America might not have invented sports bars—we have to think there was a grappa spot outside the Athens hippodrome where fans waited for the latest news from the chariot races—but let's be honest: we perfected them. The best sports bars blend things we know and love—athletic competition, good food and drink, and camaraderie—in optimal ways. Sometimes those ways are tried-and-true, other times they’re unexpected. However it shakes out, though, the formula is unbeatable. The sports bar is as American as apple pie, but a whole lot more fun.
With a packed slate of mouth-watering games on the horizon—from NHL and NBA action to March Madness and whatever else floats your boat—we thought it was a good time to isolate the very best sports bars in this great land of ours. Here are 10 of them ranging from New York to Portland, Oregon, from San Diego to Philly, and points in between. If you don’t have a great time in any one of them, it can mean only one thing: your team is tanking, hard (and you’re not amped about next year’s draft class).