Boston’s Best Sports Bars for Watching the Big Game
From dive bars to over-the-top sports destinations.
Few pastimes are more definitive to the city of Boston than watching sports and drinking—and more often than not, the two go hand-in-hand. If you are looking to join the masses of Massachusetts sports fans and share in their cheers, jeers, and tears, it shouldn’t be any surprise that you’ll find many of Boston’s best sports bars in close-proximity to the iconic Fenway Park and the famed Garden.
For a more intimate, insider’s approach, head to the nearby suburbs and noteworthy neighborhood haunts where you’ll sit side-by-side with friendly locals. Or if you want to celebrate a big win in an equally big way, there are spots right near the action where you can do that, too. No matter what the occasion, here are the best sports bars to visit all year round.
Banners Kitchen & Tap
Located in the new Hub on Causeway, Banners accompanies a food hall, music venue, and movie theater, all part of a new 1.75 million-square-foot buildout attached to North Station. Situated in the former location of the Boston Garden (before it moved a few blocks over), this 25,000-square-foot restaurant and watering hole is so close to the action, you can’t help but think the walls are rattling from the energy emanating from the arena next door. With brunch, lunch, and dinner on offer, Banners has a lengthy menu ranging from salads, sandwiches, and burgers to more artisanal takes on New England cuisine. The real thrill here, however, lies in the in-house technology to advance your viewing experience. Banner’s “Dream Screen,” claims to be the largest on-screen sports viewing experience in the city. With 13 additional screens and five more with live game scores and stats, you won’t miss a moment. And, if you want to get in on the action, Banners recently became the first bar in Boston to offer virtual golfing in TopGolf Swing Suites.
Just south of Southie in neighboring Dorchester, you’ll find The Banshee (that is, if you’re looking for it). An Irish sports bar in a primarily residential neighborhood, The Banshee is known as the prime destination for all European sporting events. They focus on the Barclays Premier League, international rugby, and Gaelic football, and they are also the official pub of RISSC Boston, Celtic FC, and several other supporters' groups. Because of their focus on European sports, The Banshee opens up early and offers up an extensive breakfast menu to soak up the sights and the suds.
The Bleacher Bar
To really get inside the action, hit up Bleacher Bar, a sports bar tucked under the bleachers inside Fenway Park. While the one-of-a-kind view and behind-the-scenes experience at Bleacher Bar is best enjoyed on a Red Sox game day, the space is open 363 days a year. Formerly the visiting team’s batting cage, the space now offers fans framed Sox memorabilia and reasonably priced food and drink in a dingy, cavernous room that beats the heat of the bleacher seats directly above. Enter the bar next to the ticket window of Gate C and you’ll find yourself looking onto the centerfield lawn with only a gate (and other customers) obstructing the view. The three rows of seats closest to the window go quick, usually filling up hours before game time, but you can still watch the game on the TVs behind the bar—and the early bird fans are usually friendly enough to let you catch a brief glimpse from their well-earned vantage point.
Cask 'n Flagon
The closest you can get to Fenway Park without being in it, Cask 'n Flagon is a Boston sports institution. The roar of the crowd is ever-present and the hustle and bustle of fans shuffling down Lansdowne Street can sometimes be just as interesting as the game. You can feel the pulse of the stadium from your barstool. Watch the game from one of the 60 TVs while noshing on comfort pub grub featuring everything from pasta and pizzas to down-home BBQ. And keep your eyes out—if someone blasts one over the Green Monster, it may just land outside.
Located in Boston’s bustling South End, you’ll find the city’s first out-and-proud gay sports bar. Cathedral Station is decked out with dartboards, a pool table, and an exquisite patio perfect for al fresco sport viewing. Besides non-stop televised sports, the bar also hosts theme nights for karaoke, free pool, trivia, and discount wing specials. The vibe is casual and everyone is welcome.
Coolidge Corner Clubhouse
Head over to Brookline, right across from the historic movie theater, and you will find the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse. Red patent leather booths, glass dividers, gold railings, and sport photos give off that classic homey, old time-y pub feel, while elevated, updated comfort food and carefully placed TVs keep this neighborhood favorite bustling day in and day out.
Built into Fenway Park’s centerfield wall, Game On is located on-premises, but without that view inside that the neighboring Bleacher Bar boasts. While the street-level dining room and bar offers 16 coal-fired artisanal pizza options and an arsenal of TVs to take care of every part of your peripheral vision, the basement is outfitted with six spacious pingpong “suites,” a cornhole court, and access to the official batting cage of the Boston Red Sox.
The Greatest Bar
I mean, the name says it all. Promising not to be just a bar, but “an experience,” The Greatest Bar is a four-floor sports and nightlife destination. A 14-foot television remains the focal point on game days, but the venue is also well-known for skeeball, DJs, and dancing. Enthusiastic clientele tend to make for very busy nights, so consider yourself forewarned. Years ago, when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, they would often cut to live feeds from The Greatest Bar to show how Boston fans were celebrating back home.
For the more discerning sports appreciator, there is nowhere more gracious than Parlor Sports. Located at the Cambridge and Somerville town line, you won’t be close to any of the local stadiums, but that's all the better when it comes to parking and post-game traffic. Parlor is smaller than your typical Boston sports bar, but if there’s a game on, it’s on here—and if it’s not, you can request it and they’ll try to put it on the TV closest to you. Parlor opens early on weekends and otherwise at 6 pm, but if there’s a big morning match brewing, you can be assured they’ll open up even earlier. Serving upscale comfort food, craft beers, and even classic cocktails, the staff is sports-smart and friendly. A drop-down boxing mic falls from the ceiling if a bartender wants to make an announcement, and an antique boxing bell often gets rung if something epic goes down. Even on the off nights, Parlor finds ways to intrigue its customers with other games of chance, like their legendary, spirited, and irreverent viewings of The Bachelor.
The Phoenix Landing is not only a traditional Irish bar, but it’s also one of the city’s go-to destinations when it comes to live televised European football and rugby matches. If there’s a game, it’s on. If it happens to be an early and important match, they’re open and most likely busy. Throughout the day you can expect their clientele to be clad in football jerseys cursing at all nine televisions in the space.
Located in the Omni Hotel in Boston’s Seaport District, the Sporting Club celebrates the big game with a whole day of festivities. A DJ sets the mood leading up to the game, which is shown with full volume on multiple big screens. A special food menu features specialty fare inspired from the competing cities, while a live band and another DJ set follow the game.
Stats Bar & Grille
Whether you choose to belly up to the bar or head straight to the heated rooftop beer garden, you’re sure to notice an electric energy in the air at Stats Bar & Grille. A neighborhood bar known for their extensive, eclectic food menu, and a drink menu just as substantial, Stats is continually packed with loyal fans and customers making use of the 24 strategically positioned TVs.
A Boston institution, and one of the last remaining bars that date back to the old Boston Garden, Sullivan’s proximity to the home of the Celtics and Bruins makes it one of the rowdiest places to pregame, postgame, or watch the game without a ticket. Pool tables and video games and sports memorabilia only add to the spectacle.
Named to honor Revere native and Red Sox legend, Tony Conigliaro, Tony C’s is a spacious restaurant and sports bar that almost feels like the size of a small stadium itself. The youngest person to lead the league in home runs, Conigliaro played an integral role in the Sox’s famous “Impossible Dream” season of 1967 before being plagued with unfortunate injuries. Over time his legacy became a career of perseverance and bravery. Now his name shines in neon at four different locations. While the outpost closest to the stadium has closed, other locations in the Seaport, Assembly Square, Burlington, and Peabody still thrill fans of all ages on game day.
Warehouse Bar & Grille
Just steps from the Rose Kennedy Greenway on the border of Faneuil Hall and the Financial District, Warehouse Bar & Grille offers burgers, tacos, and more indulgent food from the kitchen and inventive libations from their knowledgeable bar staff. The sleek, modern space provides the perfect backdrop for a game, and TVs situation along the bar and near the booths ensure you won’t miss any of the action no matter what size group you’re with.
Stepping into WynnBET Sports Bar is like walking onto the set of a television sports show with tables echoing the look of sportscasters’ sprawling desks. Located in the Encore casino, WynnBET Sports Bar is just a few short steps from rows and rows of slot machines. With a gigantic video wall and more than 70 televisions, this bar is a great place to leave one kind of game and watch another.