The Ultimate Guide to Watching Football in Nashville

Celebrate 100 years of the NFL and 87 years of SEC football at these sports bars, restaurants and neighborhood taverns.

It's time to rejoice: the NFL celebrates a century of professional football this 2019 season. Not far behind is the SEC, playing its 87th season of football this year. From the best pub grub to over-the-top cocktails, dive bars to beer halls and neighborhood haunts to those with dozens of high-def TVs, the following are all places you should check out when you're ready for some football.

Sam's Place

Sam's takes food, service and sports seriously. And its fans have taken notice—the eatery was voted "best sports grill" for 14 years by the readers of Nashville Scene magazine. It makes its burgers, soups, sauces and dressings from scratch daily, and the strategically placed high-def TVs let you see the game from every angle.

Sam's Place, which has two Nashville locations, casts a wide net in its coverage areas—it's affiliated with Sam's Sports Bar, which has three Tennessee locations (in addition to two Alabama locations).


Bailey's

With an updated food menu and a wide variety of beer, including several craft selections from local breweries, Bailey's has become one of Music City's top spots for sports viewing. Among the ways you can have your hot chicken prepared here is in nachos; you'll also feel the heat in the Voodoo Burgers, topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and Tabasco-fried onion straws. Cool down with a beer list full of IPAs, Belgians and brown ales.


lineup_sausage_Von Elrod's Nashville sports bar football viewing

Von Elrod's

Inspired by Oktoberfest, Von Elrod's is a larger-than-life beer hall with an on-site butchery churning out so many delicious sausages, you'll want to try them all. For something different, try the Angry Bird, a spicy chicken sausage with corn relish, avocado and buttermilk dill ranch. The eatery has communal tables throughout, so a sense of camaraderie is ever-present. Grab a stein and park yourself by one of the many big screens.


ML Rose

With locations in west, south and downtown Nashville, ML Rose has you covered when it comes to football viewing and good times. Known for its 90-plus selections of craft beer, imaginative burgers and simple pub food (the waffle fries come in cheesy, loaded and sweet potato versions), it's your spot for football-season comforts.


Double Dogs

Double Dogs has two locations in Nashville. But that's not where its name comes from. The title references the joint's two owners, Bo and Chancey, who with their human partner, opened this nirvana for sports aficionados, with well-placed high-def TVs, more than 100 craft and imported beers, daily lunch specials and a menu full of fun foods—including four types of mac 'n' cheese.


Crow's Nest Nashville football viewing sports pub

Crow's Nest

A neighborhood party spot, the Crow's Nest is a friendly sports bar and restaurant with two stories, 50 TVs and three patios. Dig into homemade pizza rolls, quesadillas, sausage plates and pretzel baguettes with beer cheese, then get a kick out of the football-themed burgers such as Gridiron burger (with sliced ham, bacon, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce) and the Audible veggie burger (quinoa vegetable patty, spinach, tomato, onion buffalo mozzarella, avocado spread and red pepper sauce). The beer menu features many drafts, local and premium selections.


Jonathan's Grille

Best described as an "upscale sports pub," Jonathan's Grille offers tons of TVs, quality fresh food and elevated service. The lengthy menu offers everything from sliders, nachos and egg rolls to juicy salads and a wide variety of sandwiches and burgers. There's also a gluten-free menu. Daily beer specials will aid you in your football viewing. 


Downtown Sporting Club Nashville football viewing

Downtown Sporting Club

Watch the game on a 14-foot screen, throw axes, even stay overnight—you can do all this and more at the Downtown Sporting Club. The entertainment nirvana's R.E.C. Room is the place for NFL Sunday ticket; in addition to the huge screen, there are 26 TVs at multiple angles. Book a private booth ahead of time to control your very own TV. Plus, you'll get sweeping views of lower Broadway from the R.E.C. Room's second-floor perch. Fun foods such as pizza fries, chili cheese tots and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches round out the experience.


Neighbors

A "Cheers"-style bar, Neighbors is what you'd hope for out of a neighborhood tavern: friendly service from bartenders who'll remember your drink, plenty of beer on tap and great camaraderie among the Titans, Predators and Vanderbilt Commodores fans who frequent the place. Plus, there's happy hour every day, dog-friendly patios and meats that are smoked in-house. 


The George Jones patio overlooks Nissan Stadium Nashville football

The George Jones

You're so close to Nissan Stadium at The George Jones, you'll be able to hear the crowd cheer—the stadium is right across the river. Start your Sundays off right with a two-hour pregame show featuring former Titans GM Floyd Reese and former Titans wide receiver Chris Sanders. Then, stay for brunch and the many beer and cocktail specials. The action starts every Sunday at 10 am. 


Scoreboard Bar & Grill 

Are you a Packer backer? This unpretentious bar across from Opryland may just become your new favorite spot. Kick back on the deck with some great barbecue, chicken wings and pizza and enjoy the great drink specials and camaraderie.


Martin's Barbecue Nashville football viewing

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

More great barbecue can be had at Martin's, revered for its whole-hog 'que and featured on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." The downtown location is a hop, skip and a jump from lower Broadway, Bridgestone Arena and Nissan Stadium and offers plentiful seating and TVs for game-watching: The massive beer garden was built to function as a community space and offers up BBQ sandwiches, trays, ribs, wings and pitmaster combos. You'll be glad to have the entire game to sample as much as possible.


Beyond the Edge

A neighborhood bar in East Nashville's Five Points district, Beyond the Edge scores for its friendly faces and selection of 120 beers. All major sports are broadcasted on the bar's 25 HD TVs, and there are daily 2-for-1 drink specials. The menu consists of traditional pub food choices, but you can try some unique spins such as pizza flautas and hummus quesedillas. 


Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row lower Broadway Nashville football viewing

Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

A lower Broadway honky tonk that's a quick walk to Nissan Stadium, there's always a party at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row. It's got three levels of food and fun, including the tallest rooftop on Broadway. The Tennessee Hot Sliders just may be your new favorite game-day food; other popular choices are the mac & cheese and All-American burger. Can't decide between beer or a cocktail? Have them both in one drink with a brewmaster cocktail: The '94 Chevy is made with Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka and Leinenkugel's Grapefruit Shandy; J.I.M.B.O. with Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka and Blue Moon Belgian White.


Dawghouse Saloon

You'll be able to see at least one TV from every seat in the bar at this fun spot near Music Row. It gets top marks for its friendly bartenders, fun-loving atmosphere, great food and great entertainment. Customize your hot dog with toppings that include bacon, chili, baked beans, jalapenos, sliced avocado and more. 


Brunch for Two Party Fowl Nashville football viewing

Party Fowl

Hot chicken and sports pair nicely at Party Fowl, where you'll find wall-to-wall big screens and won't miss a moment of the game. The scratch-made menu has imaginative takes on hot chicken, such as a hot chicken po' boy, hot chicken beignets and hot chicken Cuban sandwiches. And because brunch is just as important as football at Party Fowl, it presents you a meal in a glass: the Brunch For Two is a 55-ounce Bloody Mary topped with two whole fried Cornish game hens, two whole Scotch eggs, eight fried okra and a whole avocado. 


Alley Pub

A Bellevue favorite, locals love Alley Pub for its great food, drink specials and lively environs. The sports bar has 15 HD TVs and daily specials—Sunday's is 75-cent wing day; get them seasoned one of three ways. Also popular are the catfish baskets, Alley biscuits (stuffed with filet mignon or chicken), ribs and Tex-Mex options such as tacos and quesedillas. 


Kung Fu Saloon Nashville

Kung Fu Saloon

Kung Fu has become known as a hip sports hangout, but it's just a good time in general. The restaurant and lounge, which originated in Austin, Texas, is packed with vintage video games such as Galaga, Ms. Pacman, Centipede and many more. Then there's shuffleboard, skee ball, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and board games, so you can play to your heart's content. 


Headquarters Beercade

More fun and games can be had at Headquarters Beercade, where 10 vintage pinball machines join the arcade games. There's also one wall lined with more than 13,000 cassette tapes. Come football season, the two-story bar is headquarters for Michigan Wolverines football fans. Gametime specials include $15 beer buckets, half-price shareables and $8 Go Blue shots. The creative cocktail list includes a Nashville Hot Margarita, complete with chicken seasoning.


Corner Pub Downtown Nashville football viewing

Corner Pub

An official viewing spot for Vanderbilt sports (but it plays all the college and NFL games), the Corner Pub is your game-day go to for great fun food, plentiful beer taps and TVs that let you see the game from every angle. Whether you want to fill up on starters, grab a burger and want some meat 'n' three, Corner Pub obliges. 

Jennifer McKee
About the author

Jennifer is the Managing Editor of Morris Visitor Publications, where she has worked since 2005. She grew up in small...