Mint Juleps are the traditional Kentucky Derby drink (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Photo: Yvonne Zusel/Atlanta Restaurant Scene
Photo: Yvonne Zusel/Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Put on your giant hat for these metro Atlanta Kentucky Derby parties, specials

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 followingrestaurants 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 4 unless otherwise noted.

Viewing parties

City Tap. Enjoy a special watch party for the Kentucky Derby from 4-7 p.m. featuring a hat contest and Derby Day games with prizes as well as Derby-themed dishes, including hot brown sandwiches and chocolate pecan bourbon pie alongside cocktails and Woodford Reserve mint juleps. 

848 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 470-990-7114,

Avalon. The Alpharetta mixed-use development is hosting a viewing party from 3-9 p.m. featuring live music, raffles, bets, contests, a photo booth, crafts for kids a DJ and race viewing. Several Avalon restaurants will offer Derby-themed specials including: 

Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar. Find $5 Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, a special Kentucky Fried Chicken Sandwich with Kentucky Brown Sauce and $8 Kentucky Mules.

Colletta. Get $8 Sundown Mules from 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Farm to Ladle. Guests wearing a Derby hat will receive a 10 percent discount on their order. 

Oak Steakhouse. Get $8 Sundown Mules from 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Ted's Montana Grill. Get $7 Woodford Mint Juleps & $5 glasses of Bison Ridge wine.

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

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. From 4-7 p.m., enjoy complimentary appetizers at the bar and patio area, a specialty Maker’s Mark cocktail menu, red carpet entrance with professional photography and a chance to win a $100 Davio’s gift card as part of the best Derby attire content. There will be plenty of televisions set up throughout the bar area showing the race. Derby attire is required to attend. 

3500 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-844-4810,

Hampton + HudsonHampton + Hudson’s ‘Talk Derby to Me’ party is back for another year to celebrate the greatest two minutes in sports history all day long. Beginning at noon, the celebration will feature a photo booth, rosé bar, H+H Mint Juleps, the chance to win house cash for the best hat and race day coverage on TVs throughout the restaurant and on the patio.

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

Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern. All three locations will show the race on large-screen TVs and offer live music from 5-9 p.m., Derby trivia and a special menu including Hot Browns, Kentucky Burgoo, Kentucky Bourbon Balls, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. Drink specials include Liquid Bourbon Balls and Mint Juleps for $8 all day Friday and Saturday. Bourbon flights featuring Woodford Reserve products are also available throughout Derby Week with 50 percent of the proceeds from each flight going to the Georgia Equine Rescue League. Awards will be given for best hat and best dressed couple after the race. 

1551 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, 404-968-2288,  1221 Ashford Crossing, Atlanta, 470-395-7904 and 804 Town Blvd. #A1010, Brookhaven, 404-464-8971.

JCT. Kitchen & Bar. Join JCT. Bar starting at 3 p.m. for live race viewing and a special menu featuring Mint Juleps, Kentucky Hot Brown Biscuits for $7, Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches for $4, Bourbon Glazed Ribs for $10 and Bourbon and Salted Caramel Pudding for $5. Live music will be playing from 3 to 6 p.m. 

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

Leon's Full Service. Leon's Full Service will host its annual Derby Day party at 11:30 a.m. including themed lunch and dinner menus with options including Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches, Country Ham Biscuit, Benedictine Dip and Derby Pie as well as Mint Juleps and beers including the Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Join in on the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" at 6:35 p.m. followed by a screening of the race at 6:50 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress up. 

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

Livingston Restaurant + BarLivingston’s fourth annual Derby party will feature music from DJ Yvonne Monet along with raffles and contests, passed appetizers and $12 cocktails including Mint Julep, Caballito and Run Pony, Run! from 3-7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and include one drink and a selection of appetizers. Event proceeds benefit the Sotherly Foundation, dedicated to assisting America’s wounded veterans. 

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

Loyal Tavern. Celebrate the Derby and Cinco de Mayo at the same time at Derby de Cinco, Saturday and Sunday at Loyal Tavern. Fill out a bracket to predict the winner all week long leading up to the race for the chance to win a gift card, and enjoy drink specials including Mint Juleps with Old Forester for $5, Herradura Reposado Margaritas  for $7 and 22-ounce Dos Equis lagers for $5.25. 

4880 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. 678-921-0456;

McKenna Farms. McKenna’s third annual Derby Day party will start at 4:30 p.m. and will offer a barbecue dinner, live music, silent auction, wine games, hat contest, cash bar, bets and watching the Kentucky Derby live. All proceeds benefit the McKenna Farms Therapy Services' programs for children with special needs. 

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

The Mercury. From 3-6 p.m., The Mercury at Ponce City Market will celebrate the Kentucky Derby with themed food and drink specials, a best Derby hat contest and Derby coverage on TV.

675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-500-5253,

The Southern Gentleman. The Southern Gentleman’s annual Kentucky Derby Party will offer a screening of the Derby on multiple screens as well as a Derby Day hat contest, a best dressed competition and other contests as well as a variety of Derby-inspired cocktails including the Spire, Oaks Lilly, Horseshoe Margarita and Mint Julep, as well as the Foolish Pleasure made with ingredients from Atlanta’s Honeysuckle Gelato and ASW Distillery. The event takes place from 3:30-7 p.m. on the restaurant’s covered patio. Tickets are $35 per person and include small bites and two drinks. All guests also receive a special branded cup. 

Shops Buckhead Atlanta3035 Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta. 404-939-9845,

The Foolish Pleasure, made with ingredients from Honeysuckle Gelato and ASW Distillery, will be served at Sweet Auburn BBQ.
Photo: Atlys Media

Sweet Auburn BBQ. Sweet Auburn BBQ is hosting a special Kentucky Derby viewing party featuring giveaways, bets and prizes for best Derby attire, best sundress, best bowtie and best hat,” as well as themed dishes such as Pimento Cheese Biscuits, Bourbon Glazed Wings and Cucumber Sandwiches, plus cocktails including Foolish Pleasure, Horse’s Neck and Pimm’s Cup in addition to the regular menu. 

656 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 678-515-3550,

Derby Specials

Garden & Gun’s Mint Julep Month. Several metro Atlanta restaurants and bars are participating in Mint Julep Month, with each participant coming up with their own take on the Mint Julep and committing ditching plastic straws or opting for paper alternatives as part of #cocktailsforcleanups led by Maker’s Mark. The following local restaurants will be serving their contribution through May 4:


Bar Margot

Bully Boy

The Consulate

Garden & Gun Club

Molly B’s

JCT. Kitchen & Bar

King & Duke


The Shed at Glenwood

Sweet Auburn BBQ

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

Two Urban Licks

Murphy’s. The restaurant will be serving up festive Kentucky Derby cocktails including Bulleit Mint Juleps for $10.

997 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-872-0904,

Mint Julep from Red Sky.
Photo: Red Sky

Red Sky Tapas & Bar. The restaurant will be serving its own take on the Mint Julep through May 4 made with Maker's Mark, simple syrup and fresh mint. The restaurant will also be showing the Derby on May 4.

1255 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 770-973-0100,


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