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Finnerty's
Photograph: Courtesy Finnerty's

The best sports bars in the East Village

Crack open a couple cold ones and cheer on your team at the best sports bars in the East Village

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo
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Bar hopping is easy in the East Village, where drinkeries run the gamut from buttoned-up cocktail lounges and swank speakeasies to rowdy pubs and gritty dive bars. But when you want to settle in and watch a game, you need a locale with quality brews and even better bar food, plus space to sprawl out and maybe even go wild with your fellow fans. So the next time your team's playing, head to one of the best sports bars in the East Village.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in NYC

Best sports bars in the East Village

Standings
Photograph: Courtesy Standings

1. Standings

Bars Beer bars East Village

If you think "cozy sports bar" is an oxymoron, this single-room East Village stalwart will completely 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 suds like Bud Light. Regalia from various teams covers the walls, making it a blessedly neutral home for fans of all persuasions.

2. Professor Thom’s

Bars Sports Bars East Village

This bilevel, New England-cheering watering hole is big, loud, and a bit fratty, but there’s plenty of perks to keep you coming back for more, including a 10-foot projection screen, 12 LCD televisions—six are dedicated to spacious booths and can be tuned to whatever channel you’d like—and a house ale that goes for just a few bucks during all Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins games. But the gargantuan nachos might seal the deal: the crowd-pleasing, cheese-capped mountain is served piping hot on a pizza tray.

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3. Sláinte

Bars Sports Bars Noho

This no-nonsense hangout from the owners of Dempsey's is kitted with wood booths and stools, exposed-brick walls, flat-screen TVs and 17 types of beer on tap, including Guinness and Smithwick’s Ale plus another 20 or so bottles. Sláinte (pronounced slahn-chuh, it’s an Irish toast) also serves classic pub grub to keep you going through the entire game, which often plays on a massive pull-down projector screen. 

The Grafton
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / Micky W

4. The Grafton

Bars Pubs East Village

For more than a decade, this fan-favorite soccer bar has been slinging Irish breakfast to rugby and fútbol fanatics who just have catch those early-morning games. But the expansive sports den also streams American football and baseball games, and boasts a shady backyard for outdoor boozing (and unabashed cheering) during warmer months. 

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The Grayson
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / Leann L

5. The Grayson

Bars Sports Bars East Village

With a whopping 45 high-def TVs and three projector screens dedicated to games of all kinds, this sports bar-nightclub hybrid is a game-day haven. During commercial breaks, DJs spin original mixes while cans, pitchers, and even mini kegs of standard domestics are on special. Sop up your inevitable boozing with one of the super-stacked burgers—smothered in toppings like fried goat cheese, pulled pork, and even mac and cheese—or the nine different styles of sauced wings.

Sidebar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / Sidebar

6. SideBar

Bars Sports Bars Gramercy

This slick, contemporary-styled sports bar, kitted with tufted banquettes and cozy arm chairs, boasts 21 high-def TVs and projectors for game-watching. The basic menu of bar staples makes your ordering easy: dry-rubbed wings, various fried appetizers, and standard burgers. Drinks are more varied, with a selection of spiked iced teas and flavored mules in addition to standard domestic drafts.

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Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

7. Finnerty’s

Bars Dive bars East Village

The mindless depravity never ends at the sprawling, boozy Finnerty’s, where fresh-faced coeds amass to toss back cheap beers and cheer on Bay Area sports teams. But with two dozen high-def TVs throughout the bar and keg room, you can catch nearly any game. If you're up for throwing a blowout viewing party, barkeeps can reserve an entire keg for your crew from their expansive suds list with advance notice.

The Blind Pig
Photograph: Courtesy Facebook / The Blind Pig

8. Blind Pig

Bars Sports Bars Gramercy

Expect standing-room-only at this hardwood-clad sports bar—oddly named for the Prohibition-era slang for a speakeasy— especially during Aresenal soccer matches. Sip some 17 craft suds on draft, or one of the 20-odd bottles, while catching a few games on the flatscreens and projectors lining the walls. When the crowd peaks, overflow seating on the outdoor patio out back can offer a bit of reprieve.

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9. 11th Street Bar

Bars Beer bars East Village

This warm, old-timey space has exposed brick walls, a pressed-tin ceiling and glass-windowed bar cabinets. The back room holds the bulk of the tables and hosts poetry readings and live music, but the real draw is for the Liverpool supporters club who call the bar home. Wherever you sip your Guinness, it won’t be long before a relaxed, easy feeling kicks in—or you're cheering your bloody head off along with everyone else. 

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