Bowling Green
Campbell Lane
31W Bypass
31W South
Scottsville Road


Bowling Green

Fast Food Fish Indian Italian Greek Japanese Lunch Mexican Occasion Pizza Steak
These restaurants are sometimes categorized under Comfort Food or Classic American. But we think their price range, menu, and general atmosphere are perfect for families. This is where kids can get Macaroni & Cheese and Cherry Pie A La Mode. Dad can get a Hot Roast Beef Sandwich smothered in gravy and mashed potatoes. Mom likes the Lemon Pepper Chicken, and the grandparents like the Salad Bar. Most of these restaurants offer reduced portions and prices for the older customers. They have child seats for toddlers and French Fries, Burgers and Pizza for teenagers. However, it would be a mistaker to think these places are left over from the 1950s. They have pretty big menus, and those menus also contain pages of cutting edge 21st Century adapations of old favorites, still at affordable prices. They feature lots of heart healthy entrees and specials. In Bowling Green, these places tend to be major national chains, which takes away the Ma & Pa feel but also means you can rely on high standards and market tested food. Restaurants on this page are extremely popular. They are crowded on Friday and Saturday evenings and after Church on Sundays.
Bob Evans
Denny's Cracker Barrel
Cheddar's grabbed the most prestigious location on 31WSouth when they built at the intersection with Campbell Lane. This is a particularly large and impressive facility, to go along with Cheddar's contemporary menu. The 1979 Texas chain builds its interiors with lots of stone and timber. But it's still the food you go for. Of their appetizers we like the Spinach Dip and accompanying tortilla chips. We always order a cup of the Baked Potato Soup (with celery, onions, spices, cheddar and bacon), but the Chicken Tortilla Soup is very good with just the right amount of spicy. They offer the usual list of sandwiches, but we think their best is their Monte Cristo (smoked turkey and ham, plus several kinds of cheeses). Of the entrees, their most popular nationally for 20 years have been the Lemon Pepper Chicken, Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs and Chicken Pot Pie. However, locals order a lot of the Catfish, Salmon, Tilapia and Shrimp. New in 2010 is Shepherd's Pie, and it may now be their best entree. Cheddar's makes a very good Burger and the accompanying Fries are excellent. Their Chicken Fajita Casadillas are competitive with good Mexican restaurants. Among desserts, Cheddar's offers the biggest, richest Cookie in town and a Hot Fudge Cake Sundae that you'll need a week in the gym to work off.
Rafferty's spends marketing dollars touting Happy Hours and mixed drinks like its Margarita Grande, but there is some very good eating here. It starts with appetizers, of which we like Pickled Paw Prints (fried dill pickle discs in a creamy smoked tomato horseradish sauce). Their Potato Soup (potato chunks, cheese and bacon squares) is rich but delicious. The Chicken Salad (chopped chicken, greens, mixed nuts, fruits, melons, and a sweet orange dressing) is one of the better salads in town. Among their entrees, we think they do their best job with seafood. The Catfish Platter usually comes fried but you can request grilled or broiled. Salmon is marinated in an orange bourbon roux. Their best entree is their Catch of the Day, brushed with olive oil and grilled. Rafferty's offers Ribs, Chicken, Chops and Steaks, of which the best are a ribeye marinated in pineapple juice and the Jackson Hole Filet, an 8 oz. center cut rotisseried on hickory coals. Two desserts should be outlawed : White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, and Kentucky Silk Pie. They are just sinful.
The Buckhead Cafe is a very sleek sit down restaurant with a seven page menu and surprisingly reasonable prices. You read the menu from the wall, order, find a table, are notified by public address when your meal is ready, and go back to the counter and get it yourself. This self serve style is how they keep prices low. We're not big on chips, but of their appetizers, we really like their homemade Kettle Chips (topped with jack & cheddar cheese, bacon bits, chives and ranch dressing). There are four salads and three soups. Our favorite is the Baked Potato Soup, which you can order in a cup, bowl or loaf of bread. Buckhead offers five Paninis, four Wraps, and four Pizzas. Their pizzas feature a thin crust and are baked in a wood fired oven. This is not primarily a fast food place, but for the kids in your group they offer five. There are four grilled chicken sandwiches, but for dinner we prefer either their half or whole Rotisserie Chickens. They get pretty creative with their Specialty Drinks. There are eight kinds of Coffee, nine kinds of hot or iced Tea, 10 kinds of Milkshakes, plus Green Tea Smoothies, two Frozen Colas, and three Juices. An in house bakery supplies desserts : five Muffins, three Cheesecake flavors, two kinds of Cake, and four kinds of Dessert Bars.
TGI Friday's is open for lunch and dinner.If you're up for steak, they offer a New York Strip, Flat Iron and Classic and Petite Sirloin. The Baby Back Ribs are pretty good, but if you like ribs, we suggest the Jack Daniels Glazed Ribs. As a matter of fact, we think their Jack Daniels Grill is their best offering. You can order Chicken, Shrimp, Steak, or Chicken all glazed with Jack Daniels then grilled. Adults might appreciate the array of Margaritas available. TGIF's also has good coffee. There are five kinds of chicken, of which we like the Peruvian Herb Roasted Chicken and Dragonfire Chicken. Six salads help balance all those Potato Patch Fries. If you never tried a Slider, this would be a good place to start. There are also five Pastas.
Applebees has one page of items with less than 550 calories, and a "2 for 20" deal where you pick one appetizer and two entrees for $20. Yes, there are fried items. However, there are plenty of soups, salads, pastas and fajitas, under the seafood menu you can get your tilapia and shrimp grilled., and five of the six chicken entrees are grilled. One of their best entrees is a Fajita Combo : grilled steak and chicken fajitas on a cast iron skillet with Southwest rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, caramelized onions, and green peppers and Jack Cheddar Cheese. The steak menu offers six entrees priced from $10 - 15. Among their appetizers we like the Queso Blanco : white queso blended with fresh tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, roast pablanos, jalapenos and chips. There are also Wonton Tacos : pulled pork stuffed in crispy wonton shells and topped with crunchy Asian slaw. The dessert menu features strawberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse and a hot fudge sundae. Beverages include the usual beers, margaritas and mixed drinks. Kendall Jacksons are probably their best wines and they offer several good sangrias.
If you're hungry and not worried about a diet, O'Charley's is where you come. They make great use of cheese, bacon and other hearty ingredients, beginning with their outstanding soup rotation. Best are probably the Three Cheese Broccoli, Chicken Harvest, and Overloaded Potato Soup (two cheeses, potatoes, and hickory smoked bacon). Our favorite appetizer is the Three Cheese Shrimp Dip (shrimp, Asiago cheese, sun dried tomatoes, Monterrey Jack and Cheddar served with warm, freshly made tortilla chips). They offer six flashy salads, such as the Black and Bleu Caesar (blackened grilled sirloin cubes with bleu cheese on romaine lettuce and tomatoes) and Pecan Chicken. There are Southern Grilled Chicken Tacos, Baby Back Ribs, seven kinds of steak, five pastas, Caramel Pie and a solid beverage list including Beringer and Ecco Domani wines, Killian Irish Red Beer and Belgian Blue Moon Ale. OCharley's very best entree may be the Cedar Planked Fish. They fire grill 9 oz. filets of either Tilapia or Salmon on a cedar plank with lemon seasoning.

Bob Evans uses a down home country America theme, giving old fashioned farm cooking a 21st Century twist. Breakfasts are so bounteous they have a cult following; in every town there is a group of people who begin every day at Bob Evans. Lunch is very traditional, but it's Dinner where Bob Evans really shines. Of appetizers, we like their Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Fries, Country Fair Cheese Bites and Loaded Baked Potato Bites (breaded and fried potatoes stuffed with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, scallions and buttermilk ranch dressing). Deep Dish Dinners, Deep Dish Pastas and Slow Roasted Dinners put you in mind of big family Sundays out on the farm. Soups and salads are excellent, and the open face sandwiches are the best still being commercially served of what was once a staple in every small town restaurant in the country. The Meat Loaf (made with sausage and Angus beef) is outstanding. This may be the best of all chain restaurants.
Denny's is one of America's classic family restaurants. The menu is traditional, prices are reasonable, service is efficient, and they serve three meals a day. Their current feature is a $2-4-6-8 Value Special for breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, we think their best deal is the $4 all you can eat Pancake stack, but the Southern Omelette is a close second. If you want a bit more, there's the Skillet (a cast iron skillet comes with scrambled eggs, fire roasted peppers and onions, hash browns and bacon and sausage). At lunch, we like their Pulled Barbeque Chicken Sandwich. They serve Chicken Noodle Soup every day but we've been more impressed with some of their soup specials. At dinner we're most impressed with the Tilapia Ranchero (white fish grilled with pico de gallo and avocado) and Lemon Pepper Tilapia. Friends, however, prefer the Lemon Chicken or Spicy Cowboy Chopped Steak. For dessert there's Hot Fudge, Raspberry and New York Cheesecake. Beverages include Lemon Tea Chillers (freshly brewed iced tea, add ice cold lemonade and one of six fruit flavors as you choose), Berry Fizz, Limeade and Puckers (lemonade, lime, strawberry and mango).
Cracker Barrel is a familiar site along interstates across the country. This one has all the familiar touches : rocking chairs on a wide roofed porch, gift shop of crafts items inside, and country cabin furniture in the dining room. The menu is Country Farm. Favorites include Fried Chicken, Sugar Cured Country Ham, Chicken n Dumplings, Catfish, Bean Soup, Roast Beef, Hot Roast Beef Sandwich, Hickory Smoked Pork Barbecue, Fried Chicken Livers, Homemade Beef Stew, and Meat Loaf. All of these come with fresh vegetables like Corn on the Cob, Green Beans, Fried Apples, Fried Okra, or Mashed Potatoes & Gravy. They prepare their Turnip Greens, Hash Browns, Corn Muffins and Green Beans the old fashioned way, in meat sauce. For dessert there's cake, pie or ice cream. They also serve a great country breakfast. There are biscuits, sausage, ham, eggs, pancakes, hot cereal, fresh fruit and lots and lots of coffee. Cracker Barrel's goal is that eating here reminds you of a visit to Grandma's. They've succeeded.
Central Ky
Kentucky Lake
Northern Ky
Southern Ky
The Mountains
Western Ky
Join us on Facebook : Lexeat for restaurant openings, closings, menu specials, remodellings and other news
LAST YEAR'S IP VISITOR TALLY : 517,824 Contact us or add your comments on Facebook : Lexeat