By Kaiser Shaffer, Executive Editor
As college students, it can feel like the rest of the world is not synced to our internal clocks. 10 p.m. closes restaurant doors while youthful souls yearn to experience life cloaked in the after hours. While Cook-Out may seem to be the most convenient option, Lexington has more local options to offer just down the road. Over the course of a few late night adventures, Diego Molina, Matthew Pertz, and I set out to rank the best places for your next extension excursion.
1. Mad Mushroom, 561 S. Broadway
Open Mon–Wed: 10am–2am, Thurs–Sat: 10am–3am, Sun: 11am–1am
Not to be confused with Mellow Mushroom, Mad Mushroom is a hip pizza joint decked out in rustic wood textures, chalkboard lettering and plenty of TVs. Their menu hosts a variety of pizzas to suit any mood as well as tons of other options like pasta, subs, and salads. We found the medium-sized pizza to be a perfect size to split between a few friends.
Tolly-Ho has been a staple of late night food in Lexington for over 40 years, and it’s easy to see why. Late night crowds thrive here with lots of options for the perfect made-to-order burger or milkshake. In the mood for breakfast at midnight? Tolly-Ho has you covered there, too. Neon-lit booths provide the perfect spot to talk the night away with friends.
3. Doughby’s, 561 S. Broadway
Open Mon – Wed: 11am – 3am, Thu – Sat: 11– 4am, Sun: 11am – 2am
Just a few feet away from our #1 spot is Doughby’s. They live up to their name with a to-go menu jam packed with doughy calzones and crepes. The calzones are great in of themselves, but my favorite part was for sure their sweet crepe selection. We sampled a Nutella-strawberry creation that would be a perfect late night treat.
4. Common Grounds, 343 E High St
Open Mon-Fri: 7am-12am, Sat-Sun: 8am-12am
If you are looking for some lighter options and a place to stay a while, Common Grounds is a great place to spend an hour or two. Coffee may be their speciality, but their menu also has café-style food options. Dimly-lit corners and art-filled walls provide the perfect ambiance for an espresso-fueled homework session.
5. Insomnia, 433 Jersey St.
While maybe not exactly a local establishment, I would be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to highlight Insomnia Cookies. Their menu is limited in comparison to the other places on our list, but they do cookies and they do them well. Grab a cookie or two, add a scoop of ice cream, and you have a perfect combo to make you forget that your 8am class even exists.