Can’t make it to Churchill Downs? Here’s where to eat, drink and celebrate the Kentucky Derby in D-FW

Grab your hat and mint julep. It’s time for the Kentucky Derby.

The Race for the Roses returns on Saturday May 7, after the pandemic forced it to be postponed to 2020 and reduced attendance in 2021.

But don’t worry if you can’t get to Churchill Downs quickly. Many D-FW bars and restaurants host celebrations with mint juleps, best-dressed contests, and live music.

Here is our roundup.

A Bourbon and Bubbles night on Saturday will feature mint juleps, Old Fashioneds and French 75s. Derby attire is encouraged. Make your reservations here. 215 E. Dallas Road, Grapevine.

The speakeasy inside The Statler will whip up a contemporary take on the mint julep. The bar’s orange mint julep replaces the traditional bourbon with Jameson Orange Irish Whiskey, giving it a hint of citrus and vanilla. The $10 special is available Friday and Saturday. Reservations are encouraged. 1914 Commerce Street.

Enjoy $8 French 75s and $10 Maker’s Mark mint juleps all day Saturday. 211 S. Akard Street, Dallas.

A Kentucky Derby tea will include deluxe Dammann Frères teas, tea sandwiches, tea cakes, pastries and fresh scones, served with clotted cream and home preserves, and a mint julep. Derby attire is strongly encouraged. Seating is at noon and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $100 or $135 to add endless champagne. 400 Crescent Court, Dallas.

Derby drink specials include $75 French and $10 Maker’s Mark mint juleps. Live music starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The best dressed couple and the guest with the best hat will win prizes of $250. 311 S. Akard Street, Dallas.

The Plano Food Hall serves mint juleps with Elijah Craig bourbon and hosts a Derby hat contest at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The race will be broadcast on the hall’s large television screen. 7800 Windrose Ave, Plano.

Fans watch the start of a claiming race at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie on Sunday...
Fans watch the start of a claiming race at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie on Sunday, June 14, 2020. (Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

What better place to watch the Derby than at the racetracks? Lone Star Park will host a day of the Kentucky Derby with a best hat contest, family activities, live music and concessions. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. General admission starts at $15. Buy your tickets in advance here. 1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grande Prairie.

Explore downtown McKinney on the Derby Day Wine and Whiskey Walk, 12-6 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $30 for wine, $45 for wine and whiskey, and $55 for VIP tickets, which include a hands-free wine glass holder. Buy your tickets online. 103 E.Virginia St., McKinney.

The annual Talk Derby to Me night will feature live music and Derby specialties like Triple Crown sliders and mint juleps, served frozen or on ice. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed man, woman and couple. The party starts at 10 a.m. 3656 Howell Street, Dallas.

The Rustic will host a Talk Derby To Me party on Saturday featuring Triple Crown sliders, mint...
The Rustic will host a Talk Derby To Me party on Saturday featuring Triple Crown sliders, mint juleps, a best dressed contest and live music.(The Rustic)

If you’d rather stay, check out Sourced Craft Cocktails, which delivers cocktail kits to your door. Customers can choose from Mint Juleps, Old Fashioned Pineapples, Pimm’s Mugs and more. Available in Dallas and select cities nationwide.

Specialty cocktails will include a classic Maker’s Mark mint julep and a less traditional El Diablo, with Casamigos Blanco tequila, lime juice, ginger syrup and crème de cassis. Guests are encouraged to dress in Derby attire, with prizes awarded for the best dressed. The race will be broadcast on the televisions in the bar. 1303 Legacy Drive, Frisco.

The hunting lodge-inspired bar will serve $5 Woodford Reserve mint juleps all day Saturday. For the adventurers, stick around after the race to throw an ax or two at the bar. Make your reservations here. 2800 Canton St., Dallas.

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