The Culture Trip, a one-stop, global website, showcasing the best of art, food, culture and travel for every country in the world, has selected Lexington’s own Tolly-Ho as one of Lexington’s 10 Best Local Restaurants. In the article, you can scroll down the alphabetical list to find what they had to say about Tolly-Ho:
“Promising to spare the hunger of the students from the University of Kentucky, Tolly-Ho is open 364 days a year and retains its status as the most popular burger joint in town. Although no longer located on the University campus, its connection with the students is still firmly evident, seen in the charming collections of sorority and fraternity paraphernalia lining the walls. Stop by for a hearty breakfast at any time of the day, a game of pinball at midnight or the Tolly Ho signature quarter pounder for lunch or dinner. If it’s a true local eatery you’re after, there’s nowhere better than Tolly Ho.”
We like to think that we’re the best. We use the best ingredients. We are a small, family owned and operated business that’s been cranking out quality food at good prices for over 40 years. It’s great to be recognized for all of our hard work. Our thanks to The Culture Trip, and to everyone out there that loves a great burger!
Tolly-Ho was featured on CBS Sports as a University of Kentucky tradition. See the HD video below:
The Chive, a photo-entertainment website and mobile app, has selected Lexington’s own Tolly-Ho as the best burger in Kentucky as part of their Best Burgers in Every State article. In the article, you can scroll on down to #17 for Kentucky.
KENTUCKY: Tolly-Ho has been providing Lexington with simple yet delicious burgers and shakes since 1971. Its signature burger, the Tolly-Ho, is served on a toasted sesame-seed bun and topped with its housemade secret “Ho” sauce.
We like to think that we’re the best. We use the best ingredients. We are a small, family owned and operated business that’s been cranking out quality food at good prices for over 40 years. It’s great to be recognized for all of our hard work. Our thanks to The Chive, and to everyone out there that loves a great burger!
Tolly-Ho was recognized as one of the top ten restaurants in Lexington, Ky by Movoto.
Tolly Ho Answers Any Breakfast Cravings 24/7 – Even when you’re feeling your best, get the Hot Mess—Texas Toast loaded with bacon, sausage, cheese, hash browns and a fluffy scrambled eggs.
Movoto is an online real estate brokerage recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News
The Lexington Herald-Leader recently sent their food critic to Tolly-Ho.
Tolly-Ho gives you just what you expect: good, basic food, any time
Tolly-Ho specializes in not changing — the food, the ambiance or the video games
By Wendy Miller — Contributing Restaurant Critic
This review, if you can call it that, focuses not on white tablecloths or the sultry temptations of ethnic dining, but rather on Formica — or its latter-day equivalent — and video games, Kentucky blue logos and artificial ferns, griddles and a touch of the greasy spoon.
Tolly-Ho, longtime burger joint of the college set due to its proximity to the university, moved last year to South Broadway from Limestone, its home of about 25 years. Its new digs are walking distance from hardly anywhere, yet that could not be less of a deterrent to its many loyal fans who would rather starve than imagine a Lexington without “Ho Burgers.”
For the uninitiated, a Ho Burger is a hamburger patty on a sesame bun with lettuce and onion — cheese is optional — made special by a “secret” sauce that has a base of mayonnaise and, one might guess, something like honey mustard and chopped pickles. The menu does reveal that there is a taste of tartar sauce about it.
A side of fries with this is a must. Even though these crinkle cuts are from the freezer, you have to admit that, factoring in improvements in frozen vegetables and their handling after the fact, they might be good — and they are.
The same goes for the hash browns, crisp-edged yet moist.
Tolly-Ho’s chili is made on site. There is nothing spectacular about this con carne with small red beans, but it’s perfectly acceptable. A bowl of this might be considered quintessential stoner food. I can imagine it being a favorite of the after-hours club crowd, a restorative before sleeping off a night of partying. And since the place is open 24/7, you can get the chili, and everything else, whenever you want it.
Depending on the definition of “after-hours,” however, there’s always breakfast.
On a Saturday morning, things couldn’t be more wholesome, packed with intergenerational families; the patrons at any given table seem to range from 8 months old to 80-plus years.
You can get special pancakes with chocolate chips, but eggs are the better option. For less than $7, order an omelet the size of a paperback novel with the works, meaning vegetables, sausage, bacon and cheese. The toast on the side is brushed with salty melted butter. It’s quite rich and better for it.
In addition to the nostalgia of hearty short-order food, Tolly-Ho fills a few other niches.
First, a locally owned eatery that never closes is welcome. Sure, you can go to a chain, but why?
Second, believe it or not, there is great music. The choices from the inconspicuous jukebox on the wall range from jazz guitar great Grant Green to George Michael and Wham!’s Careless Whisper to smoother listening. Who would not prefer this to canned noise?
Last, in a similarly inconspicuous way, there is convenience-store upselling. I don’t think about combining shopping for a T-shirt or six-pack with my meal, but there is probably an audience for this.
There is a time and a place for every kind of dining. High-end spots can be great, but they often have far to fall, whereas at places like Tolly-Ho, everything is exactly as expected: easygoing, affordable, a blast from the past and a local institution.
Wendy Miller is a Lexington-based food and spirits writer and critic.
Tolly-Ho was named the best burger joint in the state of Kentucky in the October 1, 2010 edition of USA Today. We’ve had several local awards and mentions over the years. Not to diminish those, but it’s especially exciting to see our name in such a widely read and respected national newspaper. It’s a great feeling to get local (and now national!) recognition for the hard work we put into our food, our people, and our restaurant.
Check out the USA Today article that contains the Tolly-Ho blurb and the recommendations for the other great burger joints across the country.
Finally, we’d like to extend our thanks to the editor of Kentucky Monthly magazine for the nomination to USA Today.