The Olympic action ended last weekend but our three-way relationship with TV and sports won't be stopping anytime soon. Post-season baseball and the start of football lurk just around the corner, which means we're on the hunt for the best places to belly up, grab a brew and cheer on our teams.
For die-hard fans, picking a favorite sports bar requires nearly as much perseverance as picking a soul mate. This is a place you'll likely endure hardship and loss and hopefully, find ultimate glory. We've prowled the Valley to find the best places for sports fanatics and casual viewers alike: Here's our list
Duke's Sports Bar
This Scottsdale sports bar has been around for 13 years and if you're looking for a place to bring the whole team, there's no place better than Duke's. They show nearly every game you could want to see on their 46 TVs and offer plenty of pool tables, shuffleboard and foosball. Their two patios mean plenty of breathing room for smokers and non-smokers alike and they'll even let you bring your furry friends provided you keep them on a leash. To top it off, they offer 30 salads. That's right, salads. And to keep you safe, from five to close they'll give you a lift home (within six miles) in their "no DUI ride."
We don't often drink in Mesa, but when we do it tends to be at Cactus Moon. If being located at the Mesa Riverview means minus points in the coolness book, this sport bar counters with a successful rebuttal: a fleet of 65-inch flat screen TVs. If you hate elbowing your way through a sea of sweaty, decked-out fans at other bars around town - or watching the entire game standing up - Cactus Moon will be your salvation. With plenty of space and tables to spare they can always accommodate you and yours, be in the first inning or the last.
Stinger's Sports Bar
Stinger's makes its home on the west side of town, which means the drinkers at this place take their bars seriously. They've got enough pool tables to accommodate an in-house league, off-track betting and dozens of arcade games, all of which take up the majority of the bar with the left over space usually occupied by the plentiful regulars. Be brave and belly up to find a menu of signature bombers - on special all day, every day. But don't discount this rough around the edges brew house: they've got 16 beers on tap. With two happy hours a day, we're willing to brave the grizzly patrons to nab a cheap drink and a good spot for the game. Oh yeah, and they open at 6 a.m.
There's something special about a place where they welcome you to throw your trash on the floor. Ok, so you can't dump all your refuse on the ground but you can (and should) toss your peanut shells anywhere you want at Teakwoods. This sport bar boasts locations in Gilbert and Chandler and offers Moosehead Mondays, when you can sip on a glass of the Canadian lager for just $3. Not bad, eh? We like the wings, but we love the friendly service.
Proof that sports bars don't have to be inelegant. This upscale sports bar features the kinds of beers on tap you wouldn't expect to find at a typical place where TVs outnumber the employees. We love ordering sangrias and calamari with a side of all-American sporting events - a combo that don't always blend as beautifully as at Blue 32. The classic bar food fare doesn't disappoint and with its elevated atmosphere we're happy to stay for the game, and the next.
Coach and Willie's
Being located within earshot of the homes of the Diamondbacks and Suns gives Coach and Willie's the sort of authenticity money can't buy. If you can't be in the stadium, at least you can hear the action live from this downtown drinkery. We head over for both pre-game pep-up drinks and post-game revelry. But what really makes it a standout from the other downtown bars is the above-par menu featuring prosciutto-wrapped prawns, signature lobster bisque and wood-fired pizzas.
We don't love RnR so much for its food, to be totally honest. But for hanging out and drinking during the game, there's no place better than their two-story patio. The young vibe and rock n' roll get us excited about games we don't even understand and thanks to the eclectic clientele, there's always a fellow fan somewhere in this libation station. The owners are known for their contributions to area's bustling club scene and RnR is no exception. When atmosphere is just as important as well, anything else, we're down to drink at RnR.
College kids needs their sports fix too and Devil's Advocate welcomes the rowdy crowds from the nearby ASU campus with wide-open (and alcohol filled) arms. With specials like $1 domestic pints Monday through Friday and $5 car bombs on Saturdays, you can imagine this place gets chock full of boisterous Sun Devils during football season. It can be overwhelming, but for game day spirit and general sporting shenanigans, Devil's Advocate's cheap eats and even cheaper drinks mean we hardly care if the teams wins or loses.
This casual but classy neighborhood hangout is the kind of place where we like to lounge over a leisurely summer baseball game or waste away a Sunday morning of football. Most memorable about the Arcadia Tavern experience has to be the glass goblets in which they serve their beer: 18 ounces and heavy enough to justify using both hands. The home-style classics (inside out burger anyone?) and selection of premium brews makes it almost as comfortable as watching at home, but better.
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With nine locations throughout the Valley, Zipps aims to dominate the family-friendly sports bar game. They walk a fine line between a full-out sports related drinking fest and the kind of place where the whole gang can sit back and watch the game. They never fail to provide the necessary bar games to make for a good time - yes, the have Golden Tee - and have plenty of food to keep the kids
quiet happy. The rotating daily specials and happy hour mean making this a regular hangout won't break the bank. We especially love the golden wings, deadly strong Zipparitas and 32-ounce beer specials that run you just four bucks.
And check out our other lists: 7 Spots to Eat and Drink Around ASU Downtown 7 Spots to Eat and Drink Around ASU Tempe 10 Favorite Cookie Shops 10 Favorite Vietnamese Restaurants 10 Favorite Restaurant Playlists 10 Favorite Places for Romance on a Budget 10 Favorite Places to Buy Craft Beer 7 Favorite British Restaurants 10 Favorite Bloody Marys 10 Favorite Meat Shops 11 Favorite Summer Cocktails from Metro Phoenix Restaurants 10 Favorite Drive-Thrus 10 Favorite Spots for Guacamole 10 Favorite Theme Restaurants 15 Favorite Late Night Eats 10 Favorite Summer Foods 7 Favorite Soul Food Places 10 Favorite Sangrias 7 Favorite Paleteria 10 Favorite Breakfast Places 10 Favorite International Markets 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix