One could certainly argue that every pub in the UK is a sports bar, since it’s naturally where everyone gathers to watch a match. Certain pubs, of course, are bound to have their favored teams’ colors adorning the walls and cheering supporters on game day. However, some places go above this to mark themselves as true sports bars, a place seemingly designed only to watch the contests between athletes. London, of course, has many great places to watch sporting events, and we have identified five of our favorite spots for a pint and a match. Let us know your own favorite spectator bars in the comments.
Bar Kick – Shoreditch
Mostly known for the vast selection of table football games, Bar Kick is also a great place to watch real football in addition to the tabletop games. There are several large flatscreen TVs throughout the bar and the webpage keeps track of which upcoming matches are going to be available to watch. Bar Kick also has food options that go beyond what you might expect for a sports bar including group platters and buffet selections.
Carlsberg Sports Bar – Leicester Square
Found in the Empire Casino in Leicester Square, the Carlsberg Sports Bar is a good place to watch a game, regardless of whether you intend to gamble before or after. Whether you want to sit at the bar before the TV sets, pick a table and follow the match on one of two nine-screen big televisions, or follow any of the other fourteen screens, there are plenty of good spots and many games you can follow. If you want to reserve a particular spot, the bar’s website will let you do that in advance of the match. There’s also a great selection of food, beer, and cocktails.
Greenwood – Victoria
Greenwood bills itself as *the* sports bar for Victoria and seemingly has more screens than any bar in London. As such, you can watch just about anything you want there from Premier League football to the NFL. Even if you’re not there for sport, there are plenty of booths and tables that are secluded enough to avoid a match and concentrate on your food and drink. It also doesn’t hurt that the place is absolutely gorgeous inside. It has many hallmarks of the traditional sports bar without looking like one.
Faltering Fullback – Finsbury Park
The most traditional pub on this list, the Faltering Fullback is dedicated almost exclusively to one sport—rugby. Most of the décor on the walls that isn’t a mitch-match of eclectic kitsch is rugby-related from jerseys to photos. The outdoor beer garden is also something to behold, looking almost like a rainforest. It’s also got one of the more interesting food menus of the bars on this list, and you’re more likely to find Thai dishes here than your traditional British pub fare. The bar has been known to put on other sports, so don’t be disappointed if you’re not that into rugby.
Rileys Sports Bar – Haymarket
Rileys is another spot with tons of screens and multiple opportunities to watch your favorite game. This southwest London bar has thirty-four TVs and four projector screens, so it can show multiple events at once and you will be sure to find a spot for that big game. If you’re looking for some activity before or after your chosen match, you can go upstairs to play on one of their pool, table tennis, or football tables. Rileys also has a lounge that can be reserved for special events, whether you’re looking to have a watch party with your mates or celebrate a special occasion.
Nick Davies says
“One could certainly argue that every pub in the UK is a sports bar,”
You certainly could, but it’s an argument you’ll lose. A large number of pubs have no TV, especially outside twon centres. Some, like the JD Wetherspoon chain, Britain’s biggest, make a virtue of having no background music too. Look through WhatPub.com and you see a symbol for ‘quiet pub’ as well as another for ‘sports TV’ .