NYC Sports Bars and Restaurants
NYC is in a league of its own with stud athletes, storied teams and passionate fans. The New York Yankees have won more championships than any other sporting team; the New York Giants and Jets football teams have each won Super Bowl titles; the New York Rangers have netted 4 Stanley Cups; the New York Knicks are on the rebound; and the New York Mets, well, anyway.
So it’s no wonder NYC has a roster of entertaining sports bars and restaurants that cater to the passions of hometown fans and visitors who follow their own home teams from afar. (Red Sox fans, enter at your own risk.) At these NYC sports bars, the beer lists are long, the wings and skins are starters and the amped energy is often contagious.
Foley's Pub and Restaurant
Baseball fans can’t get enough of this wee Irish pub. Located Midtown in the Empire State Building’s shadow, Foley’s has enough baseball memorabilia to rival Cooperstown, NY’s National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, including 1,800 autographed balls. Count your lucky shamrocks if you drink and dine here while in the company of one of the city’s elite athletes, managers and sports writers who often congregate here. Actually, it’s a popular spot for fans and players of all sports. The menu features prime sports bar fare: onion ring towers, wings and burgers.
All-you-can-eat “mild” or “ouch” barbecue wings have them flocking to this Upper West Side sports bar on Monday nights. Expect a sports-loving crowd that’s game for just about anything -- especially college basketball and football. Owned by former Playboy bunnies, hole up here in a booth, table or at the lengthy bar. It doesn’t matter where you sit, with 54-inch flat screen TVs you won’t miss the action.
Mickey Mantle's Restaurant & Sports Bar
If you’re a baseball fan, especially of the New York Yankees era of the 1950s and 1960s when Mickey Mantle played, this bar near Central Park should be on your NYC bucket list. Belly up to the glossy bar or slink into a booth in the multi-level dining room where 32 high-definition TVs are strategically placed throughout. There’s a collection of Mantle and other sports memorabilia throughout the restaurant. The restaurant is baseball-themed, but even in the heart of the season other sporting events are aired. The “Spring Training” menu features healthy fare such as grilled fish. You can also enjoy less healthy stadium fare such as burgers and ribs.
Kettle of Fish
If you’re visiting from Wisconsin and/or are nuts about the Green Bay Packers, this popular Greenwich Village bar is where you’ll want to be on Sundays during football season, along with all the other fanatic cheesehead transplants in NYC. The reason is simple. The owner is a Packers fan. The worn-around-the-edges, cozy basement bar offers darts, pinball, a jukebox and cold brewskis. It’s also a place to watch local teams’ action, when the Packers aren’t playing.
Southern Hospitality BBQ & Bar
Athletes and sports fans high-five this slick Memphis-style BBQ restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen where Derek Jeter came for a private family celebration after smokin’ his 3,000th hit. Fried pickles, mac 'n' cheese, slow-smoked ribs and Southern-fried chicken livers with red pepper jelly and Texas toast are menu standouts, complemented by 50 bourbons, 20 tequilas and an impressive wine list. There is also a smaller, less-glossy Upper East Side location.
Ex-pats love this authentic Irish pub with an Upper East Side address. They come to celebrate or commiserate the outcomes of the often-aired international soccer and rugby matches on the pub’s high-definition TVs. House specialties such as shepherd’s pie and fish 'n' chips help visitors feel at home. Whether you want to root, root, root for the home team or your gooooaaaallll is simply to enjoy a fun meal of wings, ribs and cold brew in an upbeat atmosphere, these sporty-themed spots are trophy winners.
Laurie Bain Wilson writes often about New York City and is the author of several travel guidebooks, including New York City Made Easy and New York City with Kids.