At the average sports bar, let’s be honest, your culinary expectations are pretty low. Maybe you’ll find some passable wings or a decent basket of fries, but you’re really there to watch the game and put back a pint (or four). But this is New York City, home to every kind of bar or restaurant under the sun — including a few sports bars with impressive food menus. Here are five to try.
When Dale Talde, John Bush and David Massoni (owners of Talde and Thistle House Tavern) couldn’t find a bar they loved in Park Slope, they opened one themselves. Pork Slope is anything you’d want in a self-consciously divey bar — a pool table, $5 beer-and-shot specials — and killer bar food, including tater tot nachos and housemade chicken nuggets. And the football game’s always on. 247 5th Ave., Brooklyn, 718-768-7675, porkslopebrooklyn.com
Bill’s Bar and Burger
On game days, Bill’s Bar and Burger can turn from a low-key burger joint to a full-on sports bar, with eager fans packed in and drinks freely flowing. They’ve got good taste: Bill’s has a wide beer selection, boneless wings and artichoke dip, and if you’re looking for something more substantial, excellent burgers: the “Fat Cat,” with American cheese and caramelized onions on an English muffin, is a particular favorite. Multiple locations, billsbarandburger.com
This West Village favorite isn’t a sports bar in the dive-y sense; it’s got serious whiskey on the back bar and bartenders are happy to school you in whatever spirit you choose. But you’ll always find the game on here, along with plenty to ready your stomach for marathon drinking: great burgers, chicken sandwiches, tater tots, and more. 44 Bedford St., 212-414-8884, daddyonyc.com
If you’re a football fan in the European sense, not the American one, head to Woodwork in Prospect Heights, which takes its soccer seriously — screening games from all over the world, even if said games kick off at 9am on a Saturday. (They do screen NFL games, too.) While you’re there, munch on some “cheezy bread,” a selection of charcuterie, or any of the excellent sandwiches; the Cubano is a good bet. 583 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn, 718-857-5777, woodworkbk.com
While Bark isn’t a bar, strictly speaking — rather, a gourmet hot-doggery — the staff turns on the big screens when there’s a game on. And with long elevated tables for groups to gather and solid beers on tap, it’s easy to hang out all afternoon. And their hot dogs, chili fries and burgers are all among the best you’ll find. 474 Bergen St., Brooklyn, 718-789-1939, barkhotdogs.com
For more awesome sports bars, check out our list: NYC Sports Bars for Every Kind of Fan