If you’re planning a trip to the Great Race Place for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 1-2, we have your guide to where to grab a drink and a bite to eat near Santa Anita Park. From the city of Arcadia, Calif., right outside the gates of the track, to the heart of Los Angeles, here are our favorite places to hit up when visiting Santa Anita.
$- Acai Joint
If you’re in the mood for something healthy, hop on over to the Acai Joint! Just choose your size, your base (acai or pitaya), and then go nuts (literally and figuratively, in this case) with their unlimited toppings.
OK, we know: It’s a fast food joint. But if you want a great burger at low prices, In-N-Out is the way to go. Grab a double-double animal style and a shake and treat yourself.
$- The Station
Looking for a great dive bar? Head over to The Station, which has reasonably priced drinks, a patio, a great beer selection, and games like pool and darts. This is a great place to go with a group of friends when you want to have fun without spending a small fortune.
Sometimes comfort food is a necessity. Whether you’re celebrating a big win or nursing a bad beat, if you’re in the mood for good, old-fashioned diner food, head over to Russell’s in Pasadena to get your fix. With a full breakfast on offer as well as Italian and French classics, Russell’s will definitely have something for every craving. They also have beer and wine on tap, so if you’re in the mood for a tipple, come on down!
$$- Din Tai Fung
Embrace the fact that you’re going to have to wait in line (Din Tai Fung doesn’t take reservations) but it’s all so worth it. Don’t let the restaurant’s exterior appearance fool you: Din Tai Fun is home to some of the (literal) best soup dumplings in the world. Plus, they have a full bar, so come thirsty!
$$- Magnolia House
Looking for a sophisticated evening? Head over to Magnolia House in Pasadena, where you can have craft cocktails while enjoying live music in a very cool setting. It’s an actual house that, over its 100-year history, has been a residence, a post-Prohibition liquor store, and home to businesses. Now, it’s an upscale cocktail bar and restaurant with mixologists making incredible concoctions for your imbibing pleasure.
$$$- The Derby
I will never stop stanning for The Derby. Located less than a mile from Santa Anita Park, the historic restaurant is a favorite for racing’s biggest names, and for good reason: The food is outstanding, the drinks are delicious, and the décor is classic steakhouse. And if you go on Saturday after the races, you’re almost guaranteed to run into horse racing superstars like Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith!
$$$- Parkway Grill
In the mood for fine dining? Parkway Grill offers farm-to-table fare in a trendy setting. The restaurant has an on-site organic garden, so you know that everything on your plate is as fresh as it can possibly be. If you’ve cashed a big bet at the track, give this incredible restaurant a try.
If you’ve never had Hawaiian food, now’s the time to fix that. Head over to Roy’s in Pasadena for white-linen dining that’s focused around seafood, steak, and Hawaiian staples. Plus, their “aloha hour” offers drink discounts at the bar, so what are you waiting for?