Watching the game at home has its perks. You can cheer on the fumbles and the touch-downs from the non-judgement safe zone of your own couch. You can eat your weight in potato chips and guzzle beers like a pro with nary a sense of embarrassment. But, going out, particularly in a sports-crazed town like Atlanta has its perks, too.
Seeing that Atlanta is the proud home to the lauded Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Silverbacks, as well as legions of sports nuts, there’s a high-demand for entertaining and feeding scores of fans on the reg. Fortunately, the bar and restaurant scene has taken note, providing a bevy of options for cheering, drinking and eating in sports bars all over the city.
Whether you’re looking for a regular place to meet with your fantasy league, a posh spot to take that super-fan client, a laid-back dive you can walk to on a whim or a place where you can enjoy a good dinner and a game, Atlanta’s got you covered.
Cricket fan? Coming right up. Football? You better believe it. Just grab a few buddies, your lucky paraphernalia (socks, hat, mustache, T-shirt) and this list. Let the games begin!
The Ivy Buckhead
Making its home in a renovated Buckhead mansion, The Ivy Buckhead has become a popular drinking spot, particularly during football season (thanks to the roaring indoor fireplace and 22 flat-screens). The crowd tends to steer young (lots of 20-somethings) and the place stays busy. So, it's a great option if you're looking to meet new people and watch a game with fellow fans. The environs are spacious, and offer up a handsome, lodge-like feel made all the more enjoyable thanks to several tasty menu offerings (burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salads, nachos, etc.). A sleek wraparound bar and a two-tiered outdoor patio lend to the social aspect of the place. (404-941-3081)
Fado Irish Pub
Buckhead's long-standing Irish pub is a choice option for those who prefer being part of a rowdy crowd come game day. View the website before heading in to keep tabs on the featured game of the eve--they're big on showing European games live, so soccer fans, head on in! Make sure to bring along a designated driver or book Uber before heading out (same goes for all of these bars). Regularly occurring drink specials, happy hours, late-night menus and a heady beer selection make it easy to get tipsy quick. Stay for dinner (get something Irish like the shepherd's pie, all-day Irish breakfast or fish and chips) and make a night out of it. (404-841-0066)
This family-owned neighborhood joint fills up with locals seeking a cold beer, solid pub food and consistently good service. Though it doesn't advertise itself as a sports bar, this little Cabbagetown gem regularly airs sporting events on its TVs, and is a good place to pull up a seat if you happen to be in the area come game day. Given the easy-going atmosphere and the location in this arty in-town 'hood, it's a nice find if you're seeking a spot where the owners and waitstaff are apt to greet you by name. Burgers are their specialty, so order one with a side of tots. ((404) 827-0434)
Taco Mac Sports Grill
If the 25 locations around the Atlanta area are any indicator, this all-American Southeastern sports chain enjoys robust local support. Numerous televisions, cheery service and a family-friendly environment make this a no-brainer when you're looking to please a diverse group. While all of the locations share a similar vibe, we're particularly fond of the Decatur location (which recently got a face-lift from Atlanta design powerhouse, ai3). Grab a seat in front of your game of choice, get a round of craft beers and disregard the name when ordering. Though both Mexican and macaroni are on the menu, this is more of a burger and wings place, so order accordingly. (404-378-4140)
Tin Roof Cantina
Situated just off of North Druid Hills near Loehmann's Plaza, it's easy to pass by this local dive... but don't. Thirteen TVs, a 150-inch projection screen and a convivial porch will pull you inside, the wings will keep you there. Trust us when ordering, and get your wings Giancarlo style (Tin Roof's secret wing sauce fragrant with cilantro, onion and garlic). Cheap beer, live music and numerous bar games like ping-pong, darts, foosball and corn hole add to the appeal. Regular nightly events that include Acoustic Showdown on Mondays, team trivia on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Texas hold'em on Sundays, keep the place hopping all week. (404-329-4700)
Famous Pub & Sports Palace
This Toco Hills sports bar puts game-viewing at a premium with six high-definition projection screens and 50 LCD flat screens divided between a cavernous indoor space and the 64-seat patio out front (guaranteeing you've got a good seat wherever you settle). Group friendly, go with a crowd and order the wings and a few pitchers of brew the next time you've got a full Saturday sports line-up. If a few from your group aren't too keen on sports, there's additional entertainment indoors with video game offerings (including Guitar Hero), a dance floor and a video DJ. Live music on the patio and karaoke are also regular occurrences. (404-633-3555)
Sports fanatics will find a welcome respite at Hudson Grille, where televised sports dominate the space. Locations are abundant throughout the area, but we have a soft spot for the Brookhaven address with its easy convenience off of Peachtree Road. A respectable number of wine and beers fill the list, but it's the ambitious quantity of shooters and $5 pinnacle martinis that take top honors. Not limited to pub food, your choices include a range of home-cooked comfort eats too, like the Brasstown meatloaf, shrimp and grits and buttermilk fried chicken. Numerous salad selections give fans a rare opportunity to eat healthy, too. Cheers to that. (404-233-0313)
Little Five Points' neighborhood sports pub offers up a distinctive British vibe. On any given night, the bar's televisions broadcast not just football, baseball and soccer, but cricket and rugby, too. Typical pub food fills the menu (think calamari, burgers and fish and chips) with a range of craft beers available for order by the pint, brew and pitcher. Besides the busy sports schedule, Brewhouse Cafe also hosts poker on Tuesdays, team trivia on Wednesdays and brunch every Saturday and Sunday. The popular patio out front gets heavy traffic, particularly when the weather's moderate, and offers prime real estate for people watching. (404-525-7799)
Plush booths, dark hardwoods, soft lighting and excellent food make Dantanna's appealing both as a sports bar and as a solid restaurant in its own right. With its central Buckhead address at Shops Around Lenox and its gorgeous, recent renovation, it regularly attracts Buckhead businessmen and young 20-to-30 somethings looking to sip and socialize. On game days, the restaurant fills up quick, so you'd do best to come early and grab a seat at the bar--where drinks are strong, service is friendly and conversation is constant. Among the best perks of this swanky sports bar are the food. While the list of 50+ beers is enticing, you're missing out if you skip on dinner. Go big with Dantanna's Cioppino (lobster, king crab, mussels and shrimp over linguine) or share multiple small plates, like the beef carpaccio, sesame steak skewers and prosciutto mac 'n cheese. (404-760-8873)
This downtown Atlanta sports hub has long been a go-to for fans seeking an upscale spot to catch the game. Offering an expansive patio, gorgeous views of the skyline and a massive, three-story, industrial-style space filled with wall-to-wall sports coverage, you'll find ample options for viewing and cheering on multiple teams at once. Traditional American pub fare rules, and you'd do well to go with the wood-fired cheeseburger or barbecue ribs with macaroni and cheese. Special events and beer specials are a regular occurrence, so check social media when planning your outing to avoid giant crowds and to get the biggest bang for your buck. (404-885-1472, 404-974-2939)
About Kelly Skinner
Kelly Skinner comes to Atlanta by way of sunny coastal city, Pensacola, FL. A lover of all things food, music and travel, Skinner found her perfect match in Atlanta in the food-centric hub of Decatur.
A full-time freelance writer and editor, Skinner's byline has appeared in a range of publications including Paste, The Atlantan, Jezebel, Redbook, South and Living Intown.
When she's not writing, editing and exploring Atlanta for the best places to eat, drink and play, Skinner loves doing yoga, running with her dog in Piedmont Park and scouring book stores and record shops for hidden treasures.
Read more about Kelly Skinner here.
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