Staff Picks: series debut


For the 2019 to 2020 academic year, The Rambler wanted to introduce a new weekly series called “Staff Picks.” Each week, there will be a specific topic that our staff members will provide their personal suggestions for. To kick off the series, this week’s topic is each staff member’s current favorite restaurant(s) in Lexington. If you have any topic suggestions that you would like to hear from us about, please email us at

Taylor Mahlinger, Editor-in-Chief: Corto Lima

“Whether you get one of their amazing prickly pear margaritas or not, the party never stops at Corto Lima. Plus their food is absolutely incredible.”

Abby Stone, Managing Editor: Carson’s Food & Drink

“Located on East Main St., Carson’s is a Kentucky Proud restaurant with the hint of a speakeasy. With its warm atmosphere and occasional live bands, it is a true dining experience. Their rustic yet refined menu is chef-driven, and the food is incredible! So, get in while you can!”

Allison Spivey, News Editor: Pearl’s

“Located in a small building, the intimate atmosphere offers a close-knit yet modern dining experience. The pizza and other items on the menu advertise upscale fancy ingredients while being at a reasonable price. Often busy, this place is worth the wait!”

Shawna Morton, Back-end Editor: First Watch

“My favorite restaurant is First Watch. The food is great and you can tell it’s fresh. It’s a little pricey, but I think it’s worth it. I love their kale tonic. It’s the best breakfast ever!!!”

Makayla Dublin, Copy Editor: GoodFellas Pizzeria and Chocolate Holler

“There are two nearby options. One is within walking distance on Mill Street and is in a small and quaint building. Be prepared to sit outside here. The other is in the Distillery District and has a really cool vibe sometimes featuring live acoustics. No matter which GoodFellas you go to, they sell pizza by the slice and have the biggest breadsticks I’ve ever seen.”

“Chocolate Holler has a cozy coffee shop vibe and serves the best hot chocolate. The staff is super friendly, and if you need a little caffeine, you can always add a shot or two of espresso to your hot chocolate. They serve iced hot chocolate all year round so it is never to warm outside to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.”

Gabrielle Crooks, Staff Photographer: Bourbon n Toulouse

“This restaurant has some of the best Cajun food ever! The only thing better than the food is the atmosphere, you just feel comfortable there. Great for friends, family, and good times.”

Nyah Mattison, Staff Contributor: Sunrise Bakery

“An old world-style bakery and restaurant that serves sandwiches, bagels, assorted pastries, coffee, and a selection of artisanal breads baked in-house. The best part is it’s only a fifteen-minute walk from campus. My favorite order for lunch is the ‘just make me a sandwich,’ no need for indecisiveness, the staff picks what you want!”

Diaka Savane, Staff Contributor: West Coast Pizza and Beach House Café

“West Coast Pizza (used to be called L.A. Gourmet) is my favorite pizza place because I essentially grew up there since my mom has always had her jewelry gallery downtown. As kids, my siblings and I would often eat there and have fallen in love with their white sauce (it’s magic!).”

“Beach House Café is a local restaurant that is owned by a local Hatian family and I am passionate about supporting local businesses (considering my parents are both local business owners themselves). I would recommend it solely based on this reason, not to mention their delicious food!”

Ashleigh King, Staff Contributor: Waffle House and Martine’s Bakery

“Okay, so I know most people think this is just 2 am drunk food, but there’s so much more to Waffle House than the food! It’s the atmosphere! The bright fluorescent light! The sounds of sizzling bacon! The endless coffee! And we can’t forget the almighty jukebox ready to play any song. You can have a dance party or just sit quietly and do your homework. It’s not just Waffle House, it’s Waffle Home.”

“Martine’s is a clean, lovely cafe that makes you feel like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie. Not only do they consistently make the strongest espressos I have ever tasted, but there is never a supply of delicate pastries to try. You can spend hours here but still remain eerily calm. I highly recommend this place if you want a nice, quiet place to have lunch.”

Sonni Wilson, Staff Contributor: O’Charley’s

“My favorite restaurant in the entire world is O’Charleys. I have been going there since I was 8 after I tried their overloaded potato soup and I have been hooked from that day onward. I usually go there for my birthday and for any special occasion, so I have a lot of special memories with my family and friends that happened in O’Charleys and going there just reminds me of all of them.”