DCGuide

8 Great Sports Bars In DC

DC spots for watching everything from Monday Night Football to March Madness.
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photo credit: Mykl Wu

DC sports bars come in all shapes and sizes. Your perfect version depends on whether you want to argue over the strike zone between pool shots or drink beer with your fantasy homies while watching the game that decides if SeanTaylorQueen4183 will be champ for the fourth straight season. Even if the haters say DC isn’t a sports town, the city has plenty of great sports bars with comfy seating, specials, and enough screens to keep your head swiveling like you're watching a Williams sisters grand slam final.

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Dupont Circle

$$$$Perfect For:Late Night EatsSports!
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Public Bar Live pairs our love of watching giant versions of CJ Abrams and Alexander Ovechkin with hits like “I Want It That Way.” It's a great place to start a Friday with a game and end with dancing. The Dupont Circle spot has three floors and a rooftop, each with its own bar and a slightly different set up. Sit on the third floor to watch the game—there’s a slightly clubby feel, NBA on TNT above every table, and big leather booths. It also has the best angle for checking out the projector, which plays the biggest game of the hour.

photo credit: Mykl Wu

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We head to this two-floor Wharf sports bar when we need a last-minute plan by the water, even if there isn’t a game to watch. It sits right in the middle of all the bustle on Wharf St., but you can still walk in and find a table even on a Saturday night. They project games against the wall on the top floor, and there are also TVs scattered around the bar on the floor below. The elevated bar food is pretty middle of the road, but entrees cost less than $20, which is unusual for a sit-down spot in this part of town.

The only real light in Union Pub’s bar area comes from the television screens playing a slate of games. Groups of friends crowd around long picnic tables, celebrating alley-oops and splitting fried cheese curds and 40-cent wings (a Wednesday special). Come to the Capitol Hill spot to drink $4 mystery beers on Mondays, $5 Fireballs on Fridays, and spring back from a night out with fluffy waffles and endless bubbles on the weekends.

When you’re looking for a spot to watch a game, but also entertain your friends who don’t know the difference between a golf ball and a badminton shuttlecock, head to Thirsty Crow. The Columbia Heights bar has a wall lined with giant televisions, as well as classic board games like Life and Monopoly, and a couple of pool tables. Grab a long high-top table and cheers to a Caps win and the hotel on Boardwalk that bankrupted all your homies.

Walter’s is beloved by anyone in Navy Yard for pregaming (and postgaming) Nats games. But it’s also great for general sports bar things. The casual neighborhood spot keeps a schedule of what’s playing a few weeks in advance, so you know if that NCAA gymnastics meet or championship tennis match you’re looking to watch will be on. For a little more peace and quiet, grab one of the outdoor tables with individual TV screens—and fewer people jostling your beer.

Yard House is perfect for those days you want to be at a sports bar, but you’re not in the mood to stand around shoulder-to-shoulder over beer-soaked floors. The Chinatown spot has a bunch of booths and tables around the circular bar lined with televisions. There’s usually a backlog of folks trying to score a seat, so join their waitlist in advance to save you time. Or head over early from 3-6pm for half-priced appetizers like spinach dip and wings, plus drink specials. Another perk: it’s open until midnight during the week, which means you can stick around if that Tuesday game runs late without feeling horrible about keeping the wait staff after closing.

Tom’s Watch Bar is so deep down the sports rabbit hole that it has its own channel playing events you’ve probably never heard of, like ear pull and slippery stairs. TVs constantly stream their signature channel, but you’ll also catch the Little League World Series and the Commanders. Screen sizes vary depending on where you’re sitting, so get there early if you’re headed in for an event that everyone wants to watch. And expect to pay a cover if you’re trying to watch UFC on Saturday night.

This Barracks Row spot is the city’s only Mystics bar, and we love it for that reason alone. Women’s sports get a ton of love at the two-story, queer-owned spot, so in addition to every ‘Stics game, expect special events like 24-hour game watch during the Women’s World Cup. It feels a little more like a cafe than your average sports bar, and you can get a macchiato as easily as a DC Brau. Come here for a laidback afternoon (or late night) where you can play board games during halftime and belt out “We Are The Champions'' during karaoke.

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