Louisville’s iconic sandwich, the Hot Brown, had its cheesy, glorious birth back in the ‘20s at The Brown Hotel, when Chef Fred K. Schmidt created the turkey-bacon-Mornay sandwich as a midnight snack for hotel patrons. Check out the glamorous Lobby Bar, which has a wide variety of bourbon and serves up excellent cocktails. Sip on the bar’s classic Mint Julep as you make yourself at home on one of the brocade silk couches, all while the hotel pianist performs for you.
Situated inside a former firehouse, this redbrick Crescent Hill whiskey temple models itself after the old-school honky-tonks of Bakersfield, California (in the 1930s, Southerners migrated to SoCal and, shunned by native Californians, formed their own subculture known as the "Bakersfield Sound"), merging modern takes on traditional Southern fare with vintage country records and craft cocktails. Silver Dollar's spirit menu is laden with bourbon selections sorted by distillery, plus moonshine, rye, and seasoned bourbon -- all from the Bluegrass State. You can pair your drink with hearty dishes such as Cajun shrimp & oyster stew, hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken & waffles, and brunch specialties like cornbread pancakes and a fried oyster sandwich.
Located within historic Old Louisville, Magnolia Bar and Grill is a dimly lit dive with pool tables, a pinball machine, and a punk-heavy jukebox. The walls are dotted with old-fashioned beer signs, and an old fan provides some relief when the crowds get big. Friendly bartenders make already cheap pints and pours even better, but stop by the ATM beforehand as Magnolia is cash-only.
Located just outside Churchill Downs, the pharmacy/general store opened in 1922 and branched into a cafe to gain the business and friendship of the racetrack workers and horse trainers. You’ll get plenty of history with your huge and cheap breakfast plate (go for sausage & eggs with biscuits and potatoes), and you might also overhear a tip before placing your bet for the day.
The clothier has seersucker and linen suits for days, plus all the brightly colored ties you need to fit in with Rick Pitino's friends. And while only the ladies get the awesomely huge hats -- they have those here too -- if you're feeling jealous, you can also snag a Panama.