Things to Do

Football Fever: Where to Watch Your Team

Washington bars are swimming in burgundy and gold since the Skins kicked off their season in a home opener against the Miami Dolphins. But if you’re rooting for an out-of-town team, you’re not sunk: The area has hangouts for at least a few of the NFL’s mo

Photo courtesy of Luke Brewer

[Editor’s Note: To see our most recent list of bars to watch your favorite NFL team, click here.]

Washington bars will be swimming in burgundy and gold when the Skins kick off their season in a home opener against the Miami Dolphins. But if you’re rooting for an out-of-town team, you’re not sunk: The area has hangouts for at least a few of the NFL’s most loved teams. Read on for where to catch your team.

Buffalo Bills: McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-223-2338;
As the official home of the Bills Backers of Washington, DC (, McFadden’s does it right: On game day, the Foggy Bottom pub brings in Labatt ($11 for a five-beer bucket), blares a soundtrack of Bills fight songs, and encourages the 300-fan crowd—not that they need encouragement—to carry out every stadium ritual there is. Bills Backers also get 15 percent off food during games.
Closest Metro stop: Foggy Bottom.

Chicago Bears: Union Pub, 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE; 202-546-7200;
Bears fans—a lot of Bears fans—burst into this Capitol Hill spot bearing a makeshift shrine to their beloved Mike Ditka: a helmet, a framed photo of the former coach, and sometimes a candle, which they light at the bar. The Chicago game airs on 11 TVs with full surround sound, and the pub offers drink specials on Bud and Bud Light.
Closest Metro stop: Union Station.

Cincinnati Bengals: Bottom Line, 1716 I St., NW; 202-298-8488;
If “Welcome to the Jungle” means anything to you, then welcome to the Bottom Line, the sports bar for local Cincinnati fans. Snag a spot among the 200-plus Bengals fans who show up for games each week—don’t worry, they’ll make room for you—and enjoy the fun on at least six TVs around the bar.
Closest Metro stops: Farragut North, Farragut West.

Dallas Cowboys: Mezza Luna Restaurant & Lounge, 1140 19th St., NW; 202-429-8889;
This friendly bar—which serves a delicious NFL Sunday brunch—isn’t exclusively pro-Dallas, but it is Washington’s best bet for finding Cowboys comrades. Make sure to say hi to the manager, rumored to be somewhat of a Dallas fan himself. If you get there early and ask that the game be shown on the bar’s 100-inch projection screen, he may even say yes.
Closest Metro stops: Farragut North, Farragut West.

Green Bay Packers: Hawk ’n’ Dove Restaurant, 329 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-543-3300;
Packer backers come together every game day at this Capitol Hill bar, where at least five TVs will be playing the Green Bay game. Try the special: bratwurst and sauerkraut with a side of German potato salad. It’s no Brat Stop, but it’s close.
Closest Metro stops: Eastern Market, Capitol South.

Kansas City Chiefs: Grevey’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, 8130 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church; 703-560-8530.
No promises, but Kansas City followers may find a few fellow fans at this 70-television, mostly-Redskins-and-Bills bar. If you get there early enough, you can snag a booth with its own flat-screen TV.
Closest Metro stop: Dunn Loring.

Minnesota Vikings: Willy K’s, 7200 Hanover Dr., Greenbelt; 301-220-4441.
This bar—inside a Holiday Inn—has its share of burgundy and gold, but a small number of Minnesota groupies come most weekends to watch their team play. Depending on the week’s game schedule, Vikings fans may not get sound on their TV (Redskins trump all), but finding even a small slice of the Midwest in Maryland may be worth it.
Closest Metro stop: Greenbelt.

New England Patriots: Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, 713 King St., Alexandria; 703-548-1717;
Advertised as “the best Pats bar on the planet,” Murphy’s in Old Town doesn’t disappoint. Patriots fans will find 100-plus fast friends decked out in Tom Brady jerseys, watching the game on a giant projection screen and several smaller TVs scattered around the pub. The place even has a Pats fan club named after it—visit for information.
Closest Metro stop: King Street.

New York Giants/New York Jets: 51st State Tavern, 2512 L St., NW; 202-625-2444;
This tavern is New York all the way: Besides airing every Jets and Giants game, at least one of the ten TVs is tuned to the Bills—great for fans who aren’t already married to McFadden’s. The size of the crowd varies, but there’s always a solid base for each team.
Closest Metro stop: Foggy Bottom.

Oakland Raiders: Location varies.
DC’s official Oakland fan base—the DC Metro Raiders Booster Club—used to meet at the Greenbelt Marriott, but the group is on a quest this season: to try a different bar every week until it finds the perfect one to make its new home territory. Check out the schedule (and join the club) at

Philadelphia Eagles: Rhino Bar & Pumphouse, 3295 M St., NW; 202-333-3150;
Both levels of this Georgetown spot—DC’s official Eagles bar—overflow with noisy Philadelphia fans when game time rolls around. In between cheers (“E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles!”), everyone chows down on 25-cent wings—the bar has sold more than 837,000 since 2000’s opening Monday Night Football game.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pour House, 319 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-546-0779;
This black-and-gold bar means business: Head there on game day and you’ll find every TV (including a ten-foot projection screen) airing the Steelers game, every space taken by a Steelers fan, and every touchdown followed by deafening Steelers cheers. The walls brim with team memorabilia—mostly from the glory days in the 1970s—and fans can buy $2.50 bottles of Rolling Rock.
Closest Metro stops: Eastern Market, Capitol South.

Didn’t find your team? If your fellow fans don’t have a Washington hangout, Buffalo Billiards (1330 19th St., NW; 331-7665; and ESPN Zone (555 12th St., NW; 202-783-3776; are safe bets to find your game—they air them all.