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This time of year is about as fine as it gets for sports. The conclusion of the NFL’s regular season, a megaton of major college bowl games, and even the start of college basketball conference play. You don’t need to actively search for an excuse to head to the local watering hole—there’s a ready-made one (or several) every other night, it seems.
With the above in mind, we felt it was high time to round up some of the greatest sports bars in the San Diego area for ya. You can count on each of the below to provide plenty of screens, solid-ass entertainment, quintessential pub grub, and all the booze you need to fall into a splendid stupor. (Get that Uber/Lyft ready!)
Location: 600 Fifth Ave, San Diego
We’re starting off strong because Sports Illustrated recently voted this downtown locale one of the finest in the country to catch the Super Bowl.
Regardless of magazine-based superlatives, you can count on barleymash to be open at 9 friggin’ a.m. on Sat/Sun during the season to ensure you never miss any action. The garage-door aesthetic looks awesome and gives a wide-open vibe, and that openness is continued with the communal tables. Since you may be there early, there’s an awesome build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Plus, if you stay late, you can count on live entertainment (bands, DJs) seven nights a week.
Location: 718 Ventura Pl
A Mission Beach gem, you’ve got the sun and sand awaiting you just outside should the game turn into a blowout. But if it doesn’t, you can view the sights from the garage doors while taking in all the action via the dozens of flatscreens. The breakfast burritos and tacos are big-time, while happy hour is in full effect during the week from 4 to 7 with six-dollar craft cocktails, four-buck 14-ounce drafts, and more. (Call ahead as they may be closed for repair over the next couple days.)
Location: 335 Sixth Ave., San Diego
Buckets of beer for $25, lunch champagne bottles for $12, famous house-smoked meats, and backyard games including ping-pong, cornhole, and shuffleboard are all hallmarks of The Deck at Moonshine Flats. They’re open every Sunday during the NFL season at 9 a.m. and, if you’re a supporter of USC, SDSU, or the LA Rams, you’ll friggin’ love that select drinks go on special every time one of those fav squads scores and/or wins.
Location: 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
The Bullpen doesn’t mess around. They have a comprehensive online game schedule so you know which games are available, ranging from football to soccer to boxing and beyond. There’s also the attraction of an HD projection screen and an array of 60 flat screens—and don’t forget to ask about their prime rib dinner nights!
Location: 5958 Avenida Encinas
50 flatscreen televisions, retro arcade games, pool tables, ping-pong, and an opening time of 9:30 a.m. on Sundays during the season… yeah, you may have found your new spot. And that’s to say nothing of the food and drinks. Breakfast specials are in abundance from 9:30 until 1 p.m., while you can have your fill (literally) of $5 24-ounce brewskis, 24-ounce “Hail Mary Bloody Marys,” mimosa flights, and more. You may want to arrange a driver in advance…
Location: 2222 San Diego Ave
Home & Away does the usual sports bar thing—early Sunday openings (10 a.m.), rotating taps, a fine focus on whiskey and craft cocktails, a wide array of screens, and bountiful arcade games. However, outside, there’s a badass space with picnic tables, ping-pong, cornhole, and giant Jenga and Connect Four. If the big game doesn’t manage to entertain you, everything else certainly will.