The Kentucky Derby may be known as “the greatest two minutes in sports,” but as any Louisvillian will tell you, the revelry goes on for much longer. We hope that this list helps you fill the remaining 23 hours and 58 minutes in the day — excluding some breaks of course for mint juleps or, even better, Old Fashioneds, Louisville’s official cocktail.
With the help of the Louisville experts, our Yelp Louisville Elite Squad, we’ve curated our picks for an amazing Derby City experience, from sun up to sun down. Click here to save and follow this bookmark collection on the Yelp app. And be sure to check with each business before you visit considering businesses can have special Derby Week hours.
8 a.m. to Noon
Cherokee Park Reason to go: Relaxing walk through nature while still in the city. “Whether you love trails, running, biking, playgrounds for kids, rugby, ultimate frisbee or to grab a coffee and just walk through the park, Cherokee Park is an amazing place to visit.” — Casey B
Frazier History Museum
Reason to go: Appreciating Louisville and Kentucky’s history during a historic time of year. “My personal opinion on the best way to navigate this place is start at the top and work your way down. The third floor has an entire history on the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which had some fun facts I didn’t know about.” — Crissy R
Con Huevos (and here)
Reason to go: Mexican take on brunch and, oh my, those huevos rancheros. “I cannot recommend this place enough. Every item I’ve had on the menu thus far has been delicious, with the chipotle-poached huevos being my fave.” — Courtney H
Noon to 4 p.m.
Reason to go: A piece of history steps from Churchill Downs. “Delicious, old-school home cooking that will satisfy every time… Be sure to check out the many pictures of Kentucky Derby-winning horses on the walls. During racing season, you will see all the big name horse trainers and jockeys eating as well.” — Tim V
Reason to go: Let the weekend day-drinking begin with some margaritas and a side of wakatakas! “Great place for unique drinks, food, and fun. A small venue with a big vibe.” — Mike K
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Nouvelle Bar & Bottle
Reason to go: Superb wine selection plus charcuterie outside on the patio. “I really enjoy having a chill evening with some live music, a good glass of wine, a cheese plate and a relaxing atmosphere. This place does just that!” — Amy L
Reason to go: A view of Louisville from the other side of the river, coupled with some amazing food. Plus you can get there by walking from the Big Four Bridge. “I got the braised beef short-rib which was tender and delicious. It came with grits, which was a nice change from the normal ‘short-rib with potatoes.’ I was literally licking the grits off of my utensils because they were so good!” — Erica M
Kentucky Peerless Distilling
Reason to go: A great, family-owned distillery near downtown with a fun tour. “As an avid lover of bourbon, a favorite pastime is visiting distilleries. This is an amazing distillery. The building is rich with history, which has been incorporated along your tour.” — Amber C
8 p.m. to Midnight
Hell or Highwater
Reason to go: A basement speakeasy with fun drinks — but you have to know where to find it! Plus, reservations are strongly recommended. “The ambiance is out of this world. Prepare yourself for leather couches, plush red velvet benches, a library, chandeliers, old-school radios, hidden rooms, exposed brick and some fun surprises. Exploring is my favorite part. Open the books; push closet doors; examine the bathroom wallpaper.” — Samantha R
The Butchertown Social
Reason to go: Comfy bar with a creative cocktail list and fun food. “Exactly how I want a small neighborhood bar. There’s a long bar to sit at. It’s not overly crowded. People aren’t drunk and rude. The staff is amazing! … There’s also another half of the bar with another big screen. There’s plenty of space on that side of the bar to mingle and chill out too. They have an outdoor area that’s nice.” — Brad G
Liege & Dairy
Reason to go: Ice cream sundaes served atop Belgian waffles — need we go on? “The waffles were definitely a highlight. They are hot, yeasty, dense but crispy on the outside, with sugar pearls embedded in them. You can get a variety of toppings on them.” — Edwin L
Midnight to 4 a.m.
The Back Door
Reason to go: Did you know that bars in Louisville can be opened until 4 a.m.? This dive is open late, with food and drinks. “We’ll typically get wings and fries with cheese sauce. It’s a nice stop after a night of drinking. Very casual, a great place to meet friends.” — Brittany P
New Wave Burritos
Reason to go: Late-night burritos that are unlike anything else you’ll find — plus they deliver! “Whatever you decide to order, when you’re finished with your meal, you’ve got to try the Tres Leches Twinkie dessert. It’s so good!” — Kelly P
Jimmy Can’t Dance
Reason to go: Live jazz music downtown, in the basement of a sandwich shop — impress your friends by being in-the-know! “Gem! I can’t advocate enough for JCD. Live jazz performances, delish cocktails, swanky dark ambiance — certainly a place you don’t wanna miss!” — Amanda V
4 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Burger Boy Diner
Reason to go: A greasy spoon that hits the spot after a night out celebrating. “You get an eclectic mix of people, especially late at night. It’s open 24 hours, making it the perfect after bar hopping fill-up and chill spot. My favorites here are the bison burger and chili cheese fries.” — Stephanie M
21c Museum Hotel Louisville
Reason to go: A 24-hour, free art gallery that always has different, thought-provoking and just-weird art to see. “I’m not normally one to volunteer to go to an art museum, however 21c keeps me interested. Their art is never boring and always has an interesting story to tell.” — Shelby Z
Reason to go: A Louisville donut institution! “It’s like if your grandma was the best baker and one day she opened her kitchen to the public; so don’t be afraid to brush elbows with the locals, and take in every ounce of this lovely little shop.” — Tim V