By: Harrison Stiles
Want to participate in Shop and Celebrate, but you’ve already done your Christmas shopping? Or maybe, you’re like me and you just love food! Either way, I have some great news for you. There are over 20 restaurants and bars participating in this year’s Shop and Celebrate, giving you plenty of opportunities to enter the contest.. In case you’re having trouble deciding where to eat tonight, I’m going to run you through all the places where you can grab a meal and an entry into our weekly Shop and Celebrate giveaways.
Located in Rupp Arena, the BlueFire Bar & Grill offers exotic menu options made with local, hand-picked ingredients. Their menu has options for any diet, including vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. If meat is your thing, they’ve got you covered there too. Try their Kentucky Bison Burger or their juicy Angus Ribeye.
Jeff Ruby’s is without a doubt, one of the nicest restaurants in Lexington. Despite being a newcomer to downtown Lex, it feels like it has been a part of the downtown landscape for years. If you’re looking for an elegant atmosphere and meals fit for a king, you’ve come to the right place. Jeff Ruby’s boasts four luxurious private rooms, perfect for Holiday celebrations or you can even rent out the full restaurant. Their signature lunch dishes – the Jeff Ruby Burger (my personal favorite) and the Steak Freddie Salad are both delicious and their dinner specials – a $49 Filet Mignon and Lobster Thermidor or a full sushi bar might be even more incredible. You can even give the gift of a Jeff Ruby’s meal to a friend or loved one this holiday season. From November 28th to December 2nd, you can get 20% off a Jeff Ruby’s gift card.
Beer, coffee and good food. What more could you ask for? Gather on Main serves delicious breakfast and coffee as well as sandwiches and wraps for lunch, and has over 30 beers on tap, including several local. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and it’s a great place to hang out any time of day. They’ll be tapping their Christmas beers very soon and their happy hour ($1 off beers and bar snacks) is M-F from 4-6 and all-day Tuesday, so head on in to treat your taste buds. Looking for local, unique gifts? They’re currently selling a limited-edition pint glass featuring Lexington buildings for $8 and Gather on Main t-shirts for $24. They’re also running a deal until December 24th where you buy $100 in gift cards, you’ll receive an additional $10 for free!
Goodfellas has one of the coolest venues in the distillery district. Their space is rivaled by their giant (and tasty) slices of pizza. They also serve a massive selection of bourbons, beers and cocktails so you’re sure to find a drink that suits your tastes. Their cool, industrial space is roomy and lively and includes a pool table if you want to challenge one of your friends. The atmosphere is always great, especially on the weekends, so you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
If you’re in the mood for some true southern fried chicken, look no further. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is the definition down-home comfort, with sides that feel like they’re straight from mom’s kitchen and chicken that’s always fresh out of the fryer. Gus’s chicken has just the right amount of spice and is crisped to perfection every time. If you don’t believe me, go check their Yelp reviews!
Lockbox has got to be one of the coolest venues in Lexington. Their private dining room is the original vault of a bank within the restaurant. In addition to that room, they also offer 7 private event galleries that can host up to 450 guests. During the holidays, try their scrumptious sweet potato casserole made with pecans, rosemary, and jalapeno marshmallow. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, they offer a holiday drink they offer a holiday cocktail featuring warm spices, dark rum, pineapple lime, cinnamon simple syrup, and bitters which sounds both seasonal and delicious. And if you’re a bourbon connoisseur, you can find specially selected barrel picks, available only at 21c, starting at $38.
School Sushi is a modern tapas-style restaurant serving family inspired, traditional Japanese-style dishes with an international twist. Their sushi menu is incredible, but they have so many unique options outside of just sushi and sashimi. Interested in a unique and memorable dining experience? Then you need to check out School Sushi’s Hot Pot. Team up with a group of friends or family to cook a variety of ingredients – meats, veggies, seafood, noodles – all in a single pot of soup stock in the center of your dining table. This experience is so much fun and makes for a great bonding experience in a casual setting. And it results in a delicious meal for all involved. They also have a wide variety of drinks available, including local craft beers and several holiday cocktails such as their Bourbon Ball Blondie ($12) and their Kyushiki Old Fashioned with Woodford Bourbon ($14).
Conveniently located right across the street from Rupp Arena and the convention center and connected to the lobby of the Lexington Downtown, the Triangle Grille offers several rooms for holiday functions with space for anywhere from 10 people to 500. Check out their website for special packages and perks. Triangle Grille pairs excellent hospitality and food with a one of a kind view of Triangle Park where you can watch locals skate in the Unified Trust Ice Rink as you enjoy your meal. They may be undergoing some renovations this holiday season, so be sure to call ahead and make your reservations and check availabilities.
The Triangle Park Café is a seasonal addition to Triangle Park that makes the Unified Trust Company Ice Rink even more enjoyable. Bring your family or friends down to enjoy some ice skating and hot chocolate or some roasted nuts. Or enjoy local craft beers or an Irish coffee to help keep the cold out! Make sure you stop by before it’s too late! The café closes with the close of the Unified Trust Company Ice Rink.