Where to Find Your Football Watering Hole in the City
When this year’s NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 7, it’s important to know where to go to openly root for your team alongside other fans. There are always the neighborhood sports bars, but better yet, the following spots moonlight on Sundays as official team fan hubs, offering food and drink specials alongside plenty of viewing screens to fuel that true, rowdy, pigskin camaraderie.
The Hog Pit (37 West 26th. St.)
Since 1995, the Hog Pit has been a West Side go-to for Southern food and hospitality. Here, nearly everything is either fried, smothered in something, or both, and of course slid onto tables with a bright white smile. Fried frogs legs, fried catfish, fried chicken, and trays of ribs and pulled pork are in fact some of the healthier options on this menu. How about some fried bacon with gravy, or Frito pie?
However, gentility gets put aside on nights when the Buffalo Bills are on the field; this barbecue joint doubles as a home base for fans of the upstate team, and after the crowd has put back a few sweat tea spritzers or $2 PBRs, the Hog Pit gets as rambunctious as its name conjures—no one ever said Southern culture is quiet, after all. Order the four-person barbecue Feast with all the fixins’ and get ready to shout.
Brother Jimmy’s Union Square (116 East 16th. St.)
Cleveland Browns supporters should head upstairs at Union Square’s Brother Jimmy’s to find their kin cheering on the Ohio team. While normally this barbecue restaurant is known best for being an after-work spot with happy hour margaritas at locations all around town, the Union Square locale offers even better deals to Browns fans on game nights: rib tips and wings at half- price, Coors drafts for $3, Blue Moon drafts for $4, and discounted pitchers too. More than 200 fans commonly come out to watch the games here, which is why the restaurant dedicates a private room complete with a private bar, staff, and 10 screens to Browns fans on Sundays.
AFC SOUTH / AFC WEST
SideBar (118 East 15th St.)
A couple blocks away, delicious American bar food and draft beers are the name of the game at SideBar near Union Square, which is also the hideout for supporters of the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos. A wood bar and bookcase on which to shelve bottles give this spot a rustic-chic feel that has made it popular among young East Village professionals, and the nightly specials— two-for-one Tuesdays, “appy” hours with bites like beef sliders and loaded nachos for $6—don’t hurt its appeal either. Sunday late afternoons can get crowded for game days, but those determined for a seat can arrive early for brunch, when the restaurant is notably less busy, and pregame with bottomless drinks.
Dorrian’s Red Hand (1616 Second Ave.)
More than 50 years old, Dorrian’s Red Hand is a Yorkville institution. This Irish bar is known as an Upper East Side hangout in the manner of the old guard, with a smart-casual dress code and clientele of longtime neighborhood residents.
Now in its 11th season as the city home for the Washington Redskins, Sundays see it shed its country club atmosphere and fire up for game day with screens hung throughout the large space and the usual menu swapping out items like cottage pie and mussels for Skins-themed meals, like the jalapeno-spiced Skins Burger, the Riggins pizza named for the franchise’s Hall of Fame running back John Riggins, and $5 George Allen raspberry and grapefruit cocktails.
Amity Hall (80 West 3rd St.)North Carolina, c’mon and raise up for the Panthers this season at Amity Hall. Its original two-story beer hall in the West Village (there’s now a second location on the Upper West Side) proudly hosts watch parties for fans of the blue team (and of great beer), fueling games with more than 25 beers on tap ranging from Guinness to Einstöck craft beer from Iceland and far more rare options in bottles. The menu reads like bar food dressed up, such as build-your-own burgers on brioche, avocado toast, stout-braised brisket sandwiches, and buffalo chicken egg rolls, while the atmosphere is a mix of shared-table conviviality and lounge coolness.
Foley’s (18 West 33rd St.)Baseball may be what Foley’s is most known for, named for famed sportswriter Arthur Foley, who spent years documenting both the Mets and the Yankees. It’s also home to a museum of sports memorabilia, with more than 3,000 signed baseballs, 500 bobble heads, and all manner of equipment and paraphernalia from across the professional sports gamut—free to be seen by anyone who passes through. But while America’s favorite pastime may be the core of this bar’s DNA, football season sees it become the meet-up spot for Arizona Cardinals watchers.
An impressive array of craft beers on draft as well as nice scotches can hydrate the more selective palates, while bucket specials are of course on o er as well. The pub food like chicken pot pie, beer-battered sh and chips, and 20-ounce T-bones is also a winner, no matter the score.