Who needs Christmas? Everyone knows that the first week of the NFL season is really the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you've been missing Gang Green or Big Blue, you're in luck. These five New York City spots are your best bets for watching every sweaty face-off, all season long.
599 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
If you're visualizing Tom Brady's face on a dartboard, you can throw a couple steel tips during halftime at this huge and homey Hell's Kitchen sports bar. Of course, you can also keep your cool at the long bar, which features a hypnotic, color changing ice rail that keeps brewskies frigid until poured. The 120-ounce Tower of Power brews and The Wheel, a free-drink tourney, will keep you occupied from kick-off till closing.
43 E. 7th St.
New York, NY 10003
Intimate by sports bar standards, Standings manages to hold eight strategically-placed flat screens throughout the room. A really thoughtful, curated list of beers feature good old Bud Light and Guinness combined with a rotating crop of interesting, locally-sourced craft varieties. If your idea of NFL heaven is mingling with the East Village set, get here early on game days. The place grows wall-to-wall closer to kick-off, but remains super friendly and convivial no matter which team you're rooting for.
212 W. 79th St.
New York, NY 10024
Legend has it that a hapless Jets fan tried to count the number of flat screens at Blondies once and couldn't do it. Of course, he'd downed a full pitcher of Brooklyn Beer first but even so, the amount of TVs here is staggering. The place packs on game days so a reservation is a really good idea, especially if you're with a group. Fans on a diet will be really happy with the salad menu, but the Blondies Meltdown sandwich and BBQ Half-Rack Chipotle Spare Ribs are to die for, so you might want to save your calories.
Brooklyn Tap House
590 Myrtle Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Indoor-outdoor large screen projectors, a cozy fire pit and 44 beers on tap -- it's either sports bar heaven or the Brooklyn Tap House. No need to leave the neighborhood to watch the big game, this bar's got every conceivable board game, fooz ball, plus all-day chicken and waffles. If you prefer your beer on a plate, go for the beer-battered onion rings or Pilsner salad.
27-01 23rd Ave.
Astoria, NY 11105
Rocky McBride's is an open-air, brightly lit alternative to the more typical Queens sports bars you'll find in this quickly gentrifying area. Food is strictly bring-your-own, but 22 HD TVs and 16 beers on tap more than make up for the lack of munchies. Fans in the know hit up nearby Alba's Pizzeria for a Sicilian pie before kick-off.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
for more features.