Game On! Sports Lovers Unite at These True Seattle Winners
By Corinne Whiting
Seattle Local Expert
Cheers, groans, beer and plenty of big-screen plasma TVs; these are the major components of any popular sports bar, and we proudly bring you the top entries in Seattle. At these gold medal-worthy options, you can meet your buddies for wings, nachos (or fancier pub fare) and a full slate of football, basketball, boxing, baseball, hockey and NASCAR. Even if you happen to come alone, you can count on finding a crowd to hang with, as long as you're wearing the right colors and logos!
10Best readers give a big, overall thumbs-up to Sluggers, and they applaud George & Dragon Pub for its tasty bar food—a must when you're following a big game. While some of these venues feature low-key, casual atmospheres, others put a spin on the traditional sports pub that first springs to mind. Think chic decor elements, fancy brunch menus, even cozy lounge areas in which to escape for those who need a break from all the action. Many sports pubs are located downtown and close to the stadiums, while others are scattered in sometimes unexpected pockets of town. You'll even find one of our nominees not far from the airport gate from which you may enter or leave this city. The best sports bars in Seattle? Game on!
9 Million In Unmarked Bills
You won't find anything square about this funky corner bar, where blue jeans-clad college kids and young professionals hang out, down some brews and enjoy a surprisingly upbeat menu that features everything from white truffle mac-n-cheese and steamed clams to havarti burgers and gourmet pizzas. Outdoor seating is available, and it's not uncommon for laid-back hipsters who frequent the place to stake out a table and set up shop for the night, especially if it's a warm Saturday. Crowds often gather here to watch big sporting games, and inside diners can also enjoy outdoor temps, thanks to wide-open windows that offer a view of the bustling Fremont action. (206-632-0880)
Ballard Station Public House
Loyal Ballard Station Public House patrons come for the Tuesday night trivia, the local brews (like the Pike Kilt Lifter and Hales Supergoose IPA), pub snacks like popcorn and the meat and cheese board. Popular dishes include the the Signature Savour Paninis (think turkey or sopressatta), served with Tim's Cascades Chips. Since the restaurant doesn't serve too big a variety of food, however, the laid-back vibe means that diners can also order in from nearby restaurants (like Ballard Pizza Company, with delivery after 5 p.m., or India Bistro), OR they bring their own food with them. Happy hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight. ((206) 906-9040)
This friendly neighborhood bar is a great place for a good brew while you watch the game. Seven HDTVs give you full coverage of whatever is happening on a particular day, and they have 27 draught beers on rotation. Even when there isn't a game being broadcast, you can still come and play pool, darts and other games. A jukebox keeps patrons entertained, and full menu keeps appetites sated (think specials like "The Gobbler," thinly sliced turkey and tomatoes on parmesan-grilled sourdough with herbed cream cheese and choice of side.) Happy hour happens from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. (206-522-2923)
Ram Restaurant & Big Horn Brewery
Especially during the university's regular sessions, this upscale watering hole is a favorite weekend haunt for hordes of purple-and-gold-wearing Husky faithful, who crowd in to watch their team on the tube while enjoying house-brewed beers and some of Seattle's best burgers. Shiny brewing machines and exposed brick walls give the place a quintessential brewpub look. A member of the Big Horn Brewing family, the Ram features a handful of colorfully named brews, including the popular Buttface Amber, Big Red Ale, and Total Disorder Porter. Menu items range from sandwiches and salads to comfort foods like meatloaf as well as lighter and even gluten-free options. (206-525-3565)
Convenient for sports-lovers catching the Mariners in American League action at Safeco Field or the Seahawks in NFL action at Seahawks Stadium, this Pioneer Square bar is a favorite with fans, thanks to all of the sports memorabilia adorning the walls. With something like 30 televisions, it's also a great place to catch the game when you can't get tickets, or to celebrate pre- or post-game. Terrific pub grub and mugs of ice cold beer are standard at the two-level watering hole, and while it may not be filled to capacity on non-game days, just wait till the Seahawks win! (206-654-8070)
Cousin to The George & Dragon pub (in Fremont), The Market Arms brings the same cozy feel of a British pub to Ballard. The polished wood bar and cushioned stools serve as the perfect place from which to watch some soccer games, which are the only things that the televisions show. All the usual suspects are on tap - Guinness, Stella and Fullers ESB, as well as a full complement of scotch and whiskey. Happy Hours happen weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., Sun.-Wed. 10 p.m. to midnight (the menu includes appetizers starting at $4, $4.75 20-oz. pints. $3.75 16-oz. pints, $2.75 16-oz. Rainier/PBRs and more). (206-789-0470)
Fremont Dock Sports Bar
Step into this friendly neighborhood establishment to catch the game, and enjoy a cold beer and a heaping plate of steak and eggs. Two big-screen TVs mean that you'll have a great view of sports action, usually devoted to the Seahawks, Mariners, Sonics or Huskies. Monday nights are dedicated to football and to great food and drink specials. Popular breakfast fare -- including favorites like corned beef hash and eggs, omelets, and buttermilk pancakes -- is served until 2pm. When the weather's nice, enjoy the back deck at this Fremont spot, where a large screen keeps you tuned into the sports action, even while sitting alfresco. (206-633-4300)
A good place to bide your time before catching a flight out of Sea-Tac, this sports bar offers a "last chance," if you will, for sampling the Pacific Northwest's signature microbrews.The bar features 550-plus spirits and 26 drafts, plus a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. A full menu features everything from barbecue and burgers to roasted meats. Reasonable prices (for the area, that is) and a distinctly masculine atmosphere make Sharps the preferred haunt of many traveling businessmen staying at nearby hotels. Other highlights include the promise of a 10-minute lunch and a $4 oak-aged tequila. Cheers! (206-241-5744)
George & Dragon Pub
Located in Fremont and tucked away from 36th Street, many regard the George & Dragon Pub as the UK's Seattle embassy, and it does attract its share of expats. Indeed, when "football's on the telly," you can expect to see this authentic English pub packed to the hilt with folks clamoring to see Arsenal, Man-United and the like. All the usual suspects are present and accounted for at the taps, whether it's John Courage, Bass or Newcastle you crave. In addition, the menu features classic pub fare like bangers & mash and shepherd's pie. Outdoors communal benches make this a great spot to chat up new friends. (206-545-6864)
Get ready to redefine your concept of a sports bar when you enter Spitfire, an urban sports bar in Belltown. Catering to a hip, trendy young crowd that happens to enjoy sports, this sleek establishment boasts exposed brick, works by local artists and fashionable, modern decor. You won't find greasy fries and onion rings on the menu; instead, updated Mexican fare like roasted poblano quesadillas and chili-rubbed lamb skewers keeps patrons satisfied. Comfort food meets classic pub far with a twist; check out the brunch menu too! And the sports? You'll have a clear view of the action on 17 plasma TVs dotted about the interior. (206-441-7966)
About Corinne Whiting
Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's backpacked around Australia, taught English in Argentina and explored (so far!) countries from Cambodia and Egypt to Turkey and China. Corinne served as associate editor at Where magazine for five years; as a freelancer, she now writes for publications like National Geographic Traveler and Amtrak's OnTrak. Here in the lovely Northwest, she's attempting to debunk the rain myths, up her coffee and live music quotient and find her Zen near/on the water.
Read more about Corinne Whiting here.