The annual Run for the Roses is going down at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 7, and if you can’t be in Louisville, Kentucky to celebrate "the greatest two minutes in sports," these Houston restaurants and bars are here to bring you some Derby action. From watch parties where the juleps flow to hat contests and themed food and drink, here’s where to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in Houston this year.
Bayou & Bottle
, 1300 Lamar
Guests are invited to don a hat and seersucker suit while cheering on the horses at the Four Seasons Hotel's Derby Day party at Bayou & Bottle, featuring food specials, a best-dressed competition and Mint Juleps served in traditional keepsake julep cups made with Wild Turkey 101 ($12) and Wild Turkey Longbranch ($14).
, 4444 Westheimer
Bisou is offering a Mint Julep ($15) made with Angel’s Envy Bourbon, simple syrup and mint on Derby Day.
, 807 Taft
Bludorn is celebrating Derby Day festivities with $15 Mint Juleps all day long.
, 1962 West Gray
Brasserie 19’s dining room and patio will be buzzing as guests watch the Derby and enjoy food and drink specials, plus a best hat contest with a prize of a champagne brunch for six. The party runs from noon until the final race. Call 713-524-1919 or make reservations at brasserie19.com
Brennan's of Houston
, 3300 Smith
In honor of the sophisticated Derby day style, wear your best fascinator or fanciest hat to Brennan’s Courtyard & Bar to receive a complimentary mint julep. Says proprietor Alex Brennan-Martin, “Hat’s on you, drink’s on us!” Special available at the bar only.
Eight Row Flint
, 1039 Yale
The modern Texas icehouse will be hosting an all-out Derby Day party complete with a floating bar, DJ, Derby-inspired flower arrangements and a best hat contest with a Maker’s Mark prize basket. Drink specials include $10 cocktails like the Makers Juleps and Makers 90 Smash, plus free samples of Proprietary Makers Barrels tasting size Juleps while watching the race.
Heights & Co.
, 1343 Yale
The brand-new Heights patio and cocktail bar (opening May 5) is throwing a Kentucky Derby party on May 7 starting at 1:30 p.m. Guests can look forward to Mint Juleps and a large projector screen broadcasting the race.
, 1919 Washington
Grab your hats and bowties for Julep’s annual Kentucky Derby Day Party, a sure-to-be-epic party complete with house cocktails, mint juleps (of course!), Champagne, a Top Chico station, two main bars, a whiskey bar, tacos from Cochinita & Co., a live DJ set and a Vinyl Ranch pop-up shop while the bar live streams the Kentucky Derby. The party takes place from noon to 6 p.m., but the bar will be open all night until 2 a.m. Tickets
are $10 presale and $20 at the door.
Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant
, 1743 Post Oak
Kenny & Ziggy’s invites guests to watch all the Kentucky Derby action from pre-race to awarding the trophy while sipping on race day drinks from Traditional Mint Juleps and Broadway Mint “Joeleps” to Kir Royals and Mimosas. On the noshing side, the deli will be offering bar-sized servings of small Reubens, Zaft-Tots, Lox ‘n’ Latkes, Fried Kreplach, Grilled Challah turkey sandwiches and more.
Juleps and a Kentucky Derby Turtle Race will kick off the day's festivities at Loch Bar.
Photo by Alex Montoya
, 4444 Westheimer
The River Oaks District seafood tavern will come to life with a Kentucky Turtle Derby race at 3
p.m., where eight elite turtles will square off and race to be the first to cross the finish line. The festivities continue with a “best hat” contest, raffle prizes and Mint Juleps ($12) offered until 10 p.m.
, 4444 Westheimer
MAD’s notable bourbon and mint cocktail, Granizado Smash ($18), is made with green mint-flavored shaved ice with Makers Mark 46, peach liqueur and lemon poured tableside.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
, 113 6th
Don your seersucker suit or fascinators and head to San Leon for a Kentucky Derby party on the patio.
Specials include Woodford Reserve Bourbon Mint Julep ($8 all day) and Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve wine flights, plus a best dressed contest and Run for the Roses photo wall. The party goes down from 4 to 7 p.m.
RARE Restaurant & Lounge
, 4105 Washington
Chef Don Bowie’s new modern steakhouse will be offering a handcrafted classic Mint Julep ($15) made with Angel’s Envy bourbon, sweetener and fresh mint, as well as a unique 4105 Julep ($8) with Bacardi Spiced Rum or Cazadores Reposado, passionfruit syrup, fresh mint and Peychaud’s Bitters.
, 1203 Dunlavy
Regent Square invites the community to a Kentucky Derby-themed soiree ahead of the big race on Wednesday, May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come in their snazziest springtime best for an evening of mint juleps, horse race wagering, fun photo ops, food trucks, a DJ and a hat contest. The event is free to attend, and all ages are welcome.
, 1836 Polk
The Rustic’s annual Talk Derby To Me soiree
features Triple Crown Sliders, Mint Juleps, a costume contest, live music and more.
The Tasting Room
, 818 Town and Country
Chef Beto Gutierrez has created a decedent Derby-themed menu with Bourbon pairings for $75 per person. Highlights include Bacon Wrapped Scallops with watermelon salad and a chipotle honey glaze paired with Maker’s Mark 46; Pan Seared Pork Belly served with white cheddar grits and smoked pecan cajeta and Basil Hayden’s; Roasted Ribeye with horseradish whipped potatoes and bourbon-peppercorn demi paired with Buffalo Trace; and homemade Blueberry Cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream and a salted bourbon caramel sauce, paired with Angel’s Envy. The tasting experience begins at 4 p.m. Call 281-822-1500.
Toulouse Cafe and Bar
, 4444 Westheimer
Toulouse will be offering Mint Juleps and broadcasting the race, while serving its signature fresh
Blackberry Mule and Rose All Day Punch for additional spring cocktail options.
, 1027 West 19th
Wicklow Heights and Sweetens Cove, Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick's bourbon brand, are teaming up for a festive afternoon of mint juleps, horse racing, best dressed contests and fancy hats from 3 to 9 p.m.