For sports fans, fall is the greatest time of the year. MLB is in the middle of the “hunt for October,” NFL and college football are kicking off, and European soccer has started its new season. The amount of games to track is equal parts dizzying and thrilling (like any good down-to-the-wire primetime game should be).
Among St. Pete’s many wonderful, metropolitan attractions and amenities, places to watch those games, however, can be a bit more scarce. Art galleries and Italian restaurants aren’t often prioritizing the Bucs game.
However, there are still plenty of great spots to watch games in St. Pete, throughout downtown, the EDGE District, and the Grand Central District. All of these spots are equally as great for a dedicated pack of fans as they are for a group split between jersey-wearing hooligans and regular people who just want to hang out downtown on the weekend. No matter your desired vibe or cuisine, somewhere on this list will fit your needs.
These are some of the best sports bars (or at least, bars that show sports on lots of TVs) in what we’ll call the downtown-plus area of St. Pete.
- What to like: Not only is Localz the only sports bar on Beach Drive (and the newest in St. Pete), this place has more TVs than Best Buy. There is tons of room, very good food, and very friendly staff, with a massive paid parking lot about 30 feet away – 5 out of 5 stars.
- Where to find them: 1 Beach Drive SE
- What to like: If it’s possible for somewhere downtown to be an off-the-radar hidden gem, Hops 2.0 does it, with patio seating, to boot. They have tons of TVs, tons of beers, and incredible food from Simply Delicious (think gigantic sandwiches, cheese sticks and other good game food).
- Where to find them: 225 2nd Avenue North
- What to like: While you can also catch American sports at their designated times, this is the go-to spot for football of the actually-using-the-foot variety. With TVs inside and out, it’s downtown’s No. 1 spot for Premier League and all big soccer games.
- Where to find them: 29 3rd Street North
- What to like: Other than the excellent burgers? Avenue may have the best TVs per square foot ratio of anyone downtown, and the mix of indoor, outdoor, and bar seating (all with TVs close by) gives you an option no matter the mood. I don’t even like pickles, but I’m saying: don’t skip the fried pickles.
- Where to find them: 330 1st Avenue South
Steve’s Tavern on The Avenue
- What to like: One of the few remaining dive bars left in town, Steve’s Tavern is a lively gameday spot, and the only one where smoking is allowed is indoors (which is good info to know whether you fall on the for or against side of smoking). Also – cash only!
- Where to find them: 933 Central Avenue
- What to like: The Grand Central District has tons of great spots for food and drink, but there is a dearth of spots to watch a game. Par Bar is the neighborhood destination for sports fans, and you can always count on good food trucks to keep you well-fed (alongside drinks and mini golf, of course).
- Where to find them: 2253 1st Avenue South
- What to like: Obvious thing is obvious, but there’s nowhere like Ferg’s for gameday no matter what sport. It’s always a party, there are roughly a dozen different bars, you can mobile order from your table, and the food and drink are both good AND affordable.
- Where to find them: 1320 Central Avenue
- What to like: Thirsty First has the best combo of sports bar atmosphere with prime location. You’re close to everything downtown, surrounded by cheering fans, and able to enjoy highly creative (and tasty) bar eats. Don’t miss Sunday brunch.
- Where to find them: 119 1st Avenue North
- What to like: The only British pub in the downtown and adjacent area, Studio Pub is a favorite for international soccer, and Chef Mike is churning out some of the best food anywhere in St. Pete. Get the Dragon Vindaloo Curry if you’re feeling feisty (or stick with the classic – fish and chips).
- Where to find them: 2950 Central Avenue
- What to like: The pizza. My goodness, the pizza. It’s fantastic, though if you don’t like pizza you may want to eat beforehand – it’s the only thing on the menu. Almost half of the massive restaurant is dedicated to bar seating, and there’s not a bad seat in the bar to watch any of the many TVs. I once spent 12 hours here on a Saturday watching games.
- Where to find them: 670 Central Avenue
- What to like: Sriracha wings, loaded tater tots, rib-sticking burgers, and personal TVs at every table. If you’ve been to Engine No. 9, you’re already hungry. If you haven’t been – get your appetite ready.
- Where to find them: 56 MLK Jr Street North
- What to like: St. Pete’s “legit local pub” is exactly that – the perfect spot for locals to stroll in, order some wings and beer, and sit for hours on end watching game after game. The atmosphere is always lively, the food is always hot, and the drinks are always cold. The Galley is always gameday ready.
- Where to find them: 27 4th Street North
- What to like: Where’s Jubes has some of the cheapest drinks anywhere downtown (especially during happy hour), and their indoor/outdoor setup on the corner of Central Avenue makes it a natural gathering place. Stay for hours, or poke your head in for a quick cocktail and score update.
- Where to find them: 277 Central Avenue
More great spots to catch a game: Angelo’s; Five Bucks Drinkery; Ford’s Garage; Trophy Fish; Three Birds Tavern; Crafty Squirrel; 32 Grand; Oak and Stone; The Local Draught House
What to read next:
- Burg Guides: The best breweries to visit in St. Pete
- Staff picks: best pizza spots in St. Pete
- Staff picks: the best grouper sandwiches in St. Pete
- Heat in St. Pete: The best spicy food spots in the Burg