The Best Sports Bars for Watching Super Bowl XLIX
Just because you’re a Seattle fan in Chicago or a Patriots fan in New York doesn’t mean you won’t have company on Sunday.
For many football fans, the Super Bowl represents a logistical problem. The Patriots fan who left the Bay State for the Bay Area has to choose whether to throw the party or find a bar where the clientele will share his allegiance while the Seahawks fan working in Chicago has to make damn sure he doesn’t end up as the 12th man in a bar full of 11 pissed-off Bears loyalists. Fortunately for fans of the final two NFL teams standing, there are bars across the country ready to great them with open arms and cold beers.
Whether you’re hopping on the bandwagon or wearing the lucky uniform your dad bought you when you were ten, here are the best spots to enjoy Super Bowl XLIX.
There isn’t a single Boston-born New Yorker who isn’t intimately familiar with this East Village-by-way-of-Southie institution. For anyone who left Boston to get away from Pink Red Sox hats and men who unironically go by “Sully,” this place is a total nightmare (the San Francisco bar next door provides refuge), but for the Fenway Faithful and the Deflategate Deniers, there’s no better spot to hammer back a Sam Adams and make eyes at freckled women. The only catch: The place fills up. If you’ve got a Massachusetts drivers license, you’ll get in. If you’ve got a Connecticut driver’s license, you better show up early.
The Average Patron: Traces his ancestry back to County Cork and works an entry-level job in finance. Wants to talk to you about rec-league softball.
Dress Code: Wearing Boston sports gear can be a hassle in New York so expect a lot of fleeces and hats with tasteful logos.
What to Order: As much as you can whenever you can. Getting a bartender’s attention isn’t easy.
Colonized over the last few years by a shady organization group calling themselves the “NYCeahawks,” Carlow East may be the best place to watch football in the city. It’s not as loud as Professor Thom’s, which is only a short walk away, but it’s a hell of a lot more friendly. These Seahawks fans prostelytize, so expect to hear about how good Richard Sherman is in those soup commercials. (To be fair, he’s pretty great.)
The Average Patron: Is wearing so much neon they could safely run back to Bushwick in the middle of the night.
Dress Code: Large acetate glasses are encouraged. Polo shirts embroidered with the Amazon logo are always in vogue.
What to Order: Ask for a Pike Stout and some Skittles. They won’t have either, but you won’t have to pay for another drink.
Alright, so this isn’t really in Miami, but for some truly authentic New England cuisine, isn’t it worth the forty-minute drive? Kelly’s Landing is a New England-themed bar that offers some serious comfort to Pats and Sox fans looking for some of that Boston feel. The brunch bleeds over into the Sunday games and the owners, who migrated from South Boston to sunny Florida 27 years ago, serve serious seafood. The Boston accents of the wait staff are as authentic as the enthusiasm for Gronk spikes.
The Average Patron: A sunburned New Englander who moved down here after one too many Nor’easters.
Dress Code: Your favorite polo shirt and a clean-ish pair of jeans. It’s a clam shack, so nothing too fancy.
What to Order: The lobster roll and the best clam chowder you’ll get south of the Carolinas. Also, the owner makes her own Bailey’s.
Not a Seahawks bar per se, but definitely one of the best sports bars in Miami and a place you’ll want to watch the big game, no matter which side you’re cheering. With penny beers on Wednesday nights and a fanatical devotion to Hurricanes football, Sandbar is a sporting man’s sports bar, located just a walk from the beach and boasting more massive HD televisions than you can shake a stick at. (Be careful with that stick).
The Average Patron: Sunburnt people in Marlins caps who are sad LeBron left, but honestly don’t care all that much about basketball. This is a bar for football folks.
Dress Code: Flips flops, an oversize Guy-Fieri shirt, and Ray Bans perched high on one’s head.
What to Order: The fish tacos, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, their five pound burrito. And ask for a “Hurricane” so you can spill it when Vince Wilfork gets a sack.
Want to go into a bar full of insane sports fans with a weird chip on their shoulder than start spitting as soon as you mention any team from Los Angeles or New York? Go to any bar in Chicago. Want them to be wearing Pats gear? Go to Tripoli, which has a safe space for friends of Bernie and Phyl (if you don’t know the reference, don’t bother) since it opened on St. Patrick’s day in 2004.
The Average Patron: Is larger than you.
Dress Code: There will be a lot of surprises when the coats come off. Bruschi jerseys? Absolutely, but little black dresses too.
What to Order: Coors Light is $3 a bottle. Buy a round.
The official home of Chicago’s 12th man, this bar takes football seriously. They have a bet going with a local Patriots bar that the losing manager has to dye their hair the opposing team’s colors and wear the other team’s jersey while behind the bar. Talk about commitment. Originally a “LaunderBar,” where Chicagoans could do their laundry and grab a drink, the soap suds have been replaced by the alcoholic variety, although everyone tends to keep it fairly clean.
The Average Patron: Believes Richard Sherman invented deep dish pizza.
Dress Code: They take their Seahawks pretty seriously, so a 12th man t-shirt or Richard Sherman jersey should do it. Extra points for a green and blue beanie.
What to Order: Their craft beer menu is impressive, so definitely try something local, and for food, they have a Cajun specialty, so give either the Cajun tacos or jambalaya a shot.
This Potrero Hill outpost might as well be Walpole – if you know what we mean. If you don’t know what we mean, you’re not going to fit in with the crowd of self-proclaimed “Massholes” that congregate here for Pats game, taking advantage of the chance to cut loose St. Patrick style in a city known for pubs that serve vegan cuisine. Yes, there are microbrews behind the bar. The decor is what it is, but Boston is still three thousand miles away.
The Average Patron: Is a marketing executive at a hot new startup that he’ll talk about for twenty minutes before asking if you know about any job openings at your company.
Dress Code: Someone will be wearing a complete Pats uniform. Don’t ask how much it cost.
What to Order: Ask for a shot of rum if you want some street cred. Then switch over to the Boston Lager and pace yourself.
Don’t let the Irish name fool you – this is a Seattle bar par excellence and it will be filled with nothing but hate for the Patsies. In true new-San Francisco style, this Seahawks bar adopted its allegiance through viral marketing. After Seattle transplant Jerome Zech noticed that San Francisco didn’t have a Seahawks bar, he and a group of friends adopted Danny Coyle’s and began writing on Yelp that this was the destination bar for Seahawks fans in San Fran. Within a year, Danny Coyle’s became what Zech had already declared it to be. The bar now proudly hangs a 12th man jersey in its front window. While the owners of the bar remain committed Niners fans, they don’t mind all those fans dressed in green throwing them a whole bunch of it.
The Average Patron: Took his Uber to the bar and then tried to pay the bartender with Venmo.
Dress Code: American apparel, an iPhone 6, strange facial hair. It’s in the Lower Haight.
What to Order: They don’t serve food, so go long on the drinks. Order a Magner’s or a Guinness – it’s very much an Irish bar.
The Boston-themed bar is an outpost for the Patriots diaspora, a place filled with brick and wood where the Sam Adams never seems to run out. Located in mid-city, the bar will be having a Super Bowl cookout (a huge improvement on the weather conditions in the northeast) and a half-time sing along. With 20 bars on tap and a jukebox filled with Dropkick Murphy’s, Little Bar has been featured on Entourage and Shameless, playing the role of Irish bar.
The Average Patron: Is a BU graduate who came to Los Angeles after college to get the most out of his sports management degree.
Dress Code: Jeans and a faded Celtics shirt.
What To Order: Now a full liquor bar (LA rules are weird), Little Bar attracts amazing food trucks that idle on Wilshire.
This Culver City dive has been offering cheap drinks for both locals and studio workers for 75 years and doesn’t close no matter what day of the year it is. It also has a pretty amazing karaoke tradition – you could actually sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” at the same bar the munchkins came to get wasted at after filming The Wizard of Oz. Back in 2005, a group of Seahawks fans decided that LA needed a place for the 12th man (and women) to gather, and now Backstage is the destination for both fans and former players who call southern California home.
The Average Patron: Isn’t Ryan Gosling. Think the union guys who insist on three solid meals from catering and the stunt double who just jumped a car over a median pretending to be Vin Diesel.
Dress Code: It’s Southern California so come as you are so long as you’re skinny.
What To Order: It’s a dive, so you can’t go wrong with shots. Also, have a huge plate of their famous Mac & Cheese, and then for desert, a Deep Fried Snickers Bar. Just remember to bring the Maalox.
Photos by David Ryder/Getty Images