Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that this weekend marks the biggest event in football: the Super Bowl. Held in our city—or so the NFL would have you believe, despite pigskin’s biggest party actually being held in New Jersey—it’s hard to escape the revelry, especially with a little something called Super Bowl Boulevard spanning 13 blocks on Broadway and non-stop celebrations running through Sunday. But just because football is dominating the cityscape doesn’t mean you have to go full jock-mode by housing 25-cent wings and swilling cheap domestic beer at the nearest sports bar. Here are our top picks for Sunday, whether you’re cheering on a specific team or just looking forward to an excuse to break all of the those pesky, lingering New Year’s resolutions.
For the Broncos Fans
Both Mustang Harry’s and sister bar Mustang Sally's (located a mere two blocks apart) have welcomed legions of displaced Broncos fans. In fact, Harry’s has been known to host more than 300 Denver diehards during busy games. The bar will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday for breakfast (for authenticity, don’t skip the Western cheese omelet), and rumor has it Denver phenomenon the Colorado Leprechaun will be in attendance. While both bars are no longer accepting reservations, you can show up early and try your luck.
It may look like an Irish bar on the outside (and, well, on the inside), but this Midtown East pub has become the de facto home for Broncos fans, since it normally serves as a Colts bar and still holds a soft spot for the older Manning. Pro-tip: Just pretend the giant blow-up Colts player is a throwback to Peyton’s former days in blue and white.
Recognized by the NFL as an official Denver Broncos bar in New York (if accreditation is important to you), Butterfield 8 also recognizes the importance of not having to do math on game day. Just shell out $50 for unlimited wings, Bud, and Bud light, or go big with the $65 package and the bar will throw in mixed drinks and select drafts.
As the saying goes, misery loves company, so if you’d rather pull for the Seahawks to lose than the Broncos to win, you’ll be in good company at Finnerty’s. The Bay Area–themed bar typically packs the house for Niners games, and there’s bound to be some bad blood following the Niners loss and Sherman’s post-game rant at the NFC Championships.
For the Seahawks Fans
For at least the past five years, Hawks fans have been gathering at Carlow East, which has embraced its reputation as a haven for the blue and green so wholeheartedly that its Twitter handle is @HawkBarNYC. In order to get the bar’s signature Hawkikazes you may have to deal with a ticketed wristband system, since the 12th Man started lining up an hour before opening for the NFC Championship game. If you need to further prove your fervor, SalonVNYC helps (temporarily) dye fans hair blue and green before they hit the bar.
Don’t worry, Seattle fans also have an Irish bar to call their own. Stop by on game day to cheers other fans with free champagne, cake, and shots, as well as beer specials if you really feel like paying. Other solid options include Central Bar and Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop, which made a very limited-edition run of “Broncos Busters” tees for the big game.
True fans know they can’t show up to the game without a trusty bag of skittles to spray around triumphantly following a Marshawn Lynch “Beast Mode” performance. Word on the street is that there will be a special “Seattle Mix” blend of Skittles available at surprise events and locations, so keep an eye out, or bid on a bag for charity.
If All Else Fails
If you’re bad at planning (or extremely lazy) you can always embrace everything Seattle by donning your grittiest flannel, throwing some Nirvana on the jukebox, and grabbing a Starbucks on your way to watch the game at the nearest bar. It totally counts as supporting the team.
For a taste of both cities
Go Burger Bar & Grill and BLT Burger
If you’re having trouble choosing which team to support, you can always let your taste buds do the deciding. Both locations will be featuring a hamburger that highlights each team’s hometown using locally inspired ingredients. The Seahawks’ “Nirvana” burger showcases Seattle’s Beecher’s Flagship cheese and garlic fries, whereas the Broncos’ patty gets topped with Breckenridge Vanilla Porter–braised onions and wild arugula.
Still undecided? Maybe booze will help. Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley will offer libations featuring spirits from each team’s home city. Look for a Chocolate Old-Fashioned featuring Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey, or a Foghorn cocktail made with Voyager gin from Washington.
For Those On The Hunt For A Neutral Haven
A first of its kind, this Super Bowl–themed pop-up restaurant from Danny Meyer will just be around up until the big game, closing its doors after February 1. Stop by now for décor from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a showcase of all 47 Super Bowl rings, plus a menu of elevated comfort food. The NFL even promises diners will rub elbows with NFL players throughout the week, if you’ve ever wondered if your favorite wide receiver is as good with his hands at the table as he is on the field.
W New York
If you’ve ever said, “Hey, I wish my cocktail tasted more like a jalapeño popper” (and really, who hasn’t?) the W Times Square and W Downtown will be shaking up a menu full of drinks such as a barbecue Bloody Mary (with barbecue sauce) and a jalapeño popper margarita, among other tailgate-inspired drinks.
For those who prefer to pair their football watching with some serious hoagie downing, the Midtown West bar will be dishing out six-foot sandwiches from vendors representing each of NYC’s five boroughs. Look out for heroes from Faiccos, Zitos, Goodfellas, Tinos Deli of Arthur Avenue, and Queens’ Brothers. Nab three of your choice for $15 and pair it with a $5 NY craft beer or a Super Bowl–themed cocktail, like the bacon-infused Pigskin.