There’s a NorCal vs Sokal fight this Sunday to see who gets to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
So expect to find an appropriately upbeat atmosphere at these popular Bay Area sports bars this Sunday. And if you want to hold on to a table, arrive very early. Many of these spaces offer outdoor seating.
Double D’s Sports Grill, Los Gatos
Dean and Darin Devincenzi may win “Best Sports Bar in Silicon Valley” honors year after year, but they consider their place a restaurant first, once second. Somehow, like all good sports hangouts, it doubles as a museum, displaying Joe’s number 16 jersey and other great sports memorabilia.
Screen: 32, including 85-inch and many 75.
Menu: Customer choices include Korean-Style Baby Back Ribs and the Three Alarm Fire, a fried chicken sandwich with pepper jack cheese, jalapeo slaw, and chipotle aioli. Six pasta dishes and several pizzas are offered.
You’ll find a full bar for cocktails as well as 10 craft brews, including their award-winning, tequila-based Smoky Wildflower.
Description: 354 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; doubleds.com
Stadium Pub, Walnut Creek
Billed as Walnut Creek’s oldest sports bar, Stadium Pub will celebrate its 30th birthday this year. Fans pack this old-school space year-round, and there are screens and seats indoors and on the front patio. See great sports photos and other memorabilia.
Screen: close to 50.
Menu: Homemade corned beef and kosher hot dogs and sausages, along with classic bar food. French fries automatically rate a menu category: you can order them basic style, spicy, cheesy, garlicky or topped with chili.
There are over 15 beers on tap. Signature cocktails include the homemade, “slightly spicy” Hail Mary Bloody Mary.
Description: 1420 Lincoln Ave., Walnut Creek; www.thestadiumpubwc.com
Rookies Sports Lodge, San Jose
Rookies offers sports fans two vibes of their choice. The original has a “Cheers”-style lodge setting, which opened in 2010, and the sleek urban feel of the new downtown location. Or, as one local bar expert puts it, think of one as a candlestick and the other as Levi’s stadium.
Screen: At the Meridian location, you’ll find 20 inside and 9 outside. Downtown is 33.
Menu: Both locations serve burgers, wings, nachos, pizza, salads and bowls (Cajun, teriyaki) – and most sandwiches and burgers come with your choice of side dishes, among them house-made chili, salad or salsa Chips.
There is a monster list of nearly 40 craft beers on tap, with an emphasis on Bay Area brews. Wine and a full bar are also available in both locations.
Details: 1535 Meridian Ave. and 99 S. First St., San Jose; www.rookieslodge.com
Jack’s Brewing Company, Sports Pub & Grill, Fremonto
You need a long name to cover all of Jack’s roles. It is home to a microbrewery, a sports hangout, and a family restaurant. This longtime favorite has held a dominant position in the hub for more than two decades, run by the Steadman-Wallace sibling duo throughout.
Screen: In addition to the 10-foot “monster screen,” there are 80-inch and 20 other TVs.
Menu: Regulars have made the beer-battered Arctic Cod and Chips, Jack’s BBQ Ribs and Giant Cheese Steaks top sellers. There is also a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads and a menu for kids.
Sports-themed beers – Grid Iron Amber Ale, Hardwood Pale Ale and Penalty Shot Porter – are brewed onsite. There is also a full bar here.
Description: 39176 Argonaut Way, Fremont; www.jacksbrewing.com
The Old Pro, Palo Alto
A longtime favorite of 49ers and Stanford fans, this hangout has been around since 1964. That was back in the El Camino Real days of the bar; For many years, Ramona Street has been home to The Old Pro, its walls filled with fascinating sports memorabilia.
Screen: Over 24 inside and out.
Menu: Only in California, Game-Day Eats has trendy, locally sourced Smoked Diastel Turkey Chili, made with organic, non-GMO turkey; An Avocado-Kale Caesar Salad; and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Thai Chili Glaze. They also have the obligatory wings, sliders, and pizza.
There’s a full bar with 18 taps, mainly local craft brews.
Description: 541 Ramona St., Palo Alto; www.oldpropa.com
Barrel, San Jose
This is a new sports bar on the local scene, and an unconventional one to be sure. Entrepreneurs Helen and Harry Nguyen pulled together an impressive culinary team for their exquisite French-Vietnamese concept, then decided to broaden the restaurant’s appeal.
Screen: 200-inch TV in the dining room, as well as other screens in the bar.
Menu: Duck Two Way dishes are available in the main room. At the bar, you can order shareable plates like pork belly, tuna tartare and, of course, chicken wings.
If you want to replace the high-fives with champagne toast, this is the place to do it. The long list of wines, sparkling and otherwise, favor France and California. Cocktails include the popular Lychee Fries and the Tri Zoe (Mango) Margarita. And yes, there are many beers on tap.
Description: At 969 Story Road, San Jose, Vietnam Town Center.
Lott City Center, San Ramona
Here’s another new, unconventional spot for gridiron fans. And it’s not exactly a sports venue. But it looks like the bar and grill at this movie complex located in upscale city center Bishop Ranch has become a favorite for fans. It’s open, airy – and if the game is one-sided, you can always grab a movie.
Screen: Above the bar is a humongous – actually nine screens that make up an image.
Menu: Flatbreads (think prosciutto and burrata) and chicken Caesar salad have been popular since the place opened. Signature plates include the Crackling Chicken with Thai Peanut Slaw and the Impossible Burger. Prefer to eat popcorn while watching sports? The theater is always popping a new batch.
Lots’s got a full bar, several signature cocktails (maybe Fly Me to Hawaii or A Day at the Spa?), and a huge wine list. Beer drinkers will find at least a dozen on tap.
Description: 6000 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon; https://thelotent.com/city-center