Food & Drink

The 12 Best Sports Bars In Seattle

Sure, we don't live in the WORST sports town in the country. But aside from the Sounders and 2014 Super Bowl, being a Seattle sports fan can be pretty heartbreaking. Don't get us started on the Mariners, or even mention the Sonics. But if what they say about misery loving company is true, that could explain why The Town has so many solid sports bars -- including a slew of soccer-obsessed pubs, tons of neighborhood sports dives, plus regional and national chains like The Ram and The Lodge Sports Grille, Taphouse Grill, etc. -- where you can get over a tough loss, or celebrate the occasional victory, with people going through the same thing. Our list of the very best is below:

LTD Bar & Grill

Fremont

Casual sports hang clad in corrugated metal
Though it's changed ownership a few times since opening a decade ago, this contemporary tavern is one of a string of interesting bars on 36th street (we're also big fans of the winter sports themed Woodsky's next door), but it's the only one with 15 TVs, a slew of bar games (shuffleboard, beer pong, etc.), and is the one with the best burgers, including The Big Dawg, a double cheeseburger with bacon & grilled onions.

The Fremont Dock

Fremont

Venerable sports dive on the shore of Lake Union. Almost.
This no frills drinking destination is slightly misnamed, but is close enough to the water we're willing to overlook it -- especially on a sunny day when you can actually see the lake across the street from their sprawling patio. Inside, The Dock is timeworn in all the best ways, with more than a dozen TVs, a few arcade-style game cabinets, 22 beers on tap, and a full… and we mean full… menu featuring everything from blackened corn on the cob to a Walk of Shame breakfast sandwich with three types of meat, egg & cheese on brioche.

The George & Dragon Pub

Fremont

Seattle's quintessential soccer bar. Because yes, that's a sport. Right?
Named after a pub in London that dates back to the Middle Ages, it seems like The George & Dragon has always been the most popular soccer bar in what is arguably America's most footy-mad city. It's obviously one of Seattle's go-to spots during the World Cup, but it's packed pretty much every weekend morning when the European matches start as early as 6am, which gives you an excuse to have a beer for breakfast. And their traditional "Full English.”

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The Angry Beaver | Thrillist

The Angry Beaver

Greenwood

Seattle's only hockey bar, and it's most Canadian one
Posted up in the old Pig & Whistle, this north-of-the-border-inspired bar is all about Canada's favorite things that don't include universal healthcare and Ryan Reynolds, including its namesake beavers (the Canuck national animal!), hockey (they show it on at least six big screens), and cuisine (poutine and, um, wait -- does Canada have other food?).

Quality Athletics

Pioneer Square

Seattle's highest quality sports bar
This upscale sports boozer has it all: tons of flat screens, a slushy machine, a rooftop garden, fire pits, and an AstroTurf bar out back. Not to mention, a location right next to CenturyLink Field. And that's before you even get to the food/drinks, including the 12th best burger in Seattle, nachos with pork carnitas, three cheese queso,pico, cotija & refried beans, and two different kinds of chicken wings (spicy teriyaki or Korean BBQ).

Sport Restaurant & Bar

Lower Queen Anne

An exuberant sports experience across from Seattle Center
This memorabilia, and flat screen-heavy, sports emporium from the guy behind the recently renovated Seastar and John Howie Steak (quick, guess what his name is!) makes it on the list for its indulgent food menu (bacon mac & cheese, Wagyu burgers, etc.), and innovative promotions like team-colored specialty shots during March Madness. Oh, and the personal TVs in every booth doesn't hurt.

Flatstick Pub

Multiple locations

Stunning mini golf destination in Pioneer Square, SLU, and Kirkland
Flatstick's original Pioneer Square location would be a can't-miss drinking destination if it were just a sprawling brick-heavy basement bar rife with industrial touches, whimsical wall art, and a few tabletop games. But it also boasts an impressive mini golf course that actually spells out "Seattle" in big block letters across the concrete floor and ends at a towering replica of the Space Needle -- the tip of which just brushes the high ceiling. Oh, and the other locations aren't too shabby either. Plus, if you need an excuse to toss back a few, on Sundays they donate a portion of every beer and every game of golf they sell to charity. 

The Doghouse Bar & Grill

SoDo

The sexiest sports bar location in Seattle
What they say about real estate is also true about the restaurant/bar industry. It's all about location, location, location. Well, The Doghouse is basically in the middle of nowhere, but there is one thing that makes it special: It's literally right next to one of Seattle's best stripclubs, which means even if the games on the place's nine big screens don't keep you entertained, something else probably could.

SPiN

Downtown

So much cooler than playing ping pong in the basement
Boasting seven locations across the US and Canada, Spin's latest location fashionably fills nearly 10,000 square feet in the basement of the historic Decatur Building with a dozen ping pong tables, a massive bar, and original graffiti-style art featuring local legends like Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix. One thing they don't have a lot of is TVs, so this is the kind of sports bar for people who'd rather play a sport than watch one.

Rookies

Columbia City

Better than your neighborhood sports bar 
Boasting a sparsely stylish space dominated by a black chain-link fence, and custom baseball bat art, Rookies is locally-owned, and serves a locally-sourced menu -- shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa, fish & chips, plus all the usual stuff -- to a mostly local crowd given its location is far flung Columbia City. That said, it’s still worth a visit for a lively place to catch literally any sporting event on TV.

Buckley's Belltown

Belltown

A more sophisticated sports hang
This spacious spot in a turn-of-the-century building is Buckley's 2nd location (the original one in Lower Queen Anne is worth a visit too), and manages to fit in with the stylish strip of bars lining this particular stretch of 2nd Ave (while also being all about sports), as evidenced by by 22 TVs and a 5-foot projection screen, 24 beers on tap, two daily happy hours, and if that's not enough, all the banners hanging from the ceiling -- probably including one from your favorite team. No matter who it is.

The Westy

Multiple locations

Sports bars that try not to feel like it
Sure, Westy's two locations have TVs -- lots of them -- and show all the games, but the atmosphere is more "laid-back neighborhood bar" than "Go Hawks", and they've got solid beer/cocktail lists with over 120 whiskeys. They’ve also got some excellent, if unpretentious, food including massive waffle fries, chicken & waffles with honey-butter & cinnamon whiskey syrup, a NW cheesesteak with Mama Lil's Peppers, and more.

Xtadium Lounge

SoDo

Sleek sports bar/nightclub right next to the stadium
This is not your neighborhood sports hang. It is a massive lounge boasting an LED wall for game day display, a live LED sports ticker for up to the minute scores and fantasy results, three Xbox stations with Madden Football, FIFA Soccer & NBA Live, tons of TVs (including a jumbotron-like installation in the middle of the room), as well as a 50-foot bar and a team of cocktail waitresses dressed like referees.

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Bradley Foster is a former Thrillist editor who wrote this piece between rounds of mini golf at the Flatstick in Pioneer Square.