmesan or Gruyère.

Q: Is the Hot Brown available outside of Louisville?
A: Yes, while it originated in Louisville, the Hot Brown has gained popularity across Kentucky and can be found in many restaurants throughout the state.

Q: Are there vegetarian options in Kentucky’s traditional cuisine?
A: Absolutely! While Kentucky is known for its meats, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes, including cornbread, fried green tomatoes, and various bean dishes.

Kentucky’s best food reflects its history and regional diversity, offering a culinary journey that’s as flavorful as it is satisfying. Whether you’re in for the classics or eager to explore modern twists, Kentucky’s plates are sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate.