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 - they're 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 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!
10 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)
9 Cooper's Alehouse
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. In addition to our rotating tap selections, they serve close to 40 beers by the bottle. Even when there isn't a game being broadcast, you can still come and play pool, darts and other games. Enjoy pub grub like fish and chips, classic clubs, Reubens, steak burgers and BLTs. Hummus plates and Greek salad keep vegetarians happy, and weekly specials keep the menu spiced up. (206-522-2923)
This 24,000-square-foot, two floor complex houses a wide variety of entertainment possibilities, including pool, video games, darts, karaoke, dancing, and ping pong. Now called World Sports Grille, this spot has undergone the first phase of an extensive remodel that features an island bar with great views of South Lake Union. World Sports Grille features 20 beers on tap and a new menu offering regional cuisines. Sports fans especially relish the 27 TVs (nine of them are 60-inchers), which make Jillian's a fun spot to catch the game with friends. In addition, two restaurants and a fifty-foot bar ensure that you're bound to find something to suit your appetite, even if it's just a burger and a beer. (206-223-0300)
7 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)
5 Floyd's Place
It's not hard to find this watering hole -- its dancing pig and waltzing cow sign is a neighborhood landmark. Right down the street from Key Arena, it's a favorite pre-game gathering spot for Sonics fans. An impressive selection of premium domestic and imported drafts joins homemade BBQ to create just the right recipe for a day of sports on the tube. After downing some brews and a brisket or two, work off the extra calories in the back room by playing eight ball, shuffleboard or pinball. Loyal patrons call the atmosphere at this Queen Anne hangout friendly and unpretentious. (206-284-3542)
4 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)
3 Sharps RoastHouse
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)
2 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 Arrive. 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.
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