The Best Restaurants For Watching Sports On TV
photo credit: Ryan Muir
Sports! Wait, why are we shouting. Let’s all just take a deep breath. You good? Alright, listen: if you like to put food in your mouth while watching sports, here’s where to do it. These are some places that A) serve good food and B) have televisions that will be showing any big games. Sure, some of these places only serve bar food (burgers, wings, etc.), but don’t act like that isn’t what you want when you’re watching sports. We see right through you. Also, if you want to see every other spot you might be interested in, just search the tag “Sports!”.
Burgers, onion rings, and sports. That’s what this place is about, and if you like two out of the three, you’ll be into Royale. Even if you only like one, actually. And if you don’t like any of those things, just sit at the bar, drink a beer, and stare at the wall. There are worse things to do with your time. Overall, this is a pretty ideal place in the East Village to eat ground beef and watch athletes do some things you assume you could do but, in reality, cannot. Also they have a backyard.
This place isn’t pretty or fancy, but these guys do have two things going for them: sports and wings. There are plenty of TVs on which to watch whatever big games are going down, and they do some above-average buffalo wings. And if you like waffle fries, you’re in luck. This bar has waffle fries. Fun fact: if you don’t like waffle fries, you’re technically a monster and we don’t understand you. Although you should still subscribe to our newsletter.
The wings here are pretty good. Not our favorite, but at least they’re consistent. Plus, when it’s nice out, you can even sit outside - although there aren’t any TVs out there. And, seeing as how this guide is about watching sports, you should probably sit indoors (because you’ve seen the sun, and you aren’t impressed). And if wings aren’t your thing, this West Village bar/restaurant serves a large variety of other foods that are equally satisfying. Try a buffalo cheese steak. You’ll regret it in the best way possible.
There are a lot of sports bars on the UES, but not necessarily a lot you want to hang out at. For now, The Jeffrey kind of stands alone. They serve some good bar food, they have a big backyard, and this place doesn’t smell like it’s been damp for fifty years. For a sports bar, that’s a really nice bonus. For a night out watching sports on the Upper East Side, this is your best bet.
A sports bar doesn’t have to have good wings, but it’s nice when they do. It’s sort of like when you when you start dating someone, and then they tell you they have boat. What a nice surprise. As it happens, Blondies does some very good wings, as well as every other dish you’d expect a sports bar to serve. So if you’re on the Upper West Side and all you want is spicy chicken and sports, Blondies is the way to go.
Jones Wood Foundry is pub, but it’s a nicer one. You could bring your parents here. Or a date. Or even that one friend who wants to get a little drunk under the pretext of watching grown people run back and forth on a field. This is a fancy-ish gastropub on the Upper East Side, and you could come here even if you don’t like sports. But you’re reading this guide, so we’re pretty sure you do.
Rose’s is a restaurant in Prospect Heights that serves bar food for grown ups. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you watch sports, and the fact that it’s a little bit fancier than the average stuff you find at a bar somehow makes it seem healthier. The grilled cheese comes with kale, for example, but it isn’t going give you an eight pack. Our suggestion? Sit at the bar, eat a good burger, and watch whatever game is on.
Walker’s feels like a slightly classier sports-watching option, but it isn’t really upscale. It feels nicer because it’s been open for thirty years and they do a full dinner menu that isn’t limited to burgers and wings (although they have those too). It’s also in a neighborhood (Tribeca) where the average income would make a cartoon wolf’s eyes pop out. This is just a neighborhood tavern, however, and they aren’t above showing sports on TV.
Should you find yourself north of the Harlem River in need of sports and fatty foods, your best bet is the Bronx Alehouse. They take their sports seriously here, and you can bet they’ll be playing any sort of big game (especially if there’s a New York team involved). They even have a great beer selection and some outdoor seating. And if you sit out there, you might see a raccoon walking down the street. We did, and it wasn’t the worst thing to watch.
The Ribbon is a consistently solid UWS dining option from the same people behind Blue Ribbon Brasserie (and all those other Blue Ribbon places). It’s also one of the few TV-having restaurants that you won’t feel bad bringing your parents to. The space is nice, and the menu is large enough that everyone should be able to find something to eat. There’s also a lot of meat, which people tend to like when watching sports. Bring the in-laws the next time they want to get brunch and you want to watch the Jets over their shoulders.
You could definitely trick someone into thinking Boulton & Watt is a restaurant. Whether or not that’s ethical is debatable, but everyone should be more or less happy. This place is actually a gastropub, but it has big windows, exposed brick, and enough TVs that you won’t miss any plays. So the next time a non-sports fan wants to go eat during a game, steer them here. Not everything on the menu is a winner, but if you stick to the stuff that sounds the least healthy, you’ll be alright. Although, truth be told, the crispy quinoa salad isn’t bad. We’re sorry for saying that.