After a frustrating summer of Tigers baseball, a meaningless preseason of Lions football, and a lively but bittersweet off-season for the Wings, it’s finally here. The time of year when you can turn on the TV and (pretty much) every major sport is on somewhere... and by somewhere we mean one of Detroit’s 10 best sports bars.
This is the bar for Red Wings fans and even just plain old hockey fans. It’s not the flashiest joint; it doesn’t boast a million 60in plasmas, but it’s home to Detroit’s devoted hockey community, and that includes broadcasters, coaches, referees, and former players who have been known to pop in from time to time. Also, you should get the perch.
Sports and beer are great together, but sports and whiskey might be even better. Thankfully Thomas Magee’s doesn’t make you choose (but really, pick a whiskey). Michigan sports are always on the tube, but Thomas Magee’s is aware that soccer is also a thing, so also expect to watch some here -- like they do in the rest of the world.
You know the food isn’t spectacular, you know there might be something better out there, but you go because everyone from grandma to your boys from high school can eat/drink here and be happy... particularly if they like Miller Lite. Bonus points for the rooftop, the memorabilia, and being Buffalo Wild Wings, just Detroit themed.
The Detroiter and everyone in it loves Detroit sports just as much as you do, as evidenced by the hordes of sweaty Greektown migrants awaiting the Detroiter shuttle to Comerica, Ford Field, or the Joe. The no-nonsense burgers, coneys, and other pub eats also pair well with the “one more beer before we go” attitude.
A list of Detroit sports bars wouldn’t be complete without Nemo’s. Tigers games may have moved away, but Nemo’s devotion to baseball never left, nor did the burgers. It’s the place to get rowdy before, or after, a game, and also a wise place to catch a shuttle to/from Comerica and the Joe.
Harry’s truly is a classic Detroit sports bar complete with ample beer, TVs, and space to party on the patio deck, but the menu is why you want to be here on game day. Delectables like pickle chips and Angus steak burgers stand alongside fancy things like the smoked salmon BLT and house-made meatloaf.
Sometimes you just need a bunch of big TVs and a bunch of beer. That’s where TAP comes in handy. Get some pitchers, get something deep-fried, and watch Stafford lead a fourth-quarter comeback... or err, not.
See above, just add BBQ.
Coaches Corner may have only been in its new digs in the Michigan Building for about two months, but that’s enough time to prove that its sports/party/college-esque bar game is still just as strong. Hell, the combination of killer wings and Niki’s pizza alone would make it a noteworthy pre-/post-game hangout.
The rooftop patio is a clutch choice for Tigers games, and the game-day specials include a choice between things like a $15 pitcher and four shots, or a bucket of Coronas for $16. It's also got giveaways and other sweet stuff during U of M away games. (Note: you don’t have to be a UMich fan to obtain specials, but you totally should be).
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Jeff Waraniak likes to drink High Life and listen to Mickey Redmond say “Bingo-Bango.” He lives in Detroit.
1. Andrews on the Corner201 Jos Campau, Detroit
2. Thomas Magee's Sporting House Whiskey Bar1408 E Fisher Fwy, Detroit
3. Hockeytown Cafe2301 Woodward Ave, Detroit
4. The Detroiter Bar655 Beaubien St, Detroit
5. Nemo's1384 Michigan Ave, Detroit
6. Harry's Detroit Bar2482 Clifford St, Detroit
7. TAP at MGM Grand Detroit1777 Third St, Detroit
8. Coaches Corner1465 Centre St, Detroit
9. R.U.B BBQ Pub18 W Adams Ave, Detroit
As far as Red Wings fans are concerned, this is the place to be on game nights.
Donning a weathered, old-timey look, this young bar carries a whiskey-heavy beverage menu of over 100 different brands of the brown liquor, bottled brews, and a few beers on tap. There's not much food apart from salted nuts and chips, but the easygoing management will let you bring in outside food. Flat screens play "every sport, every game, every fight" and, while there's not much in terms of trendy foods or cool crowds, Magee's purist's mentality keeps the crowds coming during and after all sports events.
With its own merch store, Hockeytown Cafe pays homage to the Red Wings with tons of memorabilia, drinks, and bar snacks. And don't worry, even though there's a hockey puck on top of the building, the Tigers are shown equal respect.
What could be Detroit-ier than the Detroiter? Answer: nothing.
Nemo’s is a charmingly divey, Detroit mainstay featuring a host of America’s favorite bar foods like its world-famous chili, stacked club sandwich, hot soup, and hearty list of juicy, griddle burgers. The good ol’ reliable Cheeseburger, with gooey cheddar and standout fixings like crunchy, briny pickles, is our choice for best in grease. Have a can and enjoy a game at the bar in the cozy, weathered, and beloved watering hole — or take a free shuttle directly to the Tigers game. All aboard!
Harry's has plenty of attractive offerings in addition to its rustic, inviting interior: hearty plates like meatloaf and tandoori chicken, sweet snacks like Buffalo wings, and awesome specials, like $2 domestic drafts weekdays 3-7pm.
Replenish your buzz (but not your wallet) at this rustic watering hole inside the casino, where 50+ drafts/bottles and 40 TVs work tirelessly to distract you from imminent financial ruin.
Come to coaches ready to get rowdy and support your team. Also come hungry for some delicious Detroit-style pizza.
Tons of local Michigan brews, 30 TVs, and close proximity to Grand Circus Park make R.U.B. a great place to stumble into after a Tigers game (or to stumble from, before a Tigers game). Plus, a bunch of great BBQ dishes!