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Detroit’s Top 20 Sports Bars

Posted on Tuesday, November 06 2012 in Sports

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Detroit is a great sports town — there’s no doubt about that. Detroit is also a great sports bar town. We fill our stadiums for Red Wings, Lions, Tigers and Pistons games, and when the stadiums are full the fans spill out into local watering holes to cheer on their favorite teams. There’s camaraderie on Detroit’s barstools. If tickets to the big game are sold out, not to worry — there’s a seat for you at one of Detroit’s top sports bars.

1. Elwood Bar & Grill: This Detroit diner has been a downtown institution since 1936. It’s a great place to meet friends for a pre-game drink … or to stick around and watch the game.

2. Hockeytown Café: Located right on Woodward Avenue, Hockeytown Café bleeds sports. The bar is filled with plasma TVs, jerseys and paraphernalia, and has more than 50 beers on tap. Plus, weather permitting, the rooftop seating has views of Comerica Park and Ford Field. 

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  Tap sports bar at MGM Grand Detroit

3. 24 Seconds Bar & Grill: Any bar named after the shot clock has to be the perfect spot to catch a Pistons game. Located in Berkley on Twelve Mile, their slogan is, "This is how sports were meant to be viewed."

4. TAP at MGM Grand Detroit: The numbers at the MGM Grand Detroit’s new sports bar speak for themselves: 50 beers on tap and 40 HD flat-screen televisions. Add authentic sports memorabilia, wings and fried mac ’n' cheese and you’re on the road to championship game watching. 

5. Coaches Corner Bar & Grill: Coaches Corner is located downtown, a few short blocks to Comerica Park and Ford Field. And with a dance floor, HDTVs and an outdoor patio, Coaches Corner is good not only for watching the game from a barstool, but also for pre-game food and drinks and post-game celebrations.

6. Rosie O'Grady's: This Ferndale bar is the perfect marriage of an Irish pub and a classic sports bar. Detroit sports fans and fiddlers alike are welcome. Gaelic Games are a maybe. There are additional locations in Chesterfield and Sterling Heights.

7. Exodus: A brick-exposed bar on the second floor (above Greektown's oldest restaurant, Golden Fleece), Exodus provides great drinks with a rooftop patio, perfect for celebrations like Opening Day.

8. Hoops: Whether you’re going to a Pistons game or a concert, Hoops is a great place to find a TV and take advantage of great drink specials — before, during and after the game. This place is a sure shot for sports fans.

9. Hermann’s Olde Town Grille: Watch the big game on one of Hermann’s large TVs, or play a game of your own in their fully decked-out game room. Hermann’s is known for the burgers and for their selection of Michigan beers. Oh, and for the Moose who nods along to the action from behind the bar in Plymouth.

10. Doyle’s Tavern: Another Plymouth sports bar gem, Doyle’s is the quintessential neighborhood bar, with big-screen TVs, fantastic pub food, stiff drinks and dedicated local patrons and sports fans. You’ll feel like part of the team here. 

11. Detroiter Bar: Detroiter Bar grills large burgers, pours good drafts and fills its seats with loyal fans. Keep it simple and meet at the Detroiter Bar.

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  Sports memorabilia inside Tap sports bar

12. Mallie's Sports Grill: Southgate fans know that sports bars need to go big, and it doesn’t get any bigger than Mallie’s. They offer a 10-pound burger (eat it in two hours or less and it’s free) and they hold the Guinness World Record for the “Absolutely Ridiculous Burger,” a 338.6-pound behemoth.

13. Rub BBQ Pub: With locations in Sterling Heights and in the heart of downtown, this Detroit favorite is as popular for its pre-game ribs and mac ’n' cheese as it is for its game watching. Plus, there are plenty of Michigan beers on tap.

14. The Old Shillelagh: Irish pubs are always great. But add 25 TVs and a free shuttle to the ballpark and you have a perfect downtown game day experience, with or without tickets.

15. Bookies Bar & Grille: Need a place for a large sports party? Bookies has space for private viewings, as well as a VIP area. Classic bar food should help fuel your complimentary shuttle ride to Tigers, Red Wings and Lions games.

16. Cobo Joe’s: This sports bar and grill is located on Congress Street, directly across from Cobo Center, and is a five-minute walk to Joe Louis Arena. The menu includes dishes for all three periods.

17. Tommy’s: Built in an 1840 landmark building, Tommy’s is famous for sandwiches and offers shuttle service to and from downtown sporting events and concerts.

18. Pappy’s Sports Bar: Pappy’s is a neighborhood favorite for sports fans and local workers, with seven 50-inch plasma TVs and great drink specials.

19. Mercury Burger & Bar: Discover the true meaning of the popular corner bar. Mercury Burger Bar is a Corktown favorite because of its classic look, friendly and inviting faces and its burgers. If you haven't had some of their Grade A beef, you're missing out!

20. Nemo's Bar and Grill: This popular burger spot is right next to old Tiger Stadium and offers shuttles to Tigers and Red Wings games. Nemo’s was featured in our best burgers in Detroit blog post for their sizeable burgers and mustard sauce. If you’re feeling nostalgic there’s no better watering hole than Nemo’s — a Corktown sports institution.

If you’re looking for more places to watch the game — while bowling, entertaining or dining out — don’t miss Lucky Strike in Novi, Rock Bar & Grill in Plymouth or Granite City Food & Brewery in Troy, and don’t forget that many of our favorite Detroit breweries are great places to cheer the Motor City to victory.


Where do you like to watch the big game?

Comment below to add to the list.