12 places to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in metro Atlanta

Grab your big hat, don your best gear and kick back with cool cocktails and delectable bites during this year’s Kentucky Derby festivities in metro Atlanta. The following seven restaurants will host viewing parties plus a few friendly wagers, so get ready to eat, drink and place bets. All events will take place on Saturday, May 5.

5Church Atlanta. The Midtown restaurant will host a viewing party on the rooftop patio starting at 3 p.m. The event is free to attend and includes a glass of complimentary champagne. Guests can also win a bottle of Champagne and a gift basket by participating in contests for the Most Dapper Gentleman, Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat. 5Church Atlanta’s full à la carte menu will  also available for purchase.

Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St. NE #528, Atlanta. 404-400-3669, 5churchatlanta.com/

Avalon : Grab your pastel hats and seersucker suits and spend the day sipping mint juleps at this shopping center in Alpharetta beginning at 3 p.m. Festivities will include an open bar, music and a jumbo viewing screen so visitors can watch the race. Some restaurants will offer promotions; here’s a sample of what to expect: Barleygarden Kitchen – special Kentucky beers on draft, Derby-themed hot dogs and free derby snacks from 3-7 p.m. and Goldbergs - $5 margaritas and mint juleps all day.

2200 Avalon Blvd, Alpharetta. 770-765-1000, experienceavalon.com .

Barrel Bar at Food 101: Chef Ron Eyester will serve food and drink specials to help celebrate the fastest two minutes in sports, and guests wearing Derby hats will receive a complimentary mint julep.

4969 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-497-9700, food101atl.com/barrel-bar.

Food 101. The restaurant will feature food and drink specials and will screen all three Triple Crown races, including The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness on May 19 and the Belmont Stakes on June 9. On Derby Day, wear your fanciest derby hat and receive a complimentary mint julep.

4969 Roswell Road #200, Atlanta. 404-497-9700, .food101atl.com/

Hampton + Hudson. The restaurant will host a "Talk Derby to Me" party starting at noon. Guests are encouraged to come in their best creative hat for the chance to win house cash. There will also be a rosé bar on the outdoor patio and $8 H+H Mint Juleps, and the derby will be available for viewing on TVs throughout the restaurant.

299 North Highland Ave. Northeast, Atlanta. 404-948-2123, hamptonandhudson.com/

JCT. Kitchen & Bar : Watch the races live on the big screen; enjoy a special menu featuring bourbon glazed ribs as well as shrimp boil with andouille sausage and celery remoulade; and, of course, sip mint juleps from 3:30 p.m. until the races end. Feeling lucky? Guest will also have the opportunity to bet on the winning horse in the final race for $10 per bet; all proceeds will be donated to The Giving Kitchen and the winning guests will win a $250 gift card to JCT. Kitchen. To purchase tickets, which are $39 inclusive of admission plus two drinks, click here.

1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252, jctkitchen.com .

Leon's Full Service . The spot will host Cinco de Derby, offering a menu of Mexican and Southern fusion bites, along with mint juleps and other specialty cocktails like "My Boy Jack" with gin, sherry, raspberry and lemon for $11. Guests can bet on the horses with all proceeds benefiting The Giving Kitchen; the winner will receive a gift card to the restaurant.

131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-687-0500, LeonsFullService.com 

Livingston Restaurant + Bar : This Midtown spot will host a viewing party featuring appetizers; specialty drinks, music, raffles and a big hat contest from 3-7 p.m. Tickets, which are $25 inclusive of appetizers and one drink, may be purchased here. All proceeds will benefit the Sotherly Foundation, which supports veterans in the Atlanta area.

The Georgian Terrace, 659 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-897-5000, livingstonatlanta.com .

McCray’s Tavern: What happens when Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby and fall on the same day? You get Tequila Derby Day! All McCray’s locations will offer tequila, mint julep and margarita specials; a nacho eating context with prizes; and races on all televisions throughout the day. The festivities will begin at 11 a.m.

4500 West Village Pl., Smyrna. 678-370-9112, mccraystavern.com.

100 N. Perry St., Lawrenceville. 770-407-6754.

1163 W. Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-937-6444.

McKenna Farms: The second annual Derby Day at the Farm will feature a barbecue, hat contest, wine toss, wine raffle, riding demonstrations, live and silent auctions and more from 4:30-8 p.m. Tickets, which are $30 per person or $50 per couple, can be purchased here. Event proceeds will benefit therapeutic programs and resources for children with special needs as well as their families.

3044 Due West Road, Dallas. 770-443-9672, mckennafarms.org.

The Regent Cocktail Club. The rooftop cocktail lounge above American Cut in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta will host a party from 1-7 p.m. featuring $10 Bulleit mint juleps and glasses of G.H. Mumm Champagne for $13, a love band and the chance to win gift cards from Hermes, American Cut and Shake Shack for the best Derby hats. The bar will be open after the party until 1 a.m. for regular business.

Shops Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta. 770-415-9961, regentcocktailclub.com/

The Southern Gentleman : While the Kentucky Derby race only lasts only a few minutes, this restaurant’s staff will serve a buffet, Derby-inspired cocktails, men and women’s hat contests, giveaways and more from 3:30-7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and includes food and two drink tickets.

Shops Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta. 404-939-9845, thesoutherngentlemanatl.com .



Make these Kentucky-style delights for your Derby dinner


Get a taste of the new fusion revolution with the 2018 AJC Spring Dining Guide: Global Mashup

Read more stories like this by  liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook , following  @ATLDiningNews on Twitter  and  @ajcdining on Instagram .

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author