Just because you're headed out to watch your favorite team doesn't mean you need to sacrifice eating a good meal — and it certainly doesn’t mean you should settle for bad booze. Whether you're a craft beer connoisseur or a brunch buff, there are spots in town that will cater to your cravings, all while you cheer on your favorite colors this season. Here are 10 of our favorite places to eat and drink while catching the game in metro Phoenix.
The Handlebar Tempe
If you're looking for a sports bar vibe but don't want to deal with hoards of obnoxious sports fanatics, then Mill Avenue's Handlebar is a solid option. To be clear, that doesn't mean this bar doesn't take sports seriously – it does feature a good handful of TVs that remain tuned to the game. The bar serves an always impressive selection of beers on tap and specialty cocktails. In addition, the bar has a selection of wines and features a breakfast menu starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Customers don't need to worry about daylight savings time, as Handlebar fluctuates its Sunday breakfast hours to begin at 9 a.m.
Yeah, the original Four Peaks Brewery on Eighth Street in Tempe is a little touristy, we’ll admit. But even so, it’s easily one of the best places to eat and drink local craft beer in the Valley. The menu offers all your classic sports bar favorites like burgers and wings, as well as some more unique options like the green chile mac and cheese and the blackened salmon BLT. As far as sports go, there’s a TV just about everywhere you look, and Sunday mornings during football come with a tasty brunch menu served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. And do we need to even mention that beer is pretty good?
Football fans can find a sports haven at RnR in Old Town Scottsdale. There's a lot to eat and an army of TVs to accompany this Sunday morning spot. Also, there are bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which pair well with pretty much everything on the breakfast menu. You can choose from classics like Chombard or Amish French toast or Southwest biscuits and gravy, or more interesting offerings such as the Hangover Fries. Sure, snagging a table at RnR during a big game can be challenge, but the expansive menu and range of drink specials make it worth it.
You might already be familiar with Zipps Sports Grill, given that there are more than 10 locations across metro Phoenix. If not, just know that Zipps has a knack for quantity when it comes to what makes a sports bar. That means each location comes with wall-to-wall TVs, food and drink specials starting at 8 p.m. to close, and no shortage of beers on tap. Football Sundays are cherished at the popular local chain as well – brunch specials (comically known as the "Weekend Hangover) begin at 11 a.m., and weekend happy hours last well into Sunday Night Football.
During most of the year, we love O.H.S.O. because we can drink outside on the dog-friendly patio while taking in the Arizona sunshine. But during football season, we take the action inside. That's where you'll have the best views of whatever team you call your own. And with one of O.H.S.O.’s more than 40 cold, craft beers in hand, you've pretty much got it made. To make the deal even sweeter, O.H.S.O. also offers a Beer Brunch deal from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday that offers a brunch entree and a locally brewed beer or mimosa for just $10.
Lucky Lou's Chandler location successfully combines the great food and comfort of a more upscale restaurant, with the low-key vibes of a neighborhood bar. Football fans will enjoy a weekend happy hour menu from noon to 5 p.m. But no matter what time of day, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Just know that this spot is a bit on the smaller side, so don’t show up during halftime.
The Lodge in Tempe is among our favorite places to sit back and enjoy our favorite teams and munch on great food, in part because the log cabin interior and laid-back environment make it one of the more unique dining destinations in the area. As far as grub goes, the burger on a pretzel bun is a must, but the $10.99 burger and beer combo will make your wallet thank you. Overall, the drinks are cheaper than most of the surrounding bars, there are plenty of specials, and the place can get loud in the fourth quarter.
Anyone who considers themselves a chicken wing snob might want to check out either of the HUB's Mesa locations. Served by the pound, half-pound, or two pounds, the HUB’s "Arizona Smoked" chicken wings fall right off the bone. Plus, each location has more than 50 craft beers available on tap or by the bottle, along with pretty much any televised sporting event you could ask for. Gluten-free fans can rejoice, as the bar features a gluten-free menu.
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Duke’s isn’t the most hip spot in Scottsdale, and their food isn’t “craft” or “artisan.” But it’s still one of the best sports bars in the Valley, and they have the hardware to prove it. If football is your game, be sure to hit up Duke’s on Saturday or Sunday when the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar is available until 4 p.m. Otherwise, enjoy daily food and drink specials, as well as sports literally everywhere you look, given Duke's has nearly 50 TVs.
Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse
We'll admit Bootleggers isn't a sports bar, per se. But this north Phoenix restaurant has been our secret go-to spot for watching sports with a side of craft barbecue for years. There aren't dozens of screens at the cozy dining spot, but if you call ahead and ask, they are happy to try and accommodate your fandom. That means you can cheer on your team over a glass of apple pie moonshine and the High Hat PBLT (that's pork belly, lettuce, and tomato) — a nice alternative to beer and wings.