Where to watch the Super Bowl with cheap beer, free food and giant TVs

January 29, 2014

The Super Bowl is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. If you have questions about where to find Seahawks or Broncos fans, the best food and drink specials or even the Puppy Bowl, we've got answers.


Broncos fans give a mile high salute at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. (Photo by Katelyn Attanasio)

Where are Broncos fans watching the game?
Penn Quarter Sports Tavern has long been a Broncos bar, with a weekly Broncos Meetup group and gatherings organized by the Colorado State Society. A backup option: The upstairs bar at Stoney's has been taken over by Broncos fans this season. UPDATE: Stoney's says the upstairs will open at 2 p.m. if you like the Broncos Fans of Washington Facebook page; the bar will open to the general public at 5.

Where are Seahawks fans watching the game? 
Coincidentally, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern is also the city's largest Seahawks bar, which means space is going to be tight. Owner Mike Brand is giving one floor over to each team. Doors open at 11 a.m., and early arrival is strongly suggested. Another group of Seattle fans has been watching games at Hamilton's and around 80 to 100 fans were there for the AFC Championship game, according to one of the owners. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Anyone have Washington State vs. Colorado specials?
Dry 85 in Annapolis is offering state-versus-state flights of both bourbon and beer. For $10, you'll get one shot each of Spokane's Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey and Breckenridge Bourbon. For $6, you'll get eight-ounce pours of Elysian Loser Pale Ale (from Seattle) and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.

I want to drink a lot, but I don't have a lot of money.
The Mighty Pint has the solution. For $15 in advance ($20 on Sunday), you’ll get all-you-can-drink mixed drinks and Miller Lite, Sam Adams and Yuengling pints from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the game. The downtown branch of BlackFinn is slightly more expensive, with $20 "bottomless" drafts of Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock Top and Stella Artois during the game.

I want to watch on a really big screen.
Both Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse and the State Theatre are showing the game on full-sized movie screens. Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse opens at 4:30 p.m. with the usual first-come, first-seated policy and bar service. The State Theatre opens at 5:30 p.m., and there's free food while it lasts. Admission is free at both bars. In Washington, you're not going to beat Penn Social for square footage: its biggest screen is 22 feet. Gameday specials there include $3 Bud Light and Shock Top drafts and 75-cent wings.

But bigger isn't always better. Who's got a lot of TVs?
The three-level Public Bar in Dupont Circle 49 flatscreen TVs and a 240-inch projection screen. Admission is free, and specials include 3 Miller Lite and Coors Light. An optional $25 advance ticket allows you to skip the inevitable lines and grab a bucket of five beers and 20 wings once you're inside. (Advance tickets are sold by the young professionals group Things to Do.)

I'm looking for somewhere with football and barbecue. 
The states of Colorado and Washington are known for many things. Barbecue is not one of them. But if you’re more of a fan of smoked Texas brisket than either of the teams playing Sunday, Hill Country is offering a day of specials, including tacos, Frito pie and chips and queso, chased with $3 PBR and $5 margaritas.

Anyone have all-you-can-eat food specials?
City Tap House is offering $50-per-person "all you can eat party platters" loaded with gourmet tailgate food, such as 10-spice wings, chipotle glazed ribs and duck confit nachos. Meanwhile, the sprawling Crystal City Sports Pub, with more than 100 TVs over three levels, offers a Super Bowl party package for $40. Tickets include a pregame appetizer spread at 4 p.m. and a halftime dinner buffet.

I'd like good local beer. Free or cheap food is a bonus. 
The “Super 'Chili' Bowl” at Jack Rose takes its name from the free helpings of house-made chili and cornbread that will be given out while supplies last, but the drink specials should be as much of a draw: Draft beers from both Washington state and Colorado will sell for $5 during the game. Five bucks will also get you a choice of punch or one pour from a selection of bourbon. Everything on the bar food menu is half-price. There are only a few televisions on the rooftop deck, so arrive close to 3 p.m. when the special prices begin.

Columbia Heights isn’t loaded with sports bars, but Meridian Pint has everything you need for the big day, with 12 TVs in the basement and 24 craft beers on tap. Local beers from Port City, Lost Rhino and Monocacy will be $5 each and all appetizers will be 25 percent off from kickoff until the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy. Doors open at noon.

I want to keep things simple and affordable: Cool place, cheap canned beer, cheap Jell-O shots. 
The Red Derby is finally hosting its first Super Bowl party. Red Derby’s projection screen, which silently shows movies on most nights, will show football on Sunday, along with another projection screen above the front window and TVs on the heated rooftop deck. Specials include $5 baskets of wings, $1 Jell-O shots and the usual array of canned beers starting at $2. No matter which team you’re rooting for, everyone can get $3 shots of Powers whiskey after each touchdown.

I'd rather watch the game with a nice glass of merlot. Where should I go? 
Vinoteca is extending its usual wine happy hour – 15 different wines for $5 each – from 5 p.m. until close, and showing the game on all TVs. And since you wouldn't serve nachos with a Riesling or Chenin Blanc (well, some people might), there's a special menu of small plates for $7 each.

Have you heard about anyone showing the Puppy Bowl? Asking for a friend.
Dodge City will be showing the Puppy Bowl in all its adorable glory on the projection screen all afternoon. Of course, that's not the only reason to go: Local sausagemongers 13th Street Meats will be grilling half smokes, chorizo and four other kinds of meat on the grill on the patio, while the bar offers $3 High Life bottles, $5 rail drinks and $1 off all drafts all day.

I've already taken Monday off. Where should I go?
Mason Inn is hosting a pre-Super Bowl flip cup tournament. The bracket is limited to 24 teams, so register in advance; games start at 3 p.m. Even if you're not participating, there will be drink specials, including $11 pitchers of Bud Light, and cranked-up party music. Expect the mayhem to continue all the way through the Super Bowl, so you may want to grab a $5 Red Bull and Vodka for some extra energy.

I want to hang out with a group in Bethesda.
Don’t let the British pub theme fool you: Union Jack's goes all-American on Super Bowl Sunday. The game plays on almost two dozen flatscreen TVs and two large projection screens, and there will be food specials and $2.50 Yuengling, Bud Light and Blue Moon beers. If you’re coming with friends, ask about the group specials: The $40 package for 10 includes two pitchers of beer and a platter of wings, dip and other apps, for instance. Mixed drinks are $3 after the game.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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