5 best sports bars

With good food and big TVs, these watering holes are the next best places to watch the game.


139 E. 7th St., St. Paul

Formerly a seedy cop bar founded and run by a 1940s Chicago Bears player, Alary’s is under new management, but keeps true to its roots, notably as the Twin Cities’ premier Bears fan hangout. It’s unpretentious and old-school, though the new owners have added food and cocktail options and updated the paint and fixtures. Everyone is welcome these days, so take advantage of the generous happy hour, nearby free parking and 30 big-screen TVs.

(651) 224-7717

Bunny’s Bar & Grill NE

34 13th Av. NE., Mpls.
Glen Stubbe

The former Grain Belt Brewery in northeast Minneapolis is now home to Bunny’s second location, the original being an institutional presence in suburban St. Louis Park. The menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner — mostly bar fare with a few forays into Italian food. Stop by anytime to catch the game on one of 15 TVs, but be aware that breakfast comes with a free Bloody Mary or screwdriver on Saturday and Sunday, so expect a wait.

(612) 545-5659

City Works Eatery and Pour House

600 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
Glen Stubbe

City Works sits in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, across the street from the famous First Avenue music venue, and its aesthetics conform to the reputation of the area. Copper panels on the tables give the modern and open space a bit of industrial flair, and a huge bank of TVs over the bar display sports, social media highlights and music videos. The menu is full of upscale takes on American classics, and the bar is stocked with a whopping 90 craft beers, plus cocktails and shots.

(612) 361-2900

Gabe’s by the Park

991 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul
Elizabeth Flores

Gabe’s is an all-American, old-school hangout on the edge of St. Paul’s Como Park, easily accessible yet rarely crowded. Classics from the 1970s and ’80s fill the jukebox, and the comfortable, wood-paneled booths take you back to a simpler time. The menu keeps things simple too, but it’s all done well, especially the State Fair-quality cheese curds and mini-donuts. Saturday night turns up the volume with DJs and drink specials.

(651) 646-3066

Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar

312 Central Av. SE., Mpls.
Carlos Gonzalez

Across the river from downtown Minneapolis, Mac’s sits near the bustling Old St. Anthony area. Twenty-seven beers on tap and a variety of burgers and sandwiches await, but the menu also dips into Asian fusion and Tex-Mex. A TV is always visible, whether you’re sitting by the window, chatting with the bartender or playing pinball, so you can multi-task while keeping up with the game.

(612) 379-3379