Miami has two types of sports fans: the die-hards and the bandwagoners. 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 plenty of TV screens and stellar beer. Impressive food menus, creative cocktails, and the right vibes can turn an average watering hole into a game-day haven.
Batch Gastropub30 SW 12th St., Miami
Whether it’s 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 p.m., there'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. The restaurant is also lively after work, when Brickell businesspeople and residents pour in for locally sourced pub grub, from lamb burgers to truffle fries, that pairs perfectly with the lengthy drink list offering a wide range of beers, wines, and other creative cocktails. Happy hour — Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. — is also a can't-miss.
Duffy's Sports Grill3969 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach
On the east end of the Intracoastal Mall, the spacious Duffy’s offers 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 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 specials while you cheer on the home team. But then again, who said there has to be a game?
Grails Sports Bar2800 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Take a deep breath: Wynwood finally has a sports bar. The sneaker-themed Grails has all of the fixings you need for a memorable game day, from daily drink specials to live music and art, gourmet comfort food, and more than 60 TV screens. Order a cocktail served inside a ceramic drinking vessel that looks like a sneaker, and gather 'round a TV showing the game of your choice. (There are enough TVs to broadcast them all.) The space offers seating for about 70 indoors, about 120 on the covered patio, and, when the Miami weather permits, about 100 people outside. Eating House’s Giorgio Rapicavoli is responsible for the food, which ranges from chicken wings made with pasture-raised birds, to black truffle fries and Buffalo cauliflower.
Little Hoolie's Sports Bar & Grill9559 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest
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 thanks to a great beer selection, 30-plus TV screens, pool tables, live entertainment, karaoke, and line dancing on select nights. The menu includes plenty of bar chow, from creamy clam chowder to wraps, sandwiches, and fried baskets. Try the loaded nachos ($9.95) while you watch others strut their stuff onstage during open-mike night. After a couple of beers, you might be the one to let your inner rock star shine.
Mike’s at Venetia555 NE 15th St., Ninth Floor, Miami
What every neighborhood needs is a no-frills sports bar that offers quality food, friendly service, and a great value. Downtown Miami has one in Mike’s. This long-running establishment, hidden in the Venetia condo building at the food of the Venetian Causeway, has maintained its local charm for years. Take the elevator to the ninth floor and discover its appeal. The bar offers 20-plus TV sets, pool tables, daily specials, and breezy Miami views till 3 a.m.
Old Tom’s Miami5001 NW 36th St., Miami Springs
Sometimes it’s tough being a Miami Dolphins fan, but you can find friends with the same taste in teams at Old Tom’s. This dark watering hole next to Miami International Airport is always 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. Trivia contests, karaoke, and musical entertainment are also available in case the game is too painful to watch.
Sandbar Sports Grill3064 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove
This beach-themed spot might look like an ordinary bar on the outside, but take one step inside and you’re hit with all kinds of mayhem that one would find at a frat house on game day — including cheap beer and college kids. Sandbar's food is solid, from fish tacos to a five-pound burrito, and the drinks are in a category of their own. Try the hurricane — made with Captain Morgan spiced rum, Myers’s dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine — and you’ll see why this Coconut Grove staple can weather any storm.
Scully’s Tavern9809 Sunset Dr., Miami
At Scully's, choose from great deals on Guy Fieri-approved bar food and drinks during football games 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.
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Shuckers Waterfront Bar & Grill1819 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village
The first thing you'll notice when you walk into Shuckers is the breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay. Next is the myriad games playing on the many flat-screen TVs. Just as your stomach begins to rumble, fill up on raw oysters, fresh fish fillets, famous wings (six for $8), and a 100 percent USDA Prime bacon cheeseburger. Pregame during happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., when you'll find $11 Bud Light pitchers, $6 wells, $3 drafts, $4 bottles, and $8 frozen drinks.
Sports Grill South Miami1559 Sunset Dr., Miami
Nothing says football season like a plate of chicken wings. Grab mountains of the best at Sports Grill, a local chain with locations around Miami-Dade. Although barbecue, Buffalo, spicy "Miami Heats," garlic, 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 shouldn't miss the grilled "dale"-style wings — basted in Miami Heat sauce. Snag as few as five ($6.99) for a personal snack attack, or go big with an order of 20 for $23.99. That's enough for the whole team! Add some ice-cold beer for an all-around fan experience.