College basketball fans go a little bit nuts each March, when 68 universities compete in a country-spanning tournament to determine which two will square off in April's National Championship. For those wanting to cheer on their teams among fellow fans, NYC bars and restaurants are offering up their big-screen TVs, along with price-slashed drinks and heaps of tasty sliders and chicken wings, all month long. From swanky sports bars to low-key dive bars, use our guide to find out where to watch March Madness in NYC.
Where to watch March Madness
Midtown whiskey-sluggers can soak up the dark stuff at this three-story booze lodge. The leather-and-oak-accented main bar—with 36 flatscreens and mounted bison heads—offers one- and two-ounce pours of over 100 domestic whiskeys, as well as Scotch and Irish varieties. Basketball fans can enjoy a March Madness Flight Special ($20 each) for the month, and groups of 20 or more can buy an open bar package with three hours of beer and wine ($45 per person) and top-shelf spirits ($75 per person).
At this all-American spot, find seasonal fare like crispy polenta with mushroom ragù and hot-honey–glazed chicken, with cocktails curated by Milk and Honey alum Gil Bouhana, including the bourbon–sage-wood Smoky Mountain. For March Madness party planning, the gastropub will be offering private viewing packages ($750) in their Chamber Room, which fits up to 35 people and touts two 50" TVs.
The menu at this chain's flagship centers on an intensely juicy burger, with a custom Pat LaFrieda round served on a soft, simple bun. At all three locations, hoops heads can take advantage of special deals such $14 pitchers and $4 pints of ‘Cold Ass Beer’ as they tune into games on big screen TVs. A gust-busting 'Game Day’ Platter ($32.95 for three or four people) comprises: sliders, pickles and peppers, buffalo wings, loaded nachos and cheese fries.
At this steampunk-jigged watering hole, superlative gastropub plates and remarkably well-balanced drinks help carry a motif that might otherwise seem forced. A favorite of the sports crowd, seven screens are ready to screen every game, with seven-buck drafts and nine-buck house picklebacks on offer to slosh the viewers. Big spenders can opt for a VIP booth (starting at $50) with a private flat-screen and two in-table beer taps; call for reservations.
Catch the game on one of 30 HD TVs at this chichi, 4,000-square-foot sports lounge. NCAA festivities kick off with a pop-up celebration at the Highline Ballroom on March 17th, with Bounce's game-day menu and weekly DJ sets (DJ Nem, Regg Ruck) complementing nearly two dozen TV screens. After opening night, sip special $10 cocktails throughout the entire tournament, such as the Bracket (Mount Gay Black Barrel, pineapple, orange and mango juice) and the Game Winner (Campari, Cutty Sark Prohibition, Luxardo Liqueur).
The Mexican-themed sports bar touts pink-tiled walls and fruity margaritas (mango, pineapple) along with infused tequilas (strawberry-vanilla, lime-jalapeño) and local beers (Brooklyn Lager, Sixpoint). For sports-watchers, there are 50 HD TV's, including several massive 80-inch screens, available to catch all the heart-racing action. They'll be serving up 75-ounce chilled beer towers (serves four to six people) for $36 for domestic and $40 for imported suds.
The bi-level Midtown gastropub takes its cues from Mad Men—of four distinct areas of the behemoth bar, one is a dedicated Draper Room upstairs, fitted with suited mannequins and low-backed armchairs. During game season, catch your favorite teams on the bar's large screens while guzzling price-slashed food-and-drink packages, such as buckets and pitchers of beer served alongside fully-loaded appetizing platers ($45 for six to eight people) with sliders, wings, calamari, quesadillas, onion wings and Southern fried chicken. A special $12 Express Lunch (with choice of one appetizer and one entree) will also be available for die-hards hoping to catch the action during their lunch break.
This wood-paneled Union Square sports bar serves contemporary American food in party-ready digs. With sports viewing regularly packing the space, it's no surprise that all screens will be tuned into basketball during March Madness. During NCAA games, the bar will offer up a cooler special that comes with 24 cans of beer ($120), as well as a bottle of Fireball for an extra $100.
At this sports bar, there are 44 TV screens on-hand for basketball fans. Purchase a loaded bucket—that's a bucket of domestic brew with six shots of Fireball—for $55, or go for mini-kegs ($45 domestic, $55 imported) soaked up with nacho and wing specials ($20–$85) while you cheer on your favorite teams.
Fans of exotic beers—and sports—can sip global finds like Hong Kong’s Macau and Kalik, a Bahamanian brew, while watching one of the 21 high-resolution televisions at this East Village tavern. A hearty menu, with entrees like chicken madeira, helps soak up the suds. During March Madness games, they'll serve up a cooler special with 24 cans of beer ($120) and a bottle of Fireball for another hundred.