Watching sports is best experienced communally, in our opinion. Whether it's for the elation of victory or the depression of defeat, it helps to be around people to share in that experience. It's also more acceptable to get tanked while watching the game if you aren't alone.
The bars we list here are not all “sports bars,” per se. But they're all places where you can watch sports with a drink in your hand and people around you. That's what's most important.
If there was a picture next to the term “sports bar” in the dictionary, it would look something like Christies. Sure, that’s a cliché, but so is Christies, and we mean that in a good way. What would come off as forced and kitschy at most places works here. Maybe it’s that this place has been around since ’91 and has survived all the McKinney Avenue madness. The no-fuss interior is full of dark wood paneling and tons of TVs. Enough said.
This SMU Boulevard classic may not look like much to anyone walking in for the first time, but for any seasoned veteran, Milo’s has an undeniable charm. Besides having a ton of pool tables and TVs (a recurring theme on this list), the best part of Milo’s is how diverse the crowd can be. You’ll find your SMU fraternity guys killing pitchers, the early 30s crowd just spending an evening with co-workers, and geezers at the bar watching the game and complaining about all those damn kids.
Oak Cliff Social Club
This Bishop Arts bar calls itself an upscale dive, with an emphasis on the word “upscale.” Oak Cliff Social is a sports bar with a modern twist. There are the requisite pool tables and TVs, plus couches and an occasional DJ. Oak Cliff Social Club hosts watching parties for every Cowboys game, and if it’s an early game, that usually means brunch is in play too.
Three Sheets boasts that it’s a Cheers-like like bar, but we’re not sure Cheers ever had a library in it. Or a covered patio with foosball, pool and beer pong. But we’ll roll with it. It’s located just east of Central Expressway on Ross Avenue, and it has many leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany. So you know it’s good.
This isn’t a true sports bar. But it’s a bar, and it’s got TVs, and, more often than not, there are sports playing on those TVs. So it’s a sports bar, dammit. But the real draw here is that, despite its dive-ish atmosphere, the Windmill does great old-school cocktails. New York mixologist Kyle Ford, who knows a thing or two, says the Windmill is one of his stops whenever he’s in Dallas. So trust the man and get something better than Bud Light to watch the game.
Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill
Just down McKinney Avenue from Christies, Frankie’s might take offense at not being the picture next to the definition of “sports bar.” We’ll say it’s a close call. They are both very much sports bars, and you’d do fine at either one. Heck, watch one half of a game at each and call it even. We won’t hold it against you if you go into our fictional dictionary and paste Frankie’s picture in there.
It’s a bar in a strip mall on the northeast corner of Greenville Avenue and Forest Lane, so if you’re here it means you are probably trying to get away from it all. We understand. Look, there’s nothing “sporty” about this place, but the people are nice, and usually there's a game on. If not, just ask, okay? Not every game has to be watched with 200 strangers yelling at Tony Romo. Sometimes it’s best to be with 10 strangers yelling at Tony Romo. The misery is more comfortable that way.
6th Street Uptown
We’re already on record as fans of this place. Styled after Austin’s most famous drinking street, 6th Street Uptown has three bars and about 30 TVs. If you can’t see the game here, then you won’t be able to read this. (We’re saying you’re blind, you see? Oops.) Anyway, this corner of Uptown is quickly becoming one of the better drinking spots in the neighborhood, and for sports — particularly UT sports — it doesn’t get better than 6th Street.