Where to Spend Kentucky Derby Day 2017 in NYC

May 6th. The “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”, a.k.a., the Kentucky Derby, makes for some of the most exciting minutes in NYC, where locals gather to pick the fastest horse in America, as well as drink mint juleps, eat Southern food, dress-up, socialize, and talk about horses, even though most of use haven't seen a real horse in quite some time. 

Where to go? 

We've been to a few Derby Day bashes in our time and want to share our fool proof list of best places to watch. Check 'em out below and don't forget to bring your biggest hat:

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1. Brooklyn Derby

  • If anyone knows how to do Derby Day right, it’s this couple from Louisville, Kentucky. What started off as a small party in their apartment ten years ago has grown into a full-on Derby Day rager with over 600 people in attendance.

From 4pm-8pm and for $80, you get:

  • An open bar
  • Southern-style snacks

  • Hat-making station, with prizes

  • A dance with Dandy Wellington and his band

  • A genuine 143rd Annual Kentucky Derby glass

  • A Mumm Julep guzzle - the winning end to any Derby celebration

After all, says Brooklyn Derby: “Shouldn’t every day be like Derby Day?”


  • Details: Greenwood Park, 555 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11215. WebsiteBrooklynDerby.com.

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2. Saxon + Parole

  • Giddy up to four hours of drinking in this equestrian-themed bar/restaurant that has horseplay in it's DNA. After all, Saxon + Parole is named after two 19th-century Derby winners, one of which was hardly expected to win and became the winningest racehorse in American history.  Derby-style food includes fried chicken, cornbread, oysters, seafood towers and roasted pigs.

  • Details: 316 Bowery, Manhattan, 3pm-7pm, $120. Website: saxonandparole.com.

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3. Blue Smoke

  • This barbecue joint is Southern to the core and, as such, grabs Kentucky for itself (Americans feud over whether Kentucky is really the South or actually Midwest). To celebrate, catch a live band performing your favorite bluegrass tunes while sipping top-shelf juleps in traditional silver cups. And at the Flatiron location, they’re even raffling off a bottle of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle. Oh, and watch the horserace, of course.

  • Details: 3pm-7pm. Flatiron or Battery Park City.
    Website: bluesmoke.com.


4. Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room

  • Always one to keep up with the hottest sporting events, Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room throws an open bar (4pm-6pm), where you can drink $7 margaritas and mint juleps to your stomach’s content (or 'til you....ya know, get sick). Co-sponsors such as Captain Morgan, Don Julio, Ketel One, and Bulleit recommend you don your best hat....you just might win a free happy hour for 40 friends. 

  • Details: 986 Second Ave., Manhattan, 4pm-8pm. FREE to attend, but reservations recommended. Contact/ RSVP: info@ayshg.com.

Honorable Mention