Brickell’s OG sports bar still brings it every weekend, with flat screens lining the entire bar and a projection TV on the balmy front patio. You’ll also find five-for-$25 mix and match beer buckets any time there’s football being played. Batch also isn’t afraid to play game sound, so if football just isn’t the same for you without the insights of Tony Romo and Ian Eagle, make this your regular watch spot. Be warned though—Batch is a serious Gator bar, so if you happen on a day when UF is playing, don’t ask them to change the TV.
The old Playwright on Washington Ave. is reborn as a locals’-focused casual bar named after South Beach service industry legend Mickey Burke. It is the brainchild of longtime Clevelander alums, and features craft cocktails and a far more extensive craft beer selection than most find in South Beach. In addition to TVs pretty much everywhere, Mickey Burke’s also offers some standout food, like the massive fish and chips, and the ever-addictive bonchon cauliflower bites.
It’s not glitzy, glamorous, or anything resembling trendy, but if you want to watch football with longtime locals who take their pigskin seriously, hit this bar across the street from the back gate of MIA. Formerly Tom’s NFL (that’s, Roger Goddell!) this classic sports bar is filled with former pilots, Miami Springs lifers, and generally the type of people who wouldn’t be caught dead in South Beach. They’re all enjoying cold beer, fantastic wings, and the general anonymity that comes with watching a game at Tom’s.
It’s quite the dilemma during fall in South Florida, when the weather is all warm breezes and blue sky, but the Dolphins are playing at 1 pm. Get the best of both worlds at the Bayshore Club, a stunning new spot on the bay in Coconut Grove where towering screens surround a sleek bar stocked with plenty of cold beer. If the Fins are having a bad day, you can get lost in the front-row views of the water, or head out to the back lawn for some oversized chess or jenga. The food is a big step above usual sports bar fare too, with conch fritters and fresh fish specials worth sticking around for after the game.
Posting up with a plate of wings and a pitcher of light domestic drafts at Sports Grill is a Miami rite of passage. With locations throughout the western suburbs, it’s a go-to of almost anyone who grew up here as the place to watch football. Though countless gourmet wing spots have opened during Sports Grill’s lifespan, it still boasts the best wings in Miami. Not just because of nostalgia, but because sauces like the Dale and Miami Heats can’t be duplicated elsewhere.
Yes, there are inherent disadvantages to having your football stadium light years from downtown and isolated from anything other than Tootsie’s. The upside, however, is the abundance of tailgating space, where both Fins and Canes fans fire it up every weekend. While this year, Canes fans might credit our tailgate intensity to the fact that blacking out during the game is often preferable to watching it, Tua and the Dolphins have filled Hard Rock tailgates with legitimate pre-game excitement. And no matter how hot it gets we can take comfort knowing the opposing team is going to feel even hotter.