Now that football season is back, you might be looking for a place to catch a game and a bite to eat this weekend. We've put together our top six sports bar picks.
Some things you'll notice all our favorites all have in common: great specials, plenty of HD TVs, and the NFL Sunday Ticket and the ESPN College Game Day packages. That means they can put your game on, no matter what part of the country your team hails from.
Hattrick's, 107 S Franklin St., www.sportsbartampa.com
Bottom line: There aren't many bars in downtown Tampa, period, let alone sports bars, so Hattrick's, housed in a historic, three-story brick building built in 1907, already has that cool, urban thing going for it.
Recommended eats: Bavarian soft pretzel sticks ($8); Shake & Bake style wings (20 for $17); meatloaf with Guinness gravy ($12.50).
Specials: Buckets (five bottles) of Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light for $14, or buckets of Corona for $17, all day on game days. Miller Light and Bud Light drafts for $2, half off house wines, 60-cent wings, and premium doubles for the price of singles from 4 to 8 p.m. daily.
Walter's Press Box, 222 S Dale Mabry Highway, pressboxsports.com
Bottom line: The Press Box says “old-school dive” in the absolute best kind of way, from the wood-grain paneling on the walls, to the coin-operated pool tables to the way that sunlight has zero chance of getting inside. For seeing the HD big-screens, there's not a bad seat in the whole joint.
Recommended eats: Jumbo buffalo wings with hot or Jamaican jerk sauce (20 for $14); buffalo chicken melt ($8.79).
Specials: Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light buckets (6 bottles) for $16, domestic pitchers for $8, domestic drafts for $2.25, and all liquors doubled during all football games.
Champps Americana, 2223 N Westshore Blvd., champps.com
Bottom line: Located in Bay Street at the posh International Plaza mall, Champps aims to be a little more upscale than the average sports bar with its menu and decor.
Recommended eats: Creamy spinach and roasted artichoke dip ($9.29); spiced shrimp polenta cakes. ($4.99 to $8.99).
Specials: Miller Light and Coors Light drafts for $2, Yeungling drafts for $3, Heineken drafts for $3.50, and $5 appetizers during all games. Heineken buckets (five bottles) for $13.50 during college games. MIller Light and Coors Light buckets for $10 during NFL games.
Peabody's Billiards, 15333 Amberly Drive, peabodysbilliards.com
Bottom line: The great thing about this University of South Florida hangout is that if you're team is getting blown out, there are plenty of full-size pool tables, electronic dart boards, foosball tables and other arcade games to distract you. They also a couple of monstrous 10-foot projector screens and an on-site liquor store.
Recommended eats: Grilled cheese ($6.59); Bulls burger with chili ($8.79), breakfast burger with bacon and fried egg ($9.49).
Specials: Domestic drafts for $1, wells for $2.75, bomb shots for $4.50 and buckets (five bottles) of Miller or Coors for $9.99 during college games on Saturdays. All-you-can-drink domestic drafts for $14.99 from open to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Brickhouse Tavern & Tap, 1102 N Dale Mabry Hwy, brickhousetavernandtap.com
Bottom line: If you like fresh air, this is the spot. One side of the bar opens up to a giant patio, with lots of TVs, tables and even fire pits to make things comfortable during cool-weather games. A section of recliners and couches completes the “man cave” theme.
Recommended eats: Deviled eggs ($5); kobe brick pizza ($11); prime rib sandwich ($12).
Specials: Varies. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Natural Light cans for $2 every day.
The Grille at Westchase, 13234 Race Track Rd, thegrille.co
The upscale Courtside Grille refers to its huge, memorabila and pool table-laden dining room as the “arena,” and with 9,500 square feet of space it's easy to see why. It's definitely one of the more family-friendly places to watch a game, with an outside basketball court and a game room for kids.
Recommended eats: Fiery shrimp ($7.95); blackened fish tacos ($10.95), sirloin ciabatta sandwich ($10.95)
Specials: All you can eat snow crab for $24.99, domestic buckets (five bottles) $11, and $5 margaritas during Saturday college games. All you can eat tailgate buffet with soft drinks ($15), domestic drafts ($25) or all drafts and wines ($35), every Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m.
Other bars we like that offer the NFL Ticket and ESPN College Game Day packages:
Lee Roy Selmon's, 4302 West Boy Scout Blvd, 14457 N Dale Mabry Highway
Buffalo Wild Wings, 1625 E 7th Ave
Bobalouie's Grille & Sports Garden, 1913 E Bearss Ave.
Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill, 1320 Central Ave, St Petersburg
Beef O' Brady's, many Hillsborough and Pinellas locations
Hooters, many Hillsborough and Pinellas locations