Located just south of South Carolina’s beautiful Lake Murray, Lexington is not only a town rich in history but has a bustling, eclectic dining scene too. We’ve rounded up the best local restaurants. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
A contemporary, upscale restaurant where delicious ‘Asian cuisine meets American comfort’, Ganbei is where local diners in the know get their Japanese and Chinese food. Relax at one of Ganbei’s comfy booths and try appetizers like lightly salted edamame, crispy pork potstickers with gyoza sauce or Kobe beef followed by entrées that include hibachi-style filet mignon and Kung Pao chicken. Alternatively, take a seat at the sushi bar and watch the restaurant’s talented chefs whip up a huge range of sushi like the Ganbei signature roll – shrimp tempura, crab, avocado and cream cheese topped with spicy crab and signature sauce.
Hudson’s Smokehouse & Saloon
A family-run restaurant and Lexington dining favorite for more than a decade, Hudson’s Smokehouse & Saloon opened its doors in 2004 and has since been bestowed with a host Best BBQ awards from the likes of Columbia Metropolitan and Lexington Life magazines. The popular venue has grown from humble beginnings as a small drive-thru to two restaurants (another is located on the south side of town) and a catering arm. It has everything you’d expect from a good BBQ restaurant: tender ribs, beef brisket, smoked chicken wings and pork chops with sides like coleslaw, collard greens and BBQ baked beans.
Specializing in Cajun and Lowcountry-inspired fare, Private Property is a classy-casual restaurant opened by Trip Chalk, his wife Alex and in-laws Pat and Candi Bowen in 2013. Located in a beautiful historic house dating back to the late 1800s, Private Property aims to give guests a grassroots, authentically Southern dining experience. With dishes such as Cajun crab cakes with bayou dipping sauce, classic seafood jambalaya with Andouille sausage and Mardi Gras pasta (shrimp and tasso ham sautéed in Cajun cream sauce served over penne pasta), this restaurant delivers on all fronts.
Libby’s of Lexington
Opened in 2010, Libby’s of Lexington is owned by chef Clint LaCoe’s who brings more than 20 years’ experience cooking at local restaurants and hotels. Libby’s is a realization of his lifelong dream and features an eclectic menu and family-friendly atmosphere. Named after Clint’s beloved former pet dog, Libby’s welcomes guests with a cute patio overlooking Main Street into a casual, welcoming space. The open kitchen serves everything from salads, sandwiches, wraps, wings and gourmet pizzas to light Italian-themed appetizer bites like bruschetta to locally sourced, Southern-inspired entrées like Folly Beach fried shrimp served with Libby’s signature lime, caper and tartare sauce.
Libby’s of Lexington, 116 West Main Street, Lexington, SC, USA, +1 803 520 4689
Located in the heart of historic downtown Lexington, Creekside Restaurant resides within the Old Mill – a former cotton mill dating back to the late 1800s turned modern business hub. It serves up good, home-style Southern eats for breakfast and lunch daily. Get a kick start to your day with a hearty breakfast of country fried steak, pancakes topped with blueberries or freshly made biscuits with sausage gravy. Or, go for lunch and opt for a sandwich or lunch platter. Daily specials include pot roast, shrimp and grits and the Creekside steamer – steam smoked sausage with corn on the cob, red potato, onion and mixed veggies.
Since husband and wife Brian and Natalie Nelson opened Keg Cowboy in 2012, the business has grown from a home brew supply store to one of the town’s most popular bar and restaurants. Its motto is ‘no crap on tap’, and one look at its beer list – featuring varieties from breweries including South Carolina’s River Dog and Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company – proves Keg Cowboy knows its stuff. A rotating menu inspired by Southern cuisine is crafted by Brian, who also acts as Keg Cowboy’s executive chef. It features fare perfectly suited to its beers like green bean salad and smoked pork hash.
The Mediterranean Café
Opened in 2003 by owners Azmi and Beth Jebali, The Mediterranean Café does exactly what it says on the tin – serves up tasty Mediterranean fare with everything from Greek, Italian or Middle Eastern delights. Take a seat in its cozy, welcoming dining room or outside on its cute patio and choose from appetizers like bruschetta or baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant, tahini, fresh garlic, lemon juice and jalapenos topped with olive oil and served with pita bread). Entrees include chicken kabobs or shrimp scampi served with rice and Greek salad. Finish off your meal with authentic dessert of baklava – a filo pastry-based dish with nuts and honey.
Fun for all the family, Flight Deck is an aviation-themed restaurant specializing in American diner-style fare. Its bright, retro interior features red leather booths, vintage-style artwork, huge model planes suspended from the ceiling and a ‘fun center’ with plenty of arcade games to keep younger diners entertained. Whether you opt for a hearty sandwich, juicy burger or a specialty dish like the baked flounder stuffed with crabmeat and served with hushpuppies and tartare sauce, make sure you leave room for a delicious dessert of pecan pie or key lime cheesecake. If burgers and sandwiches don’t whet your appetite, there’s a number of European-inspired dishes too, such as spanakopita and stromboli.
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