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Gear up for Game Day

The 20 best places in Austin to watch football this season

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UT Ole Miss Dalegate in Austin 2013 3900
Gear up for game day with our guide to where to watch football in Austin. Photo by Jon Shapley
Tap 24

Days devoid of football are thankfully coming to a close — fans are ready to welcome the new season of college and professional football.

To help you with the ever important decision of where to watch the big games, here is a guide of some of Austin’s best neighborhood spots for football. We hope you find a new favorite haunt, or get inspired to sample the fun offered by each establishment.

Campus Area
Posse East
Posse East has been a popular campus destination for the Longhorn faithful since 1971. Posse East is a place to enjoy no-frills pub grub, from hamburgers and tacos to signature sandwiches like the Sheriff. On UT game days, Posse boasts a passionate atmosphere of UT fans that feels like one big tailgate party. Head here on Sundays for NFL-watching and all-day happy hour.

Players
Players has hosted UT fans since 1981, but sadly it will be forced to close at the end of football season. This campus joint may only have one television, but it’s big enough so that everyone inside can see the action. Grab a burger, a few baskets of fried vegetables and a big glass of Shiner and cheers to Players' legacy.

Scholz Garten
Scholz Garten isn't short on history and tradition. The space gets packed before, during and after games, but Scholz Garten sets itself apart by simply being one of the few sports bars with numerous German brews on draft — and delicious wiener schnitzel.

Tap 24
Taking over the space formerly known as Cuatro’s, Tap 24 is one of West Campus’ newest sports bars, and we bet it will get plenty rowdy during football season. Fans of Cuatro’s will be familiar with its giant televisions and extensive drink menu, but the food menu has changed a bit. As long as you like loaded hamburgers and hot dogs, you’ll feel right at home on game day.

Hotel Ella Tailgate Series
It’s not every day that can enjoy tailgate at one of Austin’s most luxurious hotels, but this season Hotel Ella will host a series of tailgating events on its front lawn. During UT home games, guests can reserve a spot for $50 and enjoy a buffet, cocktails, beer and wine. Each party starts three hours before kickoff, and Hotel Ella will feature live pre-game and game broadcasts. 

Downtown
Lavaca Street Bar
A downtown destination for sports fans, Lavaca Street Bar boasts televisions galore and a partnership with Turf n’ Surf Po-boy. Lavaca Street Bar is also the home of the official Houston Texans Austin fan club, and for each Texans game of the season the bar will serve up a special T-bone steak plate.

The Cedar Door
Watching a game at The Cedar Door means you have access to the awesome patio (once temperatures are more bearable). The Cedar Door also offers a menu with great variety, from brisket tacos to a 12-hour pot roast — and everything pairs well with the famous Mexican martinis.

Champions
Tucked away inside the Marriott, Champions boasts 24 televisions to go along with the 24 beers on tap. With tasty comfort and bar food, Champions is a great spot to meet up with local football fans or the occasional traveler keeping up with his hometown team while on the road.

East Austin
Whisler’s
This east side cocktail bar probably wouldn’t be the first place you think of to catch a game, but Whisler’s recently installed some new big-screen televisions. Whisler’s will celebrate the return of professional football with a kickoff party on Thursday, September 4 for the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers showdown, complete with two special cocktails that pay tribute to the teams.

Midway Field House
It may be one of the newer additions to the Austin sports bar scene, but Midway has proven itself as one of the best places in town to watch a game. The bar offers various specials during nearly every major football matchup, and you can always blow off some steam in the arcade filled with classic games such as bumper pool and air hockey.

Draft Pick
Another fairly new addition to Austin, Draft Pick offers a comfortable and casual atmosphere for the big game. Choose from more than 30 Texas brews on tap, order brunch for the early games on Saturday and Sunday, and watch your favorite team on what Draft Pick claims to be the largest HD screen in the state.

Rainey Street
Bar 96
This is how you make a sports bar for modern Austin. Bar 96 prides itself on spacious patios, natural lighting and an atmosphere that welcomes non-sports fans, too. And you’ll never have a bad view of a television screen while sipping on Bar 96’s classic cocktails.

Icenhauer’s
This Rainey Street bar is a good choice for a neighborhood, relaxed feel in the thick of it all. Pop in, order a craft cocktail and catch a game at the bar.

South Austin
Black Sheep Lodge
With 26 beers on top, 125 bottle beers, some of the best burgers in Austin and televisions surrounding you, Black Sheep Lodge will always have you're looking for the perfect South Austin spot to watch the game with friends. 

Moontower Saloon
Travel to Way South Austin and you’ll come across Moontower Saloon, a bar that’s changed the minds of those who thought the area couldn’t be cool. Moontower has plenty of televisions for your football games, but there’s more to enjoy during game time, including live music, food trailers and games like cornhole, pool and washers.

The Warehouse Saloon & Billiards
It certainly isn’t the fanciest bar in Austin, but if you want cold beer, flat-screen televisions, billiards and maybe a karaoke session, The Warehouse has what you need.

North Austin
Mister Tramps
Known as a popular hangout for soccer fans, Mister Tramps is just as welcoming to fans of American football. Mister Tramps offers giant screens and numerous brews on tap, and some surprisingly good bar food to boot. Burgers come with homemade queso and the fish and chips are some of the best in town.

Cover 3
If you’re listing the best places to watch football, or any sport, Cover 3 has to be mentioned. With gigantic screens all around, a fantastic selection of gourmet burgers and a wide variety of drinks and cocktails, Cover 3 makes the sports bar a hip place to spend your evening.

The Goodnight
The Goodnight offers a few ways to stay occupied during halftime. Get in a game of bowling on the vintage lanes, play pool, shuffleboard or even karaoke. Plus, you can easily go back to cheering on your favorite team.

The Hideout Pub
The Hideout Pub, which has the same owners as Barfly’s and Mugshots, boasts a comprehensive bar menu of burgers and sandwiches, plus daily drink specials, six flat-screen televisions, a huge indoor projection screen and a spacious outdoor patio.

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