We’ll have to wait two more years for what’s destined to be one of the best sports bars in town -- the 100-yard-long drinking station at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the seats are rumored to vibrate. But since we’re not gonna hold out on drinking or losing games between now and 2017, we have to plan for today. Here’s the truest list you’ll find of ATL’s greatest game-time gathering places with lots of food eating, beer guzzling, and more.
The cost of game-watching inside the flashy, big numbers-displaying building near Philips, the Dome, and the soon-coming Mercedes-Benz Stadium ain’t cheap, but neither is Downtown real estate or the TableTender that lets you pour your own brew. Recent upgrades to the system include high-res, Wi-Fi-enabled iPads for food ordering, watching web videos of “just about anything,” and pulling up apps like Bleacher Report and Uber.
One of the most energetic and economical choices, Dugans feels like a motorcycle club and a sports bar got together and had a love child. Open since 1982, the wings are legendary, the crowd is crunk, and the drinks are made for shit-talking a rival fan and/or helping you get over a loss. And do remember, this is ATL. We lose often, but we eat and drink like winners daily!
RPT’s deceptively strong ‘ritas, 360-surrounding TV screens, table-tapped beers, and super-fresh foods are all part of Chef Mimmo’s plan to plant your ass in a seat throughout the year, particularly when any type of sporting event is on. Don’t let him down.
The T. used to stand for “Taco” until people started wondering why they never saw Tracy McGrady at the bar, where the reliably diverse and inviting draft beer selection draws many a foul-breathed Falcons (or whatever team) fan. Spacious, sudsy, and screen saturated so that you never miss a kickoff, tipoff, or flick-off from somebody rooting for the squad your team’s murdering in real time.
Super classy but down to earth, like lunch-shift strippers, HG is a place you could take parents, grandparents, girlfriends, and possibly illegitimate kids you had with the aforementioned lunch-shift strippers, all wearing different team jerseys, and find enough in common to remember that sports really do bring people together.
The unapologetically grimey Deez comes alive whenever a soccer, football, baseball ,or even really intense video game is playing live on its screens. Locals love it for accepting (and returning) unsavory attitude at the bar, literal outsiders love the Highland Ave-facing patio, and the place is particularly welcoming to Oregon and Auburn fans.
If you have to be in East Cobb when the game is on (and nobody’s saying you do, even if you live there), hit this local megaplex for plenty of billiards and dartboard action while game-watching via a gang of HD screens. The food is respectable enough (it’s also affordable as hell -- the $14.99 surf & turf is the highest-priced menu item), the pitchers are nice and cheap, and the fans are appropriately loud, like cologne worn by residents of East Cobb.
Reasons? Eighteen taps, around 12 monthly rotating bottles of beer, above-standard fish & chips, and “Football Palooza” -- random drawings for stuff like a tailgate grill, Falcons tickets, and gift certificates for Simon Malls and Chops after every Falcons game, plus game-day specials like $3 Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire shorties, which hopefully will be what the Titans’ GM does after we whoop their asses in Nashville on October 25.
Not that Emory really needs beer this cheap, but Famous also has six huge projector screens and more than 50 normal flat screens stationed around the walls, plus the always-visiting beer and liquor brand girls, billiards, trivia, a dance floor, and an arcade area.
What was once J.R. Crickets is now... um... basically still J.R. Crickets without the name. Which is actually a good thing, since the wings haven’t changed (still very good), and the crowd seems not to have even noticed the name change. Go for the wall-to-wall widescreen projectors, crazy-cheap drink pitchers ($10?!), and sweet tailgate-style eats.
Little Five Points
A lovably grungy attitude and funky accoutrements make you feel more welcome here than at almost any other place where you can watch dudes running around in different-colored clothes.
Both locations are known for offering a ritzier take on the sports bar atmosphere: humidors packed with stogies, private rooms, high-quality booze and bites, a classy stained-wood interior with plush seating, and plump plates of your favorite tailgate fare make for a grown man’s game-day paradise, without the ticket price.
Even if you’ve personally never been, you know someone who has, and they haven’t missed your ass for a second. That’s because however high the price of drinks and food, and however scantily clad the waitstaff, nobody’s ever mad at you for saying you’re headed here to watch “the game” -- even if there is no actual athletic competition other than the one on the mechanical bull. There’s always a game at the U Bar.
Forty HDTVs, 20 local beers (including five Monday Nights, four Terrapins, three from Orpheus), a game room with pool and Pac-Man, and a spread-out patio in case you want outside air, make this tucked-away Peachtree sports spot a proud continuation of what was once Cheyenne Grill.
1. Stats300 Marietta St NW, Atlanta
2. Dugan’s777 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
3. Red Pepper Taqueria2149 Briarcliff Rd, Atlanta
4. Diesel Filling Station870 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
5. Mazzy's2217 Roswell Rd NE, Marietta
6. Pub 714058 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
7. Famous Pub2947 N Druid Hills Rd NE, Atlanta
8. The Tavern @ Camp Creek3560 Camp Creek Parkway #110, East Point
9. The Brewhouse Cafe401 Moreland Ave, Atlanta
10. Dantanna's3400 Around Lenox Rd NE, Atlanta
11. The U Bar3515 Camp Creek Pkwy, East Point
12. Whitehall Tavern2391 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta
Stats in downtown will take care of you while you watch any of your favorite teams. They've got a ton of TVs and Wi-Fi enabled iPads, making it easy to connect to anything.
This place has been making killer chicken wings since 1982. Get a drink, some wings, and watch your favorite team score big.
Alcohol flows freely at Red Pepper Taqueria - there are hand-crafted margaritas, more than 100 tequilas, and draft tables where you can pour your own beer. And if you're in the mood for some food with your drinks, get a taco or other Mexican fare.
If you've ever been disappointed about the lack of spots that let you chow down on burgers and show off your intellectual power, your blues will be long gone...as will your availability on Thursdays 'cause you'll be playing Dirty South Trivia while sipping on a craft brew. This VaHi spot offers nightly events that will challenge your brain while you punish it with one-too-many Sazeracs.
Check in at the Atlanta Jets Fans table in front of the half-sports bar/half-pool hall to get $17 domestic beer buckets and 10% off any menu item while watching on two 12ft projection screens; that food deal includes the MOAB burger, blackened grouper, and loaded nachos, which are sure to end up all over Plaxico's leg.
Helmed by a dude who was born in 1971 (get it?)... and who wanted to open a place where his friends and family could hang/ booze, this Irish-style drink spot's got more than just the usual taps (Sweetwater Red Hot Mama), and home-style eats like a Jack Daniel’s Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich, and Shepherd’s Pie.
This prime sports bar houses six projector screens and 50 more regular flat screens. Obviously, it's a great place to catch a game. But, you can also enjoy billiards, trivia, a dance floor, and an arcade area during halftime.
The Tavern @ Camp Creek has wall-to-wall projector screens, amazing wings, and $10 pitchers. Basically, it has all the makings of an epic sports bar.
Modestly self-billed as "Atlanta's BEST International Sports Bar", Brewhouse is definitely at least among the top examples, as it made our list of Favorite 5 Sports Bars thanks to its comfortably divey interior, TVs galore, daily pint specials (Terrapin/SweetWater Mondays, Leinenkugel's Thursdays -- keep the glass!), and a month-long $20 large pizza/Miller Lite pitcher combo... wait, they figured out how to get beer inside those little pretzel rolls too?! Amazing.
With plenty of flat screens, all-American beers, and locally sourced dishes that, while upscale, are reminiscent of tailgating eats, Dantanna's has you covered for the big game. A couple house specialities: beer-battered shrimp and heirloom Berkshire pork rib chop. If the game's got you fired up and you're feeling a bit more adventurous, go for the Heart Attack burger (ground beef topped with a sunny-side-up egg, a double order of thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon & fried onions, served between two grilled cheese sandwiches).
The U Bar is a must stop when looking for a classic place to watch the game. They've got plenty of big screens, beer, and a mechanical bull.