It’s finally, unofficially fall, objectively the best season. All the things that make life worth living are about to start. Apple picking! Leaves changing! Halloween! Basically the whole earth is doing Gilmore Girls cosplay, and we are extremely here for it.
And though not everyone may agree, another totally crucial part of fall is watching football—or, at least, pretending to watch while you down tap beer and spicy Bloodies with your fantasy league at an NYC pub. But not all sports bars are created equal. So we’re sharing our favorite step-above spots to watch the game with as many other fans as the fire department will let in one room (don’t worry, it won’t actually get that dangerous). Go team!
There’s a lot to love about Finn’s, a smallish Fort Greene sports bar. It’s got big windows, a good beer selection, a rotating whiskey list, and a nice community vibe where it’s totally fine to yell at a complete stranger (key during sports!). It’s also popular with Brooklyn celebs like Jessica Williams, who has been known to drop by for NBA games. Most important, Finn’s has TVs you can see no matter where you’re sitting. True, the place has got its quirks—the seats fill up fast, for one—but for my money, it’s the best, most local-feeling sports bar in the city. 660 Washington Avenue, Fort Greene
To the extent that anything can be a hidden gem in Williamsburg these days, Croxley’s is it. Tucked away about a block from the water on Grand Street, this place looks slightly suspicious from the outside: Is it going to be gross? Too loud? Too full? No! It’s perfect. Cavernous, with plenty of TVs, a great beer selection, and absolutely killer buffalo cauliflower (vegans FTW!), it’s the ideal spot to meet your crew to watch the game. 63 Grand Street, Williamsburg
Located conveniently between the 30th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard train stations, Katch has a huge outdoor space where you can enjoy the crisp fall air and watch your favorite teams. It also has the one thing you really want in a sports bar, which is an absolutely ungodly amount of TVs, like something out of a 1980s music video. 31-19 Newtown Avenue, Astoria
Astoria’s Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is the closest thing you’ll get to a real biergarten in New York, mostly because large outdoor spaces are at something of a premium here (i.e., they’re hugely expensive). Somehow, we’re blessed with Bohemian Hall’s mind-bendingly expansive grounds, its great selection of real German beers and food, and its frankly generous decision to show American football. Note: There’s not a huge number of screens for the size of the space, but it’s a great sports-watching experience. 2919 24th Avenue, Astoria
The Chinatown location of Whiskey Tavern is a fun, welcoming dive where you’re likely to see an entire softball team after a big game, finance bros shooting picklebacks, and some deeply misguided couples trying their best to have a first date. It’s the richness of life, all together! Plus, the tavern airs sports very loudly and serves huge and cheap baskets of tater tots—and its outdoor space is covered! This last point is especially key on those rainy, unpredictable fall days. 79 Baxter Street A (between Bayard and Walker Streets), Chinatown
Sláinte is an Irish pub with a neighborhood feel in a neighborhood that, at times, doesn’t feel much like a neighborhood. Which is to say, if you’re strolling down Bowery toward the Lower East Side, past the dozens of extremely fancy bars with extremely small plates, you might think you need to double your salary to have a snack and a drink while watching the game. Sláinte to the rescue! This very relaxed spot has a great bunch of bar snacks on the menu and plenty of space to hang, and it generally makes you forget that you’re in one of the poshest places in the world. 304 Bowery (between East Houston and Bleecker Streets), East Village