Stanley Cup? World Cup? Baseball? No matter your game, there is nothing better than watching with a good sports-loving crowd and great food and drink. We’ve chosen some of our favourite watering holes around the world — where your glass is always full and the game’s always on.
Belly up to one of our 11 favourite sports bars around the world.
Cheers Bar, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Round-the-clock sports are the name of the game at Cheers Bar: This establishment, where (we’re sure) everybody knows his or her favourite player’s name, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Recently voted Best Sports Bar in Australia and New Zealand for the second year in a row, Cheers has become a go-to for football, rugby and cricket fans looking to, well, cheer on their teams. And with everything from bacon and eggs to pasture-fed sirloin steaks on the menu, you may as well make a day of it.
Real Sports Bar & Grill, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Real Sports is the real deal. “Go big or go home” isn’t just a mantra here – it’s a way of life. With a 39-foot high-definition screen as its centrepiece, almost 200 additional screens, 114 taps, 14 wing flavors, 11 gourmet burgers and a clientele that includes professional athletes, this is a destination designed for die-hard fans. If you can’t get to the field, the rink or the court, Real Sports is a close second. Every Thursday from 7 to 10pm, the bar hosts a “tab grab” – enter your table number through a tweet or Facebook post for a chance to get the bar to foot your bill for the night. Score.
The Fireman’s Arms, Cape Town, South Africa
Rugby, Formula 1 and football fill the broadcasting schedule at The Fireman’s Arms. Opened in 1864, this is one of the oldest pubs in Cape Town. Nine 46-inch flat-screen TVs and two giant screens with digital sound (reserved for major sporting events) give spectators plenty to fist-pump about. But it’s not all brawn at The Fireman’s Arms, where the décor is largely South African sports memorabilia; the pub’s Thursday Quiz Nights give patrons a chance to show off their brainy side, too. Try to beat the crowds for big games and cozy up to fellow fans at the pub’s picnic table-style seating. If the score isn’t making you sweat, the homemade chili poppers will.
The Four’s – Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
It seems fitting that sports-crazed Boston, a city whose teams are part of some of the most deep-seated sports rivalries around (think Red Sox vs Yankees and Bruins vs Canadiens), would play host to a long list of well-known sports bars. But The Four’s stands out both for its location (just down the street from TD Garden – home of the Bruins and the Celtics) and its extensive display of New England sports team collectibles (things like jerseys worn and signed by famous Celtics players and iconic game photos). Sports journalists, professional athletes and coaches have all been known to drop in over the years. With 42 flat screens, 22 beers and two other locations just outside Boston, The Four’s is a perfect place to park for the game. Don’t forget to try the award-winning New England clam chowder and the ever-popular Bobby Orr steak sandwich.
Riley’s Haymarket, London, England
Situated among some of London’s best theaters, this haven for sports enthusiasts stands out in the crowd. With 34 screens and four extra-large screens broadcasting 70 channels, fans won’t be at a loss when it comes to catching their game of choice — sports are centre stage. Riley’s can accommodate about 600 patrons at any given time, so you’re guaranteed to be in good company if you’re planning to do a little hootin’ and hollerin’ at the TV. Feel like getting in on the action? Slide on over to one of the bar’s pool or ping pong tables for a little healthy competition of your own. A VIP bar, American-style diner and DJ nights round out the Riley’s experience.
The Sportsman, Bangkok, Thailand
Soccer, tennis, rugby, golf, car racing, baseball, basketball, boxing and more: If you can play it, it’s probably broadcasting at The Sportsman. With nine TVs, four high-definition projectors, happy hour drink prices until 7pm every day and free parking for up to three hours, it just doesn’t get much better than this, sports fans. If you’ve had enough tube time (or if your team is coming up short), jump in for a game of pool on one of the seven pool tables, take on one of the golf machines, or tackle a round of darts at one of the bar’s two pro dart boards. In a departure from standard sports bar fare, the menu features plenty of dishes with a Thai twist. Yum.
The Great Canadian Pub, Paris, France
Yep, you read that right – a Canadian sports bar in Paris. In fact, TGC (as the regulars call it) is the only all-Canadian pub in the City of Light. Situated on Paris’s Left Bank, the bar boasts a terrace that beckons to guests come summer. A pair of expats, who were also teammates at Meudon Hockey Club in the 1990s, opened the pub in 2005 after spending years longing for the adrenaline-fueled sports bars of their homeland. And these Canadians didn’t cut any corners: a menu packed with hearty, home-cooked grub (yes, poutine), happy hours Monday through Thursday, weekend brunch, Monday night wing nights (featuring 50-cent wings from 7 to 11pm), five giant TVs and huge maple leaves adorning the bar. You can bet your bottom loonie (or euro) if there’s a hockey game going on, it will be playing here. So, cozy up to your fellow rink rats (avec one of the pub’s famous Bloody Caesars); les sports never looked so good.
Satellite Sports Café, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Featuring two floors, tons of standing room (including some stadium-like stairs) and an outdoor terrace (with TVs), Satellite Sports Café broadcasts everything from cricket to golf and Wimbledon to the World Cup. Feel free to start your day here: The café opens at 9am and doesn’t close until 3am (4am on Fridays and Saturdays). The menu doesn’t disappoint, either; pitchers of Heineken, an extensive selection of pancakes (piled high with ice cream and whipped cream if you’re looking for a good game-day sugar rush) and classic pub fare like burgers are all served up with a hearty side of good ol’ team spirit. Feeling like a little challenge of your own? Order the café’s unlimited spare ribs and take down as many as you can for just €10.95. Read on for a full list of the best bars and pubs in Amsterdam.
Underdoggs Sports Bar, New Delhi, India
As its name suggests, this bar pegs itself as a shout out to all the underdogs and comeback kids out there. At Underdoggs, you’ll find giant drinks and a packed broadcasting schedule across more than 40 high-definition screens — PGA, NFL, NHL, Formula 1, Indian Premier League, Premier League match ups and more. When you’re not watching the game, there are plenty of ways to win your own title with board games, pool, foosball, darts, shuffleboard and even beer pong tourneys taking place. Or, test the strength of your taste buds in the Fire Alarm Wing Challenge (you have to stomach 12 in eight minutes) and join the “Firefighter Hall of Fame” if you can beat the heat. Victory never tasted so…spicy.
Boxers NYC and Boxers HK, New York, New York, United States
After breaking a sweat, members of the Big Apple’s LGBT sports leagues file into Boxers, one of New York City’s gay sports bars. With locations in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, Boxers airs games (think college and pro football, basketball and more) on more than 20 flat-screen TVs. There’s never a dull moment here with karaoke night every Tuesday, boozy brunch seven days a week (we’re talking $20 for unlimited mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis when you buy an entrée), happy hours featuring two-for-one drinks Tuesdays and Wednesdays and free pool tournaments Sundays. You might end up cheering for more than just your team: For your added viewing pleasure, topless male bartenders donning none other than (only) their boxer briefs sling drinks at this sports-bar-gay-club-combo.
Belushi’s Bar, Barcelona, Spain
Get ready for a good game-watching party — Belushi’s pulls out all the stops. We’re talkin’ two-for-one drinks every day until 11pm, a drink list full of beers and liquors from around the world, and a broadcasting schedule that features both international and regional sports match-ups (with requests for special games accepted if they can swing it). This may just be the best place for artists and athletes to co-exist: Belushi’s also plays host to local bands, comedians and art exhibits. A burger list that will leave you satisfied, an outdoor garden, free Wi-Fi and a multi-lingual staff make this place even more of a one-stop shop for anyone looking for a good time. And if you sprinted through that happy hour à la Usain Bolt, there’s no need to stumble too far — there’s a hostel right next door.
(Main image: billyoneal)