ultimate derby guide: eat

with DERBY 139 right around the corner, 
churchill downs is busy prepping for celebs, grooming horses, 
distilling bourbon, watering roses, and shining the mint julep cups.

if you're lucky enough to be one of the 150,000 attendees,
you will need this ultimate derby guide for the week of events. 

we will begin with my favorite picks of places to eat and drink
because let's face it: that's the point of derby time.

north end cafe
no matter what time of day you find your stomach growling with hunger, i'd send you here. the breakfast, the lunch, the dinner, the wine. it's all wonderful. they serve tapas style in a very relaxed and calm atmosphere. i've never had poor service or bad food and i've always left full and ready for my next visit. they have two location - frankfort avenue and bardstown road. i'll leave you with three important words: bloody. mary. bar. 

village anchor

located on the east end of louisville, this new-ish spot is a must-go. their brunch is freaking phenomenal and the perfect meal whether its after a late night or prepping for a long day. their dinner is extraordinary and they always offer some type of drink special. the real kicker? tuesday nights. it's 10 buck tuesdays around there and the greatest thing invented. you get a glass of wine (or beer) and a full entree that i usually have some to take home. 

captains quarters
captains quarters is right on the river with gorgeous views and tons of fun. you'll usually find a rockin' band and flowin' drinks. dinnerwise: i'd clearly recommend the hot brown. you probably don't know what that is, which makes me sad, but it will change your life. mark my words. 

jack frys
my mouth just started watering. jack frys should not be the dinner choice after a long day at the track if you're stumbling and may or may not have nodded off at any point of daylight. this nice, traditional, historical restaurant is the recipient of numerous louisville awards and i can guarantee you will not leave here disappointed. the rule: you must invite me.

harvest is known for its local and fresh produce and its organic atmosphere. they have unique drink specials and incredible food. i've confirmed the rumor to be true: 80% of their food comes from farmers and growers within a 100-mile radio of the city. if that ain't fresh, i don't know what is! harvest is located on market street which is closer to downtown and a perfect location for out of towners that want a hometown feel. 

jeff rubys
oh you fancy, huh. oh you must've come to louisville to spend big bucks at the derby. well, my friend, you're in luck! head straight to jeff ruby's, located downtown, grab a martini and a spot at the bar (or a booth) and wait for the celebs to appear. this hot spot is a crazy fun atmosphere with every type of food you're craving. sushi? steak? salad? what baby wants, baby gets if you're here. 

for a laid back feel, i'd go for these places: hammerheads, game, meat, and cafe lou lou

traditional louisville favorites: veranese , del friscos, wagners pharmacythe brown hotel (because after all, they did invent the hot brown), ruths chris - i know, its not a louisville exclusive, but you can't go wrong. located on the 16th floor of the historic kaden tower, you'll get incredible views of derby city.

will i be seeing you around for the derby festivities??

up next -- ultimate derby guide: the social life!


Kerr said...

I think I'm going to have to make myself a hot brown next week.I wont be the same but better than none at all.

I'maNolaGirl said...

We are dying to get to the derby one of these days. When we do, I'm going to reference this guide!! Everything sounds perfect.

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