We’re getting dangerously close to the Christmas of college basketball: March Madness.
If you’re looking for a big screen to watch your favorite team on or just a big crowd to share the excitement with, check out these MVPs of sports bars to find your new neighborhood spot before the Big Dance.
Highlight reel: Penn Social is a multiple-story bar that is always packed with young people sporting jerseys on game night. It’s big enough to bring your whole crew but crowded enough that you can join in solo as well. It’s pretty common to grab your own personal pitcher of beer (the specials are that good) and park it among the games and tables to watch one of the huge projectors. But Penn Social is a favorite for reasons beyond its game-time specials or the well-placed screens and surround sound. The level of excitement that comes from the fans who party here is second to none.
Nellie’s Sports Bar
What makes it an MVP: Nellie’s is a sports bar as much as it is a gay bar, which means it welcomes people from all walks of life to enjoy some classic soul-crushing competition. What is more beautiful than that? Maybe the low-price beer deals it traditionally serves up during March games or the fact that it usually opens early for your viewing pleasure.
Town Tavern DC
Highlight reel: Town Tavern DC is your typical sports bar with tasty snacks and drinks. In typical AdMo fashion, it fills up after hours, and during televised games, it typically houses a rambunctious crowd. If you’re a Kentucky fan anxiously awaiting the tournament start, this may be the bar for you! Town Tavern considers itself to be THE Wildcats Headquarters in DC.
What makes it an MVP: Yes, we know PB is down for construction—but its website pinky promises to be back by March, and we are BEYOND ready to get down with it for the madness. With more than 40 televisions across three floors, it’s perfectly equipped for all your game-day needs. The best part? It transforms as the sun sets for a sleek nightlife lounge experience complete with bottle service. Stick around to celebrate that W!
Highlight reel: With competitors such as Mister Days, Don Tito and Bracket Room, Clarendon presents an intense lineup. However, we have to hand it to the new guy. Here’s why: while the Caps may party at Don Tito, the G.O.A.T. is 100% dedicated to the game, your game, whatever it is. It will ensure you can watch what you came to watch on one of its 50+ televisions.
Dirty Water Sports Bar
What makes it an MVP: We see you, Dirty Water, and we see your raving Yelp reviews. Dirty Water Sports Bar is known for taking the homey feeling of a sports bar to the next level: it might truly have the friendliest staff in town. PLUS, it has outdoor space and will eventually open its rooftop. However, be warned: Boston fans congregate here by the masses. This can be particularly great if you are, in fact, a Boston fan. But even if you’re not, the chicken sandwich and flowing beer selection are worth a visit to those navy-blue barstools.
Highlight reel: Despite its proximity to the Caps and DC United stadiums, the Navy Yard and Waterfront area is still developing its sports-bar scene. That being said, you likely can’t go wrong with any bar in this area, but you can go oh-so-right on game night with the Big Stick, the quintessential Navy Yard sports house. With a look to the future, some competition is on the rise; it’s an exciting year for Navy Yard! Once March Madness is behind us, there are only a few more months until Walters Sports Bar opens, boasting pour-your-own beer taps, and, of course, the new Dacha Beer Garden will be bustling soon as well.
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