Best Bars in Portland to Catch a Football Game

by Alexander Frane on Oct 4, 2016 in Roundups
Portland may not have an NFL football team, nor does it have a competitive college team, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to watch football. And while you can always watch at home on your TV or, more likely, your computer, it’s always more fun to grab a beer out at a bar with some friends to take in the big game.
 
Here’s our list of ten of the best bars to watch college and professional football. We skipped over some of the larger, more well known chains, as well as those that lack personality. It’s Portland, so go to a real bar.
 
Century Bar it the newest endeavour from the Lightning Bar Collective, and the most ambitious. A massive, 250 person stadium-seating room sits in the center of the bar, with massive screens lowered from the ceiling for games. A full bar with cocktails, a food menu with vegan options for each item, and a slick design free of sports paraphernalia make this a “sports bar that isn’t a sports bar”. (930 SE Sandy St.)
 
Not only is The Station one of our favorite bars to take our dogs, it’s also a great place to catch a game. The spot has six televisions and two drop down screens, and the choice for what’s shown goes to the “highest bidder.” Recently, pizza has been added to the menu, as well as a kids play area. (2703 NE Alberta St.; 503-284-4491)
 
The Independent opened in July of 2016, and has already established itself as a great sports bar, with 32 screens and a drop down projector. Drinks include a full bar and 32 beers on tap. Food is elevated stadium classics, like fancy hot dogs and other bites with a Portland twist. (225 SW Broadway #100; 503-206-6745)
 
Saraveza is one of the best bottle-shop/taprooms in the city, with a great midwestern themed menu including pasties (hand pies). And, if you’re a Packers fan, this is the place to be. Saraveza shows every Packers game of the season. Grab a pasty and a beer, settle down to the game, and you’ll feel like you’re back in Wisconsin. (1004 N Killingsworth St.; 503-206-4252)
 
Claudia’s is an institution, one whose continued presence keeps Hawthorne Blvd from being as radically altered as other major streets have been in recent years. It’s a bit of a dive, but that’s why you’re there. Grab a cheap well-drink or a pint of IPA and settle in for the game. (3006 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-232-1744)
 
Tom’s Pizza & Sports Pub probably won’t be on a “best pizza” article anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a popular spot, particularly for those wanting to watch the game on one of the many large screen TVs or giant projection screens. For those out in the eastern suburbs, there’s also a Gresham location.  (2630 N Lombard St., 503-283-4217 &  707 NE 181st Ave.; 503-489-1890)
 
A huge room that looks more like a massive wood cabin than a sports bar, the Spirit of 77 is named for the year the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA National Championship. It’s an event space, but also a large scale bar with a single, massive screen showing games.  (500 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.; 503-232-9977)
 
Another classic neighborhood dive, this one on Division Street, is the Scoreboard. Besides showing games, the Scoreboard has plenty of other entertainment, including skee ball, board games, pin ball (including a competitive two-person game), and even karaoke on Thursday nights. (4822 SE Division St.; 503-234-0181)
 
If you’re from Iowa, or just a Hawkeyes fan in general (the team, not the Avenger), then get over to D’s Bar on NE Sandy. The bar opens early on Hawkeyes game days, and even hosts the largest (see: only) Hawkeyes fan party in the city. D’s serves standard pub fare at very reasonable prices. (6732 NE Sandy Blvd.; 503-281-1276)
 
Another spot that defies the traditional sports bar aesthetic, River Pig Saloon opts for a more old-fashioned interior. Hardwood, brick, and hanging lanterns create a cozy atmosphere to watch whatever game is on the screen. River Pig also sports (pun intentional) a lovely cocktail list, rare for a sports bar. (529 NW 13th Ave.; 503-266-8897)
 
Did we miss a great spot? Let us know where you’ll be watching the game on our Facebook or Twitter.
 

Photo of The Station via Brady Kennedy


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