Athenian Grill in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, is a tiny restaurant with big flavors. Stop in for a delicious Greek meal, and don't forget the baklava!
By: Alisha Trenalone
If you live in rural Kentucky, I'm guessing you probably make periodic shopping trips to whatever "big city" is nearest.
For many of us, Lexington is that city.
And on those little trips to Lexington, for years, my family tended to hit the big chain restaurants that we were familiar with.
But over time, our interests began to expand. We started looking for the semi-hidden, local spots that would reward us with yummy flavors we couldn't easily get in a small town.
My parents had fond memories of eating Greek food on vacation, but that wasn't something we saw a lot of in Kentucky – until I started poking around on restaurant review sites.
There I found a new Greek place in Lexington called Athenian Grill, and it was getting rave reviews. We made a beeline for the tiny restaurant, and quickly fell in love.
We've been visiting ever since.
Looking for more great local eats in Lexington? Try Han Woo Ri for Korean food, Pietana for pizza, the Kentucky Castle for locally sourced Southern comfort food, or The Local Taco for a unique twist on Tex-Mex!
If authentic Greek food in central Kentucky sounds like something you need in your life, read on!
Finding Athenian Grill
Athenian Grill's original location on South Ashland Avenue is one of those "blink and you'll miss it" spots. It's a small building with two little dormer windows – looks a bit like a house.
You can't quite see it properly until after you've turned in to the parking lot.
But your GPS should get you there, and as long as you turn in at the right place (next to a big brick financial company) you'll find it waiting for you at the end of the lot.
(Athenian Grill has had other, larger locations come and go over the years. You can check their current sites at their website.)
The downstairs area is for ordering.
And the upstairs area is for seating. It's very cute and is perfect for a small group.
It seems like a lot of people just order their food to go, so more than once, we've had the upstairs all to ourselves.
There's also outdoor seating (and it's cute too)! It has some very welcome shade trees to help make things more comfortable in the summer heat.
Scoping Out The Menu
My top pick at the Athenian Grill is the spanakopita.
This warm spinach and feta pie, encased in layers of flaky phyllo dough, is the very definition of comfort food.
Entrees come with one or two sides. The Greek garden salad has a lot going for it (tangy balsamic dressing!), but if I have to pick just one side I go for the roasted vegetables.
I don't know what they're seasoned with – or maybe it's just that I really love the olive oil they use – but they're fantastic.
There are also, of course, multiple gyros to choose from. Or, if you don't want the bread, a gyro bowl served with rice. There are veggie and vegan gyros too.
And for dessert, it's pretty hard to resist the baklava. Who doesn't love some gooey, flaky, nutty baklava??
For delicious gyros in nearby Danville, try The Parthenon Greek-American Eats!
If these flavors have got you excited to try Athenian Grill, I hope you can get there soon! If you find something else on the menu that you absolutely love, let me know in the comments.
About Alisha Trenalone
I’m Alisha and I live in eastern Kentucky. Discovering good food is one of my joys in life, but you will also find me doing lots of reading and dreaming of travel. Having worked at a local newspaper for several years, I’m avidly interested in the written word and the art of sharing stories. Now I help Sarah out in various ways here at Champagne Tastes!