The Best Sports Bars In PhillyThere are a lot of places where you could watch sports that aren’t your living room, but these are our favorites.
Even if you still get RedZone, NBA League Pass, and every other premium package that exists, your home isn’t always an ideal spot to watch sports. Plus, when you head to a sports bar with a group of friends, you don’t have to worry about running out of beer, keeping it down when the Eagles score so your neighbor doesn’t get upset, or getting so distracted by a hard foul that you forget to take the wings out of the oven. There are lots of sports bars in the city, but these are our favorite 9 spots.
Chickie’s & Pete’s is a South Philly sports bar where the beer comes in towers and the wings are hot and messy. They’ve got a surprisingly excellent lobster roll, and the signature crab fries are a Philly sports fan birthright. But if you’ve been to a stadium, airport, or the boardwalk, you probably knew that already. There’s no dress code here, but you’re on your own if you roll up wearing a Cowboy’s jersey.
A South Philly staple, this massive sports bar complex has six other sports bars inside. When the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, or Sixers score, you want to be inside this massive space with your crew and drink in hand. The crowd gets rowdy and the cheers get as loud as the ones in nearby Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park. All the spots inside have similar pub-grub options like pizzas, burgers, wings, and with a Victory Beer Hall inside, there’s plenty of beer to go around. It’s an ideal spot to eat endless baskets of nachos, while staring at any of the TVs inside or the massive movie theater-like screen in the center.
A lot of sports bars are dark and have about as much space as a shipping container, but Garage, which has locations in both Fishtown and East Passyunk, is none of those things. It’s a large space with garage doors that are thrown up as soon as the temperature hits 60, and it has one of the biggest selections of canned beers in the city. The TV situation is a little more tenuous than other places on this list, and they usually play music instead of the live broadcast audio, but we shouldn’t have to listen to Troy Aikman anyway.
Going to a sports bar usually means seeing excited crowds of people who think the players can hear them through the TV as long as they yell loud enough. Founding Fathers in Grad Hospital, though, is a much quieter, more upscale version of a sports bar that’s good for when you’re watching the game with your in-laws or clients. They also have some solid bar food with things like blackened ahi tuna tacos and Korean fried wings.
photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO
If you’re still searching for the thrill you’ve been missing since youth basketball camp, University City’s The Post is for you. In addition to the multiple TVs behind the bar, there are Sixers-themed mini-basketball games, air hockey tables, and a few skeeball machines. And with murals of Jason Kelce, Allen Iverson, and Gritty on the wall, there’s no better place to sip on drinks and watch the scoreboards when any of the teams are in action. There’s a full bar with a few local brews on tap, and they serve pretty good shrimp po’ boys and crispy sweet chili wings, covered in a peppery glaze.
You’ll probably feel a little like you’re on a boat when you’re drinking at Misconduct Tavern with their vaulted and wood-paneled ceilings. But this Rittenhouse sports bar (which has a couple of other locations in the city) is a solid place to watch the game. They have a bunch of TVs and enough tables that you won’t have to hover behind some poor guy sitting at the bar for three hours. There’s a solid selection of beer, with taps that rotate every few weeks, and the burgers and wings are pretty decent, too.
Chinatown doesn’t have too many sports bars, but that's OK because Bar Ly exists, and Bar Ly is awesome. This spot has friendly bartenders, never gets super crowded, and, most importantly, there always seems to be a table available. That makes it kind of a magical third dimension in Philly, where it’s almost impossible to get a seat at any bar during an Eagles game unless you show up four hours early and aggressively guard your table. Plus, it’s near all of our favorite Chinatown restaurants, which is exactly where you’ll want to go after a bunch of anxiety-induced Bud Lights.
If you want to watch the Eagles, Sixers, or even the Philadelphia Wings, you can pretty much walk into any bar with a working TV. But if you’re a soccer fan, your choices are a lot more limited. There are a few places around the city that play the matches, and Fado is the best of them. Unlike most other soccer bars, Fado doesn’t have a certain team they always show, and they’re playing a bunch of different games at once. You can expect to eat things like chicken quesadillas, warm and soft Bavarian pretzels, sliders topped with Guinness mayo, and jumbo wings. Bring a crew of Union fans here, and since they open as early as 10am on the weekends, you can even catch the overseas action between sips of beers.
McGillin’s isn’t just a sports bar—it’s an institution. It’s been around since before income tax existed (the real good old days) and, despite its age, has a bunch of new TVs with all of the sports packages you refuse to pay for at home. McGillin’s gets pretty rowdy during day games, especially when the Eagles play at 1pm on Sunday, so showing up early is encouraged if you want to take over one of their long tables.