In a city like Milwaukee, which has several professional sports teams for its size and more bars per capita than just about any city in the nation, drawing the line between bars and sports bars can be tricky. But we took a shot at it anyway and scooped up just a handful of the Brew City's best sports bars. (For more options during the Packers season in particular, click here as well.)
If you're headed out, please double check to see how places have adapted to the pandemic and follow their COVID protocols accordingly. Be safe, be considerate – and cheers!
The 4th Base
5117 W. National Ave., (414) 647-8509
Though the atmosphere inside screams baseball and burgers, the chef prepares some incredible meals on a menu that changes daily; you can even view the featured meats and seafood of the day in the deli case.
The atmosphere is great, especially for baseball, with signed baseballs on display, pennants, autographed pictures, newspaper clippings and plaques from many years back, signs and other memorabilia that crowds the walls.
Boomers Sports Bar & Grill
N29 W24483 Watertown Rd., Pewaukee, (262) 691-2558
At Boomers Sports Bar in Pewaukee, there are daily food and drink specials, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day on Sunday. And for those looking to work off those beers, you can sign up for sand volleyball.
Brewski's Sports Club
204 N. 76th St., (414) 475-0500
Brewski's Sports Club on Facebook
At Brewski's Sports Club, there are multiple TV screens to cheer on your favorite sports team as you toss back a few drinks and indulge in daily food specials.
6343 N. Green Bay Ave., (414) 797-0710
While you definitely don't want to see any bricks coming from the Bucks, you will want to check out The Brick Pub and Grill in Glendale featuring tasty bar snacks and a cozy atmosphere along with more than a dozen televisions – including three outside on The Brick's patio – to keep tabs on Giannis and company. So no matter who you root for in basketball, this is a "Brick" we can all cheer.
Brothers Bar & Grill
1213 N. Water St., (414) 224-1690
This Water Street favorite may look completely different, but it's still a great place to take in a big game thanks to two floors (and a patio space) loaded with plenty of tables and 48 televisions complete with NFL Sunday Ticket and all the big UFC fights. And if you're looking for some bonus competition, Brothers also features three pool tables, four dart boards, a pop-a-shot machine and several pinball machines – so even if your team loses, you can still be a winner.
Buffalo Wild Wings
1123 N. Water St., (414) 277-0293
2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900
3636 S. 27th St., (414) 755-0088
16750 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield (262) 641-8956
2950 S. 108th St., West Allis (414) 431-1100
590 W. Northshore Dr., Glendale (262) 369-1600
8171 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek (414) 570-9464
Each Buffalo Wild Wings (otherwise known as BW-3 or B-Dubs) location is different; the Downtown location offers two big screen TVs and about nine smaller TVs, some with trivia games and SportsCenter constantly playing. There are also several sports-related video games, two dart boards and a head-to-head baseball game called Home Run Classic you can play from the bar.
The only drawback to watching a game at BW-3 is the acoustics. It's nearly impossible to hear a game being called, as the ambient noise of the bar is usually overbearing.
The Mayfair Road location has a different layout, with a bar area separate from the restaurant area and pool tables in addition to darts and a number of TVs.
1240 N. Moorland Rd., Brookfield, (262) 797-6600
A national chain that strives to be more restaurant than bar, Champps still offers enough gigantic TVs, scoring updates and game-related specials to qualify it as one of the better places in town to eat a sit-down meal while taking in a game or two.
There is little sports memorabilia, but the focus on sporting events and good view of the games themselves on the screens keep you focused anyway. The meals there are also very good, with a wide variety of dishes and beverages available from the bar.
Finn's Bar & Grill
220 W. Summit Ave., Wales, (262) 968-9800
Located just east of the intersection of Highways 18 and 83, Finn's Bar & Grill is a welcoming place to enjoy the latest game. It offers daily drink specials that you can enjoy with a selection of upscale bar food including homemade pizzas, soups, steak and chicken sandwiches, and much more.
The Fire Pit in Potawatomi Bingo Casino
1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7993
The Fire Pit glows with multiple big-screen TVs covering multiple sporting events at all times. The menu is standard bar fare with some additional flair, including a delicious chili in an edible bread bowl, shoestring potato fries and multiple spice and hot sauces on each table to suit your taste. The prices are reasonable, so you have money left over for the multitude of slot machines right outside the bar area.
The Highbury Pub
2322 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 294-4400
The Highbury Pub in Bay View isn't anything like your typical American sports bar. It's a place that emphasizes soccer, a sport in which comes fourth on the American popularity scale behind football, baseball and basketball. But it's number one at The Highbury where passionate soccer fans can go and watch the latest game, sometimes very early in the morning. Beer for breakfast: the best possible to the day!
Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh
2311 N. Murray Ave., (414) 249-4489
Whether you are trying to watch the game or hang out with friends, Izzy Hops is a great spot to grab a bite or a brew. Izzy Hops drink menu has over 30 craft beers on tap and 30 quality bourbons, while the food menu includes various sandwiches, burgers, wings and pizzas from next door at Divino.
Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2830
Jack's American Pub on Brady has an abundance of TVs to catch any game including a large projector upstairs – upstairs alone has 12 flat screen TV's and a private smoking deck. You won't miss any of the games with their NFL ticket! Pop over for wing night on Mondays – or grab the shuttle to Miller Park.
Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub
11302 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 988-4485
Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub are known for their lively and inviting atmosphere – and are a great choice to watch a game. They keep it local with 13 Wisconsin beers on tap, fresh ingredients from the greater Milwaukee area and spirits from Great Lakes Distillery. Enjoy wing night on Wednesdays before grabbing a shuttle to the Brewers, Bucks or Marquette games!
5218 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 258-9837
Brewers fans have flocked to Kelly's for years, and its location near Miller Park will maintain its status as one of Milwaukee's most-loved baseball bars. Kelly's has two big rooms and some smaller rooms featuring three pool tables, five dart boards, video golf and multiple video games. One room features six big screen TVs and there are tons of other TVs throughout the bar.
The menu is mostly standard sandwiches and pizzas, but dinner specials include ribs, shrimp, spaghetti and Mexican food for Wednesday games. There is some memorabilia in each room and you can tell that baseball is a major influence here.
Leff's Lucky Town
7208 W. State St., (414) 258-9886
This Tosa sports bar has plenty of TVs to catch the game, as well as a large one on the patio for you to enjoy the end of summer or fall nights. Game day specials are plentiful at this sports bar meets friendly pub.
340 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 271-3414
One of Milwaukee's older sports bars, Major's keeps 'em coming with the traditional food and drink fare and some great stuff to look at: lots of old memorabilia adorn the walls, including from the Milwaukee Braves era, Marquette's NCAA championship runs and the Bucks' early years.
Matty's Sports Bar & Grille
14460 College Ave., New Berlin (414) 427-3838
Matty's Sports Bar & Grille in New Berlin features a chef-inspired menu inside of its casual atmosphere – and, for those avoiding the indoors for now, they've got an outstanding outdoor tent set-up with TVs, firepits and all sorts of frivolity. Even though it was voted as one of the best sports bars in the city, it's mostly known for the menu, specifically the burgers and pizza.
McGillycuddy's Bar & Grill
1135 N. Water St., (414) 278-8888
McGillycuddy's has three levels, multiple TVs and game-related promotions. Sports memorabilia is concentrated on the third level, where there is a cool selection of stuff to look at, especially if you like Brewers memorabilia from their highly competitive years in the early '80s.
The bar food is always good (try the Tuna Steak sandwich), and there are specials tied into certain major events. They are very active with promotions, which can add to the fun. As the weather gets warmer, check out the outdoor patio if you didn't get to in past summers.
The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill
1134 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., (414) 908-0401
Couldn't get into Fiserv Forum for the big Bucks game? Don't spend the game sadly pawing at the windows of the arena for pity and instead head across the plaza to the next best thing to a live arena-like sports experience: The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill. The menu sports a hunger-killing lineup of unique bar food takes and a bullpen of thirst-quenching brews and cocktails to help wash down your grub and another Bucks win.
But here's what you're truly coming to feast on when you come the The MECCA: sports, especially when they come served on a TV as unfathomably mammoth as the bar's centerpiece screen. Add in live-sports-like features and excitement, and you've got a locale worthy of being named after both an arena and a holy place.
912 Milwaukee Ave., (414) 902-0148
Wisconsinites may be more football fanatics than futbol fanatics, but for those who appreciate the beautiful game, Moran's Pub is a great place to get your kicks – plus it's been newly renovated to bring some new shine to this classic space.
939 E. Conway St., (414) 486-1768
The Newport on Facebook
This Bay View hidden gem is mostly a neighborhood hangout for young and old. But even though it doesn't have a ton of TVs, the hangout also makes for a great, animated place to watch games local and national – especially for Packers games, when the bar brings in hot ham and rolls (or other treats) to help soak up another Green Bay win. And for a similar classic atmosphere in a new locale, check out the owners' new St. Francis spot, Creed's Foggy Dew.
Nomad World Pub
1401 E. Brady St., (414) 224-8111
Nomad World Pub on Facebook
If you're a soccer fan, then I'm sure that you've already been to, or at least heard of, Nomad World Pub on Brady Street. You have the option to join in on the fun by buying filling out a bracket for the Nomad World Copa. The pub features daily drink specials, including the world's shortest Happy Hour on Monday through Friday.
16755 W. Lisbon Ave., Brookfield, (262) 790-9701
Pistol Pete's serves up a good place to catch games if you like to hang out west. Half a sports bar and half a restaurant with an attached cigar and scotch bar, Pistol Pete's offers two projection TVs, eight other TVs, pool tables, darts, a good selection of video games and a good menu. There isn't a lot of memorabilia, but if you like NASCAR, they have some interesting things around.
Points East Pub
1501 N. Jackson St., (414) 277-0122
This hotspot isn't just the home of some of the best wings in the city (but really, they're outstanding, especially if you're not a fan of sloppy, saucy wings). Points East features numerous screens showing all the biggest games from basketball, hockey, football, baseball and much more. It's great eats with a great sports bar vibe.
Red Lion Pub
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
Red Lion Pub roars with activity every soccer game day, mainly serving as a hub for fans of footy. This Water Street locale, found in the Tannery row of Milwaukee's Lower East Side, also serves as a festive spot to check out a game and some outstanding pub grub – not to mention their upstairs patio space as well.
Romine's High Pockets
6125 S. 27th St., Franklin, (414) 281-2212
Romine's is a fun place to watch multiple sporting events while enjoying multiple activities. Football and wrestling fans will especially enjoy the wide selection of events broadcast on over 50 TVs, with a central bar, restaurant, video games and tons of pool tables.
The bar and restaurant have extensive food and drink selections and, although sports memorabilia is sparse, the selection of events to watch, drink specials to take advantage of and variety of activities make it a good place to catch a game, or multiple games, especially with a group of people.
750 N. Jefferson St., (414) 808-1588
As its name makes obvious, this is a sports bar. But the vibe is less tawdry memorabilia on the wall and patrons shouting at TVs than convivial, communal revelry – tasteful, casual but still competitive enough a place where you can curse a Liverpool collapse.
Steny's Tavern and Grill
800 S. 2nd St., (414)672-7139
Steny's has become a historic Walker Point icon, providing a fun and diverse experience for more than 20 years – as well as a great place to catch any game. You can also grab a shuttle to Miller Park for Brewers games as well as a regular shuttle for Bucks games. Wing specials every Thursday night, and Bloody Mary specials every Saturday and Sunday.
Steve's on Bluemound
5841 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 257-3210
Steve's is a place to play games as well as watch them. With two bars, 15 TVs including three big screens, you can watch games there. With air hockey, foosball, video games, four pool tables and darts (including leagues), lots of activities can occupy the down times.
2060 N. Humboldt Blvd., (414) 763-6324
It may have a silly name, but Stubby's is serious when it comes to beer and sports to wash that tasty beer down. The gastrogrub hangout features an impressive tap list and a number of TVs to watch the biggest games – including on its heated patio, with a lovely view of the river as well as the latest victory for the home team.
The Tracks Tavern & Grille
1020 E. Locust St., (414) 562-2020
The Tracks Tavern & Grille offers daily food and drink specials in a relaxed atmosphere that allows you to have fun with company. You can watch the game on one of the large HDTVs or if you're feeling energetic and sporty yourself, you can join the sand volleyball league.
Three Lions Pub
4515 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 763-6992
Three Lions Pub is an authentic British pub that provides patrons with an eclectic blend of English culinary standbys and traditional American cuisine – and all the games you could want to watch too! A giant projection screen is front and center so you can enjoy live sporting events in the grandest possible way. In addition to the screen, the pub also sports four flat-screen HDTVs that are tuned to high-definition sports around the clock.
Who's On Third
1007 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 897-8373
Who's On Third serves up classic American pub/sports bar with full bar and menu featuring grass-fed burgers, chicken sandwiches, deep fried cheese curds, wings, salads and macaroni and cheese. Did we mention the wings? Try them while watching from any of number of TV's including the gigantic one in the back.