The Britannia Arms
173 W. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
This downtown San Jose hotspot is just a few blocks from the SJ Sharks’ home at the HP Pavilion, and people flock to the Brit for a bite before and a pint after. The bar, giving back all that love shown to it, knows what it takes to make a great place to watch a game, celebrate a win or mourn a loss. There are 24 HDTVs, $20 towers of beer, Pint Night during Tuesday games (featured beer comes with a free glass pint), $1 draft and $1 wings on Monday Night. Happy hour is from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays, so if you sneak away from work in time, you can order a Brit Bulldog Burger and a beer for $10.99. If you don’t make the happy hour, don’t worry. From breakfast burritos to salads, sliders, steaks and more, the menu is large and the food is good.
954 Villa St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
Tied House creates its own beers–all ales–grinds its own beef, mixes its own secret spice blend and smokes meats over a dark ale-soaked cherry wood. All this and the bar still manages to keep prices under $20, which has helped this popular local microbrewery become the go to place for folks who don’t want to dumb down their taste buds while cheering for their team. But before you lift your pinky and think it’s all about good eating, take a look at the massive 120” HD TV and the other 11 HDTVs that make this a sports bar of choice. Get there early for happy hour (4 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays) and start game night with $3.25 pints and half off the kick-ass black bean nachos smothered in jalapeños and beer salsa.
Rookies Sports Lodge
1535 Meridian Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
Rookies Sports Lodge is loud and fun, which is pretty much the exact description for a great sports restaurant/bar combo. Add in the sports gear hanging on the walls, the 15 HD TVs and the good sight lines throughout, and you have one of the best sports bars around. When you walk into Rookies, you’ll find families, people on dates, usually several groups of single sports-minded girls, and of course, groups of guys who look like they know how to party. Happy hour goes until 7 p.m. on weekdays, so you can get there for the cheap eats and drinks, but you can also plan on dinner. If so, go hungry and try the gigantic ultra-sloppy Hangover pork sandwich that’s topped with onion rings and an egg. It’s gluttony as an art-form.
Related: San Francisco’s Best Mixologist Bars
Double D’s Sports Grille
354 N. Santa Cruz
Los Gatos, CA
It’s not what you think. Double D’s are the initials of the owners, two brothers who opened this Los Gatos bar in 1996. That aside, Double D’s is hugely popular and well-known for hosting enthusiastic crowds that gather for games and a staff that keeps service coming with a smile, even when the action is heating up. Double D’s is on practically every South Bay sports fan’s top list for sports bars, but it is a restaurant first and a good place to go with your date, your sister, and (not to be a buzz kill), but you can even take your cousin from out-of-town as a gauge for her readiness to see the other places where you hang. Of course, there are TVs everywhere – 22 HD screens including two big screens, and a great bar menu. Unfortunately, happy hour ends at 5:30 p.m., so that’s not much help for game nights, but Double D’s does run drink specials, so if you want know in advance, find up-to-minute offers on the Facebook page.
1431 Plymouth St.
Mountain View, CA 94043
So you’re trying to get a job at Google but can’t quite crack the who-do-you-know code for the best way in. Just head to Sports Page, jokingly referred to as a “Google annex” because of its location just down the road from the search giant. For big games, though, it’s not really the networking that packs them. It’s more the dive atmosphere, the 24 tequilas, 25 taps, bar fare, HD Projector TV, 15 flat screen HDTVs, indoor-outdoor seating, and Sports Page’s “OK, whatever” attitude toward the influx of techies. Just for the record, the tavern was there first.
Head to CBS San Francisco’s Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!
Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.