Yes, Maroon 5 was a boring choice for the halftime show and no Texan teams have an in-game skin, but you’ll likely watch Super Bowl LII anyway. So why not make it an event? Order chain pizza this year and go to one of these favorites instead. These eight bars and restaurants with gourmet dishes, cocktails and craft beer are your playbook for game day fun.
The two locations in Austin of this sports bar mini-chain offer an upscale starter menu with dishes such as filet mignon, served with Gorgonzola or goat cheese butter with bacon jam. Blackened Snapper with Fresh Lump Crab and Heirloom Tomato Spinach Salad; and tinga chicken enchiladas with poblano peppers, onions, and roasted garlic chipotle sauce. For those who prefer a mountain of apps, there are plenty of them too. Try the Brick Chicken Slider for a new version of a standby game day.
Let’s face it, a lot of soccer games are lackluster. Fortunately, this East Austin bar is fun when the field action subsides. For the fourth time in a row, Craftsman invited local breweries to compete in a SOUPer Bowl of Chili Cook-off. Each participant must use one of their beers as an ingredient, but anything goes from there. Guest votes determine who is allowed to enter the Hall of Fame.
This spacious Domain Northside hangout has TVs in virtually every corner, so diners won’t miss a moment of the game (or this year’s commercials). The menu is people-friendly without being boring. Try the Midtown Burger with Swiss cheese, caramelized red wine mushrooms, horseradish cream, bacon jam, and Cajun onion chips, and save space for a juicy root beer float for adults.
Edwin’s sports bar
One of the new additions to the sports bar scene, this Sixth Street joint comes from the owners of the nearby Waller Creek Pub. Like this concept, it has an excellent draft beer selection and accessible dishes such as quesadillas, juicy burgers and chicken tenders. His greatest creation, however, could only be the Asian tots, which are doused with sriracha, lime mayonnaise and hoisin and then topped with peanuts and coriander. Order two for the table so you can corner a basket for yourself.
Fresas Chicken al Carbon
There is no rule that you have to watch the big game in a sports bar. The Fresa’s location on South First Street is a piece of cake for Super Bowl fans with their annual party with a giant LED video wall outside and multiple screens inside. The regular selection of tacos, guacamole, and classic margaritas each day scores well, but the neighborhood hot spot promises some surprises too. Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for more updates.
Football may be the main focus of this Manor Road favorite, but it’s an asset to this other football as well. The selection of beers, many from local and Texan brewers, is huge. The menu features unexpected dishes like croque monsieurs and poutine. For vegan sports fans, it’s also one of the few places in Austin that offers the plant-based Impossible Burger.
An Austin icon for more than 85 years, this longtime pub was given a refresh in August 2018 when Esther’s Follies co-founders Shannon Sedwick and Micheal Shelton bought the store. It’s still the place to be for a Super Bowl Sunday with an upstairs terrace and a beer-friendly menu with plates like Spätzle Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Bavarian pretzel sticks with house beer cheese, and beef stroganoff. A warning: the tavern is rumored to be haunted, but we’re sure all the ghosts will be frightened by the cheers.
This East Austin cocktail mecca is bringing back its hugely popular Super Bowl clock party with screens on both the indoor and outdoor bars. The no-cover event also features a selection of fries, dips, and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Order a mascot-themed cocktail for maximum social media loot.