Whether you support the Hawkeyes, the Cyclones, the Panthers or someone else, watching a big game in an excellent sports bar is one of the very best ways of enjoying the action.
We’ll be taking a look at some of the top places to settle down with some food and a drink to cheer on your favorite team.
Best Sports Bars in Iowa
1. BNC Field House, Ames
Open every day of the week, this bar on Welch Avenue in Ames is perfect for watching the sports you love. Their list of daily deals means that you can choose a food offer for the games. For example, at the time of writing their Taco Tuesday deal has Mexican snacks and also has an offer for $5 liquor or beer pitchers until 8 pm.
A look at their full menu shows us options like appetizers, wraps, salads, and burgers. As for the drinks menu, it’s about as extensive as you’d expect, with beer, cider, and lager among the choices listed on their website.
Their site and their Instagram account let us get a feel of the atmosphere at the BNC Field House sports bar. This is largely a Cyclone-filled bar as it’s located close to the Iowa State campus and that helps to generate a lively atmosphere when the Cyclones or their rivals are playing.
Stop by BNC and fill out a NEW BRACKET moving forward for a chance to win a BAR TAB!!! pic.twitter.com/wjELRA0u8S
— BNC Field House (@bnchouseames) March 26, 2021
2. Players Sports Bar & Grill, Iowa City
Located on Iowa Avenue in Iowa City, this next option is somewhere you can book for a private event or just go along to watch a big game. As part of the Corridor Entertainment Group, it offers a wide selection of beers, spirits, and cocktails.
You can sit indoors or head outdoors to the patio, with a good menu selection for food available either way. Burgers, baskets, and salads are among the top choices. The hot dog baskets catch the eye too, with the Iowa dog, Southern dog, and Chicago dog all worth trying.
If you want to book this bar for a private event, you should probably do it at least 30 days in advance.
They cater to groups from 10 to 200 people and their private events are scheduled between 7 pm and 2 am and are often booked out well in advance.
Sun is warm, grass is green, and Fishbowls are $5! Come join us for a cold one on our amazing patio! Happy Tropical Thursday! pic.twitter.com/0ObTGTxFR9
— Players Sports Bar & Grill (@PlayersBarGril) July 2, 2020
3. Spectators Sports Bar & Grill, Altoona
With 120+ TV screens, you won’t miss any of the action when you head over to Spectators sports bar in Altoona. Part of the Adventureland Resort close to Des Moines, it’s open every day and has a weekday happy hour between 3 pm and 6 pm from Monday to Friday.
Their late-night food menu begins at 9 pm, and you’ll see new chef’s specials appear on Saturdays. If drinking a beer or two while watching a game is something you enjoy, then you’ll be keen to check out the 25 different beers they’ve got on tap here.
A broad collection of sports memorabilia helps to add to the atmosphere here. The food menu starts off with pre-game appetizers like nachos, cheese curds, and onion rings before launching into a selection of wings, soups, sandwiches, and other tasty options.
@JerryLawler Welcome back to Iowa! I’ve gotta work tomorrow but I’d love if you stopped by Spectators Sports Bar and Grill in Altoona next to the Casino. Come in the back door if you want to avoid a crowd. I’d love to cook for The King! What do you like to eat? pic.twitter.com/dItiswsQxl
— Zach (@Zach759699) December 7, 2019
4. Wallaby’s Bar and Grille, Ames
Based on Stange Road in Ames, Wallaby’s sports bar has been around since 1988 and has won some serious accolades in that time, making it onto the list of the top 100 sports bars in the country a few years ago.
As you can probably guess by the location, this is a Cyclones spot, and their collection of over 30 TVs lets you watch Iowa State or catch other teams in action. Homemade food takes pride of place on the menu, with Hawkeye Wings, Hot Salted Pretzels, and Spanish artichoke dip leading the way on their appetizers list.
They have 16 beers on tap and there’s a rooftop patio where you can enjoy sampling some of them. The website shows Don’s fish and chips as one of their top food options, but there’s plenty more to choose from here.
We will have $2 Miller high life bottles on special for all NFL playoff games today! Also Iowa state mens basketball starts at 3 pm see you soon ! pic.twitter.com/trsHrIu1jc
— Wallaby's Bar&Grille (@wallabys1988) January 9, 2021
5. West Towne Pub, Ames
Another great spot in Ames, this Mortensen Road sports bar has a list of interesting specials available from 7 pm to 11 pm for customers who dine in. These include a range of popular Irish drinks like Guinness and whiskey.
When you turn to the food menu, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From the signature rock n’ rolls to classics like a shrimp basket or pulled pork sandwich, there’s something here for every taste and to help you enjoy all the big games.
West Towne has a good list of specials with something interesting to look for every day of the week. For example, Wednesday’s specials are Santa Fe wrap & buffalo chicken wrap for lunch, California avocado BLT burger for dinner, and some snacks and drinks for their live trivia event.
West Towne Pub RockN' Rib Rolls if you're ever in Ames. 💯 pic.twitter.com/4vobzUrhfo
— CircleHerk (@circleherk) December 20, 2020
6. Buffalo Wild Wings, Iowa City
Watching any type of sporting event is better when you do it in a classy sports bar like this one in Old Capitol Town Center. Their menu is available for online delivery, but many fans prefer to head along to watch the games with some company.
Online reviews suggest that Buffalo Wild Wings offers good service, while the menu is mainly filled with classics like chicken wings and burgers.
Since this is part of a well-known chain of restaurants, you’ll know what to expect from the food and atmosphere if you’ve ever been to one of their other locations. A lot of TVs, a selection of beers, and a lively feel make this somewhere you’ll enjoy sampling.
I remember seeing that with my fam at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Iowa City. Stopped in the middle of a road trip to catch the game. pic.twitter.com/MQ12FNSCUz
— Daniel Gerling 🦬 (@danielgerling) July 4, 2022
7. Iowa Athletic Club, Coralville
This is described on their official site as a relaxed style of the sports bar, and it covers all of the basics well, from cold beer to food like pizza, chicken wings, wraps, and burgers.
It’s a big sports bar with interesting areas like the Players Lounge, where you can roll back the years by playing some vintage arcade games. This place in Coralville is open every day and has happy hours all day on Mondays as well as 3 pm to 5.30 pm from Tuesday through to Friday.
If you like this sports bar on East 9th Street, you might also want to check out their online store, where you can buy clothing with the Iowa Athletic Club name splashed across it.
— 𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙩 𝙒𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 (@ChinLovesIowa) March 2, 2022
8. Rookies Sports Bar & Grill, Clive
If you’re looking to watch sports with the family, then this family-friendly bar and grill on 156th Street is a good place to try. It’s been around since the turn of the century and is marketed as being an alternative to the mainstream chains dotted around Iowa.
The food menu at Rookies has a familiar look about it, with burgers, potato skins, and onion rings among the classics we all enjoy when the action starts on the screens. They also hire out the premises for special events like birthday parties and corporate events.
If you don’t have a certain game in mind and just want to drop in one day, the list of special events might help you to make up your mind about when to do this. Sunday is the day for the NFL, while kids eat free on Tuesdays, Wednesday is steak night, and there’s a 3-hour happy hour each night from Monday to Friday.
Clive show tonight! Stop on out to Rookies Sports Bar & Grill (156th & Hickman) for more Saturday night fun than you can handle 8pm-11pm! pic.twitter.com/3JTQQVdWgm
— Mike Aceto (@MikeAceto) August 5, 2017
9. Sam’s Sports Bar & Grill, Altoona
Located on 8th Street in Altoona, Sam’s Sports Bar & Grill is a locally-owned business that’s open every day of the week. They’ve got three menus; one for food, one for craft beer, and the other covering drinks in general.
Their food menu has a classic feel, with starters such as popcorn shrimp, tortilla chips, and potato cheddar bites followed by sandwiches, burgers, and other sports bar food that most of us love to eat while we watch our team in action on the big screens.
Their events page confirms things like karaoke, DJ nights, bingo, and trivia quizzes. However, if it is sports you’re after, there’s a relaxed feel to this place and a good drinks menu that includes lots of different beers in bottles and on tap, as well as an excellent selection of craft beers.
Hand-battered with our signature recipe, our chicken tenders are perfectly crispy and and tender to the bite! Have you tried them yet? pic.twitter.com/NR5xwncLC0
— Sam's Sports Grill (@SamsSportsGrill) December 13, 2018
10. Caffrey’s Sports Pub, Waukee
This stylish sports bar on Hickman Road in Waukee has more than 25 TV screens where you can look for the games that most interest you. Sunday is a big day, with all the MLB and NFL Sunday Ticket games shown here.
Those sports fans who like a beer can choose from the 24 beers on the taps, while wine and cocktails are available too. The cocktails include a breakfast bloody, salty dog and screwdriver.
In terms of food, there’s a lunch special as well as a menu that offers something for every type of taste and level of hunger.
They say that wings are their specialty, so it’s no surprise to see a few different flavor options offered in this part of the menu. If you prefer to head outside to eat or drink, you’ll want to check out the covered patio area. Happy hour is from 3 pm to 6 pm, from Monday to Friday.
BELLY UP TO… Caffrey’s Sports Pub – The food menu and drinks go beyond typical bar food.
Waukee is one of the fastest-growing cities in Iowa. Building houses and schools are essential ingredients to handle this explosive boom, but people also need … https://t.co/9OzlaEUiOk pic.twitter.com/m3iZ0OPY79
— CITYVIEW (@dmcityview) October 19, 2021
Credits on Featured Image: Pixabay