The Best Sports Bars In Austin
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary
When it comes to sports bars, a place can basically throw a TV on the wall and roll in a few kegs, and call itself a decent spot to catch a game. But a great sports bar? That involves multiple TVs, food you actually want to eat, and a relatively supportive environment for when your team inevitably goes off the rails. This is your back pocket guide to Austin’s best sports bars to post up at, and just remember: the TV can’t hear you.
The Tavern has been around for over a century, and in that time it has served as a grocery store, a casino, a brothel, and, of course, a pub. These days, there are 30 TVs inside—spread across two floors—making this a great spot to come and watch some sports to accompany your burger or some of our favorite wings in town.
Black Sheep Lodge in South Austin is from the same team behind Haymaker, serving nearly the same menu with great wings and a massive draft beer list. You go to Black Sheep Lodge to watch sports on the patio with a dozen picnic tables. While the patio’s not enormous, there are multiple TVs, so there isn’t a bad seat in the place. And with ceiling fans and heat lamps, the patio is pretty comfortable all year round.
Scholz Garten isn’t just the oldest bar in Austin, it’s the oldest operating business in Texas, dating back to the 1800s. It’s a huge German beer garden that’s centrally located, right near UT, and it’s long been one of the top tailgating destinations in Austin. Not only does the place have some of the best German food in town, there’s also the largest selection of German beers on draft you’ll find in Austin.
This campus-area spot has been a longtime favorite of grad students and whoever else lives in North University for decades. The patio here is mostly under a roofed, open-air space, but it also expands out even further from the bar with tarps, tents, and picnic tables. There are only a few TVs, so get there early if you want to secure a prime viewing spot, but even if you don’t, you’ll be able to enjoy their great food and daily beer specials. We usually go with one of the cheeseburgers here, but the BLT is excellent.
Doc’s in South Austin has multiple TVs both inside and outside for sports, but it’s the spacious dog-friendly patio that really makes it shine. There are tons of picnic tables shaded by multiple enormous oak trees and patio umbrellas, and it’s kept cool by misting fans. Do watch out for the very hungry grackles that will try to steal your french fries if you’re not looking.
B.D. Riley’s has everything we want in an Irish pub: proper pours of Guinness, a great selection of local and Irish beers, and really solid pub fare. It’s located in Mueller, with a pretty large patio that spills out into the rest of the shopping development, so there’s a good amount of space. And with a handful of TVs, both inside and on the patio, there aren’t a lot of bad seats in the house.
There are a few Little Woodrow’s locations in Austin, but our favorite one is on Burnet Road in Brentwood. It’s a little bit removed from the chaos of Downtown, so parking, traffic, and rowdy neighbors aren’t typically as much of an issue here. But don’t let that fool you—watching a game here isn’t some quiet, somber affair. There’s a massive patio, plenty of indoor seating, tons of TVs, and a bar big enough to serve probably 100 drinks at once, ensuring every game is a prime experience. Plus, you can grab food from OneTaco on-site.
On the corner of South Lamar and Oltorf is Bouldin Acres, an enormous beer garden in what used to be a two-acre car dealership. It’s basically an adult amusement park with pickleball courts, corn hole, and loads of TV screens. Bouldin Acres is also home to the very good barbecue trailer CM Smokehouse.
The longtime W 6th spot Star Bar has three patios, including an enormous back patio, and it’s a good (if occasionally rowdy) place to watch whatever game happens to be on. You’ll find big screen TVs everywhere, so you’ll have a good view no matter where you sit. And lucky for you, there’s also a location of the Detroit-style pizza spot Via 313, home to some of the best pizza in town.
Haymaker has over 40 beers on draft—and even more available in cans—so you’ll never really run out of options over the course of a game. The food here is hearty and pairs well with football—think burgers, open-faced sandwiches, and wings. It’s also one of the few places in town serving poutine—a great game-day accompaniment and perfect for sharing. And there are enough TVs outside to provide solid views from almost anywhere on the large patio that spills onto Manor Road. Only a portion of the patio is covered, so you may want to get there early if you want to snag one of the coveted up-close and covered tables.
With an awesome backyard, corn hole, big leather couches, and more than enough TVs to go around, Parlor and Yard is definitely making some power plays when it comes to ideal gameday situations. Swing by on any Saturday or Sunday and you’re guaranteed to see at least three friends from college and make a whole lot more by the end of the night.
Located on—you guessed it—Lavaca Street in the Warehouse District, this is a great bar for watching sports and grabbing a bite Downtown. There are plenty of TVs playing all the major games, and a big wall of beers on tap, but most importantly, Lavaca Street Bar is home to Turf N’ Surf, where you can get some of the best po’boys and fish tacos in town. Come for a game, stay for a drink or two, and leave considerably more full than when you arrived.
Tucked away at the far end of Rainey Street, Salvation Pizza is a safe bet for that classic combination of food, beer, and sports. The giant bar-style pizzas are cheesy and crispy, and they should please everyone in your crowd. There are also plenty of TVs with sports on, especially for big MMA fights. The place also serves solid renditions of classic bar food like fried mozzarella sticks and chicken wings.
Billy’s On Burnet has some pretty dedicated regulars. Some are here for the beer and others for the constant sports on TV—it is a Packers bar, after all—but the most loyal group comes for the burger. The Cobra burger (our favorite) with a ⅓ pound patty, cheddar cheese, crispy, curly bacon, grilled jalapenos, and chipotle mayo might be a little more expensive than you’d expect for a bar burger, but it’s spicy and savory and always worth it.
There’s a giant football helmet with a Saints logo outside of Shoal Creek Saloon at 9th and Lamar, which should be some indication of what this spot’s all about. But if you’re sports illiterate, then maybe the Abita on draft, the smell of fried seafood, or the giant “Southern Louisiana Cooking” on the outside wall will give it away. Head to Shoal Creek Saloon to watch a Saints or LSU Tigers football game, because when the weather is nice, there are very few better places to hang out with other fans than on the patio by the creek, with an ice cold Abita in hand.