We all know the rules about bringing food into Churchill Downs this week. I’m going assume nobody is trying to bring in a whole watermelon into the infield. I think we are past the days of taping Ziploc bags of contraband onto our person to get in the track. I would like to state for the record that I’m not above the food court and I have to say the hot dogs and popcorn at the track are A+.

But, there’s always in the person in your group that is a really good planner and brings the boxed lunches. By the end of lunch you are singing their praises because it is so nice to have that handled in advance. Be that person this week and order your lunches in advance. 


Local eateries and markets are very wise to the needs of Churchill Down and now all offer a boxed lunch within the regulations.

Here are the rules:

1. Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18” X 18” – no trash bags)*

2. Boxed lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (max. size 18” X 18”, no trash bags)

(For some reason, the “trash bag” is a big sticking point here.)


My advance team and I  had the hard task of researching a few of the boxed lunches from local eateries.  It was quite a hard assignment.

Here’s a sampling of some great boxed lunches from local eateries.


Burger’s Market

1105 Ray Avenue, 454-0461

Lunch ready to go.

This Highland’s Market has a great boxed lunch of fried chicken, fruit, pasta salad, country ham biscuits, Terra chips and a famous Burger’s brownie for $17.50. Burger’s customers are loyal and will fight people for this fried chicken and the homemade biscuits. This is the ultimate old-fashioned comfort food lunch.

I can smell the fried chicken from here.

Some of my favorite produce in town, always perfect.



Cheddar Box

3909 Chenoweth Square, 897-2324


The Cheddar Box is offering four options for Derby Box Lunches. It’s too bad you can’t smuggle the orange iced tea into the track.

Your lunch, all wrapped up with a cute ribbon. This was shot at Dig’s next door.

1. Sandwich (Beef tenderloin, turkey, country ham or grilled chicken) with pasta salad, tomato salad, fruit cup and chocolate mint brownie.  Cost is $17.

Turkey sandwich.

2. Vegetarian-Bowtie pasta salad with asparagus, mixed green salad with pecans and balsamic, fruit cup and chocolate mint brownie.  (These salads are all shown in other pictures).  Cost is $15.

3. Grilled chicken salad, cherry tomato and mozzarella salad, wild rice salad and chocolate mint brownie.  Cost is $20.

4. Snack box for two with cheese wafers, veggies with spinach dip, herb cheese, country ham spread, crackers and two chocolate mint brownies. ( I highly recommend getting one of these in addition to your lunch order for later in the day.)  Cost $20.



Lotsa Pasta

3717 Lexington Road, 896-6361

Just a few of the many options for your boxed lunch.

Lotsa Pasta is not doing a special Derby boxed lunch because their entire menu is available for take-out lunches with specialty sandwiches and salads. It’s going to be hard to pick just one or two things to put in your Derby box from this menu.

A VAST menu available for boxed lunches.

They have three types of lunches:

  1. Pint of salad, chips and cookie for $9.50.
  2. Sandwich, chips and a cookie for $10.50.
  3. Sandwich, 1/2 pint salad and a cookie for $11.50.  (This is the biggest seller.)



Paul’s Fruit Market

(click here for location closest to you)


Paul’s “clear” Box Lunches include a sandwich, pasta fresca, fruit and a brownie or Paul’s Derby Bar. For a menu, click here.

Here’s an option to think about. One year the people in the box in front of us brought this and then we later enjoyed it with them. They bought the meat platter from Paul’s and then brought their own rolls and chips.  They fed all of Section 119, so thanks!

Family style.


This is just a sampling of some of the great local places to get your lunch.  I know there are many more favorites that I missed and no worries… we’ll feature you next year!