Food  |  Things to Do

Kentucky Derby Watch Parties Around DC: Where to Sip and Celebrate

Get out your fancy hat and down a julep during the Kentucky Derby this weekend.

Photograph by Nico Castro/Upstairs at the Morrow.

The 150th Kentucky Derby will air on May 4, at 6:57 PM. While the race is projected to last only two minutes, here are cocktails and events that you can enjoy and savor for much longer.

American Ice Company

917 V St., NW

The sixth annual Kentucky Derby cookout at American Ice Company runs from 2 to 6 PM and will include $25 all-you-can-eat roast pork with a variety of sides like homemade cornbread. For guests who would also like unlimited Narragansett draft beer, the price rises to $50. This dog-friendly event will offer mint juleps and vodka strawberry smash lemonades for sale as well as live music. Tickets are available here.



613 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

This Capitol Hill bourbon bar will offer mint juleps, old fashioneds, and bourbon smashes for $9 apiece. For those in the mood for festive eats, Chef Walfer Hernandez’s $9 Kentucky Hot Brown Skillet is available. A $50 gift card to Barrel is up for grabs for the best dressed diner.


Crimson Whiskey Bar

627 H St., NW

From 3 to 8 PM, come dressed in your best Derby attire for the chance to win a $100 Crimson gift card. This café and whiskey bar has curated a special bourbon-inspired cocktail menu for guests to enjoy. Tickets are $15 and double as an entry into a raffle for a free bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon. You can purchase tickets here, and they include a complimentary beer, glass of wine, or mint julep.


Duke’s Grocery Navy Yard

1201 Half St., SE

Photograph by Duke’s Grocery Navy Yard.

This East London-inspired eatery will offer mint juleps, bourbon sours, and Kentucky mules for $8 each from 4 to 8 PM. No RSVP’s are required to tune into the race, and the best-dressed patrons can expect prizes!



1309 5th St., NE

Photograph by Hi Lawn.

For fans of live bluegrass music and fancy hat contests, look no further than this free rooftop viewing party from 2 to 8 PM. The event is free but food and beverages like mint juleps are served à la carte. Activities for guests include lawn games like Jenga, chess, Yahtzee, and cornhole. Beginning at 4 PM, attendees can try their hand at competitive stick horse racing. Reservations are available on Resy, but walk-ins are also welcome.


Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St., NW

Photograph by Jack Rose Dining Saloon.

​​The cocktail bar will host its 12th annual viewing party to celebrate the Kentucky Derby from 3 PM to 7 PM. The multi-level event will take place across the first-come, first-served rooftop terrace with six flat-screen televisions. Guests will also have ticketed access to two-hour reserved seating in the indoor saloon for $30 via Resy, for seating between 5 and 6 PM. Tickets also include a direct view of the race on an oversized projector screen with sound, a complimentary pour of bourbon, a single round of classic Bardstown Bourbon Company mint juleps, and a Derby platter that contains cucumber sandwiches, devilled eggs, Kentucky hot browns and biscuits.


Last Call Bar

1301- A  4th St., NW

The Blackberry Bourbon Smash. Photograph courtesy of Last Call.

This Union Market bar is asking attendees to dress in their best fascinators, bowties, and headpieces and to try festive drinks like ruby red Jim Bean jello shots and mint juleps. Complimentary bites and swag, including roses, hats, and glasses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.



640 Rhode Island Ave., NE

This outdoor bar will host a free watch party from 5 to 7 PM where whiskey and bourbon will be available for purchase. Guests can also get festive because of the Tacos and Tequila pre-party for Cinco de Mayo, which will take place from 3 PM to midnight and inclube cabanas, live music, food trucks, and beer specials, as well as tequila and mezcal shots. Reserve a spot here for the Kentucky Derby party and here for the early Cinco de Mayo celebration.


Succotash Prime

915 F St., NW

Photograph by Rachel Paraoan.

Whether it’s feathered hats or pastel dresses, don your best race day threads and head to this Southern-style steakhouse from 5 to 7 PM. Succotash Prime will offer Maker’s Mark juleps, including signature mint juleps. Tickets to this Kentucky Derby viewing party–which are $65 and available here– include a keepsake Maker’s Mark julep cup, two drink tickets, and light bites.


The Golden Age

1726 Connecticut Ave., NW

Photograph courtesy of Biny Alemayehu.

This grown-up cocktail bar in Dupont Circle will host a watch party in its lounge space. Guests will be able to view the race on a 86-inch TV and luxuriate in specialty sips like the “Italian Stallion” mint julep with bourbon, mint, turbo, and fernet menta over crushed ice. Space is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Upstairs at the Morrow Hotel

222 M St., NW

​​Photograph by Nico Castro.

This free viewing party includes live streaming of the race, live music from DJ Chubb E Swag and panoramic views, food and drinks are pay as you go. Guests have the opportunity to dress their way into prizes. VIP packages are available and include chef selected snacks, expedited entry, preferred seating, and a $500 beverage minimum requirement with a personalized selection of liquor. The party will run from 12 to 7 pm and free general admission tickets can be reserved here.



1825 Capital One Drive, Tysons

Think you have what it takes to win a “Best Dressed” contest? Find out at Wren. Between 4 and 7 PM, this Japanese eatery will give away prizes for the best dressed guest and the guest with the best hat. It will also serve mint juleps and curated cocktails. Tickets are $75 each and can be found here. They include live music, passed hors d’oeuvres, Derby-inspired stationery, three drinks, and access to a televised viewing of the race on ten different screens.