Finding the best sports bar to watch NFL games on Sundays can be an adventure. New Jersey is unique in its own way with a clear north/south divide among fans.
Even though the Giants and Jets have New York in front of their respective names, both franchises play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
Head south on the New Jersey Turnpike and you’re in Philadelphia Eagles country. One of those “E-A-G-L-E-S!” chants at the highest decibel will serve as confirmation.
Many of the Garden State’s sports bars with the gigantic HD TVs and enormous bar areas welcome all fans (yes, even Dallas Cowboys fans) on a weekly basis. No matter where your rooting interest lies, come 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, fans will be standing side by side cheering in unison, some screaming at the top of their lungs.
And with the added benefit of 14 NJ sports betting apps, you can visit any sports bar in the state, watch a game, enjoy the atmosphere… and place a bet.
So where are the best NFL sports bars in New Jersey? Where should you be watching the college football action this year?
Truthfully, there are way too many to mention. Here are the more popular bars and restaurants (aside from the 10 retail NJ sports betting locations):
Best South Jersey sports bars
Address: 25 Route 73 (it’s one of several locations around New Jersey)
NFL viewing experience: There are 64 large-screen TVs (60-inches is the smallest) to enjoy all the football games, all the time.
Basic amenities: How does 40-plus beers on tap sound? Crabfries, mussels (red or white), hard shells, crab legs, and Lisa’s blonde lobster pie are among the signature menu items that pair perfectly with that draft of choice. Want to grab a seat ahead of the Birds game on Sundays? Reservations can be made via Open Table (bar seats are first come, first serve).
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Great place to watch sports with dozens of large screen TVs and two cinema-sized TVs. Known for their Crabfries (french fries with Old Bay seasoning) and cheese dip. Always good with a cold beer. Plenty of beers on tap and in bottles … Sandwiches are typical of a bar …. All in all, a good place to hang out and enjoy time with friends your favorite teams.”
Why it made the list: Chickie’s and Pete’s has previously earned a Best Sports Bar in North America distinction from ESPN (thanks to the flagship South Philadelphia location). This spot is newer and different, but the menu and concept are the same. You really can’t go wrong, especially if you’re an Eagles fan.
Address: 2400 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City
NFL viewing experience: If you’re looking for a viewing experience comparable to those being offered at the retail sportsbooks, you’re in for a major disappointment. This is simple viewing at its most obvious, but the atmosphere makes up for what it lacks in wow factor. With 28 TVs, you bet the Ducktown Tavern will be showing the Eagles game every Sunday (along with those other games customers may have a three-team parlay riding on).
Basic amenities: This is the one place in Atlantic City where you can have a heart attack and not worry about dialing 911 afterward. The heart attack burger consists of mozzarella sticks, corn nuggets, onion rings, potato boat, jalapeño peppers and french fries with melted mozzarella cheese and bacon (no side needed). If you’re having chest pains just reading about it, check out the tavern classics such as sausage, peppers, and onions, Philly cheesesteak, and grilled cheese. There are 19 beers on draft to go along with 20-plus selections of bottles.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “If you are looking for one of the best bar bars in AC, go. A classic bar. No frills, not a casino bar by any stretch. If you want to try [an] AC institution, give this place a try.”
Why it made the list: Sure, we could have easily gone with the new Moneyline Bar & Book at Borgata or the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, but we needed a place off the Boardwalk path. This joint offers a fun atmosphere, and the food prices will not break the bank (leaving a bankroll to get those sports bets in before kickoff). Plus, if you’re looking to get a really early start, happy hour is from 3 a.m.-5 a.m. daily; the place is open 24/7.
Address: 1 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro
NFL viewing experience: There is no shortage of screens here as Landmark Americana has more than 40 TVs.
Basic amenities: Offering Sunday specials is a good start. Half-price wings paired with $2 Coors Light or Miller Light (23-ounce Blue Moon for $3) is simple. For those craving more, check out the mac and cheese, burgers, and big plates.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Great restaurant for us college kids, great food and atmosphere. My personal favorite are the wings. So delicious! They have bottomless wings if you pay one price which is awesome. I’d definitely recommend this place!”
Why they made the list: Landmark Americana caters to the nearby Rowan University student population. Bottomless wings are a big deal, especially for this crowd. But the experience of watching the games here instead of at the college dorms is hard to pass up.
Address: 1208 White Horse Pike, Oaklyn
NFL viewing experience: If you’re looking for a place decked out with a lot of TVs, Mulligan’s may not be for you. There are currently six screens with another 10 being added. But when the Birds are playing, the other games really don’t matter.
Basic amenities: Variety is the best way to describe the menu. There is the hot and cold raw bar, extensive burger list and Mulligan’s “famous” wings. The @$% burner hot sauce is optional; the menu even has an eat at your own risk warning. Mulligan’s also offers 20-plus beers on tap, including several South Jersey craft brews (Double Nickel Vienna Lager and Cape May IPA are just a couple).
What customers are saying on Yelp: “One word…crabs! They are delicious! The beer is cold and the vibe is dive! Leave the credit card at home because it’s cash-only, but they do have an ATM. This place is totally worth the trip. The staff is friendly and the service is good.”
Why it made the list: This dive bar keeps it simple. Mulligan’s is your spot to “watch your favorite sports teams” (Eagles included, of course). Add in “hanging out with good friends,” and it’s like watching at home.
Address: 795 Route 73, Berlin Township
NFL viewing experience: Victory Bar & Grill has just under 20 TVs, 13 of which are located in the bar area.
Basic amenities: Call it a family-friendly restaurant that doubles as a sports bar. Beer drinkers have a selection of local crafts to choose from, including an IPA from neighboring Atco and a rather odd one from the Philadelphia based Evil Genius (Ma! The Meatloaf!). Besides the daily $9.99 specials, there is a special Sunday football menu with food and drink deals. How do $5 wings, nachos, or chicken parm sliders sound?
What customers are saying on Yelp: “I have been looking for a local sports bar to frequent for when the NFL season starts and I want to see my Cowboys play. … I am not really interested in a chain restaurant, … I tried “Victory” on the NFL Draft night. One thing I really like about the place is the menu. Even though it advertises as a sports bar, there is more to it than burgers, fries, and wings.”
Why it made the list: When talking about things to look for in a South Jersey sports bar, Victory combines the ambiance with rotating craft beers and a solid menu. Add on the pregame Sunday buffet, available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the NFL viewing day is off to a great start.
Best Central Jersey sports bars
Address: 850 Hooper Ave., Toms River
NFL viewing experience: There are no worries when it comes to watching the game at the Ale House as the space includes some 40-plus screens. It means you can follow your favorite team and check in on the week’s fantasy football lineup at the same time.
Basic amenities: Beer is front and center here. There are more than 60 drafts, including local brews from around the Garden State. The array of arcade games will keep customers entertained during those blowouts or when you realize that a four-team parlay is blown. The menu is typical gastropub fare, with offerings ranging from wings, burgers, and sandwiches. Other may be tempted to try a dish featuring a vodka-infused sauce.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “First time here and certainly will not be my last. GREAT addition to Toms River!!!! Such a great vibe. Great spot to watch a game with all the TVs. Awesome!”
Why it made the list: The great viewing experience combined with the extensive beer selection creates the true sports bar vibe right in the heart of Central Jersey. For golfers, the Top Golf Swing Suite provides an added incentive to make the Ale House your game day destination.
Address: 799 Route 70, Brick
NFL viewing experience: The 18-foot suspended video wall and 60 HD screens will attract any football fan no matter which team they are supporting.
Basic amenities: Beacon 70 bills itself as a place for “great drinks” and “great times.” There are some 30-plus beers on the menu (along with several beer cocktails). As far as food goes, options include brick oven artisan pizza, handcrafted burgers, wings, steak, and seafood. Sunday Night Football and dinner, anyone?
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Ate here while staying at my buddies house last weekend. Great choice. We got there at 5:30 and were seated right away. This is billed as a Sports Bar. I think the name comes from the fact that they have 70 big screens suspended all around the place. …”
Why it made the list: No need to head over to the William Hill sportsbook at Monmouth Park when this restaurant has a video wall with more than enough screens to watch all the NFL action.
Address: 110 Schanck Road, Freehold
NFL viewing experience: There are about 20 screens scattered around the dining and bar areas.
Basic amenities: Game Time has weekly NFL specials (even during the preseason). The menu isn’t fancy or over the top, just your typical staples such as 50 cent wings, $2 tacos, and $5 plain or pepperoni pies (all of which are specials). You’re likely to get more excited about the Giants covering the spread against those hated Cowboys. Customers also will be able to enjoy discounted beer and beer towers.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Located within iPlayAmerica this is a cool little hang out bar. This was in the middle of the afternoon when we hung out here but it was nice, the bartender was very engaging and made our time there much more enjoyable talking about sports and wrestling, the reason we’d come down. …”
Why it made the list: Since Freehold Raceway is still figuring out its sports betting plans, local football fans need a place to track how those mobile wagers are doing. This is a pretty good spot to do just that.
Address: 149 Brighton Ave., Long Branch
NFL viewing experience: Jack’s literally has every NFL fan covered. Here’s an FAQ from the website: Will (insert your favorite team) be on?
“Yes! With more than 50 TVs and three different bar areas you can rest assured that your team’s big game will be on!”
Basic amenities: This establishment has an extensive beer selection featuring more than 60 beers on draft. Word is “we are proud to offer the best and largest selection of draft beers on the Jersey Shore.” The menu features “classic sports bar favorites,” with wings and ribs earning high praises. BTW, this joint even has arcade games.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Had the pleasure of hanging at Jacks for a little Sunday Football fun. Arrived around 12:30 for the 1 p.m. game and the bars were already packed. We were lucky enough to get a table in the back of the restaurant near a TV showing the game we wanted to watch. The perimeter of this place is literally lined with flat-screened TVs. Awesome. Enjoyed watching the game here.”
Why it made the list: Having a prime location (walking distance from Monmouth University and the Atlantic Ocean) is a great start. Goal Line Stand are the keywords that will attract those NFL fans every Sunday. The 50 TVs pretty much guarantee that you will never miss a Giants, Jets, or Eagles game. Check that, any NFL game.
Address: 299 Spotswood Englishtown Road, Monroe Township
NFL viewing experience: As long as one of the screens is showing the Giants or Jets game, the others don’t really matter.
Basic amenities: Ryan’s Pub is another one of those friendly neighborhood establishments where craft brews paired with “excellent bar food” is front and center. There is a revolving list of beers, so the ones available this week could be different by the time Sept. 8 rolls around. The early afternoon fare includes burgers, wraps, and other sandwiches along with those popular bar bites.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “You can’t beat this place for quality, value and a great time! Nice bar layout, plenty of screens, great food, and service. The kitchen uses the best ingredients and it shows. Great burgers and sandwiches and a nice variety of hit the spot apps.”
Why it made the list: The place hosted an NFL preseason kickoff party on Thursday, the same night the Jets met the Giants. Talk about a football bar catering to passionate fans.
Best North Jersey sports bars
Address: 116 Newark Ave., Jersey City
NFL viewing experience: There are 20 flat-screen TVs showing the most exciting games. For Week 1, it will be Redskins vs. Eagles at 1 p.m. followed by Giants vs. Cowboys at 4:25 p.m.
Basic amenities: How does an $8 menu sound? We’re talking game-day staples of wings, sliders, sandwiches, tacos, and salads (for those trying to eat healthier). The bar menu includes 36-ounce personal pitchers of Yuengling, Coors Light, and PBR. This spot located in the heart of downtown is home to $5 Jameson shots. There is indoor and outdoor seating.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Always my favorite place to hang in Jersey City. Feels like Cheers… where everyone knows your name!”
Why it made the list: Jersey City is a short PATH ride from New York City. With mobile sports betting still not legal in the Big Apple, this is a perfect place to wager via the FanDuel Sportsbook app. The place bills itself as the “best sports bar in Jersey City.” Try it once and see if you agree.
Address: 95 Mountainview Blvd., Wayne
NFL viewing experience: One thing is for sure: Mother’s Ale House has more than enough screens to appease the football fans — we’re talking more than 100 big-screen TVs. Don’t worry about missing any game as this place “shows them all.”
Basic amenities: How about we start with the beer — there are 50-plus revolving domestic and craft beers on draft. The food menu is pretty basic with burgers, tacos, hand-held items, soups, and salads.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Great decor [with] lots of open space and TVs!! This is where watching a game is a must! The beer selection is nice and food very delicious … our waitress was great, fast and attentive (very different from some of those other reviews). Will definitely go again very soon.”
Why it made the list: There are mixed reviews of Mother’s Ale House, but the combination of TVs and beer selection provide the perfect backdrop for any NFL Sunday.
Address: 159 1st St., Hoboken
NFL viewing experience: Mulligan’s features a bar area and private room in the back. While it may be cozier compared to other places on this list, this is definitely a place to catch all the NFL action. “No matter which team you support, you’ll find your team playing on a big screen here.”
Basic amenities: The menu at this Irish bar serves up small bites such as chicken fingers, wings, and mozzarella sticks. Those craving “more than a snack” will find burgers, Dublin fish & chips and an Irish breakfast, which is available all day. Game day drink specials are available, too.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “My favorite bar in Hoboken for the past 10 years. Has something for everyone, depending on when you go. Best Eagles bar in the northeast.”
Why it made the list: Hoboken is considered Giants and Jets territory. We’re talking about a town less than 10 miles away from MetLife Stadium. Believe it or not, Mulligan’s is known as Eagles Country (if you have any doubts, just check the homepage of their website). The Eagles Club of Hoboken even has its own Facebook page.
Address: 1538 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus
NFL viewing experience: Here’s all that football fans need to hear: “We have the area’s best sports coverage with both satellite and DirecTV on 40 TVs.” Yes, this includes every NFL game.
Basic amenities: This spot has earned statewide accolades as a sports bar, as well as for the wings. Customers will find plenty of beer options (15 drafts and 20-plus bottles). If you happen to swing by for some Thursday Night Football, prime rib is offered as a special.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Solid spot, they have great beer on tap and bottles. Great cooks and great food! Extremely great if you like sports.”
Why it made the list: Giants and Jets country needs to be represented — we’re talking a 5-minute drive from the stadium. If you don’t have a ticket to the game, and you don’t want to pay the game day parking fee to hang at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook, then the Plank Road Inn serves as a great alternative.
Address: 317 Washington Ave., Carlstadt
NFL viewing experience: For starters, there are 35 flat-screen TVs, so there are no excuses for missing the game.
Basic amenities: Food-wise, Redd’s offers several wallet-friendly pick-up items that pair nicely with your draft of choice. We’re talking 50 cent jumbo wings, $1 pork rib or cheeseburger sliders, and $5 Bavarian pretzels, pizzas, or nachos. Spaten Octoberfest and Radeberger Pilsner are a couple of the German offerings that have been available on tap.
What customers are saying on Yelp: “Relaxed atmosphere with great food and personnel that really makes you feel at home. Too bad I live over 2 hours away or I would be spending a lot of time here. Highly recommended.”
Why it made the list: MetLife Stadium is so close that Redd’s offers a park and ride service. We can’t simply ignore this spot located in the “heart of the Meadowlands” where Giants and Jets fans unite. The outdoor Biergarten provides a perfect setting to toast the local teams among fellow fans.
Restaurant photos courtesy of Ducktown Tavern & Liquors, Ale House Sports Bar and Grille, Beacon 70, Game Time Bar and Grill, and Jack’s Goal Line Stand websites.