The Mile High City is home to seven professional sports teams. There are the four primary leagues and teams: NFL (Broncos), MLB (Rockies), NBA (Nuggets) and NHL (Avalanche). And there are also professional soccer, lacrosse and rugby teams, meaning cheering your favorite teams in Denver is a year-round endeavor. And that, of course, mandates gathering for fun, food, booze and camaraderie at the city's fan-fave sports bars, even if your favorite team is in another state! Long a city that embraces good food and drink, and one that has launched an explosion of craft breweries and distilleries, Denver not surprisingly excels when it comes to sports bars. The city is home to dozens of great spots to watch the game, and choosing the 10 Best was not easy. It's not just about the number of TVs. it's also about that something extra, such as the history (and excellent tap list) at Cherry Cricket, the elevated pub fare at Bull & Bush, the punk overtones at Occidental Bar and the plenty of other things to do at Punch Bowl Social. But sure, it's also about the TVs, so note that Jackson's has 70 TVs and Blake Street Tavern has 65.
Watching games isn't front and center here to be fair. Playing ping pong is. But you don't have to give up watching your favorite Denver teams just because you're loving ping pong. There's a big-screen TV in the huge ping-pong all so you can do both at the same time. Located in a former garage space in Denver's trendy Uptown neighborhood, Ace Eat Serve also features Asian-fusion cuisine along with house-made sodas, fresh juices, Asian beers and craft cocktails. The casual-industrial aesthetic derives largely from repurposed, recycled materials and exposed brick walls, similar to that of the other eateries in this group Steuben's and Vesta. But Ace puts its own stamp on the space with Ping-Pong.
The View House's indoor-outdoor space is appealing at all times of day and evening, but there are special events for game viewing throughout the seasons. For fall and winter, for example, there are Football Sundays, Great American Football Tailgate Parties and Basketball Watch Parties that bring fans together for fun, food, booze and game viewing on dozens of TVs including a 190-inch LED TV in a heated courtyard tent. There are also drink sponsors and specials. The fun begins at 11 a.m. for early football games (don't miss brunch), while Basketball Watch Parties start at 8 pm. Wednesdays. ViewHouse creatively combines a 7,000-square-foot rooftop patio, live music and DJs with an expansive green on which patrons can play volleyball, badminton, bocce and other games and activities or sit in 10-person field-side cabanas to watch and drink. Menus highlight casual, chef-driven foods.
Cherry Cricket, open since 1945, is more than a sports bar. It's a longtime neighborhood fave, the dive, aka Black Sheep of the Creek, that brings unpretentious down-home real to chi chi Cherry Creek North. It's famous for its bar burgers and a substantial list of beers on tap, among other things. It also has multiple rooms for dining with TVs for viewing and a long bar in the main room with more TVs. It doesn't have the sheer volume of TVs that other Denver sports bars have, but it has a classic ambiance, quintessential pub grub and a loyal following of longtime customers who won't mind sharing their favorite hangout with you.
Bull & Bush has the cozy vibe of a traditional British Pub with its dark interior and furnishings, but its extensive list of house-brewed beers celebrates today's take on crafted brews with such options as Peach and Green Chili Ale, Espresso Oatmeal Stout and more than one IPA. Fish & Chips and hand-cut steaks elevate a menu that also includes burgers, pulled pork, burritos and a nicely curated list of salads. Whiskey lovers will find options from around the globe, and if Sunday NFL games on multiple screens are not quite enough fun for you, Bull & Bush also presents live jazz on Sunday nights, perhaps to soothe the souls of fans whose teams lost.
Punch Bowl Social is 27,000 square feet of fun for players and watchers alike with three bars and 16 TVs. It's the perfect game-day spot for groups that include avid fans and those who'd rather bowl or play pool, ping pong, darts, bocce, corn hole, foosball, marbles, pinball giant Jenga or test their karaoke skills. If you want to bring the kids in to play some of your fave old-school games or to watch those early East Coast pro contests, Punch Bowl Social opens at 8 a.m. on weekends and serves up brunch. There's plenty to love on the menu every other day and night, too, with many items elevated above traditional bar bites. Note: Take a look at the "punch bowl graveyard" above the bar, where all the vintage punch bowls go to die, or at least be displayed.
Another LoDo fave on game days, Jackson's is located across the street from Coors Field and its rooftop has long been THE place for pre-game festivities. Jackson's also offers shuttle to Broncos home games two hours before kick-off so it's not just for Rockies fans. Jackson's offers a fairly extensive menu with a ton of plates to be shared, including green chili cheese tots and pecan-smoked rib tips. As for game watching, 70 HD flat-screen TVs make that easy, whether you're looking to cheer on the Denver home teams, your prior home team or you're gathering with a group of alumni to support your college team. As the general manager puts it, "This is the Cheers of Denver, where natives and newcomers feel at home."
Located in the Highlands, Occidental Bar is the neighbor and unlikely sibling of upscale Williams & Graham. Proudly punk and low key, Occidental gives dives a good name with its savvy bartenders, excellent cocktails and all the punk tuned you love. For game watching, Occidental has six 60-, and if you happen to be a fan from New York, this has become the place to watch the Giants, Rangers, Knicks, Mets and Yankees. Occidental's well-curated beer list includes options from local and national stellar craft breweries, and while the menu has familiar bar options, they're elevated here with local and organic ingredients.
This was the original official Colorado Rockies bar, and it was once named by Sports Illustrated among the top 25 sports bars in the United States. In addition to what management calls "a plethora of HD flat and big-screen TVs," Sports Column also offers free Wi-Fi, so if you're locked in a dispute about game stats, Google away. The kitchen is open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight weekends offering all the typical bar eats you expect plus multiple types of salads and eight different burger options. Two hours prior to all Rockies home games you can get a beer and a burger with fries for just $10, plus a variety of specials on beer and cocktails. Arrive early. Given it's longtime connection to the Rockies, this place gets packed with avid fans.
Opened in 1996 in Cherry Creek and named for former Denver Nuggets trainer Robert "Chopper" Traviglini, Chopper's has long been one of the Mile High City's top sports bars. To start, it has a 165-inch HD video wall as well as 30 other large HD TVs, meaning there's not a bad seat in the house. Approximately 75 percent of its beer list is comprised of Colorado brews and Chopper's has become known for its burgers, wings and Nach-O-Mama nachos but there are salads, fish and more as well. For those warm baseball dog days there's a patio, and if private groups want to eat, drink, be merry and cheer on their favorite sports team, there's a private room for that, too.
Three bars across 18,000 square feet and a location a block from Coors Field make Blake Street Tavern an excellent choice for game watching. Consistently voted one of Denver's top sports bars, Blake Street Tavern delivers on all fronts fans care about. With 65 4K HD TVs your team's game is likely to be on. There's a lengthy list of shareable bar bites, plus salads, sandwiches and entrees, and on weekends you can join the other early-game fans for breakfast. Add to that a game room with pool, shuffleboard and ski-ball for when you want to be the player rather than the watcher, and the patio offers a can't-be-beat view of Coors Field if you don't have tickets to the game.