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The best sports bars in NYC

Avoid the rambunctious crowds and head to these lower-key sports bars in NYC to watch football, basketball and more

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Banter

Regardless of what your favorite sport is or which team you follow, it’s important to find a good spot for settling in and watching the game. Here are the best sports bars NYC fans can go to and root for their teams without having to get too rowdy. Want to keep riding the vibe? Check out where you can find the best beer in NYC. And if you’re feeling inspired by our selection of sports bars, then make your way to one of the city’s best gyms or put on one of the best sports movies of all time. Let’s get to it!

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best bars in NYC

Best sports bars in NYC

Banter

Friendly groups of expats and soccer fans head to this spacious, European-style public house to cheer on their footy teams: In season, Premier League, La Liga, Champions League and MLS matches dominate the bar’s flat- and projector screens. The rotating selection of 24 taps includes American brews such as Yuengling (until 8pm $3, after $4), as well as Euro drafts like German black lager Köstritzer ($6). Stave off a midday hangover—a hazard of early-morning games—by filling your belly with one of the panini ($8), sausages ($6) and savory pies ($8) on offer.

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Williamsburg

The Black Horse Pub

Soccer fans show up early on weekends for European matches at this low-key British pub; it serves a $12 full English breakfast, which acts as a perfect stomach-liner for the 16 international beers on tap (rotating English specials include Boddingtons). When footy's not on, the eight TVs play whatever games the neighborhood crowd wants to watch.

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Midtown West

Boxers HK

In addition to showing football (both pro and college), basketball and other sports on its 21 flatscreens every night, this three-level Hell’s Kitchen spot is a meeting place for many of NYC’s LGBT sports leagues, including Out Cycling and Pink Pong Foundation. The vibe is more clubby than fratty: DJs spin regularly, shirtless bartenders pour drinks, and crowds of amiable young guys pile in on weekends. During the week, there’s plenty of space to settle in with a beer and watch a game—and if it goes deep into overtime, take advantage of the late-night two-for-one happy hour (Mon–Wed 11pm–close).

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Hell's Kitchen

Break Bar and Billiards

If you're the type to get fidgety well before the seventh-inning stretch, this Astoria games emporium will keep you entertained no matter how boring the contest is. In addition to nine 50-inch flatscreens, the sprawling lounge houses 16 pool tables, arcade games (Big Buck Hunter), two Ping-Pong tables and air hockey, as well as some diversions, like a Pop-a-Shot basketball machine, that actually approximate the experience of playing a real sport (while drunk, of course). 718-777-5400, break-ny.com. $5 for average drink.

Brooklyn Tap House

This Clinton Hill saloon is more than just a sports bar—it's a full-blown sports beer garden. During "happier hours" (that's 4 to 8pm Monday to Thursday, and 3 to 8pm on Fridays), grab a $4 craft brew and watch the big game on an outdoor screen, or partake in a game of your own with competitive diversions like darts and cornhole. 

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Bedford-Stuyvesant

Bronx Alehouse

Giants fans and beer geeks alike will find plenty to love at this inviting Boogie Down pub. About a dozen flatscreens and one projector screen show NFL, NBA and soccer events, and the patrons are less interested in screaming matches than low-key ribbing. The brew selection, meanwhile, is massive; 16 taps change often (on a recent visit, we sampled Greenport Harbor’s smoky Black Duck Porter; $6), and more than 30 bottles and cans are available, plus one cask.

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The Bronx

The Irish Rover

Be prepared to engage in a bit of competitive shit-talking with rival fans at this watering hole. It’s all in good fun, of course, and thanks to the barwide policy of buybacks on each patron’s third round, you’ll feel like a regular in no time. Settle in with a pint of Guinness ($6.50) and watch your game, whether it’s Sunday afternoon football, an NHL game or a soccer match, on one of the several flatscreens or one central projector screen.

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Astoria

Jack Demsey’s

Let's not beat around the bush: Irish pubs have played an integral role in giving sports bars a bad name. But Jack Demsey's bucks the odds and offers a welcome respite from midtown behemoths like ESPN Zone and Stout NYC. Yes, it draws plenty of tourists (get over it), but there are also local crowds loyal to teams like University of Kentucky basketball and, above all else, Celtic Football Club. A 96-inch screen and a dozen other TVs cover almost anything you'd want to watch, including oft-ignored broadcasts like Irish rugby matches and UFC fights.

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Midtown West

Keg & Lantern

Part sports bar, part zen garden, this Brooklyn brewpub is great for those "one is a die-hard Rangers fan and the other thinks rangers work in parks" couples. The sports fanatics can cheer on the game while everyone else sips wine in a canopied backyard—relationship problems solved.

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Greenpoint

Pacific Standard

West Coast transplants and craft-beer lovers flock to Fourth Avenue to watch sports without subjecting themselves to watery, mass-market swill. Fans lounge on comfy couches and quaff 17 Cali-centric drafts, like the hops-forward Green Flash IPA ($6), while catching the action on two projection TVs. Oakland A's zealots, take note: Wear A's apparel during A games, and get $1 off pints of Sierra Nevada.

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Boerum Hill
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By: Time Out New York contributors

Comments

6 comments
Cristiano A
Cristiano A

check out O'Hanlon's Bar on 14th and first.

happy hour from 8am to 6pm.

Official Arsenal bar.

and me and Devin hosting!

Jackson W
Jackson W

When I was in college my friends and I didn't get cable for our place. We didn't see the need because none of us were big TV watchers. When we realized that we didn't have access to sports though, we quickly had to find ways to change that. Whenever we couldn't find a friend or family member to let us watch a big game at their house, we would go to a sports bar. This was a great way for us to be able to keep track of our teams without paying for an otherwise unnecessary cable service.

http://www.mugshotsburgernbrew.com 

Tamara
Tamara

This article is really great. I invite also people to check out www.sportchaser.com that helps sports fans to know where to watch their favorite team play in New York sports bars!

Don Henderson
Don Henderson

I'm flying into New York from Edinburgh on Thursday and there's a couple of us looking for a good sports bar to watch the Ryder Cup in. We're renting an apartment round about Madison Avenue and 34th Street, so somewhere in that area would be good. Our wives are joining us later on, so even better would be a good sports bar that serves good food. All suggestions welcome.