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The Greyhound
Photograph: Ryan Tanaka The Greyhound

The best sports bars in L.A. to watch the big game

Join L.A.'s most die-hard fans at the best sports bars in the city, where game day means stellar beer and hometown pride reigns supreme

By Katherine Spiers and Stephanie Breijo
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L.A. sports bars are packed with fans ready to throw down for their team. With the right vibe—and plenty of TVs—the best bars have the power (and libations) to squash even the fiercest Lakers vs. Clippers battle. If swanky hotel bars or dressed-up cocktail bars are more of your thing, these fan-heavy watering holes may be a step in the wrong direction. But if you’re looking for a makeshift stadium, we’ve rounded up the city’s quality sports bars—some of which are on our list of the best beer bars—where you can grab a drink, enjoy bar food and cheer for your team.

RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Los Angeles

Get your game on at L.A.’s best sports bars

33 Taps in Hollywood
Photograph: Courtesy 33 Taps

33 Taps

Bars Sports Bars Hollywood

Situated right next to the Pantages Theatre, you’ll often find ticket holders hunkered down here for a beer and a bite to eat pre- and post-show. But it’s not just a place for theater buffs. If you’re a sports fan—so, you know, most of you—33 Taps is prime seating for watching your favorite match, game, fight, whatever you’re rooting for. Plenty of flat screen TVs are available to stare intently at while you choose from one of 33 beers on tap. If you’re feeling peckish, order one of the burgers with a side of their killer sweet potato fries. Watching the game eastward? There’s also a 33 Taps in Silver Lake.

Photograph: Courtesy Baja Sharkeez

Baja Sharkeez

Restaurants Manhattan Beach

This Southern California chain is all about the kitsch—and the flat-screen TVs. Watch just about any game your heart desires from the collection of more than 60 TVs hanging around the Mexican beach-themed bar, whose tipples include frozen drinks, 22-ounce “schooner” cocktails, beer buckets, shot specials and more. Watching a morning game? If you’re early-to-rise for your team, Sharkeez usually offers breakfast specials, mimosas, Blooby Mary stations and bottomless coffee bars for early weekend games.

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Barney’s Beanery

Bars Sports Bars West Hollywood

The West Hollywood location is the original outpost of this mini-chain, but you can also find one in neighborhoods across L.A.: Pasadena, Westwood, Burbank, Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. You’ll find a crowd of sports bros and ladies all sidling up to the bar, enjoying one of 60 TVs (complete with sports packages galore), and imbibing in an array of beer choices. There’s plenty to look at off-screen, too: They’ve perfected the tacky-on-purpose look, with everything from license plates to sports memorabilia hanging from the walls.

Biergarten

Bars Wineries Koreatown

L.A.-raised Neil Kwon took a cue from the beer gardens of Berlin and Munich in bringing craft beer to Koreatown in 2010. His beer hall, Biergarten, views Germany through a Korean prism. Platters of brats are dished up alongside Korean fried chicken, kimchi short rib fried rice and burgers both American and international—try the spicy Chosun, with red chili paste aioli and pickled daikon, or a schnitzel katsu sandwich. The beer list combines Old World ales, like malty Spaten Optimator, with West Coast IPAs, like Fort Point Animal. The space also touts flat screens that draw UFC and sports fans.

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Blue Dog Beer Tavern

Bars Sports Bars Sherman Oaks

You don’t have to be enamoured with canines to appreciate the Blue Dog (although animal lovers may go gaga over the framed dog photos covering the wall). The Sherman Oaks sports bar is located in a 1940s-era bungalow that’s been stripped of the walls, leaving the framing exposed and allowing TVs to be visible from every seat. The beer list isn’t the largest in town, but it might be the best-edited, and come 10am, fans are fully decked out in their favorite team’s gear and all eyes are glued to the TVs.

Casey’s Irish Pub

Bars Gastropubs Downtown Financial District

Even if you’ve never been to Casey’s, you’re familiar with the sprawling, dark-wood-everything bar: It’s served as the set for just about every pub-focused scene on television in the last 20 years. Even though it’s operated by the modern bar juggernauts at 213 Hospitality, Casey’s is still imbued with that faded-elegance vibe. The many rooms here are dotted with TVs—you’ll find both North American and European sports on the screens—and plenty of fans, especially of the USC variety. In addition, there’s the occasional live band, darts, billiards, and some quality shepherd’s pie and fish and chips.

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Tim Hollingsworth arcade bar and restaurant Free Play in The Fields LA food hall at Banc of California Stadium
Photograph: Courtesy Free Play/Sierra Prescott

Free Play

Restaurants American USC/Exposition Park

Sure, this Tim Hollingsworth restaurant, bar and arcade sits next to LAFC Banc of California stadium, but you’ll find much more than soccer on the screens that surround this spot. Situated on the second floor of the Fields LA food hall, Free Play is all about comfort food and old-school arcade games: Nosh on snacky bites like fried pickles and savory doughnuts, plus burgers, sandwiches and a few gourmet small plates, then wash ’em down with playful cocktails and roughly 20 beers on tap. Think of it as fuel for your next round of Galaga.

The Greyhound Bar & Grill

Bars Gastropubs Highland Park

It feels like all of Highland Park flocks to the Greyhound on game day, and we totally understand why. Not only are there smaller screens hanging around the British-leaning bar (it’s “the home of the official Los Angeles Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Club,” for football fans)—there’s also a massive pull-down screen displaying whatever’s big that day. But if a Dodgers game is on, you can bet it’ll be tuned to that. You can also bet on game day specials, which is great because you’re going to be ordering a lot of those famous wings and boilermaker combos, and if they come at a discount, all the better.

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Lucky Baldwin’s

Bars Pubs Old Pasadena

This Pasadena establishment carries on the tradition of British pubs everywhere, including celebrating every drinking festival known to man (Belgian Beer Festival? Check. Oktoberfest? Check. IPA festivals? Yup, they’ve got those, too). You’ll be able to see any soccer (sorry, football) game you want here, all while indulging in the European-heavy list of 60-odd beers on tap. The food includes classic pub fare—mostly meat and potatoes—which you can enjoy on the outside patio. (Don’t panic! You can see a TV or two from out there, too.) Care to bring along a canine friend? Dogs are welcome, as long as you don’t mind them being spoiled by the pub’s friendly regulars.

T. Boyle's Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy T. Boyle's Tavern

T. Boyle’s Tavern

Bars Sports Bars Pasadena

Don’t be fooled by its factory-esque exterior: T. Boyle’s Tavern brings in a sizeable crowd that takes advantage of its live music and hi-def TVs (showing mostly American football). Grab a pint of cider or a glass of merlot (only beer and wine are served here, none of the hard stuff) while you partake in a game of shuffleboard or darts. Just make sure to stick around when the game’s over for the pub’s epic trivia battles.

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