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    Whether you are a local or a tourist interested in dining in or carrying out near Churchill Downs, here is a list of restaurants near Central Avenue. This list is by no means in any order and were suggested by locals. We'd love to hear if you have any more suggestions that we did not list!

    Cardinal Hall of Fame Cafe

    Located on Crittenden Drive, the Cardinal Hall of Fame Cafe offers entrees with a variety of options, including: pizza, pasta, burgers, seafood, and steaks. The full menu can be viewed here. The Hall of Fame Cafe includes memorabilia from individual athletes, coaches, fans and supporters. You can get great food here while viewing past and present Louisville Cardinal Athletics items that show why Louisville fans are so enthusiastic about Louisville athletics.

    Wagner's Pharmacy

    Wagner's Pharmacy has been a Louisville tradition since 1922. It is a perfect stop for locals and tourists to talk about the races of Churchill Downs and enjoy great breakfast and lunch. Having been recognized in Esquire Magazine's Best Breakfast list, Wagner's offers a delicious breakfast and lunch menu that can be viewed here. Make Wagner's a stop while you are near Churchill Downs this year to check out their collage of past Derby winners along with many famous figures that cover the walls of this Louisville spot.

    Santa Fe Grill

    Located on 3rd Street, Santa Fe Grill is a great, close place to grab lunch or dinner if you are wanting authentic Mexican food. They offer a great variety of Mexican dishes, including but not limited to tacos, burritos, rice, and chips and queso.

    Bella's Cafe

    Located on South 4th Street, Bella's Cafe is a counter-service location that serves authentic African that serves fresh madazi and sambusas, among other authentic items. Try something different while you are visiting Churchill Downs and try Bella's Cafe.

    El Molcajete

    Nearly next door to Bella's Cafe, El Molcajete is an authentic Mexican restaurant. El Molcajete is a great stop for extensive choices of fantastic Mexican entrees in a welcoming and friendly setting. They offer items from grilled talapia, seven mares, and pork, beef and steak choices, among many others in huge portion sizes.

    Suburban Social Club Fish Fry

    Located on South 3rd Street, Suburban Social Club Fish Fry offers seafood, sandwiches, and subs. Many locals would agree that they offer the best fried fish in the city. They are only open on Saturday for lunch and dinner, so make sure you plan to make this a stop during Derby weekend for some great food!

    Derby Cafe was a highly preferred restaurant, however they are closed April 30-May 5th. Major bummer! Be sure to visit during their normal business days and hours.

    We were also recommended Vietnam Kitchen and Pho Bihn Mihn, so be sure to check them out, as well!

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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    About Alexis Messmer

    Student at UofL, Assistant Manager at Finishline, Digital Intern in Marketing at Norton Healthcare, and previous intern at Louisville.com. I enjoy writing, sneakers, photography, music, and a lot of coffee.

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