There are great sports bars in every city, but sometimes the best sports bars may be a little hard to find. This begins our series reviewing the top sports bars in cities across the country. Every couple of weeks, we’ll review the best sports bars in a different city to help you locate where to watch sports when you’re traveling or simply looking for a good bar that you may not know about in your own town. We begin with the city of Miami.
There’s no doubt that Miami has an abundance of things going on to keep people entertained. It has sun, sand, professional sports, boating, and most of all, South Beach. But let’s be honest, when it comes to quality sports bars, the choices resemble the attendance at a Marlins game: seriously lacking. Many sports bars here even double as a nightclub or, in some cases, a pool party (e.g. the famous Clevelander). Not that pool parties are a bad thing, it just illustrates that the bars in South Florida are a little less focused on sports and more on entertainment in general. And let’s face it, with so much to do in Miami, you can’t really blame them. With that said, Miami does have a few sports bars that shine. We have selected the top ten best sports bars to watch your favorite team when in Miami.
Beer and Burger Joint (or B&B as it’s called by the locals) makes our list, in part, because of its location. It’s right in the middle of Mary Brickell Village, one of the most happening and growing locations in the city of Miami. It’s really in a league of it’s own when it comes to sports bars in Brickell. (No really, there’s not another true sports bar in the area.) The restaurant boasts 99 different bottled beers and has an array of unique, delicious burgers to choose from. All three flavors of the wings are great and, if you like tart, be sure to order a bucket of their fried pickles.
In terms of sports, they have about 8 to 10 flat screens spread across their large dining area. The back bar is where all of the sports watching and team watch parties really go down, but be ready to belly-up at the bar because there is no table seating, which one of our only knocks on the place. The back bar is also rather small and has a pool table where there should be a dining area. Also, it’s rather pricey for a burger bar and the drink specials are few and far between. But, all in all, B&B has great food, a good atmosphere, and is one of the best sports bars to visit if you ever find yourself near Brickell avenue.
Location: Brickell (Downtown Miami)
Watch Parties: Florida State, Miami Heat
The epitome of a Miami sports bar, Finnegan’s on the River is a hidden gem that also doubles as a club. On a sunny summer day, you can expect to see people partying at their outdoor pool and patio area, and when nighttime rolls around you can hear the music from a mile away. But when there’s a game on, Finnegan’s is a great option. Their inside bar overlooks the river and with a number of flat screen TV’s there isn’t a bad seat in the house. If you grab a seat at the bar, you can watch the games and, at the same time, watch the well-to-do sail by in their yachts on their way to the ocean. If you’re a boater yourself, you can pull your rig up to Finnegan’s dock. The only negative thing is that if there’s not a big game going on, you may find the bar a little on the empty side.
Location: Downtown Miami
8. Hooters in Coral Gables
We’re not big on putting chain restaurants on our list, but we simply couldn’t leave Hooters of Coral Gables off this list in good conscience. This is undoubtedly one of the best sports bars in Miami and probably one of the better Hooters we’ve ever been to (trust us, we’ve been to a lot). Its indoor/outdoor bar wraps all the way around the inside area to the covered outdoor deck. The TV’s are perfectly placed where fans can watch up to five games at once. And don’t get us started on the girls at this place, I think the Hooter’s calendar got about half of their models from their location in the Gables.
Location: Coral Gables
Watch Parties: Miami Heat
7. Buffalo Wild Wings – Sunset Place
Although this is another chain restaurant on our list, it really deserves to be here; the BWW’s in Sunset is simply one of the best sports bars in Miami. It’s in a great location in the middle of Sunset Place (although it can get a little touristy) and it also has more High-Def flat screens than you can count. Like most good Miami sports bars, it has indoor and outdoor seating with good views of the TV’s no matter where you’re sitting. The staff is really accommodating and, unlike most bars in Miami, they actually have the sound of the game on instead of house or salsa music.
Location: Sunset Place (South Miami)
Watch Parties: Miami Hurricanes, Miami Heat, Kentucky Wildcats (when available)
6. Sandbar Sports Grill – Coconut Grove
Sandbar is definitely the best sports bar in Coconut Grove. Although it’s a little small, it has flat screens all over the place and two giant projection screens. Be prepared if there’s a big game or fight, however, because this place fills up quick. It can get packed on a regular Friday or Saturday night as well. Sandbar has indoor and outdoor seating, and passerby’s in the Grove often stop on the street to watch a few plays, so it’s always a happening place.
Location: Coconut Grove
Watch Parties: Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes
5. Shucker’s Bar & Grill – Miami Beach
Located on the northern part of Miami Beach, Shucker’s has the perfect mix of sports and scenery. When you’re not watching one of their 23 High-Def TV’s, you can check out the ocean view from their deck. This place has great food, great drink specials, and great prices in general. It’s one of the best places around to relax and watch some sports.
Location: Miami Beach
Watch Parties: Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins
4. Sports Grill – Kendall
Sports Grill is known for its delicious grilled wings that come in an array of flavors. It has 25 flat screen TV’s, and is a great spot to watch a Marlins game. The prices at Sports Grill are pretty reasonable and they offer specials throughout the week. This Sports Grill is located in Kendall, but there are three others across Miami.
Watch Parties: Miami Marlins
3. The Playwright Irish Pub – Miami Beach
Located in South Beach, Playwright is a little different than most of the places you’ll find on Washington Avenue, and it’s more than your traditional Irish Pub as it doubles as a restaurant. Unlike most Irish Pub’s in Miami, Playwright makes an attempt to accomodate sports fans with a number of big screen TV’s throughout the bar. It’s also a great place to catch a soccer game or a big fight. It has the perfect central location on Miami Beach, and if you’re in the area looking to have a good time and watch some sports without techno music blasting in your ear, this is the place.
Location: South Beach
Watch Parties: Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Miami Hurricanes, UFC, Champions League Soccer
2. Yard House
Yard House is definitely the most upscale sports bars on this list. If you’re going on a date at the same time your team is playing, Yard House is probably an alternative that everyone can agree on. It has dark wood paneling throughout, tons of seating, and a good view of the TV’s from most of their tables. They have over 100 beers on tap (yep, we said on tap), and the food there is top-notch. With all of the amenities, you can guess that the price is a little higher than you’re used to at a sports bar. Other than that, Yard House is one of the best bars in Miami.
Watch Parties: Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins
1. Duffy’s Sports Grill – North Miami Beach
Duffy’s is the perfect blend of sports and scenery. Located on the bay in North Miami Beach, Duffy’s is a humongous sports bar that has a deck that features even more square footage than the interior portion of the bar. The deck itself has almost 100 flat screen TV’s, its own full-service wrap-around bar and, yes, a swimming pool and sunning area. On a sunny afternoon, don’t be surprised if you see a few yachts pull up to the deck with groups of people eager to be seen or catch a good game.
Don’t be fooled though, the deck is not the only place to find the action. The interior portion of Duffy’s has two large bars, seating for almost 500, and over 100 flat-screen TV’s. They also have happy hour every day (including weekends) from 4 p.m. to close and have a list of drinks that are always on special. So, in a city that is famous for $10 beers and $20 cocktails, you’ll often find Duffy’s prices a breath of fresh air.
For us, Duffy’s takes the cake as the top sports bar in Miami. It can seat 888 people at a time, has over 200 flat screen TV’s, and has a happy hour that goes on for the better portion of the day. Overall it has the best combination of scenery, sports, and prices. Our only knock on the place is that it’s a little out of the way for most Miamians, but hey, can’t win them all.
Location: North Miami Beach
Watch Parties: Miami Heat, Miami Dophins, Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers
Honorable Mentions – Clevelander (South Beach): great place to party and watch a game at the same time; Tom’s NFL Bar: won’t find a better Dolphins crowd anywhere; Mr. Moe’s Restaurant & Bar (Coconut Grove): good place to catch a local game in the Grove; Champions Sport Bar: it’s connected to a hotel, but hey, this is Miami, you take a sports bar where you can get it.
By: Todd Davis