10 Best Sports Bars in Tucson: Beer, Big Screens and Bar Grub

When you're looking for a laid-back sports bar in midtown Tucson, look no further than Throwbacks. The food is quite good - smoked gouda cheeseburger, anyone? - and the weekday lunch specials bring in the crowds even on non-game days. 

If you're looking for a friendly place to watch the game with the whole family, head to east Tucson, where you'll find The Canyon's Crown Restaurant and Pub. This British-style pub also is also one of the city's liveliest sports bars. Dozens of large screen TVs and gourmet pub fare make a perfect pair when you want to watch the big game in style.

Now, if college bars are more your speed, Tucson offers plenty of options. If you want to stay close to the University of Arizona campus, stroll over to Gentle Ben's Brewing Company, a large, comfortable two-story sports bar with craft beer on tap.

Another popular University area sports bar is Trident Grill, where you can munch on fish 'n chips while watching the game. 

Or maybe you prefer your beer with a slice of gourmet pizza? If that's the case, head over to No Anchovies. This relaxed pizzeria is known for great slices, cold beer, and plenty of large screen TVs. Who knew watching the big game could be so indulgent?




Mix great food and dozens of large screen TVs and what do you get? Something like Throwbacks, Tucson's winning sports bar and grill. This is the kind of after-work neighborhood sports bar that draws locals, but inviting enough for out-of-towners to feel right at home. Without a doubt, Throwbacks is a food-centric sports bar, elevating typical bar fare to near-foodie status: Pulled pork sliders, bacon and smoked gouda lobster mac 'n cheese, and elaborate specialty burgers are a treat. Of course, you can always count on great Mexican food (this is Tucson, after all) and elaborate nacho plates - with a frosty cold mug of beer on the side. Speaking of beer, you'll find quality craft brews on tap.

If you're looking for a friendly neighborhood bar where you can drink and eat without breaking the bank, this low-key, unpretentious chain sports grill is a good bet. Don't expect posh decor or gourmet fare. Do expect a family-friendly setting with plenty of flat screens, pool tables, and tasty grub. Each Famous Sam's Sports Bar has a large selection of domestic, micro, and imported beers, as well as wine and liquor. There are designated areas for adults and children, including darts, video games, and prize crane games. Burgers and deli sandwiches are top-notch.

Thunder Canyon boasts several award-winning brews such as Bing Bang Ale with a hint of cherries, Catalina Pale Ale, Sandstone Cream Ale, Obsidian Porter, Thunderhead IPA, and Blackout Stout. And their food is impressive too. Wood fired oven pizzas top the list, but there's a great selection of traditional pub fare like fish and chips, steaks, burgers, sandwiches, cottage pie and pasta. Plenty of vegetarian options, as well. No doubt, there is something for everyone on the menu. And if you're a beer connoisseur, you will want to stop by for a drink, even if there isn't a big game on the screen. There are two locations in Tucson: Downtown and the Foothills Mall.


If you're looking for a break from the typical sports bar environment, try the Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar. The upscale sports bar and barbeque joint is tucked away inside the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa on the city's scenic west side. The barbeque features winning recipes made famous by Midwestern and Southern barrbeque competitions. The extensive selection of savory, smoked meats is a major draw, but many folks also stop by for the sports bar, which features more thanb 50 bottled beers and drafts, including a custom-brewed Catalina Pitmaster Wheat. There are also a bevy of hand-crafted culinary cocktails available.

For more than three decades, Gentle Ben's has been brewing up great beers like Tucson Blonde, Red Cat Amber and Ben's India Pale Ale. If you come to eat, there are two must-haves: buffalo wings in either a wicked hot habanero sauce or a piquant tequila-cilantro sauce, and the Diane Burger topped with butter and red wine sauteed onions, mushrooms, garlic and Swiss cheese. A friendly, laid-back neighborhood pub by day, the place morphs into a thumping dance club when the moon comes up, especially on Tuesday and Thursday nights after about 10pm. That's when legions of trendy 20-somethings gather to mingle and move while quaffing quality beer.

Trident Grill is a venerable college sports bars that draws big crowds nearly every night of the week. You'll definitely want to claim your bar stool early on busy game nights. The menu features typical bar food (think classics like juicy burgers, mac and cheese, hot wings), but it's fresh and made with care. The beer menu does not disappoint. One of the unique features of this college hangout are the beer steins hanging over the bar - you can hang yours here and use it to drink on future visits. If you're looking for no frills grub and lively ambiance, you can't go wrong with a night at the Trident Grill.

Sentinel Peak Brewing Company is a new nanobrewery in Tucson that offers a rotating selection of craft beers. There is also a small selection of house favorites on tap. Owners Matt Gordon, Taylor Carter and Jeremy Hilderbrand were inspired by their travels to create distinct craft brews. Guests will be able to enjoy four regulars: an India pale ale called the Haboob IPA, a German dark lager, a Mexican-style Vienna, and a blond. There will also be two rotating options. The brewery regularly hosts big game nights, where you can enjoy a pint or two with local sports buff in a lively tap room.

Don't be fooled by the name: No Anchovies isn't just a pizzeria for foodies with an aversion to small, saltwater fish. Aside from pushing out top-notch pies, No Anchovies also happens to be a fine sports bar. If the idea of enjoying hot slices, drinking frosty beer, and watching the big game on a large screen surrounded by fellow sports fans sounds like a good deal to you, head over to this University-area pizzeria and sports bar next time you're in the Old Pueblo. This is definitely a college sports bar, so be prepared to rub elbows with diehard University of Arizona Wildcats fans.

If you're looking for a cozy neighborhood pub with great drinks and plenty of large-screen TVs, The Canyon's Crown Restaurant and Pub should fit the bill nicely. This British-style sports pub carries both DirectTV and Cox, which means you'll be hard-pressed to find a game that isn't on. The sports bar has a good rotating draft beer selection and a menu of elevated pub fare. To start with, try the Irish Nachos, a plate full of seasoned waffle fries smothered in melted cheese and topped with bacon, green onions and sour cream. Main selections include gourmet angus beef burgers, specialty salads, sandwiches, and new takes on classic British pub classics like Fish & Chips and Shepherd's Pie.

Barrio Brewing Company

The Barrio Brewing Company, located in one of downtown Tucson's historic warehouse districts, has quickly established itself as a local landmark. This vibrant bar, grill, and brewery, which opened back in 2007, proudly brews up 12 microbrews, several of which you'll find on tap on any given night. This dark, cool converted warehouse has quickly become a favorite with locals in the know. Tucson Blonde, Red Cat Amber, Copperhead Pale Ale, Barrio India Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Nolan's Porter, Taylor Jayne's Raspberry Ale, Hefeweizen, Nut Brown (fall seasonal), Rich Rod Red (seasonal) are just some of what you'll find on tap at Barrio Brewing Company.


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.