With a long winter ahead and sports seasons just heating up, it’s important to find a good spot for settling in and watching the game. Here are five New York bars where you can root for your team without having to get too rowdy. Want to keep riding the vibe? Check out our pick of bro-free places for dudes to hang (ladies also welcome). And if you're feeling physically inspired by our selection of sports bars, then make your way to one of NYC's 20 best gyms. Let's get to it!
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The 15 best sports bars in NYC
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.Read more
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.Read more
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).Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Bro-fest sports bars are a dime a dozen in Murray Hill, which is what makes this wacky, outdoors-themed drinkery feel like even more of a find. There are cheap drinks and TVs perpetually tuned to sports, but what we like most is the outdated TV set stuffed sideways into an old barrel.Read more
This sprawling bilevel watering hole is big, loud and a bit fratty, yet something about it keeps us coming back for more. Maybe it's the six spacious booths with individual TVs that friendly staff will happily tune to whatever channel you want to watch. It could be the New England–loving legions who help make the bar the largest seller of Harpoon outside of Massachusetts (that is, when they're not swilling the house ale, which goes for $4 during all Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics games). But most of all, we think it's the nachos: a gargantuan, crowd-pleasing mountain served piping hot on a pizza tray.Read more