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Zim's Cafe, Lexington, KY

Zim's Cafe

4.6
4.6
248 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Ouita Michel’s newest restaurant - located in downtown Lexington, Ky. is a cornerstone of the Historic Courthouse Square. Zim’s Cafe features delicious sandwiches, Kentucky classics, fresh salads & innovative bites from executive chef Ethan Bowling. Order a cocktail, bourbon, or local beer from The Thirsty Fox, the bar component across the atrium with a cozy atmosphere!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 2 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    American, Café, Southern

  • Phone number

    (859) 785-3690

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Ethan Bowling

  • Private party facilities

    Looking for a private event space? We rent out The Thirsty Fox. Email kmcdonald@zimscafe.com for more information.

  • Neighborhood

    Lexington

  • Cross street

    Located between Short and Main Streets at Upper Street.

  • Parking details

    There are paid lots on Short Street as well as paid parking garages on Main and Short. Street parking is free after 5:00 on weekdays and all day on weekends and federal holidays.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 248 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Central Kentucky

    Great for Brunch

  • Central Kentucky

    Healthy

  • Central Kentucky

    Great for Lunch

  • Central Kentucky

    American

  • Lexington

    Great for Brunch

  • Lexington

    Fit for Foodies

  • Lexington

    Healthy

  • Lexington

    Great for Lunch

  • Lexington

    American

Sort by

Filters

  1. JG

    JamesG

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Zim's Cafe is a part of what is energizing Lexington's downtown. The food's great, the atmosphere is casual, the servers are friendly and competent; couldn't ask for more.
  2. JF

    JohnF

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, drinks, service, and location! I would definitely go again.
  3. HH

    HaroldH

    Cincinnati

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Visitors always want to find a local spot. Don’t miss this one! Not only great food, drinks and service, but also located in an historic building restored to a showpiece. A favorite.
  4. EM

    EricM

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 25, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    The food was great, the service was a little slow. Definitely worth the trip.
  5. R

    Riley

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Wow - what a great value, wide selection of entrees and apps, and AWESOME drink menu. The location is beautiful and the service was perfect. Can’t wait to go back. Get the Cubano!
  6. W

    Wilson48

    Louisville

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 21, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    We have been to Zim’s a couple times in the past. We brought some out of town guests who wanted Kentucky food. We had a reservation and were sat in the Tavern side. Honestly, it was some of the worst service I have had a restaurant. There was hardly anyone there (at least where we were sitting). Nonetheless, it took forever to get drinks or place an order. One person from our party actually had to get up and ask TWICE to get parts of our order placed. It wasn’t just us who thought it was slow. Another table of two came in. After waiting over 15 minutes without so much as a beverage order taken, they walked out. The food itself was ok. Nothing special at all. The fries as a side were all cold and limp. I won’t be rushing back or taking anyone else, that’s for sure. Disappointing.
  7. N

    Neroseepa

    Louisville

    21 reviews

    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on September 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First, Chef Ouida Michel greeted us when we arrived! Second I had requested a quiet table & they went out of their way to give us one. Third Vince makes a fantastic vodka martini & was an excellent server as well. Fourth, that fried catfish was the best I’ve ever had. Fifth we took home a slice of Martine’s pistachio cake to share. What an excellent meal at a reasonable price! Highly recommend!
  8. JF

    JosephF

    Cincinnati

    20 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on September 16, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    Had some great drinks and shared the fried pickle and crawdad croquettes. Both were outstanding. Husband had special of mussels and I had the pork chop. Both were very disappointing. Porch chop was tough with very little flavor. Mussels were very bland. Best part was the bread. Service was excellent. Sat outside which was glorious.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Cincinnati

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Located inside a courthouse, it was not easy to find. (That’s aGPS flaw.) But we enjoyed our sandwiches.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Louisville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Had a large group but enjoyed the experience and the service was great! The Hot Brown was fantastic. Would order again for sure.
  11. DD

    DavidD

    Chicago

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience4
    Fun, creative food in an airy, arty space in a beautiful historic courthouse - just delightful!!
  12. SS

    StevenS

    Louisville

    43 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent food and even better service. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
  13. LN

    LizN

    Louisville

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The service was impeccable. The food delicious and all around atmosphere was pleasant.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Cincinnati

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience5
    お店の雰囲気は良かったです。 料理が出てくるのが遅く、申し訳ないとのことで割り引きになりました。
  15. G

    Greg

    Louisville

    7 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience2
    We sat in the Thirsty Fox. It was VERY loud. After being seated we waited 20 minutes for a server; then we waited another 20 minutes for our drinks (including the waters). Once we ordered our meal we were served fairly quickly - the food was good. I understand the difficulty in getting staff - and in the server’s defense, she probably had lots of tables to serve. But - for the money, we will likely not choose to come here again for dinner. Lunch maybe, but not dinner.
  16. CB

    CarolB

    Nashville

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We sat outside on the patio to hear the band for Thursday Night Live. Great location. Food and drinks were served timely. Everything was delicious. No was a wonderful waitress.
  17. JO

    JackieO

    Louisville

    6 reviews

    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall3food5service1ambience3
    First impression is everything! Food at Zims was amazing. We went for a birthday brunch. Service was hooooorible. Waiter took forever to come to the table. Never checked on us. Barely said two words to the table the entire time and we had to track him down for the check! Not sure if we will be back just for the food.
  18. TC

    TrishC

    Louisville

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 10, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    The food at Zim's is always good. My only complaint is that it was extremely cold on 8/10/22. Special request - please add quiche to your weekday menu.
  19. V

    Violet

    New Orleans

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    All four in our party were impressed with our brunch. I can be a picky orderer, and everything was right and our server was very patient!
  20. DM

    DavidM

    Western NC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a great place to go for a meal; food excellent.
  21. d

    di4ky

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Blackened catfish and shrimp and grits couldn't have been better. Fun place and atmosphere!
  22. n

    nelsst

    Louisville

    2 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    Have been to Zim’s several times with varying experiences. Last visit they weren’t busy, yet we waited for food and drinks for a while. Upon receiving the food, the hot brown was lukewarm, and the side order of hushpuppies were raw in the middle. Given the wait time it made me wonder why the food wasn’t hot and completely cooked. Server very nice, and the peach cocktail on special was great. My son’s hamburger was well done, but he’s not picky. His fries also were not hot. Not sure of the issues, and have had good experiences and not so great experiences, but convenient downtown location in the center of everything.
  23. TM

    TracyM

    Louisville

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Our meal was outstanding in flavor and quality. We would have preferred seating in the restaurant rather than the bar across the hall as there was a very loud patron at the bar.
  24. NW

    NanceeW

    SW Indiana

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 22, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Love the location and use of old courthouses we had very good service. Food was excellent. I liked the small cafe shop which we took pistachio tarts home with us.
  25. L

    Leslie

    Louisville

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Every dinner ordered for our table was incredibly delicious. We also purchased three pieces of pie to go, and they were also fabulous. We definitely plan to dine at Zim's again during our next visit to Lexington.
  26. SS

    SteveS

    Louisville

    16 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall3food4service5ambience3
    First time here We’ve had better
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Cincinnati

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Excellent service!
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and atmosphere was amazing! Definitely recommend!
  29. F

    Fulltimetraveller

    Naples

    54 reviews

    3.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience3
    This was an average place for brunch. It was located in an old courthouse so outside and lobby were very nice. Inside it looked like an old time country restaurant. Not much ambiance, but there was outside seating and if it were cooler might have been superior to inside. The Lattes were excellent. My husband had a chicken sandwich which was good, but average. I had the Kentucky Benedict. I didn’t care for either the Pimento Cheese or Ham, the latter because of the extreme saltiness, which is a hallmark of VA country ham. I guess they make them the same in KY. Otherwise was well made, but again, average. Our server didn’t seem like he wanted to be there, but provided average service.
  30. B

    Bobby

    Las Vegas

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on June 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Authentic local food served with a smile. Do not miss this spot for lunch.
  31. PJ

    PetaJ

    Louisville

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Nice and efficient server! Thx!
  32. SM

    SarahM

    Louisville

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Zim’s is always so GOOD, but the steak I had last night was amazing! Service was good, and drinks were cold. So yummy!
  33. SD

    ScottD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Quick attentive service. Food was very tasty and fresh.
  34. CH

    CHorse

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First off, let me start by saying that we picked Zim's simply because it was the only restaurant that had seating and food with a view of Thursday Night Live entertainment. But my parents and I we actually VERY pleased with the food and the service! I've only ever been for lunch and my parents are visiting from out of town so this was their first time. We started off with the Artichoke Fritters and the Baked Goat Cheese. Both were absolutely amazing! Hot tip, spread a little of the goat cheese on the fritter for a party inside your mouth! My mom went off the recommendation of our server to get the Shrimp and Grits and raved about how good it was! My father had the fried chicken sandwich and was pleasantly surprised with how juicy the chicken was. I had the Cubano and really enjoyed it. Not your typical Cubano sandwich but still VERY good. And definitely enough food that you could take half of it home. Our server was also very nice and very attentive! I don't remember his name unfortunately but he came over to the table at all the right times. Didn't feel crowded or like we had to ask for him at all. I would 100% recommend for lunch or dinner and ESPECIALLY on Thursday evenings for Thursday Night Live!
  35. ML

    MelissaL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was amazing, as well as the service. If needed, I will definitely use the reservations again.
  36. TD

    TonyaD

    Louisville

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 7, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    The food was excellent, the atmosphere was nice and quiet.
  37. TC

    TheresaC

    Louisville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We really loved Zim's! We went for brunch and our meals were delicious. Not overly fancy or simple, a nice balance between interesting and classic.
  38. PB

    PunkieB

    Louisville

    13 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Was disappointed. Food very salty.
  39. c

    closetshopper

    Nashville

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent spot for dinner. Food was moderately priced and delicious.
  40. a

    anr111

    Las Vegas

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Food was excellent. Service was a bit slow.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Zim's Cafe using the Order Online button. Zim's Cafe also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (859) 785-3690.

Zim's Cafe is rated 4.6 stars by 248 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 2 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
Google Map for Zim's Cafe

215 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40507

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Located between Short and Main Streets at Upper Street.

  • Neighborhood

    Lexington

  • Cuisines

    American, Café, Southern

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    There are paid lots on Short Street as well as paid parking garages on Main and Short. Street parking is free after 5:00 on weekdays and all day on weekends and federal holidays.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Ethan Bowling

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (859) 785-3690

  • Private party facilities

    Looking for a private event space? We rent out The Thirsty Fox. Email kmcdonald@zimscafe.com for more information.

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