This is the place to eat at when you're feeling like something a little more upscale than the Dinner Bell. Used to, it was black tie, but now you can find people dining in jeans. Personally, I miss the old days...But anyway. It's definitely the most expensive restaurant in Berea, and quite possibly the county. It's still elegant and refined and the food above par.
Favorite Dish: I love the spoonbread that comes with every meal. It's basically soft corn bread with a little sweet taste. For meals, you can't go wrong with any of the meat dishes, and the baked Alaska is a great dessert when they have it.
I’ve been eating at this place for nearly 17 years now. And, unfortunately, I’ve been ordering the same thing. Hot ham and cheese on homemade bread or a bowl of Wisconsin cheese soup. I don’t know why. Habit, maybe? But anyway, this is a great little place on College Square, around the corner from Boone Tavern. It’s a very old world kind of restaurant with wooden booths and dark corners and has become a favorite with the college crowd. If you’re in the mood for pizza, subs, or pasta, it’s definitely the place to go in Berea.
Favorite Dish: There are a few dishes that I like...the Wisconsin cheese soup is good, but strong so stay away if you don't like harsh cheese. The hot ham and cheese on Papa Leno's bread is good and comes with a side of potatoe chips and a pickle. The baked spaghetti with meat sauce is excellent and comes with a huge garlic bread stick that is nice to dip into the meat sauce. For dessert, there is the chocolate suicide cake (it's as rich as it looks) and the turtle cheesecake, my favorite.
Located at the top of the Old Town Arts District in Berea, Coffee Conspiracy is a place for specialty coffee, food, and live music. Old world motif, high ceilings, art and photography adorn the walls. Not just hot coffee-they also serve smooth blended ice coffee drinks and fruit smoothies. Definitely the hangout for the young, intellectual crowd.
A local hangout (especially for the people at my workplace), Mario's has something for everyone. Pizza, pasta, salads, subs-and that's just for the Italian side. They also have burgers, fries, and baked potatoes. And then there's the Mexican menu. Go for the buffet-you get more for your money.
Favorite Dish: I really like their baked ziti. The cheese on top is soft and creamy. A lot of times the ziti is over (or under) cooked and it has a hard taste to it. This place has just about mastered it. The people I work with like the burgers, but I don't care much for the bread they put them on. I guess it's all just a matter of taste.
Blondie's Ice Cream Parlor: Ice Cream!
Some people think that this place is too high for the area, but it's about as much as Graetter's or White Mountain Creamery. I guess it just takes the local people time to warm up to a new place-especially since in the past the only place to get ice cream at has been Dairy Queen and Sonic.
Favorite Dish: I think it's a good place as far as ice cream goes. And I'm a huge ice cream fan. It's cute and they're trying to make a nice atmosphere with the outdoor seating and "vintage" feel to it. And anyway-it's ice cream! What's not to like?
Sweet Betty's Restaurant: best buffet
This was brand new in 2003.
There was a buffet section, mostly booths and a restaurant section, mostly tables.
We went for the buffet because they were having a special that day.
They had veggies and fruits and fried chicken and corn-on-the-cob and buns and mash potatoes and tossed salad and a drink for under $10 per person (and return trips to the buffet). The buffet had jello and pudding for dessert but we decided to have a side order of pie-ala-mode (hey, why not splurge on vacation).
The place was spotless (looked like it had just opened for first time within the week).
The waitress was friendly. She had a pretty easy job on the buffet side; not much to do but ask if everything is all right and get extra cupfuls of drink if needed.
Favorite Dish: Buffet was best and pretty cheap
- Road Trip
Main Street Cafe: ice cream and cake.....
We stopped in here to get out of the rain and get something lite to eat and drink.
It was a cute little diner/cafe that appeared to be run by college students (at least the staff was young enough to be students). There was absolutely no crowd that day due to the weather and they looked a little disappointed when all we ordered was desserts. I had some ice cream in a dish and my wife had some carrot cake. We had coffees and that was all.
The place was clean and neat; the tables didn't wobble and the chairs were comfortable.
My wife, as usual, got a conversation going with the waitress about what we were doing in town and asking what places we should try.
When we dried off a bit, we thanked the waitress with a good tip.
- Road Trip
The Boone Tavern Restaurant: Don't Miss the Spoon Bread
The first time I ever ate at the Boone Tavern Restaurant I was a young teenager and had come with my parents from Tennessee to visit my older brother who was a student at Berea College. One of my fondest memories of that trip was our meal at Boone Tavern. I have been back many times since, and it is always still a special event. There's an elegant Southern charm and hospitality about this place which is seldom found today. The service has always been exceptional as well.
Favorite Dish: Everything here is good. I tend to be partial to southern fried chicken. A specialty is the "spoon bread," - cornbread so lucious and moist that they dish it out to you with a spoon.
Breakfast: Sat. & Sun., 7a.m. to 10 a.m.
Lunch: Mon. - Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: Nightly, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
- Study Abroad
Papaleno's: Excellent Italian and Pizza
Papaleno's garlic bread is to DIE for! The pizza is awesome, as are the soups, the portobello sandwich, and the freshly baked pastas. Everything tastes fabulous. You order at the counter, fill your own sodas, you don't need to tip, it's pretty cheap, and the vibe is great. A local photographer's work adorns the brick walls. You can watch people as they go by on the street...it's a very inviting atmosphere. You see everyone here from professors to little league teams. Fair warning though-like all of Berea, this building is OLD-restrooms are not handicap-accessible.
Favorite Dish: I'm addicted to Garlic Bread and a Ham Pizza. FRESH CRUST and sauce! FRESH BREAD floating in a POOL of GARLIC BUTTER! I'm a total garlic junkie.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Thai: Authentic Thai in southern KY!
This restaurant is Thai and Chinese. I have never been disappointed at this restaurant. The owners are Thai, trained chefs. Everything really is made from scratch...even the wonton puffs and sauces...things that many Chinese places buy frozen or as a mix. The decor is very pretty-everything from photographs to dolls to Thai crafts (they also sell some of these things). It's small, and the cozy booths and large round tables lend themselves to a sense of ambience or alternately, a large family-style group dinner. Excellent service each of the dozen or so times I ate there, and the owners are so friendly and genuine.
Favorite Dish: Super Noodles! I love noodles...these are WIDE and flat. The sauce is just a little spicy and sweet too. I choose the chicken version. I recommend it to anyone who loves noodles. The curries are authentic, as verified by a friend who spent 3 weeks in Thailand and emphatically declared "This is Thai!" upon his first bite.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
The Boone Tavern Hotel serves...
The Boone Tavern Hotel serves traditional Kentucky fare in a formal setting--although suits or jackets are no longer required. The picture below is of the lobby, where you can play skiddles or chinese checkers while waiting for your seating at the restaurant. Call ahead for a particular seating. Every meal comes with a salad or soup, main course, and a serving of 'spoonbread,' a type of cornbread which is more liquid than most.
The WanPen (Chinese/Thai) is...
The WanPen (Chinese/Thai) is owned by a husband and wife (he is from mainland China, she is Thai).
The atmosphere is 'small café'. All entrees are from the menu: Thankfully no buffet.
Favorite Dish: Pad Thai (spicy stirfried noodles)