The Absolute Best Sports Bars in Atlanta
If you're deciding where in Atlanta to watch the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals faceoff in Super Bowl LVI, look no further than these bars.
Atlanta’s wealth of sports franchises makes it the perfect city to live in, whatever your favorite team is. But as we enter the month of February and football comes to an end, Super Bowl LVI will be the last we see of the NFL until September. With the NBA and MLS kicking their seasons into high gear, many of ATL’s faithful sports fanatics are looking for venues with a thrilling game day environment and incredible booze. So, whether you plan on watching Trae Young light up the scoreboard on a Friday night or meeting up with friends to catch the Atlanta United soccer match, the city has some great sports bars that provide a memorable experience.
Doc's Food & Spirits
Doc’s is considered the quintessential Georgia sports bar. Strong drinks, pool tables, and flags from the state’s favorite teams hanging all around, this Smyrna gem is the perfect place to eat, drink, play—and whatever else tickles your fancy. Located right up the street from Battery Park, this bar has one of the best menus around. Their Memphis Style Pulled Pork Nachos are fire, and if you’re up early enough, you can pop in for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays until 3 pm.
Twin Peaks Restaurant
As soon as you walk into Twin Peaks, its lodge-inspired architecture makes you feel all warm and cozy inside—or maybe it’s the $3.99 shots. Either way, you're in for a helluva experience and a diverse menu that includes more than just your typical bar food. During the game, take a sip of their signature 29° beers, and during timeouts enjoy the top-notch service.
Buckhead Saloon is a one-stop shop for any sports fan. Their high-definition TV screens, reasonably priced menu (especially their delicious $1 oysters), and spacious patio area has made it one of the best bars in Atlanta for over 25 years. You can grab a table and relax or turn up on Friday and Saturday nights for its legendary dance parties—just watch out for the napkins (you’ll see what we mean),
Dugan's Restaurant & Bar
One of the most energetic and economical choices, Dugan’s 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.
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 flip-off from somebody rooting for opposing teams/losers.
The Tavern@ Camp Creek
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 an energetic Falcons crowd, this is your spot. Especially when they start winning again. Right?
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.
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
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 (Border Medicine, 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.
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.
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.
Fado Irish Pub
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 wild.
Butcher & Brew
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Mazzy's Sports Bar & Grill
Spread across multiple locations north of Atlanta, you can 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 $19.50 grilled chicken & shrimp pasta is the highest-priced menu item), the pitchers are nice and cheap, and for residents of Brookhaven—be on the lookout for a brand-new Mazzy’s in the near future.
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.
Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @roshrisky.