It’s no secret by now that I love to explore the food scene in every nook and cranny of our state. My most recent trip took me to nearby Elizabethtown, Kentucky — an area that I have visited several times, yet one that I wanted to learn more about.
Just a short drive from my home in Louisville, KY, Elizabethtown is a fantastic day-trip location just south of the city on I65. From a very charming downtown, to fabulous boutiques, to southern food, to delicious cocktails — Elizabethtown embodies all that I love about the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
There’s no better place to start off your morning than Vibe Coffee. Appropriately named, you’ll love the atmosphere as soon as you walk in. It’s cozy, welcoming, and the perfect meeting place for friends and colleagues.
After sharing some home-roasted coffee beans with a friend in 2011, the owners were inspired to grow the art of coffee in Elizabethtown. They knew that the community needed a gathering place that featured cutting edge brewing techniques and speciality coffee. Two years later, the opportunity presented itself to put in a shop in a historic building downtown; the building was previously the home of the Town and Country Dress Shop for almost half of a century. I love what the owners have done to the space, yet it was clear that a respect for the historical charm remains – which, in my eyes, is something to celebrate.
I had to try both an iced vanilla latte (my classic ordered) and an iced matcha; both were absolutely delicious!
Feel free to also come to Vibe with an appetite — they serve up waffles, homemade pastries, and delicious açaí bowls (my favorite – and my choice!), all while using as many local and organic ingredients as possible.
Visit Vibe Coffee:
34 Public Square, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
After breakfast and coffee, be sure to check out the many boutiques and shops in downtown Elizabethtown. You’ll be delighted — I know that I was — at the vast selection. Needless to say, I came home with a few (read: several) shopping bags.
When you’re ready for lunch, head on over to visit the Back Home Restaurant. As the name suggests, the food is very reminiscent of back home in the south. Upon seeing the menu, you’ll find Kentucky favorites + a plethora of recipes that celebrate life south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Located in a gorgeous old home, Back Home Restaurant is a bipartite stop: it’s a full-service restaurant with an attached boutique. Their history spans back to almost 30 years ago to Linda and Tommy Fulkerson; the tradition is now being carried on by their daughter, Lori (along with her husband, Steve).
I had to start my meal with the Sweet Onion Soufflé — a homemade Vidalia onion dip, served with tortilla chips. The dip was creamy and rich, quickly becoming a new favorite for me. I’ll definitely try to recreate it here on the blog for y’all!
As for my main course, I couldn’t resist the Honey Chicken Mac-and-Cheese. Chicken tenders tossed in honey, on top of baked mac-and-cheese, loaded with bacon. I mean — how can you go wrong with that, y’all?
Visit Back Home Restaurant:
251 West Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown KY, 42701
Post-lunch, feel free to check out many of the other attractions in town: the Brown Pusey House & Gardens, the State Theater, Denizen Plant Shop, the Herb & Olive Market, Freeman Lake Park, or the fabulous Elizabethtown Sports Park — to merely name a few destinations (more on that in a future post).
After exploring all that Hardin County has to offer, relax with a cold one from Flywheel Brewing. The team at Flywheel believes in the power of high-quality, local craft beers. Upon walking in, you’ll feel right at home in the bar, which is welcoming, open, and bright. You’ll also find a beer on tap that appeals to every palate. I was delighted to find a couple sour beers, which are my current favorites.
Whether you are looking for live music, beer yoga, or a place to relax after work, Flywheel Brewing is the place for you!
Visit Flywheel Brewing:
218 S Mulberry St. Suite 103, Elizabethtown, KY 42701.
Looking for a unique dinner spot? Look no further than the Wicked Eye Woman! With a gastropub feel, the staff at the Wicked Eye Woman brings English Pub food with a southern twist. An oasis of comfort food, the menu is very large and has something for any diner. Come hungry — the food is quite heavy, though as I am sure y’all know by now, there are no complaints here on that end!
To start, I ventured into the lighter side of the menu with the Grilled Tomato, Basil, and Feta salad. Note: it’s quite large and could easy be a meal; that said, I enjoyed snacking on it and it was a great start to the meal.
For my main course, the Brisket Melt was calling my name. The sourdough sandwich has smoked brisket and cheddar, which is beautifully grilled and delightfully composed. The brisket was tender and oh-so-juicy; quite literally, this sandwich was a dream.
As for a side, look no further than the smothered wicked fries, which feature the restaurant’s rarebit cheese, bacon, and sour cream. I’m not going to understate, y’all — this was my favorite thing that I consumed all day. For those that are not familiar, rarebit cheese is a Welsh delicacy.
I also had to sample the shrimp and grits, which pack a slight spicy punch. They were divine!
Visit the Wicked Eye Woman:
133 West Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown, KY 42701.
After a fabulous day of food, it was time for a nightcap – thus, we headed over to the Bourbon Barrel Tavern, which is conveniently located downtown near the square. Featuring a huge selection of bourbon, there will be a libation to provide a Kentucky Hug that is sure to delight any palate. Not a bourbon drinker? They have a large selection of craft beer — and if you love live music, be sure to check them out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights!
I ended the night with a bourbon + Ale-8-One cocktail. It doesn’t get more Kentucky than that! If you are looking for a mixer for a bourbon cocktail, the ginger profile of Ale-8-One pairs perfectly. Trust me on that one, y’all.
Visit the Bourbon Barrel Tavern:
110 W Dixie Ave, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Elizabethtown, Kentucky is a gem of our state — and if you are looking for a perfect getaway in the Commonwealth, look no further!
Adventure awaits — what are you waiting for, y’all?
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.