There are times in life when a date night, anniversary, or catching up with friends falls on the same day as a key Eagles, Phillies, or Sixers game. So when you need a place with a few TVs where you can watch the innings go by but also fulfill your social obligations, there are plenty of sports bars in town you could visit. But what if you're looking for an actual restaurant where you can eat something better than stale chips and peanuts? That's what this guide is for.
Below you'll find a few BBQ, seafood, and Mexican spots with food that's good enough to distract you from all the inevitable strikeouts and dropped touchdown passes along the way.
Wild Crab Cajun Seafood & Bar
If you want to get a good seafood boil, you’ll have to head to the Northeast. Wild Crab Cajun is the best spot, with starters like crispy calamari, steaming bags of almost every sea creature, a massive space with a few pool tables, and more than enough TVs to go around. Swing by on any Saturday or Sunday and you’re guaranteed to run into a bunch of Penn State or Eagles fans praying to the sports gods while diving into a pound of shrimp, crab legs, or mussels dripping with garlic butter. They also have a large beer list and a sea-themed throne area where you can take pictures and pretend you’re Posideon or Aquaman if you need a distraction from your team's performance.
La Llorona Cantina
We mostly come to La Llorona Cantina on Passyunk Ave. for delicious tacos, margaritas, and long tequila and mezcal list, but they also have a long bar inside with a few TVs where you can pray for a Sixers win while biting into a quesadilla. It’s where you should come to watch sports if you're in the mood for shareable dishes like pan-seared branzino and chicken breast in a mole sauce that’s super smoky. But if you’re not in the sharing mood, it's an ideal place to hang out inning by inning with some juicy asada tacos and a cocktail.
Other Half Brewing Co.
With a massive outdoor astroturf situation with corn hole and other lawn games, Fishtown’s Other Half Brewing Co. can quickly turn into an adult amusement park—especially when the Phillies play in the summer. The menu here is full of solid bar food like pulled pork sandwiches, wings, and brussels sprouts coated in garlic-soy sauce. It’s a fun place to sip on some hazy IPAs, imperial stouts, and sours, and you'll definitely see fans getting excited enough to start quoting the “need for speed” line from Top Gun and high-fiving strangers when anyone scores.
City Tap House
There are two locations of City Tap House—one in University City and another in Logan Square—and while they’re both ideal spots for watching a game, the University City one wins on crowd alone. It has an enormous deck with lots of fire pits and seating, tons of beers on tap, and a bunch of TVs. It’s a staple for both students and non-students, and no matter what’s on, there’s always a big group of people staring intently at a TV while blindly feeling around the table for a rogue wing or piece of pizza.
Since Butcher Bar is such a great group dinner spot, grab a couple of friends when it’s game time and head to their outdoor patio that has a few TVs. The Rittenhouse BBQ restaurant has a bunch of delicious things you can pass around the table, like confit duck wings, rack of ribs, and sloppy joe poutine. But if you bring a Celtics fan here and can’t bear to be associated with them, you can go for their royal with cheese and a handful of hand-cut fries just for yourself. Since it’s one of the more affordable places in the neighborhood, as they have $20 pastas and $40 steaks, considering spending a few extra bucks on something from their beer and whiskey menu that has over 100 options.
Urban Village Brewing Company
Urban Village Brewing Company has everything you want in a gameday setup: an enormous space full of long tables, lots of beer options, and a few TVs around the bar that you can see from any seat in the house. The food here is also better than your standard gastropub dishes—they've got burgers, wood-fired pizzas, perch po’boys with a spicy peach remoulade, and some smoked wings. While there might be a dozen beers on tap and plenty of can options, they also have a solid whisky, wine, and cocktail list if your version of a gameday routine includes a few Old Fashioneds.
Tradesman’s is a massive place that's both a BBQ spot and sports bar, but really feels like more of a restaurant. It can seat over 200 people between its two floors and has one of those enormous multi-screen TVs behind the main bar that makes you feel like you’re being brainwashed a la A Clockwork Orange. But especially during March Madness and playoff season, it’s one of the best places to multitask while sharing a plate of brisket, a bunch of imperial stouts, and smoked chicken with your 10 closest friends.
Between the massive outside patio with a few TVs to the few screens they have on the inside, Figo is where you can take your friend for a casual weeknight meal without relying on your DVR at home to record all the Sixers action. The menu at this massive spot ranges from grilled octopus, to a few pastas, to sharable mains like chicken parmesan, and even wood-fired pizzas. But, when you want some good deals while watching the Phillies in the early evening, they also have a Happy Hour that includes $7 wings, $5 wines, and $6 margarita, pepperoni, and plain pies.
Sancho Pistola’s isn’t so much a sports bar as it is a restaurant that happens to have a TV within view of every table, but that’s exactly why we like it. There’s never really a huge crowd here, so if you want to watch the Flyers lose in peace while you taste test a bunch of way-above-average tacos, nachos, and margaritas, this is the place to do it. They also have other locations, Jose Pistola’s in Rittenhouse and Pistolas Del Sur in South Philly, that are equally as good.
Landmark Americana Tap & Grill
You go to Landmark Americana in University City for some of the best wings in town, but you’re also there to watch a few games at the long bar or sit in their curved booths with all the TVs nearby. While their outdoor patio isn’t enormous, there are also a few TVs out there and a separate bar, so there’s pretty much no bad seat in the house. You could go for a burger or some baked chicken nachos, but the highlight here is a plate of garlic parmesan wings. They’re breaded, then submerged in a sweet and spicy sauce, topped with parmesan and garlic flakes, and each bite is more satisfying than a blowout Sixers win.