Where to Find Your Football Fix

NFL SundayC.C. Glenn A typical sign outside East Village bars and restaurants on fall weekends.

Football season is upon pigskin fans, and you don’t have to wander far to seek out lively crowds, bargain beers, jumbo screens and crazy specials on caloric-heavy favorites like hot wings, burgers and mile-high nachos. The East Village, and its 10003 zip code, was recently ranked the nation’s second-most dense nabe for bars, with 73 in the area. (Wait – 73, is that all?)

On any given Saturday, Sunday and definitely Monday night, rowdy — and some not so boisterous — bars burst with sticky-fingered fans. Decked in jerseys and bright team colors, patrons take advantage, maybe too much, of cheap drink specials and let loose with indefatigable chants.

The East Village is a goldmine for football fans of all kind, bar none. But let’s face it, some are better than others, especially when seeking the winning combination of libations, vittles and good company. Jets and Giants games are ubiquitous, but where can you watch teams that are not housed in New Jersey? Urban Tailgate links like-minded fans with game-ready bars. Whether it’s the Bears or the Bulldogs, there’s a place where fellow football fanatics will, depending on the score, share your joy or pain.

Village Pourhouse, 64 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
If you’re worried about finding the perfect seat to watch the game, fear not. Bad seats don’t exist at Village Pourhouse, where dozens of TV’s and projector screens line the walls and bar of the three rooms that wind throughout the village staple. You’re likely to find any game imaginable here, along with a zillion other fans, but most frequently it’s Georgia Bulldogs and Virginia Tech Hokies that take up space on Saturday afternoons. Generic bar food is available, but most go for the 50 cent “Death” wings on Monday nights. Despite some lack of character and originality, Village Pourhouse offers reliable game-watching facilities with budget-friendly prices.

St. Marks Ale HouseC.C. Glenn St. Marks Ale House, 2 St. Marks Place.

St. Marks Ale House, 2 St. Marks Place (at Third Avenue)
Despite its proximity to NYU and Cooper Union, St. Marks Ales House accords more than just a college hangout. Twenty and thirty somethings congregate here on Saturday, Sunday and Mondays for NCAA and NFL football, and if the Bears are playing, it’s likely to be packed with Urlacher jerseys and Ditka t-shirts. Though the specials nor the food don’t set this animated bar apart, the convivial atmosphere makes up for it.

East Village Tavern, 158 Avenue C (at 10th Street)
Sundays are for football at this two year-old Avenue C tavern that rotates 16 taps of American craft beer. It’s perfectly dingy and dim and looks (and feels) as though it’s been a neighborhood favorite for decades. The crowd is often a mélange of daytime drinker locals and supportive Saints fans, or those that are both. Regardless, the defending Super Bowl champions draw lots of loyal and bandwagon fans out to this cheerful bar.

Kelly’s, 12 Avenue A (at Second Street)
It’s hot and humid in this wide-foot shoe box Irish sports bar in the bottom of the East Village, but Buffalo Bills fans love Labatt Blue tall boy specials and the clamorous camaraderie. Not a Bills fan? Not a problem. Though this typical Irish pub doesn’t serve food, it does offer up an impressive array of NFL and NCAA games (and outside grub is welcomed by the staff).

Phebe's Tavern & GrillC.C. Glenn Phebe’s, 359 Bowery.

Phebe’s, 359 Bowery (at 4th Street)
A stone’s throw away from NYU, a younger crowd of Cincinnati Bengals and Bearcats fans congregate at this lively tavern on weekends. Standard bar grub and beer specials weigh down customers, and on sunny days its enormous windows open up onto the Bowery. Too bad the chilly weather is already peeking its head out.

Bar None, 98 Third Avenue (at 13th Street)
It’s no secret that this mainstay sports bar has long dedicated itself to serving both its New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings fans, a task made possible by its depth, literally. When they play each other, the sports bar accommodates the teams with two separate areas in the front and back. Be wary and possibly bring bodyguards if you venture in here wearing any color other than black and gold or purple and yellow. Every Sunday afternoon is full of debauchery here, with consistently cheap drinks, TVs in every possible nook and a charmingly odd combination of Louisiana rap and French Quarter jazz.

Here are some more spots where you can find your favorite NCAA and NFL teams in the East Village, courtesy of Urban Tailgate:

Finnerty’s, 221 Second Avenue (at 14th Street) – San Francisco 49ers

Standings, 43 East 7th Street (at Second Avenue) – Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and several NCAA teams

Professor Thom’s, 219 Second Avenue (at 14th Street) – Michigan Wolverines

Stillwater Bar and Grill, 78 East 4th Street (at Second Avenue) – Oklahoma State Cowboys

A Guide to Gridiron Destinations in the East Village

A list of East Village bars and restaurants that show pro and college football games.

View East Village Football Bars in a larger map

Frequent any sports bars in the East Village that aren’t mentioned here? Let us know. Tell us where to watch your favorite team or find the best football specials.