For a true Key West dive bar experience, check out Don's Place, which boasts an inside and outside tiki bar as well as a liquor store, complete with a drive up window. (It's not everyday that you see one of those anymore.) A wide variety of bar activities range from darts, pool, foos ball, ping pong, jukebox, corn hole, in addition to 19 televisions to watch the game. This is one of the locals' choices for the Superbowl when everyone brings a dish to pass. Cookouts are a regular event on Sundays during football season, beers are dirt cheap, and the drinks are strong.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: This is one of the locals' choices for the Superbowl when everyone brings a dish to pass.
Claudia's expert tip: Take the time to visit this one. It's off the path and a lot of fun!
For a taste of a true local's joint just five minutes away from Old Town, follow the signs to the Hogfish Bar and Grill, located in Safe Harbor Marina on Stock Island. Here you can cozy up to the bar to catch the latest games, while noshing on a "Killer" Hogfish Sandwich. Their namesake specialty, the fish is smothered in Swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms on a fresh Cuban roll. The Hogfish Fingers or Fried Hogfish Tacos are also favorites, or dig into a plate of "Peel 'n' Eat" Key West pink shrimp. All dishes call for an ice cold beer. This open-air, casual restaurant is a diamond-in-the-rough with live entertainment and a popular happy hour. The owners try to maintain that Old Key West vibe, and views of Key West's last working waterfront are a bonus.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Join locals at the bar to catch the latest games, while trying a Killer Hogfish Sandwich.
Claudia's expert tip: Local musicians turn it up a notch with live performances on the weekends.
Originally a high-end martini bar, in 2010 the new management at Island Dogs redesigned the Front Street bar to give it a more casual, laid-back atmosphere with live entertainment as the centerpiece. Now their motto literally is "come as you are." Build-you-own-hotdogs made their way to the menu, as well as wings, oysters, edamame and conch fritters. The cozy space has become a popular spot for watching the game, without the crazy bar fights. Come in early to kick the hangover, watch the game, and stay late for the live music. They also feature quality specialty cocktails including "Between the Sheets" (brandy and rum based) and the Picante de la Casa, a spicy tequila drink.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Rally for your team with locals and visitors alike at this chill bar.
Claudia's expert tip: Look for Island Dog drink coupons in the tourism books at the visitor center.
The go-to bar for sports fans, Jack Flats has all the top games on one of their 19 big screen TVs. It's also a popular lunch spot for locals who appreciate the generous portions of home-style favorites like pot roast and meatloaf at reasonable prices. Their shrimp and bacon club and monster hamburgers also draw ardent fans. On game-day, order the pretzel bread appetizer with gooey cheese followed by the mahi sliders for the table to share. Wash it all down with beer from their extensive selection. Note that this is not the spot for a quiet meal, as the crowd can get rowdy, but good eats after midnight are hard to find. Plus your server can bring you a sound box to the table, so you can hear the game that you are watching above the din.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Sports fans love the 19 big screen TVs and a menu that pairs home-style faves and monster hamburgers with shrimp clubs and mahi sliders.
Claudia's expert tip: At first glance, Jack Flats may look small and crowded. Just keep walking towards the back where a long bar runs the length of the building.
A true cowboy bar, Cowboy Bill's Honky Tonk Saloon features line dancing, live country music performers, and - of course - a mechanical bull for watching wannabe cowboys try and show off. On select nights, they offer sexy bull riding contests (with ladies in bikinis), karaoke and ladies night. Be sure to check out the new back bar, cleverly called "the library." On game days, you can catch all the action on 20 TVs including 15 huge projection screens. Salsa Loca, their in-house restaurant, serves fresh Mexican food to pair with frosty buckets of Bud Light beer. They offer plenty of drinks specials and Happy Hour discounts from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., including half-off well drinks, domestic beer, and appetizers. Their signature drink, the Cruzan Confusion (pineapple, rum, coconut) is amazing!
Recommended for Sports Bars because: 15 huge projection screens paired with fresh tacos and frosty buckets of beer make this a prime spot for game day.
Claudia's expert tip: Visit their Facebook page to stay updated on special events.
With eight bars built into the Rick's Key West complex, you can easily get lured in for a beer or two and end up partying all night. With 10 flat screen TVs and specials on shots and drinks during big games, Durty Harry's is the place to watch your must-see sporting events. In the evening, their house band, the DurtBags have patrons on their feet with rock-and-roll covers of bands like Blink 182, Godsmack, AC/DC and others. Women celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or bachelorette party are encouraged to grab a tambourine and jump onstage with the band.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: With 10 flat screen TVs and specials on shots and drinks during big games, Durty Harry's is the place to watch your must-see sporting events.
Claudia's expert tip: Durty Harry's offers military discounts and drink specials during big sporting events.
Shanna Key is the place to watch your favorite European or American sporting events with its nine HDTVs and two big screens. The pub usually opens at 11 a.m., but if a big game is going down overseas, they'll open early to catch all the action live. The owner, who grew up in Cork, Ireland, brought his native comfort food to the menu like shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. Other favorites include the fish and chips and potato leek soup. Make sure you check out the daily specials like Guinness cheesecake before you order. While they have a full bar, this is the place to order a pint. The bartender mediates which games go on the big screens, so tip well!
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Shanna Key is the place to watch your favorite European or American sporting events with its nine HDTVs and two big screens.
Claudia's expert tip: Check their Facebook page for the schedule of upcoming games.
With 24 HDTVs and satellite service, Sandbar Sports Grill shines with its premium sports channels including ESPN, NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice, NBA Season Pass, MLB, NASCAR, MMA and UFC Fights. If you're looking for a specific event, let them know, and they'll try to have it for you. When sports aren't taking center stage, a variety of bands offer musical offerings ranging from Surf Guitar, Reggae and Rock. Their menu is filled with wraps, sandwiches, salads, tacos and filling appetizers, but their chicken wings are truly special. Sold by the pound, they come in 5 flavors–Buffalo, Jamaican Jerk, Carolina BBQ, Joey Style and Marmalade Garlic Habanero.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: With 24 HDTVs and satellite service, Sandbar Sports Grill shines with its premium sports channels.
Claudia's expert tip: Can't decide which wings to try? Get the sampler platter and pick three for $15.99.
Opened in 2015, this brewery, restaurant and entertainment center is located in the heart of Old Town overlooking the Key West Historic Seaport and Bight. The pub area has 18 TVs and 2 big screens, playing sporting events all day long. You can chill out in the game room with friends over of pool or darts. On the upstairs deck, dine on fresh seafood from hogfish to jumbo sea scallops, or try Mojo pulled pork made in house. The have a rotating selection of drafts brewed on-site along with signature brews like the Crazy Lady Honey Blonde Ale--made with local honey from Keez Beez. Try a flight of four to sample more than one.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: The pub area has 18 TVs and 2 big screens, playing sporting events all day long.
Claudia's expert tip: Visit their website to book a tour of the brewery.
Serving up the best island-flavored Key West BBQ, inspired by the sizzling pits of South Carolina, Charlie Mac's is former Philadelphia 76ers president, Pat Croce's, latest venture. Located next to the world-famous Green Parrot, this casual restaurant brings smoked ribs, chicken, brisket and craft beers to Old Town Key West. Considering Croce's sports pedigree, it's no surprise that game days are a big deal with a line of TVs surrounding the bar. Just know, that if any Philadelphia team is playing, they are the house fave. The most popular menu item is their Pork Belly Sliders--smoked pork belly with a spicy mayo, honey BBQ sauce, pickled vegetables and cilantro. Don't miss their happy hour Monday-Friday from 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. for specials on draft beer, well drinks and appetizers like Fried Pickles, Pablano Queso Bites and Spicy Pork Potstickers.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Owner, Pat Croce, is the former president of the Philadelphia 76ers, so sports are front and center at Charlie Mac's.
Claudia's expert tip: Watch their Facebook page for events like Taco Tuesdays and Trivia Night.