Bon Appetit Appalachia
You’re invited to take a tasty trip through Kentucky — to feast on local Appalachian food, learn more about the Kentucky food scene by touring the local farms that sell at farmers markets and provide fresh produce to nearby restaurants, and sample the many flavors of Kentucky cuisine Appalachia style. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in cooperation with Kentucky and 12 other ARC member states has compiled a list of the top dining and culinary destinations and events in the region.
To whet your appetite, we’ve included a few suggestions of delicious destinations demonstrating the travel-worthiness of Kentucky’s Appalachian food scene. See what’s cooking below and be sure to save room for these cultural culinary experiences!
- Local farms - Country Girl at Heart Bed & Breakfast in Hart County, offers guests an eco-friendly farm stay with opportunities to work in the garden, share stories, gather eggs in the barn and dine on seasonal meals of local, natural and organic ingredients – a favorite dish of our guests is the highly touted blueberry-sausage casserole cake; A third generation family cattle and tobacco farm, Back Home Farms in Greensburg, raises blueberries – and you can pick ‘em yourself (or purchase pre-picked berries).
- Farmers markets - Early May to late October is the time to check out London/Laurel County Farmers Market, open Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays featuring locally grown seasonal produce – from asparagus, beans and organic lettuce to zucchini and zinnias. During June, July and August, stop by “The Kitchen” from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays for free samples and recipes from the people who grow and make the food at the market each week. Tip: Bring cash and a shopping bag.
- Farm-to-fork Restaurants - The menu of The Blue Raven Restaurant & Pub in Pikeville features chef-crafted “Kentucky and Appalachian staples with unique twists” like the bone-in pork chop with maple bacon glaze, lump crab cake sandwich and hand-cut cheese fries; Marksbury Farm Market, a restaurant, butcher shop, retail market and processing facility in Lancaster, serves lunch, processes poultry, pork, beef, lamb and goat and sells fresh meats, produce, breads and prepared foods.
- Food festivals & events - The Beer Cheese Festival, held every June in Winchester, features free samples of the state’s delicious cheese spread, barbecue, live music, a beer garden, arts & crafts, and Kentucky Proud vendors; Arts & Eats Festival, held in September in Morehead, features family-friendly art activities, demonstrations, local food, inflatables, and arts & crafts vendors;
- Vineyards & Wineries - Cedar Creek Vineyardsin Somerset produces dry to semi-sweet wines and bottles in the fall. Tasting room is open Tuesday through Saturday. Annual Earth Celebration often features music, classes, demonstrations and more; Rock Springs Winery and vineyard in Grayson offers a variety of red, white and fruit wines, plus daily tastings, seasonal grape picking and a monthly “Dinner at the Winery” that includes local seasonal ingredients paired with the appropriate wine.
- Craft breweries & Spirits - Sip the soft drink that’s unique to Kentucky: Ale-8-One. Made and bottled in Winchester since 1926, free tours on Fridays with an appointment.
With almost 50 distinctive culinary destinations in eastern Kentucky, there’s no shortage of palate-pleasing places to visit — and eat to your heart’s content. Use this interactive map of the top Appalachian food stops in Kentucky to start planning your trip. Bon Appetit!