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 $4 Bud Lights, $5 Shock Tops and $8 speciality cocktails throughout the month.
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 $15 ptichers of Bud Light, $25 buckets of Bud Light and Stella and $8 beer and shot combos with, you guessed it, Bud Light.
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 $15 pitchers and $5 pints of ‘Cold Ass Beer’ as they tune into games on big screen TVs. There will also be $5 mini-burgers and half-priced appetizers through April 3rd.
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.
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 16th, with Bounce's game-day menu and weekly DJ sets 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 and pitchers of margaritas for $50 each.
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 during happy hour, which includes $6 beers, well drinks and cherry-picked house wines.
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. Last year, guests could 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 they cheered on their 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.
For the full month of March, the Times Square southern-style restaurant is dishing out tons of slashed-price specials. Lap up domestic pitchers for $24, imported for $28, Jameson and Jack shots for $6 each, frozen drinks for $8 and well drinks for a mere $6. Soak up all the booze with half-off buffalo wings for only $6.
This Midtown newcomer is already rife for a game day–the bar from the team behind Vandal and Tao is stocked with Skeeball and bowling lanes for competitive boozers. For the NCAA frenzy, the lounge will open at noon on Thursday and Friday, serving $30 buckets of Bud and Bud Light and six chicken wings (pineapple citrus, BBQ sriracha, Thai sweet and tangy) for only $10.
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Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef's Table
Tompkins Square gains a notable addition in Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef’s Table, a tiny (19 stools in total) resto with what’s sure to become an outsize presence in minds of the city’s many oenophiles, thanks to a carefully curated wine list that changes almost daily and excellent sommelier service. Four industry vets—chefs Josh Ochoa and Andy Alexandre and two full time sommeliers, Alexis Percival and owner Patrick Cournot—work in conjunction behind a 3,000 pound cream-colored concrete bar, producing small shared plates that pair nicely with the long list of food-friendly wines. Ruffian has already carved out a reputation for esoteric vintages, and even offers a few cloudy orange wines by the glass in response to the ever-increasing trend toward Georgian varietals. The food menu changes almost daily to incorporate the freshest ingredients available at green markets around the city. The constant flux of menu options amounts to what ultimately feels like a boutique experience—no two visits will be exactly the same. There is some sense of cohesion, though. The menu tends toward Eurocentric cuisine no matter the day; on a recent visit, warm vegetable dishes like roasted golden beets ($12) and a cauliflower soup ($10) were accented with Mediterranean flourishes, while the chicken liver pâté came with pickled grapes ($18). Like everything else at Ruffian, the food, while delicious, seems to exist only to complement to the superior wine selection, which leaves the most lasting impre
Venue says: “Now open Sundays from 3pm-10pm! Happy hour from 3PM-5PM; $10 glasses of wine and small plates from $6-$10.”