Where To Eat & Watch Football If You're Not A Falcons Fan
For Atlanta transplants in search of an NFL home, away from home.
We can’t all be Grady babies with a selection of Falcons onesies waiting before we even take our first breath. Many long-time Atlanta residents are transplants—from cities like NYC, D.C., Philadelphia—who, while leaving their cities behind, can’t quite quit their hometown NFL teams (which is an even sadder story for Browns fans, but we digress). No matter who you cheer for on Sundays, it’s always more fun to watch with fellow fans. We’ve rounded up some of the best backers bars for those ATLiens who don’t really “rise up” on Sundays.
Bucket Shop Café
For Carolina Panthers Fans
Pull up to The Bucket Shop Cafe on game day, and you’ll see Carolina Panthers flags on either side of the street entrance, across the street from Lenox Mall. The back room typically houses Panthers fans and another Panthers flag just in case you missed the two out front. While some Buckhead spots might feel stuffy, The Bucket Shop Cafe is not one of them. It feels like an upbeat small-town tavern. Sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers make up the majority of the menu, which ranges from $5–$15—a bargain by Buckhead standards. Regulars are obsessed with the fried Uptown Shrimp tossed in a sweet chili sauce, and we’d agree. So get those with a beer as you join a wide age range of fans to watch the Panthers in their quest for their first-ever Super Bowl win—doesn’t look like it’ll happen this year, but keep pounding, we guess.
For Buffalo Bills Fans
You’ll find Whitehall Tavern in a shopping plaza in Buckhead that also houses a Publix and a Starbucks. It’s an odd location for a tavern, but the absurd amount of TVs and reliable bar food has earned them a loyal fan base. On football Sundays, the place is overrun with Buffalo Bills fans—seriously, you’ll be lucky to find a seat once the game starts. There’s a modified “game day” menu with nachos and a Bierhaus Pretzel being predictable( but also justified) hits. When the Bills play well, join in on an adapted version of “Shout” by the Isley Brothers, in which the lyrics say something about the Bills winning—and yes, the whole bar does sing along. If they lose, well, you can still enjoy a beer and a burger and reminisce with fellow die-hards.
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For Cleveland Browns Fans
Creatwood Tavern in Smyrna has a sign hanging from the rafters that says, “You’re in Cleveland Browns Country.” Not that you’d need a sign to tell you that on game days. All of the staff have on Browns shirts, multiple Browns flags hang from the ceiling and on the walls, and the place channels the energy of the actual Dawg Pound with Browns fans whose eyes are glued to the many, many TVs throughout the restaurant. Their menu offers a variety of choices but the wings and fried pickles are our favorites. A full bar and plenty of beer options will help to soothe the sting of another predictable fourth-quarter meltdown. So will the familiar call and response of “Here we go Brownies, here we go” followed immediately by folks woofing. Losing never feels good, but we assume it’s easier to stomach when your belly’s full and you’re surrounded by friends who will bark with you.
For (Mostly) New York Giants Fans
If you want the best of both worlds, you should head to The Monticello in Marietta. The front room and outdoor patio have TVs that play every NFL game on Sunday. Cowboys fans happily sit next to Falcons fans, enjoying the Sunday brunch menu and smoking hookah. But the back room has a sea of dark blue and red shirts and is where the New York Giants fans post up. A DJ provides pump-up music on the elevated stage during commercial breaks as a light show spins on the wall behind. But when the game is on, it’s all about the Giants. We suggest ordering the Shrimp & Crab Omelete, which is stuffed solid like a fourth-and-inches pile up, and enjoying the party vibes as you watch the Giants try to come out on top in the NFC East.
Mazzy's Sports Bar & Grill
For New York Jets Fans
Most seasons, other fans take solace in the fact that they aren’t as bad as the Jets. But not this year, baby. The J-E-T-S are on a roll and longtime fans are coming out to support their team at Mazzy’s in Marietta, a well-worn sports bar with booths and carpeting that look like they haven’t been updated in decades. Dim lights make it feel like it’s night time even when it’s broad daylight. Darts and pool tables are available if you need to take your mind off the game for a few minutes, and the menu features typical bar food like chicken tenders and fried shrimp, neither of which are anything to write home about. But the Jets fans pack the place out, and you can’t help but join in when someone yells out, “That’s another Jets…First Down.”
Gilly's Sports Bar
For Las Vegas Raiders Fans
Gilly’s Sports Bar in Dunwoody has been around since the ’70s and gives off that old school sports bar feel. The Raiders fans who take over the bar on game days add their own flair to the spot with team banners and flags proudly hanging from the walls. Bartenders wear Raiders Fan Club t-shirts and will make sure you snag a beer in time to see the next play on the many TVs that line the walls. Wings are the thing at Gilly’s, and they don’t disappoint with 11 different flavors to choose from and the perfect amount of crispiness-to-sauce ratio. Don’t let the random location (in a mini shopping plaza next to apartment complexes) fool you into thinking Gilly’s isn’t worth a visit, especially for long-time Raiders fans.
Smith's Olde Bar
For Pittsburgh Steelers Fans
You might know Smith’s as a live music venue or as a good place to shoot some pool in peace, but you might not know that it’s also a Steelers bar. They’ve done some upgrades, replacing their older wooden booths with leather red ones, giving the place an odd mix of dive bar and lounge vibes. Order a Smitty’s Double Cheese (their big, two-patty burger and our favorite thing on the menu) at the bar and chow down as you watch the Steelers play. It’s not uncommon to see folks waving yellow towels in the bar and jersey-clad fans taking up the front room that houses a large projector screen. If it’s too crowded inside, they have a new deck out back with two TVs and a large neon ‘SOB’ sign to remind you where you are. As if anyone could forget Smith’s.
For Seattle Seahawks Fans
Seattle Seahawks fans have cemented their legendary 12th man status over the years (real fans know the whole story). It’s safe to say the Seahawks faithful are intense, and you’ll find hordes of them on Sundays at The Brass Tap Perimeter. Expect a rowdy atmosphere here with a DJ blasting “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled and a hype man on the microphone throughout the game. But this isn’t your typical sports bar. It’s a craft beer bar featuring beer from a variety of local breweries like Firemaker, Pontoon, Wicked Weed, Monday Night, and New Realm. They have the usual suspects on the menu like burgers, tacos, and wings, but there are also some surprises like a tasty grilled cheese with brie, bacon, and blackberry jam.
For Green Bay Packers Fans
Smokeshow is attached to The Ivy in Buckhead, and you’ll find plenty of cheeseheads in green and yellow shirts here on Sundays. The restaurant’s name is a dead giveaway for the perfectly barbecued meats they’ve got on the menu. For a game day feel, we like the pulled pork nachos piled high with beans, salsa, and queso. The covered patio is lined with TVs at every table, so you can enjoy those unseasonably warm ATL fall/winter days while you watch for a Lambeau Leap. Since you’re in Buckhead, parking is valet only—which shouldn’t bother Green Bay fans who are used to trudging to the Frozen Tundra—but you can also just take the trek across the street and pay to park yourself.
For Kansas City Chiefs Fans
Similar to its Little Five counterpart, which serves as a home to Broncos fans, the Sandy Spring Hudson Grille is so big that you can usually find a seat without a wait—although the Kansas City Chiefs fans who occupy one of the back rooms seem to have taken that challenge to heart. You can’t miss the life size cutouts of their king, Patrick Mahomes, standing guard as you enter. Atlanta Braves fans can feel the same icky dissonance performing the questionable tomahawk chop when the Chiefs score. Be on the lookout for their hype man pacing the room with a megaphone as you munch on a giant Bavarian pretzel or the usual Hudson Grille favorites like crispy wings and jerk salmon.
Black Bear Tavern
For Chicago Bears Fans
Buckhead’s Black Bear Tavern is a Chicago bar. Period. Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears—they support them all. Black Bear is one small room with darts in the corner and TVs scattered on the walls. It's the type of place where bartenders know your name and your drink order by heart. You’ll want to be a regular here too, especially after you try one of their burgers. Sink your teeth into the Wisconsin, featuring four different cheeses, and hum along to the sound of the Bears fight song telling you to ‘bear down.’ Good advice for Chicago fans.
Varners Restaurant and Tavern
For Philadelphia Eagles Fans
Varner’s Restaurant & Tavern is in Smyrna, lovingly referred to as Smyrnadelphia by the Eagles fans who flock to the tavern (Fly, Eagles, Fly). Come here on game day, where you can sing the Eagles fight song on every touchdown, led by a hype man on a microphone who is only slightly off-key. Wings are your best bet here with fun flavors like lemonyaki and staples like lemon pepper. They do have some odd options for a sports bar, like their jalapeño wontons with a surprisingly fancy blueberry sauce and a very interesting fried banana pepper appetizer—a rarity for fried food offerings (it kinda works, but we wouldn’t order it again). Plenty of TVs line the walls in the 21-and-up bar area and in the family-friendly dining room, so you won’t miss a second of the Eagles stellar season (so far).
For Miami Dolphins Fans
If you’re a Dolphins fan, head to Fairway Social in Alpharetta to watch the games. Just a heads up, the Dolfans only meet for the day games. Fairway also offers games like baseball, golf, and soccer via VR simulators in private booths inside (Note: playing the virtual QB game is humbling after yelling at your quarterbacks to do something you can’t). Plenty of standard shareables like flatbreads, chips and dips, and pretzel bites are encouragement to bring your friends along (or Dolfans recruits). And you’ll need them to help you finish the pitchers of cocktails or beer that we recommend ordering for more bang for your buck. A roomy rooftop with a large projector is where you’ll find most Miami fans watching the action, but you’ll also hear them cheering inside too. Fins up.
Don’t see your team’s bar? Drop us a line at email@example.com or on our social @theinfatuation_atlanta and we’ll come check out your game day spot.