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16 of the Best Sports Bars in D.C.

Celebrate the start of football season over brews and bar bites

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D.C. has a bar to suit just about every flavor of sports fan, from diehards who prefer raucous college hangouts to casual observers looking to kick back over brews, tots, and burgers.

The NFL’s 2022 season opener is Thursday, September 8, so there’s naturally plenty of comeback deals to score across town. Brand new sports bar contenders include Whitlow’s in Shaw and Harbor Social at National Harbor, plus rugby-obsessed Tight Five Pub in Adams Morgan’s former Smoke & Barrel space. Lots of bars continue to cash in on the fact that sports betting is legal in D.C. Flashy celebrity chef Guy Fieri will do just that with his anticipated full-service restaurant in Capital One Arena this fall.

Here are 16 reliable, sports-loving establishments that keep spectators properly fed and satisfied, with a particular emphasis on those whose kitchens bring their A-game.

—Updated by Tierney Plumb

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Sports & Social Bethesda

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Pike & Rose complex upped its sports bar game last summer with the arrival a new game day headquarters. The 8,000-square-foot bar unleashes fantasy draft and watch party packages for up to 20 this fall. An opening “Twenty Yard Line” special for four ($20 each) includes a 128-ounce beer tower, 24 wings, and nachos. An 18-foot LED display in the middle broadcasts multiple games and sporting events at once, with on-site entertainment (Skee-ball, foosball, arcade games and Beirut) and a dog-friendly patio.

Sports & Social Bethesda comes from the team behind Live! Dining & Entertainment.
Max Touhey for Sports & Social

Lou's City Bar

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Columbia Heights’s neighborhood sports bar is well equipped for football season with 20 crisp HD TVs, a brand new sound system, a huge projector, and sports betting machines. Oklahoma State, Maryland, and North Carolina State alumni flock here to catch college games.

The Game Sports Pub

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The replacement to subterranean Ventnor Sports Cafe has quickly drawn notice for a menu that mixes pub classics with Filipino dishes from its D.C. bar vet owner Jo-Jo Valenzuela. Happy hour runs during the duration of all NFL games aired on its 14 wall-to-wall TVs. Look for discounts on draft-and-Evan Williams shot combos, cocktails, and skinny lumpia shanghai egg rolls.

Ivy and Coney

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Come NFL season, this unpretentious cash-only bar is devoted to Chicago Bears and everything that comes with the city. Fill up on sausages and beef sandwiches alongside cheap Midwestern beer and well drinks.

Duffy's Irish Pub (Dupont Circle NW)

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This Dupont Circle sports bar, formerly located in Shaw and off H Street NE, maintains a long list of chicken wing varieties and its reputation as a haven for Nationals fans and sports betting. The bar just announced plans to add an additional location on Capitol Hill (1901 C Street SE).

Lucky Bar

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The beloved D.C. dive that changed hands last year continues to make soccer fans feel welcome, especially for catching live games on weekend mornings. Its Dupont Circle location also makes it a key spot for watching the day’s biggest college football and NFL games.

Public Bar Live

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A shift and rebrand toward a live music venue in 2019 doesn’t stop Public Bar from showing football games during the season. The three-story space keeps its downstairs bar outfitted with TVs and seating for when live concerts aren’t rocking the stage. The Saints-leaning bar added a new 14-foot HD projector screen last year in addition to 40 other screens and five bars.

Albert Ting/Public Bar Live

Proper 21K (multiple locations)

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The upscale sports bar that aligns itself with the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Alabama maintains locations in Foggy Botton and downtown. A two-course “Kickoff Menu” runs during prime time games and all weekend from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Options include buffalo chicken or truffle tots, local bratwurst, and its beloved burger. Every pitcher or bucket of booze purchase comes with a Plinko drop for the chance to win free drinks and food.

Dirty Waters Sports Bar

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Say what you will about Boston sports fans, but they know how to turn out for kickoff. Patriots game day is always an event at this H Street Bar, so grab a beer, study the lyrics to Sweet Caroline, and buckle up. Sports betting is also a thing inside.

Penn Social

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The 86-inch TV screens lining the cavernous basement of Penn Social aren’t the only place to find entertainment here. The bar also boasts Skee-Ball, cornhole, and many other games. Tin Shop’s respected sports bar portfolio in D.C. also includes the new Clubhouse (formerly Church Hall), Franklin Hall, TallBoy, and Astro Beer Hall.

Penn Social/official photo

Union Pub

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This Capitol Hill Bar goes all out for game days, especially when the Bears are playing. Chicago staples like $5 pours of Malort, $6 Goose Island brews, loaded dogs, and chili cheese nachos are all in the mix, plus $4 Union Pub pils pints.

The Ugly Mug and Valor Brewpub

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Barracks Row’s two-part home turf for fans of Iowa State University, Mississippi State, Navy, and Washington State sends out Budweiser and Bud Light towers, nachos, and top-tier barbecue from its big new pitmaster hire Shawn McWhirter. Sports betting machines sit on both floors.

The Brighton

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The Hilton brothers’ Southwest Waterfront bar is home to the biggest wall projection screen at the Wharf. During NFL games, get $5 Bud Light drafts and $6 Pacifico drafts or canned Coronas and Modelos during college Saturdays with purchase of appetizer or entree, plus rotating cocktails ($10) and shooters ($6). Appetizers and specials also translate into tailgate platters.

Brighton offers $5 drafts and food specials on game days.
Brighton

The Big Stick

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At this ski lodge-themed sports bar, groups of sports fans can order four shots lined up on a wooden ski (a shotski). It’s like celebration and a team-building exercise all in one. Catch NFL games on Sundays alongside $20 Bud Light buckets.

The Big Stick
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Stadium Sports Bar & Smokehouse

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Hill Restaurant Group’s soaring sports bar rings in football season with specials on rail drinks, Bud Light pitchers, and a Bud Light draft-and-boneless wings combo. Other sports bar grub includes brisket chili and meaty open-faced melts.

The self-pour taphouse directly across from Nationals Park stars 99 types of draft beer, seltzer, cider, wines, and cocktails, all ready to be dispensed around the perimeter of the glossy, red-tiled bar. Patrons grab a glass or Solo cup for a DIY tasting that costs around 75 cents to $1 per ounce. Pub grub includes brick oven pizza and ridiculously thick mozzarella sticks. Find 24 self-pour beer stations at Navy Yard neighborhood stalwart Walter’s Sports Bar.

Tap99 positions long, communal tables in front of self-pour draft lines for beer, cider, wines, cocktails, and kombucha
Tap99 positions long, communal tables in front of self-pour draft lines for beer, cider, wines, cocktails, and kombucha.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Sports & Social Bethesda

Pike & Rose complex upped its sports bar game last summer with the arrival a new game day headquarters. The 8,000-square-foot bar unleashes fantasy draft and watch party packages for up to 20 this fall. An opening “Twenty Yard Line” special for four ($20 each) includes a 128-ounce beer tower, 24 wings, and nachos. An 18-foot LED display in the middle broadcasts multiple games and sporting events at once, with on-site entertainment (Skee-ball, foosball, arcade games and Beirut) and a dog-friendly patio.

Sports & Social Bethesda comes from the team behind Live! Dining & Entertainment.
Max Touhey for Sports & Social

Lou's City Bar

Columbia Heights’s neighborhood sports bar is well equipped for football season with 20 crisp HD TVs, a brand new sound system, a huge projector, and sports betting machines. Oklahoma State, Maryland, and North Carolina State alumni flock here to catch college games.

The Game Sports Pub

The replacement to subterranean Ventnor Sports Cafe has quickly drawn notice for a menu that mixes pub classics with Filipino dishes from its D.C. bar vet owner Jo-Jo Valenzuela. Happy hour runs during the duration of all NFL games aired on its 14 wall-to-wall TVs. Look for discounts on draft-and-Evan Williams shot combos, cocktails, and skinny lumpia shanghai egg rolls.

Ivy and Coney

Come NFL season, this unpretentious cash-only bar is devoted to Chicago Bears and everything that comes with the city. Fill up on sausages and beef sandwiches alongside cheap Midwestern beer and well drinks.

Duffy's Irish Pub (Dupont Circle NW)

This Dupont Circle sports bar, formerly located in Shaw and off H Street NE, maintains a long list of chicken wing varieties and its reputation as a haven for Nationals fans and sports betting. The bar just announced plans to add an additional location on Capitol Hill (1901 C Street SE).

Lucky Bar

The beloved D.C. dive that changed hands last year continues to make soccer fans feel welcome, especially for catching live games on weekend mornings. Its Dupont Circle location also makes it a key spot for watching the day’s biggest college football and NFL games.

Public Bar Live

A shift and rebrand toward a live music venue in 2019 doesn’t stop Public Bar from showing football games during the season. The three-story space keeps its downstairs bar outfitted with TVs and seating for when live concerts aren’t rocking the stage. The Saints-leaning bar added a new 14-foot HD projector screen last year in addition to 40 other screens and five bars.

Albert Ting/Public Bar Live

Proper 21K (multiple locations)

The upscale sports bar that aligns itself with the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Alabama maintains locations in Foggy Botton and downtown. A two-course “Kickoff Menu” runs during prime time games and all weekend from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Options include buffalo chicken or truffle tots, local bratwurst, and its beloved burger. Every pitcher or bucket of booze purchase comes with a Plinko drop for the chance to win free drinks and food.

Dirty Waters Sports Bar

Say what you will about Boston sports fans, but they know how to turn out for kickoff. Patriots game day is always an event at this H Street Bar, so grab a beer, study the lyrics to Sweet Caroline, and buckle up. Sports betting is also a thing inside.

Penn Social

The 86-inch TV screens lining the cavernous basement of Penn Social aren’t the only place to find entertainment here. The bar also boasts Skee-Ball, cornhole, and many other games. Tin Shop’s respected sports bar portfolio in D.C. also includes the new Clubhouse (formerly Church Hall), Franklin Hall, TallBoy, and Astro Beer Hall.

Penn Social/official photo

Union Pub

This Capitol Hill Bar goes all out for game days, especially when the Bears are playing. Chicago staples like $5 pours of Malort, $6 Goose Island brews, loaded dogs, and chili cheese nachos are all in the mix, plus $4 Union Pub pils pints.

The Ugly Mug and Valor Brewpub

Barracks Row’s two-part home turf for fans of Iowa State University, Mississippi State, Navy, and Washington State sends out Budweiser and Bud Light towers, nachos, and top-tier barbecue from its big new pitmaster hire Shawn McWhirter. Sports betting machines sit on both floors.

The Brighton

The Hilton brothers’ Southwest Waterfront bar is home to the biggest wall projection screen at the Wharf. During NFL games, get $5 Bud Light drafts and $6 Pacifico drafts or canned Coronas and Modelos during college Saturdays with purchase of appetizer or entree, plus rotating cocktails ($10) and shooters ($6). Appetizers and specials also translate into tailgate platters.

Brighton offers $5 drafts and food specials on game days.
Brighton

The Big Stick

At this ski lodge-themed sports bar, groups of sports fans can order four shots lined up on a wooden ski (a shotski). It’s like celebration and a team-building exercise all in one. Catch NFL games on Sundays alongside $20 Bud Light buckets.

The Big Stick
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Stadium Sports Bar & Smokehouse

Hill Restaurant Group’s soaring sports bar rings in football season with specials on rail drinks, Bud Light pitchers, and a Bud Light draft-and-boneless wings combo. Other sports bar grub includes brisket chili and meaty open-faced melts.

Related Maps

Tap99

The self-pour taphouse directly across from Nationals Park stars 99 types of draft beer, seltzer, cider, wines, and cocktails, all ready to be dispensed around the perimeter of the glossy, red-tiled bar. Patrons grab a glass or Solo cup for a DIY tasting that costs around 75 cents to $1 per ounce. Pub grub includes brick oven pizza and ridiculously thick mozzarella sticks. Find 24 self-pour beer stations at Navy Yard neighborhood stalwart Walter’s Sports Bar.

Tap99 positions long, communal tables in front of self-pour draft lines for beer, cider, wines, cocktails, and kombucha
Tap99 positions long, communal tables in front of self-pour draft lines for beer, cider, wines, cocktails, and kombucha.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Related Maps