The atmosphere of watching a match in a bar is one that you just can’t recreate at home. No matter what the sport, a trip to a bar is a whole experience. You dress up in your teams' colours, get round after round of drinks, snack on some great food, and soak up the atmosphere when your team scores and wins (hopefully!). But what makes a bar specifically a sports bar? And, more importantly, what makes a good sports bar?
After a fair bit of digging, we have all the answers. What sets a sports bar apart from the rest is its central focus on, obviously, sports. Customers can eat, drink and socialise with clear view of huge screens; often sports bars feature booths that are perfect for groups as well as plenty of stool seating. The best sports bars also cover the walls with memorabilia – nothing creates a better atmosphere than being surrounded by photos or sports kits from your favourite team or sporting legend. Another popular feature is entertainment between matches – darts or pool brings the competition from the TV screens into the bar when you challenge your mates to a game.
With the World Cup on the horizon, it’s about time to start scouting out your game day spot. Will it be a lively Irish-themed establishment like The Irish Harp, or do you prefer a more American-style game day like Champions has to offer? We’ve considered every factor, from atmosphere, to cuisine, to drinks offerings, interiors, and ease of viewing - so all the hard work is done. Simply scroll through this list and test some out, but with this lot ranking at the top of the league in Doha, we’re sure that none of these will disappoint.
What: This trendy bar serves up gastropub-style dishes of American cuisine including sliders, tacos, hot dogs and nachos. Boston’s sharing platters are designed for dining with three to four people and feature a selection of all their favourite dishes – perfect for snacking on while you drink your way through happy hour! With screens adorning the walls and plenty of seating, this is a great spot for a lively atmosphere come kick off.
Where: Level 1, 850 Conference Centre, West Bay
Brewskis and Grub
What: Brewskis and Grub is a bar with a difference – you pour your own pint. Load up a RFID card with money, select the beer you wish from the touch screens, tap your card, grab a glass from the freezer and pour! This relaxed bar is a great spot for watching sports thanks to numerous screens around the dining area and the do-it-yourself drinks service meaning you’re in control of service times. For food, the menu features simple American bar food but with innovative twists; celebrate the winning goal with the cookie monster – a 6-inch cookie dough with ice cream, cream, rich sauces and nuts.
Where: 5th Floor, Crowne Plaza Hotel, District Zone 61, West Bay
What: Memorabilia on the walls, 48-inch screens and giant screen projectors - what more do we need to say? Champions brings a vibrant atmosphere alongside a menu of Tex-Mex and American pub classics with a section labelled ‘only for champions’; challenge yourself to short ribs, chicken wings, onion rings, sliders, sausages, barbecue potatoes and bacon-wrapped hot dogs to see if you can earn the title of the Special One (also the name of the dish). With a great drinks menu and a quiz night, this sports bar in Doha is great fun even when there's no sports on.
Where: Omar Al Mukhtar Street, District Zone 61, West Bay
What: Exposed brick and black walls are combined with a back-lit bar and a sleek black counter top form a rustic but modern interior design. Hudson Tavern is a relaxed drinking and dining spot with certain glamourous touches, making it a great indulgent place for watching sports. Watch the bar tenders create cocktails as you get caught up in the match on the screens behind the bar. When you get peckish there’s American-style bar snacks, like tater tots, or larger plates of steak, brisket, sandwiches and burgers – including the unique coffee barbecue burger.
Where: Mondrian Hotel Doha, West Bay Lagoon
What: Discover a little taste of Ireland with this sports bar in Doha. Hosting 12 high-definition TV screens, you’re sure to not miss out on any of the action as you drink and dine with friends until late. The chicken sharing platter of chicken wings, chicken fingers, cocktail sausages and fries makes for the perfect sharing plate, while main courses of hearty classics like pie, meatballs and burgers offer an authentic Irish experience. Also doubling up as a live music venue throughout the week, this a lively vibrant spot for everyone.
Where: Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Al Corniche Street, West Bay
What: If you’re after a more luxurious sports bar in Doha, Mulberry Tavern is the place thanks to its gastropub food menu and extensive list of fun, innovative cocktails. A modern design as well as outdoor seating creates a relaxing, comfortable feel, where you can grab a drink at the weekend and play pool with friends. The menu features pub classics with a refined twist – instead of burgers, you can indulge in a Wagyu beef sandwich or duck confit sliders; while the sharing platters include beef tartare, spring rolls as well as a charcuterie option.
Where: Hilton Doha The Pearl Hotel & Residences, Abraj Quartier, Pearl Boulevard, The Pearl
What: For outdoor screenings, the terrace at Public House creates the perfect fan zone atmosphere with its large screens, comfortable seating and beachside setting. Inside, the party continues - vintage black and white floor tiles meets retro neon signs, leather booths and old school music for a unique, vibrant experience. Equipped with a large open kitchen, the menu is American-inspired and features all-day breakfast options, like buttermilk pancake stacks, as well as plenty of sharing plates.
Where: Marsa Malaz Kempinski, Costa Malaz Bay, The Pearl
Shehrazad Lounge Bar & Terrace
What: Found inside the Radisson Blu Hotel, this sports bar in Doha creates a laid back, fun environment so that you won’t miss out on important sporting events even when you’re away from home. A popular haven for residents and locals alike, this large venue has huge amounts of seating and TV screens adoring the walls so you have a view from all angles. The menu offers light bites that are perfect for sharing and the bar offers a happy hour menu with great prices on certain drinks.
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Salwa Road, Al Muntazah
What: Enjoy a casual, laid-back atmosphere at this bar and diner; sip on cocktails and get the pints flowing before the game begins, because with high-quality TVs and a giant projector showing matches, you’re not going to want to miss a second of the action. SHOTS is one of the best places to watch football in Doha and with a menu of comfort food, from burgers, to chicken wings and cheesy jalapeno poppers, you’re not going to want to leave when the match is over.
Where: Hilton Hotel Doha, Diplomatic Street, West Bay
Stock Burger Co.
What: Speciality burgers make for the perfect half-time feast at Stock Burger Co. Exposed brick, metal piping and a sleek modern bar all merge to makes one of the more unique bars to watch football in Doha. If flat screens on the walls that ensure great viewing from all areas doesn’t sway you, the food offering will. Fresh, cooked to order burgers include Parmesan-panko fish fillets, camel patties and seekh kebab options all served in a toasted bun; or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can just build your own burger with a choice of patties, cheese, sauce, toppings and sides. Delish!
Where: Holiday Inn Doha, The Business Park
What: Attention bar lovers! This sports bar in Doha is the place for pairing refreshing pints with tasty food for an elevated dining experience. With specific ‘hoppetizers’ on the menu making great snacking options, the rest of the menu sees more complex dishes and flavours with recommended beer pairings below certain plates. For more refined palates, this may be one of the best places to watch football in Doha, plus the views from the open terrace are definitely an added bonus.
Where: InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa, District Zone 61, West Bay
The Irish Pub
What: While its moniker isn’t the most exciting, the atmosphere at this Irish sports bar in Doha certainly is. Drink deals and offers are numerous, making it a great place to hang out with friends and family. Play pool while listening to live music and then settle down with delicious food and watch sports on the big screens that are dotted around the venue. If you’re looking for a traditional Irish sports bar, this is a great choice.
Where: Best Western Plus Doha, 14th Floor, Al Safilia Street, Al Hitmi
Mix Lounge & Terrace
What: A lively, playful atmosphere can be found at this bar inside the Westin Hotel. Full of gold, glitz and glamour, the bar is stylish and contemporary while the outside terrace proves to be a more relaxed, vibrant place to enjoy watching sports in Doha. Huge projector screens create great viewing spots all over the terrace with covered areas providing respite from the heat. On the menus, you’ll find an impressive range of cocktails and spirits alongside a menu of sliders, nachos and tacos.
Where: Salwa Road, Fereej Bin Mahmoud, Zone 23
What: Take a trip around the world without leaving your seat at StrEAT Culture, as this sports bar in Doha features a drinks and food menu with world-wide flavours and products. Rustic but stylish, the bar is filled with booths and tables making it the perfect hang out spot to watch football. The menu is split into different cuisines, featuring British, German, Texan, Mexican and Indian flavours. With burgers, bratwursts, wings, fajitas, and tikka spices; go on a gastronomical journey to different countries while you watch the nations compete live on the big screens.
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, Al Saad
What: For a bar with a little hint of luxury, The House is a great pick. With emerald green sofa seating and stools at the bar, you can watch the expert mixologist prepare handcrafted signature cocktails. This lounge features nightly entertainment of live music as well as screens for watching sports events in an upbeat but sophisticated atmosphere. While the menu isn’t huge, there’s all the familiar favourites like burgers, quesadillas and crunchy french fries.
Where: Dusit Hotel, Diplomatic Area, West Bay
Having a view of the football screens while you dine may not be everyone's top pick for an evening meal. If that's you or you want to switch things up, you should check out the best restaurants with a view in Dubai. Take a trip to the Emirates for good food and some pretty stunning landscapes.