Philadelphia has always been an avid (and occasionally rabid) sports town, but in the aftermath of the Eagles’ cathartic Super Bowl victory, the sports love feels even more palpable. More than ever, Philly fans are stepping out of their living rooms and filtering into their neighborhood sports bars and microbreweries in search of gameday camaraderie.
But just as your living room is your ultimate comfort zone, so too do you want a sports bar that suits your aesthetic needs. With that in mind, we’ve gathered up some of the best sports bars across Philadelphia -- from South Philly to Olde City to the Gayborhood -- to provide a full spectrum of options for local sports fans. Whether you prefer a more laid-back, mellow pub, or you seek shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and a 20-foot screen, you’ll find a home in (at least) one of the best sports bars in Philly.
Editor’s Note: Each of these bars offers great rotating Happy Hour specials; in fact, the specials shapeshift so frequently that we opted to leave them out entirely. Check out each bar’s website and Facebook page for current info on available food and drink deals.
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South Philly A no-holds-barred spectating experience that’s a short walk from Citizens Bank Park Can’t go to the game but looking for the next best thing? The 80,000-square-foot XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is a galleria of sports bars and revelry. Expect throngs of people and countless drink and food specials -- plus a 32-foot, LED, high-definition TV screen that’s worth more than most dive bars in South Philly. Oh, and there’s a mechanical bull. That’s right.
Center City A stone’s throw from City Hall, this stalwart pub is a must-go for any Philly sports fan One of the oldest bars in the city -- it opened the same year Abraham Lincoln was elected president -- McGillin’s Olde Ale House is also one of the hands-down best locations in Philly for die-hard sports fans. We’re talking HD projector screens; we’re talking $5 Eagles Super Mugs that earn you $2 refills of Bud Light all season; and, if Bud’s not your fancy, McGillin’s has 30 total beers on draft, including some local all-star breweries like Stoudts, Sly Fox, and Dogfish Head. If you haven’t been here yet, consider this an order.
Rittenhouse Square Former firehouse offers bountiful drink specials during games There’s a handful of great repurposed firehouses in Philly, and Ladder 15 is one of the best. Formerly the home of the Engine 4 Company, this multi-level bar with high (35-foot!) ceilings and a birch log-encased fireplace is equal parts cozy and lively. The many TVs around the pub are tuned into whatever game is happening -- and the rotating specials are always on point.
Passyunk Square Looks like an auto body shop, and feels like the dive bar of your dreams For the laid-back sports lovers with more eclectic taste in beer, this gritty South Philly staple offers 300 cans of beer -- or, as their website says, “more cans than the Playboy mansion.” A pool table and Skee-Ball machines await sports fans who like playing games while watching games. Garage also has pop-up food options, like tacos and empanadas, but they’re BYOF, so feel free to bring whatever eats your heart desires.
South Philly Tried-and-true destination for Philly sports fans (and crabfries fans) No list of Philly sports bars would be complete without namechecking Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar. With three bars, several TVs -- including a 14-footer -- and arguably the best crabfries in the city, it’s no wonder why Chickie’s and Pete’s is a longstanding destination for anyone interested in getting buzzed in a crowd on gameday.
Center City Beloved Irish pub for sports fans with decidedly European interests If sports from across the pond are more your fancy, consider this authentic Irish pub your new home. You can catch plenty of different sports at Fado -- and enjoy dozens of domestic and foreign brews while you’re at it -- but this bar’s heart belongs to soccer. From morning to night, the beer is flowing and the TVs are tuned to whatever Euro sport is broadcasting. Also, “Fado” is Gaelic for “long ago,” so come expecting some time-honored traditional Irish pub food.
Olde City Let loose in this two-floor pool hall located in the most historic corner of Philly Tucked into Philly’s historic Olde City district, this bar/pool hall is a great hang even if you’re not 100% invested in the game. With two floors, two full bars, 17 HDTVs, eight pool tables, and four shuffleboard tables, your attention will be fully occupied from the moment you enter the building. Oh, did we mention they’ve got the Big Buck Hunter arcade game? Well, they do.
Chinatown An A+ taproom for sports fans with adventurous appetites Yes, Bar-Ly is well-outfitted with massive screens. Yes, they’ve got a full roster of great beers on tap (60 beers, to be exact). What really sets this Chinatown sports bar apart, though, is its weird and wide-ranging food menu. Traditional eats like burgers and onion rings are available, but if you’re hankering for something a bit more unconventional -- bacon-wrapped quail eggs and fried chicken gizzards, anyone? -- this is the place for you. Come hungry.
Washington Square West Watching the game doesn’t get more exuberant than at this Gayborhood gem A longtime facet of the city’s vibrant Gayborhood district, the Tabu Lounge is philanthropic (they’ve hosted well over 200 fundraisers for area nonprofit organizations), sports-crazed, and wildly fun. What’s more, the years have been so good to this neighborhood favorite that it’s now on the verge of relocating to a nearby three-story building complete with a roof deck. All the more space for Philly sports jubilance.
Center City Popular Broad Street haven for die-hard sports fans If what you seek is a pure panorama of screens, you can do a lot worse than this Center City mainstay. Tavern on Broad has 34 HDTVs positioned on virtually every wall, which means you wouldn’t be able to miss a moment of gameplay even if you tried. The consistent happy hour special is half off all drinks (except shots). Additional daily specials vary.
Center City Nearly 40 TVs pack this Reading Terminal Market neighbor Nestled in the Philadelphia Convention Center, this spacious (and newly renovated) 12,000-square-foot sports bar is fully outfitted for immersive game viewing. Thirty-five-plus HDTVs fill the Field House (and some will positively dwarf you), so it doesn’t matter if you’re huddled around the bar or relaxing in a corner booth: You’re going to see every loving minute of gameplay. Worried about overcrowding? Reserve a table for any upcoming Eagles game.
Graduate Hospital A sports bar with a touch of class Can we call a sports bar suave? Because that’s the word that comes to mind when we think about Founding Fathers. With its sleek and open floor plan, muted color scheme, and tasteful exposed brick walls, this business-casual watering hole has serious class. It’s also one of few sports bars that offers truly noteworthy vegetarian options: Try the seitan wings, and then wonder why you never tried them before.
Rittenhouse One part sports bar, one part nightclub STATS on 17th may have opened at the end of the summer, but this two-in-one sports bar/nightclub is already firmly on the map. Another low-light Rittenhouse lounge, STATS shows NFL, NHL, college football, MMA, and boxing -- and, on Friday and Saturday nights, the DJs emerge, converting this chill bar into a full-fledged club. Specials abound, with various deals offered during pretty much any hometeam game.
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