Our Five Faves

Best restaurants for Bluegrass visitors

Posted September 29, 2014 10:40 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:48 p.m. EDT

Margherita Pizza at Jimmy V's.

— With the IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass event happening this week, we wanted focus this week's Five Faves on the top five restaurants out-of-towners should check out while here. 

It was incredibly hard to narrow it down to just five downtown restaurants, but we based our decisions on cuisine, how popular these businesses are with the locals, ambiance and walking distance from the Convention Center. Here's our list! 

Bida Manda - This Laotian restaurant serves up authentic cuisine in a beautiful rustic setting. And don't take our word for it: Billy Joel loved their pork belly soup so much that he invited the staff to his concert the next night to personally deliver some for his flight home!

Poole's - You really can't go wrong with any of chef Ashley Christensen's restaurants (Beasley's Chicken and Honey, and Joule), but Poole's has special ambiance and you can't beat their mac and cheese. None of her restaurants take reservations, so make sure to get there early. Poole's is only open for dinner, while Beasley's and Chuck's serve up both lunch and dinner. 


Sitti - This Mediterranean restaurant is easily one of our go-to's for a great lunch or dinner. The menu is approachable for those who haven't tried Mediterranean cuisine before, and once you've dined here you won't want to go anywhere else.

Jimmy V's Osteria and Bar - Located inside the Sheraton Hotel, this is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a drink and some great cuisine. We love the pizza, meatballs and the Chopped Salad. Make sure you stop by the bar for some homemade Limoncello! The new fall drink specials start this week as well. 

fiction kitchen

Fiction Kitchen - Serving up vegetarian and vegan cuisine, this place will change your mind about going meatless. We love their "barbecue pork," which tastes like the real thing!