Best Sports Bars in Austin

I rounded up my list of the Best Sports Bars in Austin for your viewing pleasure this season! Game Day! {Updated 2019}

I started writing this post over a year ago when Brandon, usually referred to here with his initials BMW, moved to Austin. One of his first questions was what are the best sports bars in Austin. I’m not exactly the biggest sports watcher. I love going to games but sports bars have always just been such a drag to me. Crappy food and drinks, way too loud and honestly those chairs are terribly uncomfortable for how long the games are. So, when BMW wanted to start watching games we usually wound up at Bar 96 on Rainey Street which was a happy medium for us. But it closed a few months back so I had to dig out my list and think of spots we can both agree on. I got BMW to put his two cents in on a few of these bars and I rounded up the rest that I think are great for watching sports whether it’s just the two of us or a big group of friends where some of us are there for the game and the rest of us are there for the fellowship!

Best Sports Bars in Austin

These are our favorite sports bars and we looked at categories like how many TVs, do they play the sounds, food, comfort and ability to spread out with a group. Basically, overall what we think about each bar and why it made the list!

Scroll on to read about our favorites! I included some honorable mentions at the end. Did your favorite sports bar in Austin make the list!?

Haymaker– While we usually go here to watch a sports game, it’s a good place to hang out even when there isn’t a game on. They have three large sections, one big patio outside and two large sides with a big bar and kitchen in the middle. Of note, they also have a pretty decent parking lot as far as Austin standards go.

NLP- I like this place because it has a decent food selection (tots!), good drinks and doesn’t feel too much like a sports bar. There are large, long picnic-style tables that are good for groups and they have games and a patio.

BMW- My #1 sports bar in Austin. They play sound and have a huge amount of TVs. Good beer and whiskey selection with a classic sports bar atmosphere.

 

The Tavern– This place is an Austin institution! The Tudor style and creaky old staircase only add to the charm. There is a large dining room on the first floor with plenty of TVs and lots of nooks and crannies that are great for smaller groups. Upstairs is another bar and a bigger area with TVs and a projection screen. There is also an outdoor patio if you’re craving some natural light!

NLP- An Austin classic! It can get a little crowded but it only adds to the jovial atmosphere. I like the old school vibe of this place.

BMW- Classic sports bar, dark but in a good way. Upstairs patio if you want something lighter. They play sound upstairs for the big games. Also a great place to watch soccer.

 

Best Sports Bars in Austin_Cover 3 Allandale Salad

Cover 3– We typically only go to the one on W. 6th, so this review applies to that location. This is a pretty large space and functions more like a restaurant but with a lot of TVs. There is a parking garage attached and I would say due to the restaurant-vibes, this place is probably easier for families vs a true bar.

NLP- Feels a lot more like a restaurant than a bar and they have strong wifi and comfy booths. Plus, a delicious Allendale Salad that I’d honestly eat anytime. I could post up here on a Sunday and blog while BMW gets his sports fix. Service is top notch.

BMW- A place you could go with a girl for dinner and watch games.  A lot of TVs and good food menu. Essentially, a restaurant with great tv situation.

 

Lavaca Street Bar– This place always makes our list! It’s a great spot to meet up with friends. Definitely a bar, zero parking so you’ll want to ride share here. Good food and typical beer options.

NLP- I like this place because it’s downtown and you can order from Turf  ‘N Surf! I feel like I always run into lots of friends at this bar and many of my LSU fans love it too.

BMW- If you are going to really watch sports, like March Madness, then this one shows everything. Turf ‘N Surf and games like skee ball add to the atmosphere.

 

Black Sheep Lodge– We love this bar! The big patio is very dog-friendly, there are a few different rooms inside with games and lots of TVs. Parking is incredibly limited, so ride sharing is your best option on any busy day.

NLP- This place just feels like Austin. It’s a bar where I’d hang out at anyways and it just happens to have sports things. Good beer and burgers. They always have lots of soccer games too if you’re into that.

BMW- Great outdoor space, great food specifically the burger and tots. Couple of big screen TVs.

 

Star Bar– A classic West 6th street bar. If the “young professional” vibe is what you’re going for than this is your place.

NLP- My old college and grad school days are rushing back! This place is great on UT game days, although packed, you’ll be among friends. They always seem to have the best food trucks too! It’s where I first discovered Valentina’s years and years ago then it was Violet Taco and then Tumble 22 and these I don’t even know anymore but let’s just say there is usually a great food truck here.

BMW- Busier, college-style bar, packed for sports though. Lots of energy and expect to stand unless you get there super early. Trust me, you will be ordering from whatever food truck they have.

Little Woodrow’s– This spot is directly across from Star Bar, making this corner a one-two punch as far as sports bars go. The whole place is indoor/outdoor but has a great Austin-y vibe to it.

NLP- Another great spot to catch lots of friends and watch UT games. They have One Taco which is delicious and I like the patio vibe and not being stuck inside somewhere dark. It’s dog friendly too! Sometimes it gets super crowded so just make sure your dog is cool with that.

BMW- Huge patio and big open bar. Perfect for a big group on a nice day if you’re in downtown.

Best Places to Watch Sports in Austin

Revelry Bar and Kitchen– Another restaurant that is kind of a sports bar too. Good food menu and indoor/outdoor patio and dining room. No parking again so you’ll want to ride share. Lots of bars and restaurants close by which makes it a great place to meet up.

NLP- I really like the food and overall vibe here. There is a great drinks menu and I love the outdoor patio with the huge oak tree.

BMW- Casual vibe with a small menu of heavy food, think bacon cheese fries. Patio is the best.

 

Shoal Creek Saloon– Another Austin institution! This bar has a classic cozy feel inside and a nice patio out back. TV’s everywhere. This is a Louisiana Bar, so they will always have LSU and Saints games on. Not to mention an excellent Cajun-influenced menu.

NLP- I love this bar because it’s old school. It has great food and even better people. I like having the option to sit out back. There is a view of the creek (hence the name) and you can usually spot cute swan families paddling around.

BMW- NOLA sports bar so watch out on LSU/Saints game days. Good patio and Cajun food.

 

The Alibi– This is the old Bar 96 (RIP) and located on Rainey Street. Honestly, not a ton has changed about it, just the name and the colors really. It’s still got that old house feeling that people who frequent Rainey Street are going for.

NLP- This place has a fun energy and a nice patio out back and on the sides. It’s dog-friendly but gets really crowded and loud, great for watching games but not always the pups. 21+ so no babies. This is definitely a bar, they don’t serve food but there are food trucks around if you get hungry.

BMW- Best spot on Rainey Street for sports.

 

Honorable Mentions: 

Scholtz Garten– German-style bar with food and drinks. Great energy and huge patio but it is PACKED on UT game days since it is located right in the heart of the tailgating action.

Red’s Porch– If you find yourself on South Lamar, this place has some great views of the Hill Country and a full restaurant menu. It’s got the indoor/outdoor thing going on too. Lots of TVs and dog-friendly. A good place for families as well.

The Stagger Lee– BMW and I have not actually visited this place for game watching, so this recommendation is coming from some of our friends who have good authority when it comes to sports watching. I’ve been by it a few times and it looks really cool (big swings out front!) and there seems to be lots of TV’s and it’s right in the heart of Rainey Street, so we think this one has potential to move up the list next year!

 

Where are your fav bars to watch sports? Did I miss any of the Best Sports Bars in Austin?

 

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Natalie Paramore

The places I go, the things I do and what I eat.

September 3, 2019

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