Best College Football Bars
September 11, 2012
901 Bar: University of Southern California
The Nine-0, aka "the hole," has been a USC institution since it first opened its doors in 1947. Walking distance from the stadium, the bar is proud of its Trojan spirit and it has nine 50-inch televisions so you’ll feel as if you’re at the game even if you didn’t make it over to the Coliseum. The food is plentiful and cheap, as is the alcohol. There’s a special drink for each evening and every drink served is a double.
Buffalo Bros: Texas Christian University
While a bar inspired by the unique culture and flavor of Buffalo, N.Y., might not immediately scream "Go Horned Frogs!" it’s the place to be for TCU fans come game day. Plenty of televisions, an ample beer list (with selections like Stone's Ruination IPA, New Belgium Brewing Co.'s Fat Tire, and Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale), and good food bring college students here in droves to show their school spirit. Get the wings with one of their special sauces or split a pizza with friends. And, it’s only steps away from the TCU campus and a short drive from the stadium.
Chuck's Cafe: Syracuse University
Don’t let the name fool you: this is no tame place to watch Orange football. Known for its $3 pitchers and happy hour, the place is swarmed with Otto the Orange fans during game day (and during basketball season). As news outlet The Newshouse put it, Chuck’s is "like an old sneaker — comfortable, familiar, and a little smelly," but that doesn’t mean it’s not the place to be during game day with its big-screen TVs and giant projector. Plus, the bar food’s not bad: a cheeseburger and fries will cost you less than $5, so you can spend more on the drinks.
Corby's: University of Notre Dame
What better bar to enjoy Fighting Irish football than the place where they shot Rudy? When you’re done pretending to be in the film, you’ll enjoy the classic college bar atmosphere, cheap beer, and the pizzas from their recently redone kitchen. With an outdoor patio and a dance space, Corby’s is one of South Bend’s favorite pubs even when there isn’t a game on. Friday evenings are hectic, so be sure to get there early. It was also the scene for the watch party for Notre Dame's first game in the Global Irish Football Tournament.
The Dixie Chicken: Texas A&M University
Cheering on the Aggies in College Station isn’t complete without a trip to The Dixie Chicken. Located right across the street from campus, this Tex-Mex/burger joint has become a huge staple for any A&M fan over the years for before and after any game. "The Chicken’s" main draw? Serving "the most beer per square foot of any bar in the U.S.," according to its website. (Plus, everyone say it's got the best burgers in town.) Per tradition, every Aggie must dunk his or class ring in a pitcher of beer and chug until all that’s left is the ring.
Effin's Pub: San Diego State University
Effin’s has been around for 15 years and during that time it has built up its reputation as the go-to college bar for San Diego State students. There’s plenty of beer to choose from — 12 on draught and countless bottles — along with unique shots created by each staff member (like the Mind Eraser). To prevent you from going overboard, they also have a long menu with traditional bar food, like hoagies and cheesesteaks.
Eskimo Joe's: Oklahoma State University
If Playboy and Sports Illustrated get behind this bar for game day, you know you’re onto something. The bar, decked out in OSU paraphernalia, is the place to be for Cowboy games; the bar sets up outdoor tailgates and venues complete with big screens, cold drinks, and food. (George H.W. Bush is apparently a big fan of the cheese fries at Joe’s.)
The Esso Club: Clemson University
Death Valley (Clemson's football stadium, for those not in the know) is notorious for its raucous atmosphere, but if you can’t get into the game, your next best option is The Esso Club, located in the shadow of the stadium. It’s been a Clemson institution since 1933, drawing fans of the Tigers every day of the week. The Esso Club was named as one of the best college bars by ESPN Magazine and draws hundreds of fans come game day.
Foghorn's: University of Arkansas
An Arkansas institution, Foghorn’s has two locations in Fayetteville, both in close proximity to the university and the stadium. The wings, burgers, and fries are legendary and there is plenty of beer on tap to ensure that you are properly fuelled for a night of watching the big game. The restaurant claims that there is no bad seat in the house, and with multiple televisions, including ones situated on the patio, certainly making sure that every patron feels as if they are sitting in the stadium.
The Half Barrel: University of Tennessee
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the university area and stadium, The Half Barrel isn’t only a great sports bar, it's also home to one of Knoxville’s largest selections of Kentucky Bourbons. The bar’s central location to University of Tennessee's campus means that it’s a popular hangout with students eager to cheer on their team. It can get cramped inside, but there’s a porch out back that you can enjoy if the weather is nice. The Half Barrel was also the host for the kickoff pep rally for the football season.
Harpo's: University of Missouri
Not only is Harpo’s the place to be for all football-related events, the joint has recently stepped up its food game by installing a smoker and serving barbecue. Harpo's also has trivia nights and a decent happy hour, which keeps Mizzou students coming in even when there isn’t a game on. The large space means there’s plenty of room for everyone to enjoy, not to mention an outdoor deck for when the weather is nice.
King Avenue 5: Ohio State University
Yelp/ Ellen F.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with this Ohio State outpost’s food selection: Buffalo chicken salad; the Diablo burger with jalapeños, sautéed mushrooms, and bacon; and the meatloaf panini, for starters. That, and a rowdy section of TV’s, shuffleboard, and arcade games will do the trick for the crowds of OSU fans. And hey, college is the only acceptable time to order Natty Light — on tap, no less — on game day.
Murphy's Bar and Grill: University of Hawaii
The owner of Murphy’s is a big supporter of UH sports; at the start of every football season, he holds the Pigskin Pigout block party to raise money for the UH football team. It's probably why Murphy's creates an excellent atmosphere for game day. There’s plenty of tap beer to choose from, including a rotating beer of the week, and wines available by the glass or bottle. If you get hungry while cheering for Vili the Warrior, there’s an extensive menu with a mix of traditional bar foods and updated classics to choose from.
Nowhere Bar: University of Georgia
This bar is loved for its loyal local following, who pack in here every evening to play pool and listen to live music. The bar was opened in 1994 by a former University of Georgia football player who continued to support the football team. It’s located across the street from the Georgia Theatre and only a short walk away from the main university area.
Old Staley's: Wakeforest University
Old Staley’s has been serving Wake Forest students for more than 50 years, so you know they must be doing something right. It’s walking distance from the campus and only a short drive from the stadium, making this an excellent choice for those who want to be in the center of the action. There are 17 televisions that you can watch the game on, just enough so that you can almost feel like you're right there in the coliseum. Plus, it's got an extensive draught and craft beer bottle list (we're digging the Red Stripe and Magic Hat #9 offerings) along with a top-notch bar menu.
Olde Queens Tavern: Rutgers University
This place is as old as your grandparents opened in 1933, the tavern knows a thing or two about football. Dont let the name fool you, this sports bar dedicated to Rutgers has all the works: free limo rides to the games (lest you drive with a few too many under your belt), bloody marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers on special, and the Scarlet Knight crowds.
Pazzo's Pizza Pub: University of Kentucky
Kentucky football may pale in comparison to the school's basketball program, but Pazzo’s Pizza Pub is sure to provide a great place to meet up with fellow Wildcat fans during the fall. Pazzo’s is known for its unique pizzas — Big Tex featuring brown ale-marinated chicken — as well as its ample beer selection (45 on tap).
Posse East: University of Texas
Texas takes its football seriously, and no one knows that better than the crowd at Posse East. The institution has a 40-plus-year legacy for Longhorn games, and is within a stone's throw of the football stadium. It has won numerous awards, including being named the home of the city's best salty burger and the best restaurant patio/beer garden by the Austin Chronicle.
Schultzy’s Sausage : University of Washington
Schultzy’s is a fantastic place to show your Huskies support while enjoying some beer and a unique sausage. The fries are legendary, as are the burgers and cheesesteaks, and the draught list caters to local brew lovers. In addition to showing University of Washington football games, Schultzy’s also shows European soccer and other sports that can’t be watched on normal cable.
The Sink: University of Colorado
This Boulder establishment has been around since 1923 and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It consistently turns out excellent food while retaining a dive-y college atmosphere that makes it a popular choice for both students and residents looking for a place to watch the big game. On game nights they serve discounted beers, helping fuel the home team passion. The burger is legendary, as is the pizza, and they’ve just added additional beers on tap that are sure to keep you coming back.
The Swamp: Florida University
There’s not a better place to watch Florida Gators football than The Swamp. This legendary bar, with its endless drink specials and unique food offerings (Cajun gator tail, anyone?), is located a stone’s throw from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, making it a perfect spot for pre- and postgame partying. Playboy named it one of the best college sports bars in 2011.
The Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill: University of Kansas
Mount Oread is the place to be for KU students, but The Wheel is the holy grail of student hangouts. The beer garden is full of red- and blue-clad students out back, thanks to beer and drink specials that keep fans coming back week after week. (And the pizza's not so bad either.) And its a popular watering hole for past KU football players, like former running backs Kerwin Bell and John Riggins.
Washington's Sports Bar: Colorado State University
This eclectic dive bar, which has been around since the late '70s, attracts all types. Their décor may be unorthodox (think everything you can imagine hanging from the walls, with a soupcon of stained glass), but they certainly know how to make a fun atmosphere for football fans. Cheap drinks, good bites (like the barbecue brisket and pulled pork sandwiches) fun games, and big-screen TVs that broadcast all CSU games make this one of the best bars in Fort Collins.