Miami has two types of sports fans: the die-hard fans and the bandwagon fans. You can easily find both at the best sports bars scattered throughout the Magic City.
But to be ranked among the best, sports bars must offer more than just plenty of TV screens and stellar beer. Impressive food menus, creative cocktails, and just the right vibes can turn an average watering hole to a game-day haven.
With football season in full force, get those fins up and join fellow fans at your favorite establishments — minus the large chains — where sports lovers and foodies get to pig out and root for the home team.
10. Tom’s NFL
Sometimes it’s tough being a Dolphins fan, but you can find friends with the same taste in teams at Tom’s NFL. Find this dark watering hole, located next to Miami International Airport, packed with locals and tourists who want to enjoy a pitcher of beer in a chill setting. Watch NFL games as you indulge in sports bar classics such as the award-winning chicken wings (starting at five for $6.95). There's also the Tom's burger ($11.95), mozzarella sticks ($6.95), and other bar favorites. Trivia contests, karaoke, and musical entertainment are also available in case the game is too painful to watch.
9. Shuckers Bar & Grill
The first thing you see when you walk into Shuckers is the breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. Next is whatever games are playing on the many flat-screen TVs mounted throughout the outdoor venue. Just as your stomach begins to rumble, you fill up on raw oysters, fresh fish fillets, famous wings (ten for $11), and a 100 percent USDA Prime bacon cheeseburger ($14). Pregame at Shuckers' happy hour, offered Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., when you'll find $10 Bud Light pitchers, $5 wells, $3 drafts, $4 bottles, and $5 frozen drinks.
8. Sandbar Sports Grill
This beach-themed sports bar may look like an ordinary bar on the outside, but just one step inside and you’re hit with all kinds of mayhem that one would find at a frat house on game day — cheap beer and college kids. The food is solid, from the fish tacos ($3.75 each) to the five-pound burrito ($24.95), and the drinks are in a category of their own. Try the Hurricane ($9.25) — made with Captain Morgan spiced rum, Myer’s dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine — and you’ll see why this Coconut Grove staple can weather any storm.
7. Scully’s Tavern
Choose from great deals on an of Guy Fieri-approved bar food and drinks during a Dolphins game at this beloved neighborhood tavern, designed for socializing with locals and other friendly folks looking for a great time. Live entertainment on weekends brings guests to their feet, but if sounds from rock and alternative bands don’t do it, a game of billiards will.
6. Burger & Beer Joint
If you call Miami home, odds are you’ve been to one of Burger & Beer Joint’s local outposts. However, the South Beach spot may be the best place to watch a game. It’s overflowing with — you guessed it — a massive list of craft burgers and beer, along with adult shakes and cocktails, constantly consumed by locals with no dietary restrictions. Beer flights, beer towers, daily drink specials, and happy-hour prices are also available. Bottom line: Forget those booze-soaked tailgates in front of the stadium; you’ll get your fix here.
5. Sports Grill South Miami
Nothing says “Happy football season!” like a plate of chicken wings. Grab mountains of the best at Sports Grill, a local chain with various locations around the county. Although barbecue, Buffalo, spicy “Miami Heats,” garlic, glazed teriyaki, and other flavorful sauces are strong contenders, none can compare to Sports Grill’s special grilled wings tossed in a signature sauce and lightly washed in Worcestershire. And true Miamians won't want to miss the "dale"-style wings — grilled wings basted in Miami Heat sauce. Get as little as five ($5.59) for a personal snack attack, or go big with an order of 50 for $48.99. That's enough for the whole team! Add some ice-cold beer for an all-around fan experience.
4. Little Hoolie's Sports Bar & Grill
As the name suggests, there’s never a dull moment at this Irish sports bar. Little Hoolie’s offers a relaxed atmosphere turned up a notch with a great beer selection, 30-plus TV sets, pool tables, live entertainment, karaoke, and line dancing on select nights. The menu includes plenty of bar chow, from creamy clam chowder ($5.95) to wraps, sandwiches, and fried baskets. Try the loaded nachos ($9.95) while you watch others strut their stuff onstage during open-mike night. Who knows — after a couple of beers, you might be the one to let your inner rock star shine.
3. Mike’s at Venetia
What every neighborhood needs is a no-frills sports bar that concentrates on offering a quality menu, friendly service, and a great value. Downtown Miami has one in Mike’s. Owned and operated by the Shelow family, this long-running establishment, hidden in the Venetia condo building at the foot of the Venetian Causeway, has maintained its local charm for years. Take the elevator to the ninth floor, and you'll be able to attest to its appeal in no time. Go for a flavorful New York sirloin ($18.95) or barbecued chicken pizza ($13.95). Stay for the 20-plus TV sets, billiards tables, daily specials, and breezy Miami views till Mike's 3 a.m. closing.
2. Duffy's Sports Grill
Situated in the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach, Duffy’s features a number of TV screens plastered on walls and ceilings to ensure great views of several games from every angle. Service can be slow when the place is packed, but the atmosphere is always poppin’, especially when the live DJ starts pumping hits. Grab a seat at the bar, get your groove on poolside, or cozy up at a table and enjoy bar-food favorites and Duffy’s famous two-for-one drink special while you cheer on the home team. But then again, who said there has to be a game on?
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1. Batch Gastropub
Whether it’s 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 p.m., it’s always a full house at this bustling American gastropub. Equal parts sports bar, lounge, and restaurant, Batch is the place to be for soccer games, NBA playoffs, boxing matches, and football showdowns. Join the hottest crowds and fellow Gator fans as you relish in Batch’s high-quality, locally sourced pub grub, from lamb burgers to truffle fries, that pair perfectly with the lengthy drink list highlighting wide-ranging beers, wines, and other creative cocktails, all sure to elevate your game-day experience. Happy hour, available Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. — when you can choose from all 14 draft beers for just $5 — is also a can't-miss.
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