Upon meeting me, or upon reading my blog, there is probably one thing that you know for certain: I’m a Kentuckian. Even more than that, you probably know that I am – and proud to be – a Southern Kentuckian. To be specific, I’m a Russell Countian – and today I’m excited to bring y’all another post about my hometown.
Russell County is a fantastic place for a day trip – and it’s the perfect weekend getaway for those that enjoy the water!
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide to beautiful Russell County, which is beautifully located on Lake Cumberland, the Houseboat Capital of the World!
Esto County Store & Café
4624 Hwy. 379, Russell Springs, KY 42629
So, I might be a little biased (read: very, very biased): However, I love the Esto Country Store & Café. It’s located in Esto, which is the unincorporated community of Russell County that I am from. The restaurant is a staple of our community. They serve up delicious, made fresh-to-order food at unbelievably low prices.
While there for breakfast, enjoy a large western omelette that is sure to energize you all day long! Other southern favorites are dished up, such as biscuits and gravy. However, I encourage y’all to order my go-to: a country ham, fried egg, and cheese biscuit.
I think Loretta Lynn said it best:
“I love a’runnin’ barefooted through the ol’ corn fields and I love that country ham!”
PS: I recommend eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Esto!
The Little Chop Shop
178 Lakeway Dr., Russell Springs, KY 42642
The Little Chop Shop, locally known as “The Chop Shop”, has been a favorite of mine my entire life. From catered events, to fuel at the golf course, to many a meal on my summer lunch breaks – it holds a special place in my heart. If you’re looking for a pulled pork sandwich, a delicious smoked turkey pita, a grilled chicken salad, or some homemade fudge – this is the place for you. But, above all else, get the BBQ-stuffed baked potato and thank me later.
The Fruit Market
2408 S. Hwy 127, Russell Springs, KY 42642
Another favorite of the locals, the Fruit Market is a locally-owned and operated business. In the market, you can find fresh produce, spices, seasonings, local honey, and many delicious foods to prepare in your home kitchen. That said, they also have an eat-in area that is the perfect stop for lunch, with a choice between a salad bar + their made-to-order menu.
My favorite item on the menu is the grilled chicken pasta salad, which is plate scrapin’ good and rings in at under $6.
The special on my last visit = oversized, loaded tots – which had cheese, bacon, and all that is right in this world. They were SO good!
Grab an Ale-8-One from the drink cooler and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic lunch experience!
Coe’s Steak House
2281 Lakeway Dr., Russell Springs, KY 42642
Coe’s is a Russell County institution. There’s no other word for it. When you talk to someone that’s familiar with my hometown, if referring to food, they will likely say: “Ah! That’s where Coe’s is!” — and they’re right.
Don’t let the name fool you. Coe’s is known for their fish. Their beautifully-fried, southern fish.
Hand-cut daily, freshly breaded, and fried to a golden brown — there’s a reason that Coe’s has been in business for nearly five decades. In 1972, George and Geneva Coe began serving their fish in a small, single dining room restaurant. They had one deep fryer and nine coffee cups to serve the entire restaurant. From humble beginnings to modern success, Coe’s is a brand in and of itself — and I know that they would be so proud.
Still family-owned and operated, I’m excited to be dining at Coe’s for the next five decades!
Russell County is chock-full of adventure; when planning your next Kentucky day trip, look no further! Whether you want to visit the greatest lake in the country, Lake Cumberland, spend an afternoon at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, fish/canoe on the Cumberland River, visit Creelsboro’s famous RockHouse Bottom (the largest natural bridge east of the Rocky Mountains)… come ready for adventure and plan to leave with a full stomach!
Maybe my next post in the county will be about the non-culinary experiences – would y’all be interested in reading about that?
Oh, and if you’re planning to eat while on Lake Cumberland, take a look at this post – my official guide to eating on the water!
As I am from the area, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you in planning a trip to God’s Country – my home!
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
FTC: This post is sponsored by Lake Cumberland Tourist Commission (Russell County, KY); all opinions expressed, as always, are my own.