Sports bars in Philadelphia
This surprisingly laid-back Center City Irish pub is a lot of things to a lot of people. Young professionals belly up at happy hour, club kids come to dance on the weekends and everybody shows up for soccer. More than just a World Cup bar—although the crowds for that are enormous—Fado makes TV time for “the beautiful game” in all of its iterations: English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, MLS and more.
There are a few City Tap House locations around town, but the one in University City is especially impressive. The dining area is spacious, with high ceilings, lots of high-top and low-top seating and TVs everywhere you look. But it’s easy to escape the game too, thanks to the large outdoor area overlooking Walnut Street, dotted with tables and stone fire pits. City Tap House is a sweet spot to set up shop for a long night of sports-watching, with plenty of room for friends to come and go throughout the night.
Sometimes the best sports bars aren’t really sports bars at all. Brauhaus Schmitz is a sturdy, South Street restaurant with a menu full of wurst and schnitzel and a well-curated selection of German brews on draft. It’s also a friendly place to watch a game, especially soccer. Philadelphia Union fans have been known to gather here, either to watch the game or to have a drink or two before the party bus takes them to the stadium in Chester.
This is a friendly neighborhood watering hole, a low-key gastropub and a sports bar all at once. On the menu: flatbread pizza, white bean hummus and brisket burger sliders. On the walls: old Sports Illustrated issues and framed jerseys. From the bartenders: smiles and good conversation. Of course, there are always several games going at once on New Wave’s many TVs, and if any of them involve the Phillies, Sixers, Flyers or Eagles, there’s probably a drink special to go with it.
Several bars in town have a favorite team in the English Premier League. O’Neal’s (at 3rd and South) roots for Everton. Misconduct (at 15th and Locust) is an Arsenal bar. Despite serving delicious margaritas and inventive Mexican food, Jose Pistola's in Center City likes Liverpool, and Liverpuddlians often don the scarves there on game day, even if that means ducking out of work early. Along with Sancho Pistola’s, its sister spot in Fishtown, this is a chill place to watch the Phillies with a beer and some braised short rib tacos.
The TVs are up high for easy viewing, and there are always drink specials during Flyers games, but this converted auto body shop is not mainly a sports bar. People come to party, shoot pool, play skeeball and drink beer. Lots of it. They’ve got more than 300 kinds of beer, all of it in cans, lined up in fridges behind the bar. And if you don’t like whatever fancy new food cart has rolled into the Garage on a given day, Pat’s and Geno’s are right outside the door.
Though it’s best known for its tasty Ethiopian delights like goden tibs, alitcha fit fit and doro wot, Gojjo in West Philly is also an excellent place to watch a game. There are lots of TVs inside and a giant one out on the patio, all of them with good sightlines and lots of room for standing, sitting and celebrating. By the way, there’s plenty of standard pub grub like burgers and wings on the menu, but if you don’t at least try the Ethiopian cheesesteak, you’re missing out.
This super-sized Center City sports bar manages to get crowded on game days thanks to the food and drink specials, a huge array of beers in bottles and on tap and the hakuna-matata atmosphere. All sports are contenders to play on their many, many TV screens, including boxing and international competitions. Every Eagles game is a party, even when the Birds suck.
This Philly-based sports-bar chain has outposts all over the region, including the original in Northeast Philly, but the one near the stadiums is a veritable temple to fried food and fandom. Tremble in terror before its 18-foot TV as you feast upon piles of spicy crab fries and the decadent “white creamy cheese sauce” that accompanies it.
From the built-in exclamation point to its supermassive screens and viewing areas, this sports bar/food court, built on the site of the old Spectrum arena, was made for drinking up and bro-ing down. There are several bars within the compound, including the Flyers-themed bar Broad Street Bullies Pub, the country-ish PBR Bar and Grill (featuring a mechanical bull), Victory Beer Hall, NBC Sports Arena and 1100 Social. If you need a respite from yelling “woo’ and/or “boo,” wander the outside area where statues of Dr. J, Kate Smith, Joe Frazier and more have been seen shaking their heads in the moonlight.