The Absolute Best Sports Bars in Louisville
Catch Super Bowl LVI or cheer on the Winter Olympic Games at these sure-fire game day bets.
Between the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, and the looming threat of March Madness’ inevitable timeline takeover, it’s tough to avoid the sports buzz these days. And here in Derby City, where allegiances run the gamut from hometown heroes Lou City FC, Racing Louisville, University of Louisville Cardinals, and the ever-faithful Bats to big leaguers like the Bengals, Reds, Colts, and Pacers, to name just a few, opportunities to catch a game in the company of draft beer and Buffalo wings lurks around every corner. These are the 16 best sports bars in Louisville, from backroads dives to refined whiskey lounges and everything in between.
This blind squirrel isn’t settling for a boring old nut, that’s for sure. Looks like this East End rodent dug up a 10,800-square-foot venue, complete with over 20 HD TVs (including one enormous 16 by 20-foot number) plus an outdoor beach volleyball setup, indoor virtual driving range, and big ol’ menu of sharable classics like wings, pizza, fried shrimp, potato skins, and nachos. Endorsed by the Courier-Journal as Louisville’s best sports bar, what more convincing do you need? Okay, fine—40 beers on tap and over 100 bourbons should do the trick.
The Manhattan Project
Class up the Big Game at this handsome Clifton gastropub. Industrial-chic touches (think whitewashed brick, garage-style doors, exposed ducts, and soaring hangar-like ceilings) set the tone for buttoned-up hooliganism as a multitude of TVs broadcast every matchup imaginable and revelers fill up on signature cocktails, craft beers, and upmarket bar bits like Chesapeake Oysters on the half-shell, Blackened Ahi Tuna, Truffle Fries, Flatbreads, and Risotto. Sundays bring $5 draft beers to the table for your football-watching pleasure.
The Sports & Social Club
The tagline “Every day is game day” does well to describe this chilled-out downtown tavern, hosting more than 35 HD TVs alongside a plethora of sporty food and drink specials, patio seating, onsite air hockey and bowling (!!), and a full calendar of entertainment. Lean into the 4th Street Live vibes and go HAM on the Tailgate Package, an $80 gut-busting collection of nachos, two buckets of beer, 16 wings, and 10 beefy sliders offered every Saturday and Sunday.
Saints Pizza Pub & Sky Bar
ESPN Sunday Ticket, NASCAR, and an endless roster of gold, baseball, and soccer keeps this boozy fanzone buzzing with a bounty of steadfast allegiances. It’s officially registered as the city’s Green Bay Packers Fan Club HQ, but also openly caters to UK, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, Ohio State, US Men’s and Women’s Soccer, EPR’s Tottenham Hotspurs, Clemson, West Virgina Mountaineers, Texas A&M, LCFC and Racing Louisville, Chicago Blackhawks, and Chicago Cubs supporters. Not sure how that works during March Madness heats, but here’s hoping $17 Bacardi buckets and a gargantuan amount of beers plus to-die-for smoked chicken wings ushers in the calm.
What appears to be a seemingly innocuous pizzeria quietly doubles as Cincinnati Bengals HQ here in River City. Chants of “Who Dey” echo off of every corner on game days, while a surprisingly diverse lineup of artisan pies, salads, house beer cheese and “breadwicks,” wings, sandwiches, and more fuels the ferver. The full service bar cranking out potent Wicked Hurricanes by the dozen doesn’t hurt, either.
Set a stone’s throw away from Lynn Family Stadium, this Butchertown hangout is a one-stop-shop for all things LCFC and Racing Louisville, egged on by match day bargains like discounted cocktails and $1 off drafts. But it’s prowess extends beyond the Beautiful Game—Dreamy jalapeño poppers, regular pop-ups and takeovers, Fernet on tap, and a low-lit, sexy aesthetic ensure a quality game-watching experience no matter which form of football you fancy.
This legendary dive has been delighting the grizzled masses since 1946 and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The famous Bambi Burger, a fist-sized patty piled high with American cheese, crisp lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and mayo, takes center stage, second only to the patrons’ undying love for Louisville Cardinals athletics. Don’t expect a dozen giant TVs, cloth napkins, or high-end anything here, just an incredible patio, friendly folks, and a whole lot of laughs.
TEN20 Craft Brewery
NuLu isn’t exactly known for its rowdy sports bars, but this 22,000-square-foot production brewery and breezy taproom promises all the comfy seats, excellent booze, and big screen TV action minus the meatheads you might encounter elsewhere. 24 taps pour the good stuff, both flagship and seasonal, while a sunny beer garden handles the overflow and partnerships with local chefs and restaurateurs provide some much-needed sustenance.
PG&J's Dog Park Bar
What’s better than catching the big game with beer and buddies? Sharing in the moment with your prized pup, that’s what. Head to this upbeat Highlands indoor-outdoor destination and let Fido’s freak flag fly while you size up the competition via the numerous flatscreen TVs engulfing the central bar. Speaking of the bar, you’ll find all the craft beer and top-shelf cocktails you can handle (your furry pal will have to settle for water, of course). A full roster of fun canine-centric events plus an (obviously) massive yard strewn with picnic tables and excellent vibes keep things interesting no matter who happens to be battling it out on the court.
Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar
This upmarket lounge inside the historic Galt House Hotel originally debuted in 1972, and fit right into the cigar-wielding ‘70s scene with its dim lighting, mighty bourbon list, red vinyl bar stools, and rich walnut everything. A late-2019 makeover brought the coveted Bourbon Trail pioneer up to speed aesthetically, but the gist remains the same: 100+ whiskeys flowing amid handsome tufted leather couches, blue velvet banquettes, and hard-carved wood accents alongside a menu of sophisticated light bites. Game day specials are surprisingly affordable here and two large televisions above the bar provide more than enough viewing vantage points—just be sure to leave the foam finger and flip flops at home, as this is one classy joint.
The Granville Pub
Dating to 1939, this timeless Old Louisville classic feels like traveling back in time—if, of course, the Depression had stacks of HD TVs, fantastic Pepper Jack Cheese Balls, neon beer signs, and a decent craft beer selection. Hey, you never know. Toss in a pool table, darts, regular live music, and a big backyard strung with lights for whenever that fresh air urge comes a-knocking, and you’re looking at a damn fine sports bar experience.
Joe's Older Than Dirt
House-smoked barbecue brisket, a sprawling patio littered with lawn games, 20 flatscreen TVs, bargain game day specials (hello $1 domestic mugs and $4 Bloody Marys), and a stellar bourbon lineup make this Lyndon gem, lovingly raised from the dead in 2019 after a two-year closure, a true no-brainer. An excellent and loyal crowd of regulars only adds to the widespread appeal.
If you aren’t able to make it inside the YUM! Center for a Cards game, posting up at Troll Pub is undoubtedly the next best thing. Situated directly adjacent to the home of Cardinal basketball, there are nearly as many TVs as there are people in this underground lair, which is packed to the gills before and after every YUM! Center event as well as during other major sports broadcasts. All of the typical pub fare is on offer—yes, you do want an extra order of Frickles with chipotle-lime ranch dipping sauce—alongside a handful of Kentucky-centric classics like the Hot Brown and their Signature Beer Cheese made with Shiner Bock and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and served with four warm soft pretzel sticks.
Brownie's The Shed Grille & Bar
Living up to its "your closest home to home" tagline, Brownie’s is the quintessential neighborhood watering hole, stocked with solid food and more than enough beer to go around. The Plainview Village Center location carries a variety of TV sport packages including the MLB Package, ESPN College Gameplan, The Sunday Ticket, Big 10, and all the Fox Sports Channels. Rest assured that even if your favorite team happens to be small and obscure, chances are you’ll still be able to cheer them on at Brownie’s. Surround sound speakers and cornhole on the patio round things out.
Home to Louisville’s official Minnesota Vikings Fan Club, Gerstle’s Place has been a St. Matthews’ magnet since 1924. Minnesota diehards gather on game nights loudly and proudly, while fans of all walks of life flock to the Frankfort Avenue landmark for college basketball and other primetime competitions. Burgers, hot dogs, and an array of fried fixin’s are on hand if you’re hungry, and drink specials are standard on any game day of note. Stick around post-match to hear some of the ‘Ville’s best live music acts, which take to the stage at Gerstle’s seven days a week.
Diamond Pub & Billiards
If you’re looking to shoot pool while cheering on the Cats, the Cards, or any other respectable team, Diamonds is designed for you, with billiard tables and HD TVs lined up as far as the eye can see at both their Highlands and St. Matthews locations. Game-day drink specials are basically a way of life here, with deals like $2 domestic pints, $8 pitchers, and discounted bar bites to boot.