In the South, football is king – and in Atlanta, sports are a big part of the city’s culture and identity. Like many cities with a thriving young professional sector, it often feels like most residents are not “from here” – as in “born and raised” – and with this transplant crowd comes a love for their hometown teams. This mix of die-hard Georgia sports fans and transplants who bring their hometown fandoms with them adds up to a city that goes absolutely crazy for sports.
Sports this year have looked a bit different, as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortened or postponed seasons, limited numbers of fans in the stands and a discouragement of raucous, maskless viewing and tailgating parties. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots for watching sports in Atlanta where patrons can come together while also socially distancing.
While it’s harder to attend games in person this year, you do have the option to celebrate somewhere fun and enjoy all the rivalries and competitions we revel in. There are six weeks left in the SEC football season, months left for the NFL and even a few professional soccer games that fans can catch in the next couple of months. We’ve narrowed down the best spots for watching sports in Atlanta so you can still enjoy the games amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Big Sky Buckhead
Voted the “Best Bar Overall” by Jezebel Magazine in its Best of Atlanta 2020 edition, Big Sky Buckhead is a newer kid-on-the-block, but already much loved by the Atlanta sports crowd. This bar is popular among the 20s crowd, and at any given time there is a celebration of whatever sport is being played at the moment. With a large open-air area, this bar is a great choice for those looking to socialize while also getting fresh air in the time of the pandemic.
Address:3201 Cains Hill PL NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Hooligans, look no further than this well-loved Atlanta staple, the Brewhouse Cafe. It’s one of the best places in the city to watch any soccer game – whether it’s being played in South America, Europe, the United States or anywhere else. It has a huge outdoor patio, and on days with great weather this area stays busy with soccer fans and other sports lovers.
Address:401 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.
Diesel Filling Station
If you like your sports with a side of burgers and beer, then Diesel Filling Station is the spot for you. They have an outdoor patio where games are aired (from football to ice hockey) and fans can gather without being enclosed in the dive-bar atmosphere of the main building. Diesel flies their sports teams’ flags year-round outside, so take a look to see if your interests align.
Address:870 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Another quintessential Atlanta spot for getting one of the best burgers in town while watching the big game is Grindhouse Killer Burgers. There are many locations of this Atlanta favorite, but the Memorial Drive location in particular has a great patio setup for game-watching, and there is a small outdoor game area as well if that strikes your fancy.
Address:701 Memorial Drive Atlanta, GA 30316.
In the heart of Midtown, Hudson Grille is a classic spot for watching the game. Like Grindhouse, Hudson Grille has several locations, but Midtown is ideal if you’re looking for a patio or simply plenty of indoor space to practice social distancing.
Address:942 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.
With one of the best, biggest patios in town, Neighbors is a perfect spot for watching football on a mild-weather day. After taking over the space next door (RIP Hand in Hand pub) their patio is bigger than ever with large TVs for enjoying matches with friends. Just watch out, because it is not covered, so this recommendation is weather-dependent.
Address:752 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306.
Sports & Social
Their motto is “Ours is Bigger,” and a glimpse at Sports & Social at The Battery Atlanta (home of the Atlanta Braves) reveals that it’s likely the 30-foot high LED TV screen that the motto refers to. This space features two levels and plenty of indoor games to keep you busy with your own friendly athletic competitions.
Address:825 Battery Ave SE #610, Atlanta, GA 30339.
If you do happen to make it to an in-person sporting event in Atlanta, whether in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium or the State Farm Arena, then STATS is the perfect proximate place to enjoy some pre or post gaming on the patio with some gastropub fare. Its location near the downtown sports hubs and next to the College Football Hall of Fame naturally draws in sports enthusiasts.
Address: 300 Marietta St NW Suite 101, Atlanta, GA 30313.
Like other Atlanta-centric chains on this list, Taco Mac has many locations. But the original Taco Mac – located at Atlanta’s famous Virginia-Highland intersection – is one of the best and features a wide-open patio for game-watching and fresh air. This location has been keeping Atlanta sports fans happy for 41 years, and their huge variety of draft craft beer and fresh Buffalo wings will keep you coming back for more.
Address:1006 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306.
With so many places to watch sports in Atlanta, it is truly hard to pick out the best of the best. But this list hones in on some of the real gems across the city’s many neighborhoods. No matter your favorite sport, this list encompasses some of the best spots for watching sports in Atlanta – and you may even find the perfect crowd of like-minded fans. So the next time you’re looking for a fun place to watch the game, stop by one of these highlights of the Atlanta sports scene.
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