Top Ten Broward-Palm Beach Sports Bars to Watch Football In

The preseason excitement, the fantasy drafts, the fatty food; it could only mean one thing: Football seasoning is ramping up. All across South Florida, sports bars slinging wings and burgers, beers and shots will be prepping for their Sunday rituals. But finding a good sports bar isn't just as easy as popping into a barstool. You need a place that offers good food at decent prices, a sizable beer list, comfortable digs, and a whole lot of TVs so you can watch the game you want. Well, here are five local sports bars that won't give you a false start this football season:

Mugs - Do you hate dive bars? Do you want sports, sports, and more sports

without the risk of developing lung cancer secondhand? You couldn't get

a more smoke-free, simple environment than Mug's on Oakland.

Ironically, there are no mugs, just pints, and sports -- 14 TVs' worth

to monopolize your attention. Young, college-aged faces fill the space.

Gators and Hurricanes beware, though; this is 'Noles territory. Mugs

serves game-day staples like hamburgers, wings, nachos, and fries.

Bru's Room

- Entering a Bru's through the teal and orange patio bar area

brings to mind entering Sun Life Stadium, which makes sense considering

it's owned by '80s-era Dolphins linebacker Bob Brudzinski. Most

locations are fitted with an outdoor

patio area with plenty of seats, whether at a table or a stool at the

large bar, and dozens of flat-screen TVs are strategically placed

every foot or two. Inside is another large bar, dozens more flat

screens, and a pool table and dartboard. In addition to a full bar, a

full menu is available, and fried

pickles with spicy ranch sauce are Bru's hallmark dish. Don't forget

the chicken wings -- our favorite is the Triple Threat (BBQ, Sweet 'N'

Tangy, and grilled with minced garlic). Fun fact for

night owls: Bru's reverse happy hour runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. So you

can stay on long after the games are over.

Bokamper's Sports Grill

- Bokamper's has great food, drinks, and enough televisions to show


game in history. Just be sure to get here early if you're planning on

watching the Sunday games, as it becomes standing room only around

kickoff. If you come with a big appetite you can try to tackle the

Beast, a five-pound burger with four fried eggs, ten strips of bacon,

and eight slices of American cheese. Finish it and you get your name

engraved in a plaque on the wall -- and a massive case of indigestion.

Champps Americana

- Champps is laid-back, almost quiet, and certainly more restaurant


sports bar. Huge television screens line the ceiling, so it's often

possible to watch two or more games at a time. The wait staff can be so

attentive that your next beer is never too far away. They check in

every few

minutes to make sure you've got everything you need. This is a good

place to take the family to watch the games but not so much if you

want to

scream at televisions with other drunks.

Hurricane Grill and Wings

- One of a projected 400 franchises scheduled to roll out over the next

five years, Hurricane has already taken Plantation and Palm Beach

Gardens by storm, with 60 or more franchises opening in Broward and

Palm Beach, practically one to every chicken-wing-loving family. Chris

Russo founded the original Hurricane in Fort Pierce in 1995 starting

with his hot garlic and Parmesan wings, on the menu today and still his

favorite. Today, Hurricane offers roughly 30 chicken-wing sauces, from

fruity to flaming; bone-in wings or boneless (made from hand-cut

chicken breasts, and frozen); plus grouper fingers, fish dip, cheese

steaks, and the best French fries you've ever tasted. Most locations

have a fun, laid-back vibe with people watching sports, playing Xbox

360, and drinking at the bar.

Kingshead Pub

-  The Kingshead British Pub Sunrise is a small but cozy Tudor-style


and restaurant with a friendly British and American staff. Offering

more than 50 beers, ales, ciders, and stouts, the pub is a favorite of

craft beer drinkers. The menu is composed of hearty classics such as

authentic English pot pies and handmade Black Angus burgers (Royale

with cheese). British favorites include beer-battered cod and hand-cut

chips, Scotch eggs, cottage pie, and several other hard-to-find dishes.

Many specialty items are imported from across the pond: Walkers English

Crisps, Brandston pickles, and Heinz Baked Beans. If you want a

slightly different setting to watch the game, this could be your place.

Shuck-N-Dive Cajun Sports Cafe -  A bona fide taste of Mardi Gras in Downtown Fort Lauderdale,

Shuck-N-Dive serves the tastiest sauces -- the booze kind and the hot

kind -- of Nawlins. From Abita to Turbodog, Big Easy brews complement

the establishment's décor, which is as carnivalesque as a Mardi Gras

parade float with its purple, green, and gold color scheme. Although the

restaurant takes up most of the space -- the food is superb -- the bar is

a great place to grab a seat, a beer, watch football -- go LSU! -- and

chow down on a po' boy. (Please, just don't call it a poor boy.) No

smoking allowed, but the food makes going outside every time you need

your nic fix worth it.

Wowies Sports Grill - Do you love the bawdy locker-room vibe at Hooters but wonder why

beautiful girls subject themselves to the garish orange getup, with

support hose and high-top sneaks? (Hint: student loans) If so, then head to

this sexy sports bar, where the dress code is often as hot as the wings

coming out of the kitchen. With a staff decked out in corsets and

short-shorts, you'd think the food was an afterthought -- but the menu

is surprisingly lengthy, with dishes like chicken bruschetta, Gorgonzola-topped steak panini, steamed mussels, handmade zeppole

dusted with powdered sugar, and a host of other inventive sandwiches

and salads.

Yard House - Here's a rollicking spot for beer lovers. The chain restaurant from

California, named for the yard-high glass originally created to serve

stagecoach drivers, spurts more than 200 beers on tap -- the main draw.

A unique system of chilled taps that run in long lines to the keg room

keeps beers fresh and tasty -- and with a sampler option, hop-heads can

try several at a sitting. The huge island bar with stools in the center

of the room parallels the open kitchen, where American fusion dishes

fly out the service windows. It's a busy, lively spot in the Downtown

at the Gardens mall, with classic rock on the speakers day and night. A

late-night in-the-biz crowd comes for an after-shift brew. Moviegoers

and families can be found at early hours, noshing on burgers (don't

miss the béarnaise sliders), sandwiches, personal pizzas, and a good

salad selection. Even the kids' menu has healthful sides such as

jasmine rice or a green salad. A special "gluten sensitive" menu also

is available. It's value-priced too -- the reason you see so many

regulars here.

World of Beer

- Less a sports bar than a beer lover's wet dream, World of Beer does

have a cadre of flat screens positioned strategically around the bar and

seating area so the 'Fins game is never far away. Besides: Where else

can you drink from more than 500 beers and eat grub from nearly every

restaurant in the Coconut Creek Promenade? Asian, pizza, burgers,

Mexican -- it's all within reach at World of Beer.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Linn