Houston consistently ranks among the liveliest cities in Texas, but during football season that excitement ratchets up a few notches. The Texans are front-runners to win their division, the University of Houston is ranked in the Top 20, LSU is again a national title contender, and Texas A&M is sure to put an exciting product on the field. Hell, even the Texas Longhorns are hopeful this is finally the year things turn around in the post-Mack Brown era.
Of course, nothing beats watching your favorite team in person, but then again, that isn’t always possible. Fortunately, Houston’s bar scene doesn’t lack when it comes to prime football-watching spots.
10. T-BONES SPORTS PUB
T-Bones, tucked away in a strip mall near the Heights, is the consummate no-frills sports bar. If you want a high-class drinking and dining experience, look elsewhere. But if you want quality bar food, cheap drinks and sports on TV, this is the place. T-Bones offers the NFL Sunday Ticket package, so all games are broadcast on Sundays. In addition, the bar carries MLB Extra Innings and all Rockets games during the football offseason. (1971 W. TC Jester, tbonessportspub.com)
9. DOC’S MOTORWORKS BAR & GRILL
If Doc’s feels a little Austin-y, that’s because it is; the bar originated in Austin in 2005. Simply put, Doc's has a laid-back quality to it, even during football games when emotions run high. The bar also features televisions aplenty and a bevy of beer and cocktails. Plus, Doc’s serves brunch from 11-3 on weekends, making it the ideal spot to grab some grub, post up, and watch the early games. As a bonus, parties of eight or more can host their fantasy-football drafts at Doc’s; before September 1, those who do so earn 25 free wings and a pitcher of beer. (1303 Westheimer, docsrestauranthoustontx.com)
8. BEER MARKET CO.
If you’re a non-Texans fan looking to enjoy your team’s game on Sunday, best to look elsewhere, as Beer Market is an all-Texans, all-the-time kind of joint. The bar does showcase an array of college games, and those who come in on weekends can score $19 Karbach buckets while watching the games on any number of indoor and patio TVs. And the beer selection, my God, the beer selection! Even the most educated beer snob is likely to find something new at Beer Market, which, by the way, serves up some mean fried mac n’ cheese balls. (920 Studemont #900, beermarketco.com)
7. REVELRY ON RICHMOND
Hell, “fun” is right there in the bar’s name, and Revelry delivers it in spades. The bar offers craft beer lovers any number of options, and the 40 rotating local and select brews keep them coming back for more. In addition to live music on weekends, Revelry also serves as a go-to spot for pigskin lovers via an array of sports on TV. Plus, $20 craft buckets, $11 mimosa carafes and $2 off house-made Bloody Marys are a fine way to ring in the big game. (1613 Richmond, revelryonrichmond.com)
6. LUCKY’S PUB
Hey, it’s not just the best St. Patrick’s Day spot in town. Lucky’s is also among the prime spots in the city for your football viewing pleasure. The two-story location in the Heights — the third to open in the Houston area — offers nearly 40 beers on tap, as well as more than enough TVs to showcase all the big games at once. Thursday night football is a particular hit at Lucky’s, thanks to cheap wings and discounted pitchers of beer. (Three Houston area locations, luckyspub.com)
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Griff’s bills itself as the oldest sports bar in Houston. Open since 1965, the venerable Montrose pub is home to Griff’s Army, a group of “sports enthusiasts of amateur, college, semi-pro and professionals teams.” Wanna become a member? Just show up and cheer your team on. Do so while enjoying 25 beers and watching football on 22 television sets. Plus, on Texans game day, free Jell-O shots when the Texans score a touchdown. Come on Osweiler! (3416 Roseland, griffshouston.net)
4. NICK’S PLACE
Nick’s is a little tough to find, tucked away on little Rockyridge Road. But once you find the joint and come inside, you’ll find one of the top sports bars and restaurants Houston has to offer. For starters, you can look in any direction and find football on TV on weekends during the season. Nick’s also serves up brunch on weekends from 10-3, but the highlight of the menu is any and all things Italian; Nick’s is an Italian eatery and pizzeria, after all. Fun fact – the Cabilnasian (a mammoth calzone stuffed with pepperoni, sausage, cheese, peppers, and marinara sauce), took its name from 610 AM sports-talk radio host – and Houston Press contributor – Sean Pendergast. (2713 Rockyridge, nicksplacehouston.com)
3. PUB FICTION
Midtown is almost like a vampire movie, in that that things change a bit when the sun goes down. But when it comes to Saturday- and Sunday-afternoon game viewing, fewer places do it better than Pub Fiction. With plenty of seating and sports on TV, Pub Fiction also serves up cheap Bloody Mary’s and beer on weekends. Note: Pub Fiction is currently closed for renovations, but will be open in time for football season. (2303 Smith #100, pubfiction.com)
2. LITTLE WOODROW’S
Houston’s seven Woodrow’s locations offer a little something for everyone. Midtown appeals to the party crowd; Shepherd to those in the mood for kickass bar food; White Oak for those in the mood for a laid-back afternoon of watching football; and so on. Point being, you can’t go wrong with watching the big game at this Houston-area institution. (Seven Houston area locations, littlewoodrows.com)
1. CHRISTIAN’S TAILGATE
If you’re going to get up for the big game, it may as well be at Houston’s quintessential sports bar. Whether you want to watch football and play some pop-a-shot at the Heights location, or check out one game in particular on the new downtown location’s massive outdoor big screen, Christian’s Tailgate has you covered. Plus, you can watch the games while enjoying cold beer and one of Houston’s top burgers. (Four Houston area locations, christianstailgate.com)