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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Banter

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

By Kate Mooney, Chris Schonberger and Corynne Cirilli

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

Photograph: Noah Devereaux

1. Taproom No. 307

Bars Beer bars Kips Bay
Sports are a big draw here, but the beer comes first at this Kips Bay bar. The wood-framed joint serves 40 different craft beers on draught and upmarket bar fare (truffle fries, pesto pizza). A game night here kind of feels like watching from box seats—but that might be because everyone's in a suit. 

2. Twist & Smash'd

Bars Wine bars Astoria

Boasting 55 TVs and almost as many beers, this newcomer to the LIC scene is an ideal place to get your sports fix east of the river. And if the game brings out a competitive streak in you, you can satiate your bloodthirst with “spirited” games of bocce on the brand new indoor courts.


3. Stout

Bars Beer bars Midtown West

This three-level sports mecca rocks multiple projectors to add to its impressive international selection of bottled and draft beers (including 32 stouts!). And with a central midtown location, it's the perfect place to take an extended (say 90 minute?) lunch away from the office.

Keg & Lantern
Photograph: Courtesy Patrick Allen

4. Keg & Lantern

Bars Breweries Greenpoint
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.
Brooklyn Tap House
Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

5. Brooklyn Tap House

Bars Bedford-Stuyvesant
This Bed-Stuy 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. 

6. The Garden at Studio Square NYC

Bars Beer bars Astoria
Do you need to feel like you're at a stadium to really enjoy a game? Then the 300,000-square-foot event space provided by Studio Square is for you. There are 40 flat screen TVs, as well as a 160-square-foot outdoor screen projecting matches—a major draw for those folks who refer to soccer as football.
Professor Thom's
Photograph: Jay Muhlin

7. Professor Thom’s

Bars Sports Bars East Village

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.

Boxers NYC
Photograph: Davidson Adames

8. Boxers HK

Bars Sports Bars Hell's Kitchen

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).


9. Warren 77

Bars Sports Bars Financial District

Jay Z's 40/40 Club may be the top dog in the arena of personality-driven sports lounges, but New York Rangers star Sean Avery puts a more hipster-friendly spin on the genre at his faux dive in Tribeca. Hockey fans will appreciate the venue's commitment to the puck, as well as an original Warhol portrait of Wayne Gretzky. It's not for die-hards, but if you're more interested in socializing than catching every play, the vibe is right: Groups gather around retro tabletop video games (Pac-Man), and green leather booths have individual TVs that can be tucked away in cabinets if the conversation becomes more interesting than the game.

10. Bronx Alehouse

Bars Beer bars The Bronx

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.

Union Grounds
Photograph: Courtesy Union Grounds

11. Union Grounds

Bars Carroll Gardens
This pretension-free sports bar is open to putting on any game you requestthough you may have to get there early to reserve your channel. Offering long tables for easy TV viewing as well as a menu chock full of game grub (including wings, burger and nine types of hot dogs), this Gowanus spot is a mellow setting for your weekly watch-the-game routine.
Black Horse Pub
Photograph: Beth Levendis

12. The Black Horse Pub

Bars Pubs South Slope

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.

Pacific Standard
Photograph: Dominic Perri

13. Pacific Standard

Bars Beer bars Boerum Hill

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.

Standings Bar
Photograph: Gary GIllis

14. Standings Bar

If you think cozy sports bar is an oxymoron, this single-room East Village go-to will change your perspective. Not only is the crowd an anomaly—more affable regulars, less rowdy superfans—but the TVs are all kept at a low volume, letting you mingle with other fans in relative quiet (unless, of course, someone’s team is doing well). The draft list offers a frequently changing selection of microbrews alongside standard fare like Bud Light ($5). Regalia from various teams covers the walls, making it a blessedly neutral home for fans of all persuasions. 212-420-0671,

Break Bar and Billiards

15. 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, $5 for average drink.

Jack Demsey's
Photograph: Mike Skigen

16. Jack Demsey’s

Bars Pubs Midtown West

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.


17. Banter

Bars Beer bars Williamsburg

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.

Irish Rover
Photograph: Ryan Mckinley

18. The Irish Rover

Bars Sports Bars Astoria

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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