To celebrate the 10-Year Anniversary of Paducah's designation as a UNESCO Creative City, the Blog is highlighting local creatives. Get your itinerary inspiration straight from Paducah locals, starting with Chef Sara Bradley.

Chef Sara Bradley at Freight House

Top Chef contestant and chef and proprietor of local restaurant Freight House, Sara Bradley gives her recommendations for the best food and drinks for a weekend of exploring Paducah’s culinary scene.


Breakfast: Start your day of exploring creative Paducah in the Lower Town Arts District at Sara’s pick for breakfast, Etcetera Coffeehouse. A staple in the arts district, Etcetera fuels Paducah’s creatives with handcrafted tea and coffee drinks. For a breakfast treat, choose from their homemade breads and muffins, brownies, cookies, yogurt and all-natural oatmeal.

Lunch: While in Paducah, experiencing Kentucky-style barbecue is a must. Starnes Bar-B-Q, located in Paducah’s Midtown neighborhood, is a local favorite. Famous for its signature vinegar-based sauce, western Kentucky style barbecue and pulled pork, the Paducah staple has been family-owned since 1955.

Happy Hour: Named one of the Best Bars in Bourbon Country and one of America’s Best Bourbon Bars by The Bourbon Review and Buffalo Trace, Barrel and Bond features one of the largest selections of bourbon in the United States. Boasting more than 1,400 bourbons and American whiskeys, expertly curated cocktails and perfectly paired charcuterie boards, the bourbon and cocktail bar is one of the best introductions to Kentucky spirits and Paducah’s culinary scene.

Barrel and Bond

Dinner: Cynthia’s California Tuscan Ristorante, located in Paducah’s historic downtown and one of the town’s oldest restaurants, is a local favorite for its gourmet Italian fare with an American flair and fresh seasonal ingredients. Cynthia’s keeps locals and visitors coming back for more with an extensive wine list, a menu that changes weekly and fresh pasta made from scratch.

Late-Night Snack: Grab a burger and a brew at downtown's Bully Gorilla Bar. Known for live music, late-night drinks with friends, and craveable pub food, this spot will leave guests satisfied at the end of the night.


Breakfast: Pipers Tea & Coffee House serves locally roasted coffee, handcrafted tea and locally made baked goods that are sure make a perfect start to the day. This breakfast spot is a great place to get a feel for the local community, as it is located in the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant, a Paducah landmark, and features art exhibitions and original poetry on their chalkboard.

Piper's Tea & Coffee House

Lunch: Sara recommends Kirchhoff’s Bakery & Deli to enjoy lunch in scenic downtown. Paducah’s fifth-generation German bakery, Kirchhoff’s uses traditional Old World family recipes, serves sandwiches on their homemade bread and incorporates local farmer’s market vegetables in their in-house soups. Sara’s pro tip: don’t forget to stop by the bakery case for some sweets to take home.

Dinner: There is no better way to wind down a culinary tour of Paducah than with dinner at Sara’s own Freight House. Her farm-to-table restaurant serves up traditional Southern flavors paired with locally sourced meats and garden-fresh fare. Curated with Sara’s ever-evolving menu in mind, Freight House’s full bar offers a staggering selection of bourbons, also named one of America’s Best Bourbon Bars by The Bourbon Review and Buffalo Trace, as well as a seasonal rotation of cocktails and craft beer.

Freight House

After-dinner drinks: The FoxBriar Cocktail Bar is perfectly located for an after-dinner stroll or short drive from Freight House for a nightcap in Historic Downtown Paducah. With handcrafted cocktails, delectable desserts and live jazz on Saturdays, this intimate bar puts the cherry on top of a food-filled day.


Brunch: End a weekend in Paducah back on Broadway at Over/Under for a laid back, elevated sports-bar atmosphere. Over/Under offers weekend brunch along with lunch favorites and specialty cocktails.


Keep an eye on the Blog for more Itinerary Inspiration from Paducah's creative minds.