Best Sports Bars in San Diego

10 Best Sports Bars in San Diego for Beer, Eats and Fun

The truth is that even though San Diego can be a fairweather sports city, there are a number of fantastic spots bars around town to frequent on game day or just because.

Fans that need to escape from the distractions of home in order to focus on the game may want to head to Player's in Clairemont. This no-frills bar is known for TVs galore playing a wide range of even hard-to-find games.

Want one of San Diego's best burgers? If you're a Broncos fan, too, Chief's Burgers & Brews is the best place you could possibly be in town when Denver is playing.

Or, maybe you want more of an upscale-casual experience. Barleymash isn't often categorized as a sports bar but it's a local favorite for grabbing a nice bite to eat and a craft beer while watching the multiple TVs behind the bar.

One thing to note is that if the kids are in tow, it's wise to call the sports bar in advance to see if they are permitted as this information is not readily available online and may depend on whether or not it's game day.

Root on the Padres, Chargers or whoever your team of choice is at these best sports bars in San Die


The menu at barleymash is largely based on two distinctive ingredients: beer and bourbon. Try festive, progressive bar fare such as bourbon-brown sugar potatoes, pizza with a barley crust, beer-battered fish and chips, and more. Over 30 local micro and nano-breweries are on tap served as well as specialty cocktails such as the 1.5 gallon "The Mason Jar", sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The nighttime calendar is full seven days a week between deejays and bands rocking until closing time. After all, the barleymash motto is, "Life is meant to be sipped and savored, and good times should always be shared."

Recommended for Sports Bars because: TVs line the bar area for prime sports viewing. It's a hip place to watch the game.

Katie's expert tip: Over 30 local brews are on tap. This is more of an upscale-casual sports viewing experience.

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Miller's Field claims to have the largest number of TVs in Pacific Beach. Another bonus is that the bar has its own dedicated parking. It doesn't seem like it, but the food is pretty good with offerings ranging from seared ahi sushi salad to babyback ribs. Or, go for hearty comfort food like chicken and waffles. They can even cater your next party. There is happy hour, but it's a little limited food-wise. The crowd tends to skew younger probably based on its location which is just a block away from the beach. WiFi is free, too, for those who want to be productive or check other scores.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Because Miller's Field is sizable and fairly nicely-appointed (for the area) it's a great place to meet friends.

Katie's expert tip: It's a little pricier than a lot of sports bars in the area, but it is nicer.

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Pacific Beach

Dirty Bird's is a small sports bar in Pacific Beach that's basically known for three things: wings, beer and sports. The wings can be ordered different ways and they're really good. Happy hour has a half-priced wing and pitcher of beer deal. It's a favorite because Dirty Bird's skews more like a sports bar versus the younger crowd that's common in Pacific Beach. It's a no-frills place that's not huge and it can get drafty in cold weather. It was the Baltimore Ravens headquarters in San Diego so if they're playing, then it's guaranteed to be busy. It is a bar so kids are not allowed.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: They are famous for their wings, which are a great deal at happy hour.

Katie's expert tip: The crowd skews a little bit "older" than some of the other bars on Garnet.

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A true British pub in sunny southern California? Yes, indeed. Shakespeare's Pub and Grille looks like a pub you might find across the pond, with the drinks, food and festivities to match. Try a plate of bangers and mash, a ploughman's lunch, shepherd's pie or Scotch eggs, and wash it down with a pint of Bass, Newckie, or Fuller's ESB, or follow up with a single malt. Quiz nights and televised football (soccer) add to the fun and authenticity. There's even a monthly trivia night and a shop across the street where San Diegans can stock up on their favorite British food.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Shakespeare's is an excellent option for those who love Premier League soccer.

Katie's expert tip: Shakespeare's probably serves the most authentic fish and chips in San Diego, when you have the hankering for the real deal.

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Gaslamp Tavern has a dedicated Charger and Padres fan base but they do have all the major sports packages and show a wide range of games. They have windows that open up to give the space an indoor/outdoor feel which is particularly nice in the summer time. Though they do have pretty good salads, their known for big juicy burgers and bar fare like french fries with bacon and cheese. The fish and chips and tater tots are also local favorites. The sports bar is also known for friendly service and reasonable prices for the area. They even have a late night happy hour.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: It's a great place to cheer on San Diego sports teams within walking distance from a lot of downtown/Gaslamp hotels.

Katie's expert tip: Leave the kids at home as this isn't for them.

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In addition to watching sports on the vast array of plasma TVs, it's possible to shoot hoops in the in-house court at Bub's at the Ballpark, one of the city's best sports bars. It's also eco-friendly as it was constructed using various architectural salvage from throughout the West coast, including reclaimed wood, scrap metal, and reused brick. Formerly located in Pacific Beach, it's now near the ballpark as the name implies. Happy hour is 7-10pm, 7 days a week with half-priced red baskets (fries, rings, fried pickles and more). Order up a craft beer or even a PBR in a can.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Though there's a Bub's in the actual ballpark, this location is a great place to grab a pre or post game drink.

Katie's expert tip: Yes, it's affiliated with Bub's in Pacific Beach. Order the tater tots.

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Jolt'n Joe's new Gaslamp location is huge and their motto is that they show all games all the time including college sports, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Boxing, UFC fights and more. The Gallery Room has flat screen TVs, pool, ping pong tables and a separate VIP room. Or, dance the night away at FUSE nightclub upstairs which has a 100-foot bar, DJ, dance floor, TVs, lasers and a huge deck overlooking 5th avenue. You can see there's a lot to do here! Daily happy hour is from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm featuring $4 well liquor, $4 selected draft pints, $4 wines and 20% off all appetizers.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: With the huge game room, night club upstairs and games on all the time, this is a multifaceted sports bar!

Katie's expert tip: On Saturdays, play pool or ping pong under disco lights while listening to the latest music videos.

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McGregor's is an awesome sports bar in Mission Valley that's been around since 1996. Some think it's the best in town. Go to watch your favorite team play, obviously, but there's also vintage shuffleboard, four pool tables and darts. The Baja-style fish tacos are delicious and a deal on Saturdays and Mondays. Find also a hearty list of burgers and bar food that are all reasonably priced. The kitchen is open late and they serve drinks until 2:00 am every day. Looking for event space? McGregor's is already a sizable sports bar but they're happy to host your next party.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Frequently lauded as the city's best sports bar, McGregor's does several things well: sports on TV, things to do, great vibe and good food.

Katie's expert tip: It's a great place for hair of the dog as breakfast is served on weekends.

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Chief's Burgers and Brew is known for their burgers but that doesn't mean one should gloss over the rest of the menu. Fans rave about the rotisserie chicken, which is only made better by pairing it with one of the 20 beers on tap. The owner is a Broncos fan, which means this is one of the best places in town to catch a Denver game. But when it's not game day, the casual beach vibe at Chief's is perfect for a family outing. The bleu cheese burger has been the most popular for well over a decade with bleu cheese crumbles, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and thousand island dressing.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Chief's is known for its award-winning burgers, casual and family-friendly vibe and for being San Diego's Broncos headquarters.

Katie's expert tip: The Amtrak station is across the street so grab a burger here and catch the latest score before boarding!

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This Player's location has over 70 TVs (there is a Player's in San Marcos, as well) which equals over has 600 feet of TVs. The no-frills bar is for sports fans who want cheap drinks and to focus on the game without distraction. They do have pool tables and would be happy to host your next event. It's known as a college football hangout, especially for military and those from out of state. It's also a go-to place for people who want to watch hard to find games because there are just so many TVs. We should warn that it is not known for the food, but there is plenty on offer.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Player's is for the diehard sports fan who probably can't get screen time at home.

Katie's expert tip: There is even a kids menu!

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Meet Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as...  More About Katie