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The Best SF Bars for Transplants to Watch their Home Teams Play

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By Kelly Inglis

According to a WalletHub study published last year, the ten best U.S. cities to be a sports fan are: Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington D.C., Dallas, Chicago and Miami. (In case you’re wondering, San Francisco ranks just under the top 10 as #11).

But what if you’re a transplant from one of these epic cities of sports fandom looking for a place to watch your beloved team in San Francisco? Look no further than our handy guide to specific-city-supporting sports bars in SF!

And if your city didn’t make the top ten list, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered at the end of this article with some never-fail spots to watch any sports event.

Photo via The Connecticut Yankee’s Instagram


Our number 1 sports city has two spots for your viewing pleasure!

Red Jack Saloon, North Beach—With owners from Massachusetts, you can’t go wrong watching a Boston game at this spot. Pro-tip: Order the Bloody Mary! Plus, this spot is dog-friendly with dog treats for your furry friends.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “Awesome Boston sports bar. The owners are from Massachusetts and you can always count on a great crowd for the Pats games!  There are lots of diehard Boston fans in the neighborhood and they all come out to the Red Jack for games.”

The Connecticut Yankee, Potrero Hill—A bit off the beaten path, this spot boasts a good bar food menu and a pool table you can claim during halftime! Pro-tip: Order the New England clam chowdah and transport yourself back to the East Coast.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “If you’re a Boston/ New England sports fan this is the spot. Even all the way in SF, Boston fans are everywhere…Good energy from the Boston loving fans. Like any sports bar bar they will play other games but if Boston is playing, that’s what the bar is playing.”

Los Angeles

Danny Coyle’s, Lower Haight—While difficult to find an LA-loving bar in SF given the NorCal vs. SoCal rivalry, we think you’ll find Danny Coyle’s – with its many TVs and projector, plus its delicious drinks – to be an awesome spot to watch LA Chargers games. Pro-tip: While they don’t serve food here, you’re welcome to bring your own from any nearby Haight Street eateries! Our recs are a sandwich from Q’s Sandwich shop or Korean dishes from Purple Rice.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper:

“titles this bar has won:

-undisputed world’s greatest chargers bar on the planet

-best place to watch a chargers game in san francisco

-number one chargers theme song rendition -the dc super singers-

-ultimate dream destination to witness a chargers victory”

Via Ace’s Instagram

New York City

Aces, Lower Nob Hill—A divey little spot in the heart of downtown, Aces is founded by New Yorkers. Established back in 2005, Aces brings an East Coast feel to the laid back streets of San Francisco. Pro-tip: Order the Irish coffee for a morning pick-me-up.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper, in haiku form:

“New York Giants Games,

I need another Bloody,

Meat smokes on the grill.”


Rudi’s, Mission—We love this spot for any and all sporting events but it is especially welcoming to Pittsburgh fans! Pro-tip: Order a Pittsburgh-style sando with fries and coleslaw in the middle!

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “Rudi’s is great for anyone from the Cleveland/Pittsburgh area who wants that taste of home in the Bay Area.”


Jake’s Steaks, The Marina—While there are two Jake’s Steaks in San Francisco, you want to hit up the Marina location for prime Philadelphia-game watching energy. Jake’s Steaks was founded by a Philly native with the goal to provide the best-tasting cheesesteaks. Pro-tip: You must ORDER A CHEESESTEAK from their expansive menu!

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “I’ve never seen so much Philly or Eagles gear in SF, and people came from all over the Bay Area to watch the game there.

The current owner, Jr., now goes by Jake. He was the best host. They prepped green jello shots for the occasion and provided great beer like Liberty Ale.

The indoor decor pays homage to Philly sports, not just the Eagles. The inside wall includes a large image of the Schuylkill River.

Of course, the cheesesteaks were perfect. My college friend said it’s the best one he’s had since leaving Philly.”

Via Nickie’s Instagram


Nickie’s, Lower Haight—This neighborhood sports bar has a full kitchen and welcomes any and all Denver sports fans! Pro-tip: Bottomless mimosas available Saturdays and Sundays!

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “Go to Nickie’s for Denver Bronco game days. Waitstaff treats us awesome. Always a fun crowd. Menu hits all the right spots. CO transplants are always welcomed here.”

Washington D.C.

Kezar Pub, Lower Haight—We’ve got to come clean, we had a hard time finding a D.C.-specific sports bar in San Francisco, so we’re sending D.C. sports fans to Kezar Pub, a tried and true sports bar for your viewing pleasure. Pro-tip: Order their world famous chicken wings and a pitcher of beer.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “This is the exact local neighborhood bar you’d expect, except with more sports, better wings and great beer/shot combos. Great spot to watch a game, race or whatever.”


Yancy’s Saloon, Inner Sunset—Tucked away in the great 9th and Irving area, this dive has plenty of TVs, tons of brewskis on tap and dart boards for some post-game entertainment! Pro-tip: They don’t serve food, but grab pizza from Pasquale’s across the street!

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “​​Great bar with a kick-ass owner, who for many years has carved out a spot for Dallas Cowboys fans. He has all NFL games available on any of twenty-something TVs, but as a Cowboys fan, this is the spot for me on Sundays!”


Monaghan’s, The Marina—Monaghan’s is a community-driven no-frills sports bar boasting 20 rotating beers on a tap and a pool table! And that’s not all—they’ve got signature cocktails to boot and an awesome Happy Hour Monday through Friday. Pro-tip: Try the Just Mezzin’ Around, a smoky signature cocktail.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “Do I have any Chicago sports fans? This is your spot to watch the Blackhawks & Bears! The staff is incredibly friendly and it’s a perfect spot to meet other recent Bay Area transplants from Chicago!”


The Blue Light, Cow Hollow—This spot has been around for more than 30 years and boasts a 45-foot Mahogany bar and 19 TVs so you can watch your team from any spot in the bar. Pro-tip: Order the chicken tacos.

Quote from a satisfied Yelper: “If you are a Miami Dolphin fan in San Francisco, the Blue Light is the best bar to watch the games! We consistently have a group of at least 6 fans, usually more!”

Your City Not On This List?

Struggling to find your city on this list? Fear not! Here are three never-fail spots to watch just about any sporting event at:

SF Athletic Club, Lower Pac Heights: As the name promises, this spot with its endless walls of TVs and bar food is a fabulous spot to pull up a stool and watch your team play.

Barebottle, Bernal Heights: Barebottle is a beer-lover’s dream with tons of unique brews on tap, a projector and arcade games. Get there early to snag a picnic table and grab food from the rotating food truck outside. Plus, this spot is family-friendly, welcoming babies and fur-babies alike!

Valley Tavern, Noe Valley: While the inside has an impressive number of TVs, along with a shelf full of board games, the real pride and joy of this spot is the multi-leveled patio with greenery and TVs, so you can still catch the game AND enjoy the sun (for when Karl isn’t showing his face).

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