By Gary Schwind
The Kentucky Derby is always a big event. While the race is obviously the main attraction, it is also a big deal for those who enjoy the fashion of the Derby. However, if you’re someone who is only interested in the race (and the wagering), watching it at a bar with other fans of racing probably sounds like a good plan. If watching the races at a bar is in your plan, here are the best places to enjoy the day., which just happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo this year.
23221 Lake Center Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630
If you want to get some money down on the Kentucky Derby, but you don’t want to go to Vegas, rest assured that a road trip is not necessary. Sammy’s features off-track betting, which allows you to stay close to home and still wager on the races. On top of that, you’ll be able to enjoy a Mint Julep from the full bar at Sammy’s. This place also offers a full menu so you can make a day of your visit here and enjoy the race with other fans of the sport.
2368 S El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672
Sure OC Tavern is tucked away in the farthest southern reach of Orange County, but it is a worthwhile destination – especially if you want to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. This place has a room dedicated to horse racing where you can not only bet, but also watch races on 30 screens. In addition to food and drinks, you can also enjoy a cigar on the outdoor lounge. Don’t worry, you won’t have to leave your cigar to make bets. Wagering stations are available on the outdoor lounge as well as inside the tavern.
1096 N. Main St.
Orange, CA 92867
This is a place that is known for having a great crowd for football, but Danny K’s is a great place to watch any sporting event. The floor plan here makes for great sight lines to all of the televisions – and this place has plenty of televisions. In addition this place also has a full bar and a full menu of items ranging from appetizers to burgers and pizzas. You could do a lot worse than spending Derby day in this sports haven.
Related: Best sports bars in Orange County
O’Connell’s Sports Pub and Grille
19047 Bushard St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
O’Connell’s is a place for sports fans. Whatever the sport, this place has a television to accommodate the fans. In addition, it opens at 9 AM on weekends, which means that you can start the festivities bright and early on Derby day. Since it opens so early, you’ll find a full breakfast menu on weekends – including breakfast burritos and biscuits and gravy. If you don’t arrive early, don’t worry. You’ll also find favorites like fish and chips and Philly cheesesteaks on the menu for an affordable price.
Daily’s Sports Grill
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Daily’s has everything you could want in a venue for watching the Kentucky Derby. This place has 25 televisions, so no matter where you sit, you’ll be able to see the action of the race. It also boasts video games and shuffleboard to keep you occupied between races. The menu offers everything from appetizers and salads to burgers and a reuben sandwich. With 16 beers on tap and a full bar, you’re sure to find some beverage to enjoy while you watch the races.