You’ve heard for years that Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky. Is a must-see destination if you consider yourself a thoroughbred racing fan. You watched the track host the Breeders’ Cup world championships for the very first time in 2015, and heard guests chatting on NBC over and over again between races, “Dude, this place is awesome.” You saw American Pharoah make history amidst a picturesque setting and a crowd of cheering fans, and you said to yourself, “I have to see this in person.

And so you are on your way, eager to experience one of the true gems of motor racing in the world. If you’re heading to Keeneland for the fall 2021 reunion, or planning something in the near future, there’s plenty to prepare. Perhaps the most important of them (well, after deciding which horses to bet on) is to sample the excellent restaurants and bars on the track.

Keeneland has been famous over the years for having some of the best racing food in North America, spanning the gamut from formal dining to grandstand options. The Keeneland Association took over catering services from long-time supplier Turf Catering a few years ago, but the quality hasn’t dropped all of a sudden. Here are five food and drink options and places for first-time visitors. These are basic selections, recommended especially for adventurous walking types who haven’t reserved a seat in advance in one of Keeneland’s many fine dining rooms.

To note: This guide was originally published in 2016 and updated every year until 2019…. before COVID, in other words. Keeneland, like most other trails, had very limited attendance in 2020 and actually canceled its spring meet and ban public attendance in the fall. The track reopened to fans in spring 2021 and will also allow general admission this fall – but tickets must be purchased online in advance. Click on here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Find a map of the Keeneland lands, including all of their dining options, click here.

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