If you’re going out to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, your options include more than bars filled with Giants and Patriots jerseys — how about all-you-can-eat tailgate parties, a happy hour hosted by the Redskin Brandon Banks or wing platters paired with award-winning microbrews? Here’s a selection of Super Bowl-related events we like; find more ideas in our list of our favorite sports bars, and if you’re trying to avoid all Brady-vs-Manning hype altogether, check out our guide to the best bars without televisions.
Tell us in the comments: Other than on your sofa, where are you going to watch the game?
The 51st State is a “New York sports team bar,” not just a Giants bar, but Giants fans pack both floors of the pub anyway. On Sunday, doors open at 4 p.m., and happy hour runs until kickoff. During the game, there are special shooters and drinks (the New York State of Mind, with Absolut Brooklyn and ginger ale, is $6), $3.50 house beers, and food deals.
With no local teams in this year’s big game, some Washingtonians might find themselves disenchanted. But free access to the big screen at Arlington Drafthouse ‘n Cinema might just change some minds. The theater offers regular food and drink service, so you can munch as you watch, even if you’re just in it for the commercials. Doors open at 4:30.
You know Bar Dupont has its collective fingers crossed for good weather on Sunday: The bar at the Dupont Circle Hotel is putting an oversized grill on the patio, parking beer trucks outside and putting 70-inch TVs on the deck, right next to the DJ. The grill menu includes grilled wings, barbecued pork ribs and New York-style hot dogs; the $5 draft beers range from Bud Light to Newcastle and Guinness, and there are shots named after Tom and Eli. Doors open at noon for your tailgating convenience.
Bethesda’s newest sports bar says it’s “out to rival Hooters.” We’ll see. Its first Super Bowl party is hosted by the Redskin Brandon Banks, who managers say will sign autographs and pose for pictures. There are 15 flatscreen TVs and a projection screen, plus food and drinks specials from 11 a.m. to close.
Saint-Ex’s take on the Super Bowl looks somewhat conventional: You’ll get football trivia for prizes at halftime, and Sam Adams and Brooklyn lagers are $4 per pint and $15 per pitcher, to represent the Patriots and Giants, but there are some cool twists at this party, starting with the menu: How do Buffalo-style sweetbreads, Old Bay puffed pork rinds and prosciutto and fontina potato skins grab you?
From 4 p.m. to close, both Capitol City Brewing Company locations will offer wing platters and a pint of house-brewed beer for $8.50. (Each pub has a number of TVs in its bar area, though the D.C. branch has the advantage of a large projection screen.)
Dodge City is resurrecting its Sunday afternoon NFL parties, with half-smokes and delicious sausages from local purveyors 13th Street Meats grilling on the back patio, DC Brau beers on tap at the bar and the game playing on an eight-foot projection screen. Doors open at 1 p.m.
From 5:30 p.m. until end of the game, Bowie’s DuClaw Brewing Company is taking $2 off all its house microbrews and glasses of wine, selling burgers and chicken sandwiches for $3.49 and offering all burgers -- well, not the kobe burgers -- for $5.99.
Settle in at a table at Duffy’s -- first-come, first-served -- and you’ll get free chips and pretzels for the whole crew, plus pitchers of beer ranging from $14 (Natty Boh or Miller Lite) to $20 (Fat Tire, DC Brau, Sam Adams, Chocolate City). Quesadillas go for $8.95.
Oh, and while group tables are first-come, first-served, don’t be those guys -- the bar says that “one or two people will not be allowed to hold a table for a larger group as this is not fair to everyone else.”
The Front Page Super Bowl Celebration -- a benefit for Girls Inc and the James Michael Foundation -- features unlimited food and drinks from 5 to 11, plus raffles for Nationals tickets, golf outings and a flatscreen TV. On the menu: tacos, wings, grilled cheese, mini-crab cakes and mini-Coney Island Hot Dogs, with fried Oreos and candy bars for dessert. The included beverages are better than rail, too: Sip on Maker’s Mark or Svedka Vodka, plus wines and beers (i.e. Bud Light.) The all-inclusive $40 tickets should be purchased in advance from the event’s Web site..
Hudson isn’t a sports bar — more like a lounge with good cocktails. But it will have the Super Bowl on all four high-definition TVs, and it has decided to highlight a different addition to the bar’s new drink menu every quarter. Start off with a Half Moon Punch (rum from Wisconsin’s tiny Old Sugar Distillery, house-made ginger, lemon and cranberry), then get a Old Fashioned made with High West’s new Son of Bourye blended whiskey in the second quarter. Cocktails are $6; the $5 food menu features lobster tacos, duck sausage hot dogs and short rib sliders.
Jack Rose doesn’t have any TVs in its main bar, but there are four on the roof deck — under a new retractable roof. On Super Bowl Sunday, the whiskey bar is hosting the Super Chili Bowl, a chili cook-off with five all-you-can-eat chilis and unlimited beers from 5:30 to 11 p.m. (Choose from 10 drafts or five cans.) Space is limited, so buy your tickets in advance.
Your team didn’t make the Super Bowl? Big deal. Meridian Pint is offering 10 percent off the check to anyone who wears a football jersey on Sunday -- even if it’s a Cowboys jersey. All wings and nachos are half price; DC Brau specials include $4 Public Ale and a Public-and-Jameson-shot combo for $6. Arrive early to get the best spots in the basement sports bar.
The longtime favorite is one of the few area bars with a cover charge, but the $25 includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of burgers, ribs, chicken, potato salad, cole slaw and other “tailgate favorites” from 3:30 to kickoff, a guaranteed seat near one of the bar’s 70-plus TVs, a full menu of food and drink deals during the game (including $3.50 16-ounce beer bottles), and a halftime raffle where prizes include a 50-inch plasma TV and a Redskins ticket packages. Go the the bar’s Web site to pick your seats in advance.
Either you arrive early at Murphy’s — doors open at 10 a.m. — or you won’t get a seat, so get there before brunch ends at 3 p.m. The most popular Patriots viewing spot in the Mid-Atlantic region draws hundreds of fans who cheer loudly and yell at the closest screen. Murphy’s sister bar in D.C. is also a Patriots bar, but you have to go to Alexandria to get the full experience.)
Both Public Bar and its sister Public Tenley are offering half-price wings, $5 burgers and $3 pints of Coors Light and Miller Lite during the game. Go to the former for plenty of TVs and a party atmosphere; head up to Tenleytown for a more laidback vibe and arcade games to play at halftime.