Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Local Love: 14 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Sometimes you want to go someplace where you can meet someone new, someone with whom you have something in common. And then there are those times when all that you really want is to find a place where you can kick back your favorite beverage and cheer with like-minded fans as two opposing teams slug it out on the flat-screen for your personal enjoyment. For those times, what you need isn’t a cocktail lounge or a nightclub; what you need is a sports bar.

Of course, one of the things that makes a sports bar great is its connection to the local community. When you head inside to watch the match, you want to see memorabilia celebrating local teams, and you want to know that those who run the bar actually understand what it is that makes those teams great. After all, watching the big game in your apartment with your roommates is all well and good, but when you take the time to visit a sports bar, it needs to be authentic.

So, in an effort to give credit where credit is due, we’ve compiled a list of 14 of the best local sports bars from across the country (according to online reviews). So, pull up a stool, dim the lights, and prepare to fall in love with your new favorite athletics-themed drinking establishment.

1.  Über Tavern in Seattle, Washington

Not a large establishment by any means, Über is any easy place to miss if you’re not keeping your eyes open. Despite this, the tavern has no trouble packing people in from wall to wall—and that’s not just because there are only about ten seats; Über has developed a dedicated clientele all thanks to its comfortable atmosphere and its wide range of foreign and domestic beers. How wide of a range? Well, they have 17 beers on tap, and dozens of other beers in kegs in the cellar. Basically, if you like a bit of beer while you watch the game, then Über is one place that you don’t want to miss.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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2.  Broderick Roadhouse in Sacramento, California

Broderick is, for lack of a better term, kind of a strange place. It’s dark, rough looking, and small. The staff is under-trained, and that includes the people who prepare the food. In fact, the owner has even been quoted as saying that almost every dish that they serve “was an accident at one point.” So why would we include them on this list? Because somehow, against all odds, the food is astonishingly good. And, as an added bonus, they tend to use locally grown, organic ingredients. What better way to enjoy a team victory than with some of the best food you’ll ever have stewing in your stomach?

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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3.  Buffalo Billiards in Washington, DC

If ‘small’ and ‘cavelike’ aren’t what you’re looking for in a sports bar, then aim for something bigger. Buffalo Billiards features 15 pool tables, ten shuffle boards, five dart boards, two foosball tables, two ping pong tables, four skeeball machines, a jukebox, a snooker table, two bars, 62 flat screens, five 10-foot screens, three private rooms, and did we mention that they like sports? Well, they do. With several Direct TV packages, televised MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NCAA, and UFC events, and other games and matches being televised at all times, you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that takes its sports more seriously.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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4.  Feierabend in Seattle, Washington

Germans have a lot of stereotypes that they would probably like live down, but one stereotype that most are proud to exemplify is that they understand good beer and good food. Feierabend (which translates to “closing time”) is an authentic German pub that offers a large selection of fine ‘Deutsches Bier,’ set in liter-sized mugs. The atmosphere is dark and cozy, with an authentic German feel. The food is likewise authentic, but the central TV still plays good-old American sports matches.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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5.  The Bleacher Bar in Boston, Massachusetts

Called “the most unique sports bar in the world” by CNN, the Bleacher Bar is about as close to the action as possible—Located directly beneath the center-field bleachers of Fenway park. Basically, the field is directly on the other side windows, so patrons can enjoy a drink, a meal, and the mixed experience of hanging out in a world-class bar and attending a world-class sporting event. What more could you want?

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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6.  The Winking Lizard in Peninsula, Ohio

Although the first Winking Lizard was founded in Bedford Heights, the Peninsula location is perhaps the most interesting one of the bunch. A cool cellar bar, bartenders who know the secrets of prohibition-era cocktails, a nice mixture of delicious food and high-quality beers, a kid-friendly arcade area, and the presence of an actual lizard (you probably need to see it for yourself), all make this sports bar a special favorite among fans. Also, there’s free, unlimited popcorn available, which is probably all we really needed to say…

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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7.  Spirit of ‘77 in Portland, Oregon

As General Manager Brandon Bowden explains, “At its heart, a Sports Bar is a collective experience: you go to watch the game with strangers… There is a kind of community in it… The name refers directly to the Blazer’s championship season, and more generally to that basic shared sense of community that a winning season creates.” However, why stop there? Spirit of ‘77 forgoes the classic sports-bar style in favor of something a little bit more fun. Yes, you can go there to watch the game (which is projected onto the south wall in glorious 16 feet wide by 9 feet tall high-definition, which means that you’ll probably be able to see the game better than the players on the field), but you can also go there just to have an absolute blast. The atmosphere is boisterous and frantic, and there is no shortage of games and arcade machines to keep even the less-sports enthusiastic entertained. And there’s exceptional food and drink. Of course there’s exceptional food and drink.

8.  The Fours in Boston, Massachusetts

When it comes to the best sports bars in the U.S., it seems as though Sports Illustrated magazine might have something to say on the matter. Well, they do, and in 2005 they named The Fours (located right next to Boston Garden) as the absolute best in America. The place hits all of the important sports bar necessities—great food and drinks (try the buffalo chicken nachos), friendly staff, nice atmosphere, and a good place to watch the game—but where it really shines is in the memorabilia. In fact, The Fours has a tendency to feel more like a temple to sports legends than a bar.

9.  Hoppy Brewing Company in Sacramento, California

Hey, just because its a sports bar, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it has to be an adults-only (or even human-only) establishment. The Hoppy Brewing Company want’s it patron to feel right at home, whether those patrons are men, women, children, or even dogs. Of course, when you visit a brewing company, you’re probably there for the beer, and Hoppy does not disappoint. With so many high-quality beers to try, it only makes sense to order the beer sampler. Just don’t forget to keep an eye on the game while you taste the best beer Sacramento has to offer.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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10.  Bourbon Street in New York, New York

It may seem strange that one of the best examples of New Orleans cuisine and culture is located so far from the Big Easy. But while the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill may be in New York, its heart remains back in Louisiana. More of a restaurant than a bar, Bourbon Street is a multi-level dining experience, and features a patio, intimate booths, a large lounge, comfortable furniture, and an elegant dining room that will make you feel as though you’ve slipped backwards in time. And if you’re just skimming through all of this waiting for the sports reference, know that Bourbon Street is the official bar of Saints football and LSU college, so you can bet that they’ll never let their patrons miss a game.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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11.  Players in San Francisco, California

The Players Sports Grill & Arcade is located at Pier 39, and features deliciously fresh seafood alongside good-old fashioned American grub. Guests can tickle their tummies while they watch over 200 sports channels on 35 HDTVs. Basically, if a sporting event is being televised anywhere in the world, then chances are you’d be able to watch it at Players. And, as the phrase “Sports Grill & Arcade” suggests, there are dozens of fun arcade games for kids and adults who might prefer playing a game to watching one.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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12.  Hi Tops in San Francisco, California

With weekly events such as Wednesday bingo, Tuesday Trivia-Night (with prizes), and Monday 25-cent wings, Hi Tops is a sports bar with something for everyone. And yes, it is also technically a ‘gay’ bar, but that just doesn’t quite describe it well enough. Gay or straight, male or female, everyone is welcome to come on in and enjoy the game. The service and patrons are friendly, the food and drinks are delicious (the chicken sandwich is quickly earning the title of best sandwich in Castro), and the prices are reasonable.

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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13.  Finnerty’s in New York, New York

There aren’t many cities as culturally diverse as New York, and yet when it comes to West Coast sports, fans are sorely under-represented. This is why places such as Finnerty’s exist. Finnerty’s provides a taste of home for expatriate West Coasters who just want to be able to watch their favorite teams and enjoy one of 28 refreshing draft beers without having to endure the ire of homegrown New Yorkers. And, for a more unique way to celebrate a victory over the East Coast, Finnerty’s also has its Signature Keg Service, which allows patrons to sample from over 400 different beers!

ForRent.com - Local Love: 15 of the Best Local Sports Bars in the United States
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14.  Tonic East in New York, New York

Who’s to say that a sports bar can’t also be stylish? Tonics East is a multi-level rooftop restaurant and sports bar, and it certainly doesn’t skimp out on ‘form,’ even while it’s delivering on ‘function.’ Leather furniture, classy wood furnishings, mahogany bar tops—this is one place where you’ll come to see the game, but you’ll stay to see the establishment. Oh, and if you’re afraid that all of that elegance could potentially mean a food and drink selection that it too refined for those with simple tastes, don’t worry. The menu features a variety of dishes, and the bar serves everything from beer, to cocktails, to fine wines. And yes, there are several high-definition televisions on which to watch the game—as though there’s no better reason for you to be visiting one of the finest bars in New York!

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Hey, everybody! My name is Jason, and I contribute to this great blog, but when I'm not posting for ForRent.com, I like to play music with friends, cook, and travel as much as possible.

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