Sports bars. They’re where sportsmen go to hide from the real world and relish in America’s favorite past time—fried chicken, burgers, and beer. Oh, and athletics of course. Here in Dade County we take our sportsmanship very seriously: There are bars that simply play sports, and then there are sports bars that live and breathe every major sporting event. They make spectatorship a sport in and of itself.
Related: T+L’s Guide to Bars in Miami
So where should you grab a seat for the big game? It’s a hard call when Miami is swamped with these self-proclaimed watering holes. You’ll find them outfitted with vintage sports memorabilia and equipped with a consortium of king-sized TVs. A great sports bar is like a great game—action packed and amped up by an animated audience. You want a place where your favorite beer is always in supply and where the portions are oversized like what you’d order stadium-side. Look no further for the best seats in the house.
Duffy’s Sports Grill in North Miami Beach
A playbook of drinks calls for a smart strategy. The winning play here? 2-4-1. All day, every day. The South Florida chain’s flagship location on North Miami Beach has 200 TVs suspended from exposed metal beams, and a waterfront deck for al fresco game viewing. Order its smoked fish dip (it’s legendary) and when the game is over, slip into the pool.
Sandbar Sports Grill
Located in Coconut Grove, Sandbar is a holy union of beach vibes and sports fanaticism. Here, walls are fashioned with Hurricane memorabilia, 26 TVs, projector screens, and a menu with creative tacos: order blackened salmon, jalapeno lobster, and chipotle carne asada. Get penny beers on Wednesday nights to toast your team’s wins, or mourn its losses.
For good food, good drinks, good friends, and damn good sports watching, visit the Sports Grill. This neighborhood joint has built in TV screens and has been serving Miami’s best wings for two decades; they’re grilled, charbroiled, and drenched with Worcestershire sauce. If the Miami Heat is “turnt” up, you should be too—order the Miami Heat wings.
This Irish treasure features raffle giveaways during game time, 30 TVs, three pool tables, and a stage as a centerpiece. When the game is over, locals still visit for the live music, open mic, and band tryouts held as often as sports matches. Diners also have the option to order blue balls—breaded chicken stuffed with cream cheese and served with jalapeno jelly. They’ll leave you surprisingly satisfied.
Guy Fieri may have gone to Scully’s for bar food, but what he got was Belgian escargot swimming in melted garlic butter. This starter is a go-to for locals, as are the fried green tomatoes and potato chip-crusted mahi-mahi sandwich. This Food Network-featured tavern may not serve your typical bar food, but that’s because it’s not your typical sports bar. It’s better.