The Absolute Best Sports Bars in Atlanta

The Olympics are here!

The last time we talked about the best local sports bars, Atlanta’s sports teams were nothing to brag about to friends in other major cities. The best team the city had at the time was the Falcons, and the stench from their (still) unbelievable loss in Super Bowl LI the year prior hadn’t yet worn off. Three years later, however, times have definitely changed. 

Atlanta United brought a major sports championship back to the city for the first time since the Braves won the 1995 World Series, the Braves themselves were one win away from competing in the 2020 World Series, and most recently, the Hawks found themselves two wins away from the NBA Finals. Having pride in Atlanta’s sports teams is actually acceptable again, and as a result, you and your friends will probably find yourselves wanting to hit local sports bars more and more this year. This is your chance to check out all of the best game-day eateries that the city has to offer, so get ready to root for Atlanta at all of these great sports bars. Oh, and we hear that something called the Olympics is happening right now.

Stats
Stats | COURTESY OF MELISSA LIBBY

Stats Brewpub

Downtown
The cost of game-watching inside the flashy, big-numbers-displaying building near State Farm Arena and 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 includes 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. At the time of publishing, Stats is temporarily closed, but expect the doors to this epic sports bar to be back open by the time football season rolls back around.

Dugan's Restaurant & Bar

Poncey Highland
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 while we did previously mention how all of the city’s teams seem to be on an upward trajectory, remember—this is still ATL. We may lose here and there, but we eat and drink like winners on the daily.

Taco Mac queso
Courtesy of Taco Mac

Taco Mac

Various Locations
Thankfully “T.Mac” realized Tracy McGrady was never coming, so the ATL-born franchise changed its name back to Taco Mac, and as a result the swag and mojo have returned. They’ve still got one of the most diverse and solid draft beer lists in town, and every location—ITP and OTP—is spacious and surrounded by screens so that you never miss a kickoff, tip-off or flick-off from somebody rooting for opposing teams/losers.

The Tavern@ Camp Creek

East Point
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 that make you wonder if it’s even beer or just really good alcohol-infused sparkling water (which is kinda what cheap beer is anyway), and delicious tailgate-style eats. Also, if you want a crunk Falcons crowd, this is your spot. Especially when they start winning again. RIGHT?! 

Hudson Grille Midtown
Courtesy of Hudson Grille Midtown

Hudson Grille

Various locations
HG is the perfect place for the casual sports fan or person who just heard on the news that a team is actually pretty decent this year. More refined than your typical neighborhood sports bar with cleaner restrooms and finer floor tiling, it’s the smart sports hang, where you watch people compete for entertainment but don’t have to lose your cool—if you don’t want to, at least. Hudson Grille is more the classy kind of setup, where you could take parents, grandparents, and first dates who aren’t yet ready to see how much of a die-hard Hawks fan you are. It’s a franchise, sure, but it’s reliable and has enough commonality to remind you that sports, or at least a decent sports bar, really can bring people together.

Midway Pub

East Atlanta Village
There’s no wrong sport to watch at Midway, but it’s particularly nice for both types of football, American and otherwise, thanks to proper use of a quaint space and TVs on either side of wherever you sit.

Punch Bowl Social
Courtesy of Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social

The Battery
This Battery mainstay has several bars in its self-described “25,000-square-feet of sheer awesomeness,” and across its three levels, you can do practically everything—from virtual reality and arcade games to bowling and ping pong—while enjoying practically every kind of meal you might crave — from breakfast to buckets of fried chicken. And if you’re putting your heart on the line and claiming that this is finally THE season for your favorite Atlanta sports team, Punch Bowl’s classic cocktails (Boulevardiers, etc.), assortment of local drafts, and $10 rum-, tequila-, and bourbon-based punch bowls will definitely give you that pick-me-up that you need on after all of the most disappointing losses this year.

Diesel Filling Station

Virginia-Highland
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.

Irby's Tavern
Courtesy of Irby's Tavern

Irby’s Tavern

Buckhead
Named after a guy who put a tavern/grocery on the corner of Piedmont and East Paces Ferry, Irby’s pays respect to a pioneer of pre-Buckhead Buckhead (“Irbyville”) and is a go-to sports hangout if you’re into history and homage. You’ll see milestone memorabilia of Atlanta sports moments, including a 1996 Olympics poster, newspaper clippings, and large black and white prints of Braves games rather than a light show of TV screens, but it’s enough coverage to keep you from rubbernecking as long as you’re not on the patio. The all-around passion that this sports bar has for Atlanta sports is unmatched, so come correct, ready to cheer for the right team.

Courtesy of Mazzy's

Mazzy’s Sports Bar & Grill

Marietta
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 dart board action while game-watching via a gang of HD screens. The food is respectable enough (it’s also affordable as hell—the $18.50 grilled chicken & shrimp pasta 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.

The Brewhouse Cafe
Courtesy of The Brewhouse Cafe

Brewhouse Cafe

Little Five Points
A lovably grungy attitude and funky accoutrements make you feel more welcome than almost any other place where you can watch dudes running around in different colored clothes. And there’s no better place in Atlanta to watch people kick around a soccer ball for hours whilst still contemplating if you actually like soccer or are just satisfied that Atlanta United ended the city’s championship drought in 2018.

The Tavern@ Camp Creek

East Point
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 that make you wonder if it’s even beer or just really good alcohol-infused sparkling water (which is kinda what cheap beer is anyway), and delicious tailgate-style eats. Also, if you want a crunk Falcons crowd, this is your spot. Especially when they start winning again. RIGHT?! 

Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant

Fado Irish Pub

Buckhead
When the EPL plays, Fado opens early. When you’re getting off work and need bar snacks, they’ve got cold oak-smoked salmon bites and roasted red pepper hummus ready to make your Happy Hour even better. Obviously soccer rules, so it’s best to get in there sooner to cheer on Atlanta United, but for those few months off they still keep a running calendar of sports events, and if you’ve never watched a game or match in the 20 years the Dublin-inspired franchise has been in Atlanta, believe that it gets Beyoncé and Jay Z-level apeshit.  

Butcher & Brew

Alpharetta
Football—and every other sport—doesn’t need to be fancy (aside from equestrianism), but the food can be the exception that makes you appreciate a restaurant’s good sportsmanship. B&B takes this route—obviously, it’s in Alpharetta—but does it in an approachable manner that applies freshly baked bread to sandwiches like The Aunt Bethany, which is a green egg smoked turkey breast on sourdough with garlic aioli, or The Underwood, which employs Big-Green-Egg-smoked house pastrami. There’re plenty more available, but you’re here to watch competitions, so the clean design of the white painted brick walls neatly lined with screens makes it easy to focus. Oh, and brew? There’s plenty (40 drafts and 20+ bottles across both locations), and it’s always being updated, so that Wicked Weed, Scofflaw, or Creature Comforts sipper you love might be replaced with something even more delicious soon.

Dantanna's beer
Courtesy of Dantanna's

Dantanna’s

Buckhead
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, and a classy, stained wood interior with plush seating. All that, plus plump plates of your favorite tailgate fare make for a grown man’s game-day paradise.

Whitehall Tavern

Peachtree Battle
Forty HDTVs, countless local beers, a game room with pool and Pac-Man, and a spread-out patio—which has undoubtedly come in handy over the past year—make this tucked-away Peachtree sports spot a proud continuation of what was once Cheyenne Grill. 

Check back during the games for all of Thrillist’s continuing Olympics coverage. Think of us like an all-knowing friend watching along with you to answer all the most important questions, like how heavy Olympic medals are, or why this year’s games are still called the 2020 Olympics. We’ll explain everything from what ROC means to why athletes are sleeping on cardboard beds, and much, much more.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat!

Mike Jordan told y’all not to get excited about this season, but he is always excited to be in a town that still enjoys sports bars. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelbjordan.