15 of Philly’s Top Sports Bars for Watching the Big Game
Where to post up for March Madness and game days all year long.
Some things will never change, like the undying desire to scream at a television, surrounded by strangers, while guzzling a drink. Why not soften the tension with a visit to some of the city’s very best spots for watching the latest big game?
Whether you’re looking for a spot to kick back ahead of March Madness or just any old game, we’ve got you covered. From laid-back beer bars and breweries to rowdy spots to celebrate a big win, here are the best sports bars in Philadelphia to hit up on game day.
Bar Ly Chinatown
Any sports bar can offer a mega pile of fries and a burger (and we love them for that), but where do you go if you’re looking for a less basic food experience whilst watching sports? The answer: Bar Ly. Beyond the spot’s 60-plus beer taps, find an eclectic food menu that puts bacon-wrapped quail eggs and fried chicken gizzards side-by-side with classic picks like onion rings and chicken wings.
BRÜ Craft & Wurst
Come to watch the game but stay for the thoughtful beer menu and irresistible Bru fries that come drizzled with bacon and gravy. This German-inspired beer hall is always buzzing and busy, but if you can’t find room to hang out, you can always chill by the bar as you wait to snag a table. And if you need a break from all the sportsing, head downstairs to U-Bahn, the eatery’s smaller underground bar inspired by Berlin’s subway system.
Cavanaugh's Restaurant & Sports Bar
Cavanaugh’s has three Philly locations to host game day, whether you’d like the modest surroundings of Rittenhouse, the college crowds in University City, or the homey two-story tavern in Old City. No matter which you choose, you’re in for a classic laid-back sports bar atmosphere with tons of televisions and a big pub food menu featuring a delicious burger, all of which can be snagged from an open-late kitchen that keeps cooking through 1 am.
City Tap House Logan
City Tap House is home to two expansive spaces in Philly, each equipped with different areas to satisfy your game-watching needs, plus great bar food and not-to-miss flatbreads. The U-City location recently re-opened after nearly two years, where you can kick back at one of the picnic tables on the upstairs deck, while the Logan Circle spot melds seamlessly into nightlife when you’re ready to forget whatever happened during the game. Each location scores big when it comes to massive beer lists and snacks like 10-spice wings and bigger entrees like T-bone steak or seasonal crab cakes.
Craft Hall is a blessing for city parents who want to get out for the game but still have kiddos who need to tag along. The mixed-use warehouse is home to a full-blown jungle gym and is also lined with TVs and tons of seating throughout its grand 35,000-square-foot space. The bar also doubles (or triples) as home to Mainstay Independent Brewing and Lost Bread Co. Bakery, because what else would you need while watching the game?
Devil’s Den is a cozy destination to hole up with the latest rotating draft by the fire. The spot also boasts excellent bar nibbles including $13 duck fries covered in gravy and IPA cheese sauce, $10 nachos on housemade tortilla chips, buffalo falafel bites, and other savory nibbles. Stop by for brunch (which goes until 2 pm on weekends) to imbibe on $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys before kick off.
While most definitely a sports bar, Founding Fathers brings some high-brow surroundings to the formula with exposed brick, tall windows, and an open floor plan. They also have an outdoor streetery equally equipped with game-viewing televisions. It’s all even better once you come by for happy hour—where $5 beers, $8 cocktails, and discounted nibbles like pesto flatbread and chipotle chicken nachos rein supreme. Plus, if your sport of choice happens to be reality TV, this spot hosts watch parties for The Bachelor every Monday.
For the laid-back sports lovers with an eclectic taste in beer, this beer house staple offers more than 300 varieties, all canned. The Fishtown location has nine TVs prime for sports viewing, along with pool tables, Skee-Ball machines, and a BYOF policy so that you can get a cheesesteak from Joe’s across the street and enjoy your feast back at Garage.
Hilltown Tavern is a classic Irish gastropub with legitimately amazing bar food (don’t skip the fried chicken sammie) and a sizable beer list—as well as decent cocktails for the non-beer drinkers in your group. If the nine TVs aren’t giving you the scores you want, find solace in the disco fries. Also, don’t forget to stop by for weekend brunch in Roxborough so you can get a slider atop your Bloody Mary.
McGillin's Olde Ale House
McGillin’s is Philadelphia’s oldest bar and one of the oldest in the country, welcoming hoards of people since 1860. There are tons of drink specials, including pitchers and bar snacks, and the atmosphere is something you have to experience in Philly at least once. Just remember to go early so you can get a table.
Misconduct Tavern is a classic spot to watch the game, with three locations across town: the original in Rittenhouse, plus spots in University City and Logan Square. Misconduct takes its comfort food seriously, so rest assured you’ll find all the mac n’ cheese, cheese fries, and sliders you desire. If you’re taking the viewing party home, keep an eye out for special offers like the football party pack, equipped with a half dozen burgers and tons of wings all in one splendid box.
Moriarty's Restaurant & Irish Pub
With plenty of picks on tap and some of the best wings in all of Philadelphia, Moriarty’s already has two essentials for a good sports bar. Add in tons of game-day specials and some of the homiest pub ambiance out there, and you’re set. The spot has been around for more than 70 years, so be sure to try some of the aforementioned wings to officially feel like part of history.
The Post is open, airy, and offers tons to see and do, whether you’re just there for cheap game-day beer specials or want to take it up a notch with a drink from the cocktail menu. If you feel like wandering off, you’ll find other kinds of games throughout the space to provide your attention: arcade games, shuffleboard, skeeball, and virtual golf, to name a few.
Philly’s best gay sports bar is a party haven with a lot to offer, starting with the downstairs game room, the upstairs lounge, and the rooftop deck. Depending on the day, you could walk into drag brunch, karaoke, cabaret acts, trivia night, and no shortage of other activities. If you’re simply there for the sports, though, you won’t be disappointed. Tabu does Sunday Funday game watching like none other, with games projected on the second-floor video wall and activities to keep you busy all day before and after the game.
That exclamation point is there for a reason. If you can’t go to the actual game but want as close an experience to fandom insanity as you can get, head to the gigantic (seriously, this spot rings in at 80,000 square feet) XFINITY Live! venue just a stone’s throw away from Citizens Bank Park and the other stadiums. Expect sloppiness, revelry, dancing on tables, and a 32-foot LED TV.