The Best Sports Bars In LA
The best bars to watch a game in LA.
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. These are the places that check all the boxes.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe
This classic sports bar has been around since the 1970s, and though the design has changed throughout the years, the fantastic front and back patios are better than ever. Big Dean’s is where you go on a lazy Saturday to watch some sports and end up staying all afternoon, drinking beer and eating one of our favorite burgers in the city.
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photo credit: Jakob Layman
The Blue Dog Beer Tavern
Blue Dog is a block from the 405 in Sherman Oaks, but it feels more like a hometown bar somewhere in rural Maine. There are old beer taps and Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, framed photos of regulars’ dogs, and TVs in every direction. The Valley mainstay has a serious beer list that features several high ABV triple ales, so get whatever looks good to go with one of the burgers. Our favorite of the bunch is the “Blue Dog” with bacon with mushrooms and onions—but really, anything with their homemade root beer BBQ sauce deserves your attention. Outside, there’s a big, shaded front patio with even more TVs and exciting dog watching.
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Making a reservation for a sports bar is no doubt a turn off for most people, but when the sports bar is Pijja Palace, you simply make the extra effort. This genre-bending Indian pizzeria in Silver Lake has some of our favorite new food in the city, plus there’s a sleek interior with flat-screen TVs covering nearly every inch of the walls. Sure, plenty of people inside Pijja Palace are there solely to try dishes like green chutney pizza or tandoori spaghetti, but come gameday, this place comes alive with fans—particularly the Dodger faithful. When you get thirsty, there’s a long list of craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
The Greyhound Bar & Grill
The Greyhound is the official home of the LA Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Club, the first English Premier League fan club in SoCal. If those words don’t mean much to you, this Highland Park spot also does “Blue Hour” deals on drinks and food during every Dodgers game, and has a solid menu that includes genuinely good wings (try the “Judgment Day” flavor if you’re feeling adventurous or want to chug milk for an hour afterwards). The Greyhound may be a slightly upscale sports bar, but it’s a sports bar nonetheless. A really good one.
Most sports bars get pretty wild on Sundays, but few are as fun as Sonny McLean’s, the Boston bar in Santa Monica. It’s especially fun during games, when you can join people named Sully and Fitzy in screaming at the TV and calling anyone that turns the ball over “a bum.” When the game’s not on, they’ve still got one of the most competitive dart boards around—since Boston fans can’t be chill about anything.
Golden Road Brewing
While there certainly are better craft breweries in LA, there’s no denying that Golden Road’s sprawling Glendale/Atwater Village campus is a great place to watch a game. With multiple patios and TVs in every direction, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, and no matter how big your group is, there always seems to be an available table. There’s also a solid pub food menu, with everything from birria fries and patty melts to giant Bavarian soft pretzels.
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A big, partly-outdoor German biergarten in Fairfax would probably do just fine if they had average food and a few beers on tap. But Wirsthaus is a lot more than that. The menu has some pretty great stuff to choose from—we like the wienerschnitzel with homemade spaetzle, and you can’t go wrong with any of the sausages. There are plenty of TVs and 35 German beers on tap, so even if your friend has very specific tastes in schwarzbiers, they’ll be happy. World Cup matches get wild here.
Barney’s Beanery has been a game-day institution since the 1960s and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. There are multiple locations around town, but the OG Weho location will always win out. There are enough TVs to keep an eye on every meaningful game for your fantasy team and the newspaper-sized menu is filled with everything from their famous turkey chili to pizza that has no business being so good.
With a prime location in Sunset Junction, 33 Taps has quickly become one of the Eastside’s most reliable sports bars. There’s ample indoor and outdoor seating, a solid food menu with everything from hot chicken sandwiches to chimichurri bowls, and nightly events that range from trivia on Wednesdays to weekend DJs to Drag Race viewing parties hosted by a rotating list of the biggest queens in the business. There’s rarely a dull moment at 33 Taps and that certainly includes NFL Sundays.
Playa del Rey is still a tiny beach neighborhood that feels perpetually trapped in the year 1967. The Shack is among a handful of places doing their very best to keep it that way. The beach-themed bar in the heart of PDR is actually a lot bigger than it looks from the outside, thanks to multiple nooks and crannies, and a big back patio for people who want to eat delicious, hot link-topped burgers and scream at football. NFL Sunday’s are definitely the biggest days here, and word to the wise, the crowd gets passionate.
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As the name suggests, Biergarten is a German-style pub on Western in Koreatown. And their menu is a fantastic mishmash of German and Korean food, like military stew with kielbasa, or pork schnitzel with katsu sauce. But the best thing here is a different kind of mash-up: the Chosun” burger, topped with American cheese, grilled Spam, kimchi, and pickled daikon. It’s as good as it sounds—just be prepared to have some leftovers. They’ve also got parking lot seating set up, and show soccer matches most nights.
The Nickel Mine
Located in West LA, The Nickel Mine became the go-to sports bar in the neighborhood the minute it opened. Yes, it provided a place to watch sports in an area that has very little of them, but the space is also nice and big, the food is solid, and there are plenty of drink specials and even a private event area if you’re rolling deep for the game. Stick to any of their pizzas.
This massive Marina Del Rey sports bar received a big facelift a few years back, but despite a sleek new bar with an upgraded craft beer list, its most famous activity remains intact: the turtle races. On the first and third Thursday of every month, their sprawling side patio hosts turtle racing, which involves placing bets on which turtle is going to get to the outside of a circle fastest. It’s strange, loud, and very fun (especially when you’ve put down on a side-bet about which turtle’s going to finish last). Next time you’ve had a terrible week and need to see some reptiles meander across a racetrack while also catching the game, this is exactly where you need to be.
Downtown Culver City is filled to the brim with sports bars, but our favorite one is actually a few blocks over in Palms. The Garage is a former auto shop turned neighborhood craft beer bar on Motor Ave. with a big industrial space, a casual crowd, and plenty of TVs. When it comes to food, we usually stick to their wings or the Boston-style bar pizza.
Ye Rustic Inn
Ye Rustic Inn is a legendary sports bar in Los Feliz known for its surly waitstaff, loud music, and chicken wings—easily some of the best in town. They aren’t flashy or served with a bunch of bespoke dipping sauces, but you don’t want/need that sort of flair when you’re drinking beer and yelling at your team on the TV. You get to choose your desired spice level and crispiness, and while ordering them extra crispy is non-negotiable, we’ll let you pick your heat.
Legends Restaurant & Sports Bar
If you’re looking for a place to watch any type of sporting event in Long Beach, Legends is the clear front-runner. The humongous two-story space on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore, opened by a former L.A. Rams lineman in the late 70s, resembles a small airplane hanger strung with championship banners and is outfitted with a giant projection screen that drops down from the ceiling. The food menu is borderline Cheesecake Factory large, so we suggest sticking with the sports bar fail-safes that are done justice here: burgers and wings. And if you happen to arrive at brunch, get one of their fairly ridiculous mimosas, which come in a goblet topped with an upside-down mini bottle of sparkling wine.
Flights Craft Beer + Sports Grill
We’re willing to overlook the groan-inducing name of this LAX-adjacent beer bar (airline flights… flights of beer… get it?) simply because it delivers on all the sports bar essentials. They’ve got over 20 craft beers on tap, the food is good enough that you might actually go here on a non-game day (try the short rib quesadilla), and even during whatever playoff run is currently gripping the city, finding a seat with a TV view is less stressful than getting through that TSA line. Located in a completely unremarkable strip mall next to a Subway, Flights is fairly easy to miss, so we suggest coming here if you want a more under-the-radar (oh god, another aviation pun) experience.
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This neighborhood spot on Pico is generally crowded on weekends, when it’s full of people playing board games, darts, and arcade games upstairs. On game nights, it gets a little louder. They’ll have the big-deal game projected on the big screen, and more on the TVs along the walls. The beer list here has enough variety to get you through the game, and the vegan-friendly bar menu—particularly the corndog—is pretty great.
Brewco Manhattan Beach
Football with a view. Brewco is in the heart of Manhattan Beach and has unobstructed ocean views from the patio to help dull the pain of watching your team choke away their playoff chances once again. It’s also a beer drinker’s paradise, with a rotating tap list of local California craft beer and plenty of other brews as well. We’re big fans of the fish tacos, which come perfectly beer-battered and served with a creamy Baja white sauce.