Each March, college basketball fans go a bit nuts. And this is for a good reason! This is the time of the year when 68 universities compete in a tournament that spans the country and determines which two teams will square off in the National Championship in April. If you are one of many looking to cheer on their favorite team among other fellow fans, you’re in luck because there are many New York City bars and restaurants to catch the madness. The following guide contains everything you need to know about where to watch March madness in NYC, from low-key dive bars to swanky sports bars.
My tip: here you find the complete list of events in March in NYC!
What Is March Madness?
March Madness is the name given to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, where 68 college teams compete in seven total rounds for the national championship. The portion of March Madness that fans go wild for is known as the Final Four, and you may have guessed, this is when there are only four teams left in the tournament.
If you are following March Madness this year, don’t forget to check out Selection Sunday, as this is the day that the Selection Committee unveils the entire NCAA tournament bracket, including all seeds and teams. So, watch out for March 13, 2022!
The 2022 NCAA Basketball Tournament
Over the weekend, the NCAA Selection Committee released the top-16 seed teams that would be included if March Madness were about to begin. These teams are certain to be included in the 68 division teams, including Ohio State, Houston, Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan State, Wyoming, USC, and Murray State.
Just keep in mind that these teams are preliminary and may change when the actual brackets are released. And being that you’ll be in NYC, don’t forget to watch out for Syracuse and Binghamton!
Best 11 Sports Bars to Watch March Madness in NYC
With no further ado, let’s take a look at the best sports bars around NYC to watch March Madness:
01 Bill’s Bar and Burger
This flagship chain’s menu is focused around an insanely juicy burger that’s served with a custom Pat LaFried round and is served on a simple, soft bun. The best part is that Bill’s Bar and Burger proudly operates two locations around the city, and each of them has hoops on the screens and food/drink specials. So, head down to their Rockefeller Center or Downtown NYC location and be prepared to fill your mind with basketball and your belly with beer and burgers!
02 Cornerstone Tavern
In Midtown East, you’ll find the Cornerstone Tavern, which is a well-known local spot for Kansas fans who will no doubt fill the place up to watch the Jayhawks. It’s been rumored that Xan Garcia, the owner, wants to place some big screens outside, but she first needs to ensure that the city is on board with that plan. If their newest plan doesn’t come to fruition, you can expect the same service from years past, including deals on seven-pint beer towers and the fan-favorite onion dip with Old Bay chips.
CONNOLLY’S + PERFECT PINT
03 Connolly’s Pub & Restaurant
The bar Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant is an Irish pub like it is in the book and is for me one of the best pubs in New York. A huge, rustic bar, lots of colourful taps and tons of good whiskey immediately attract attention. The kitchen is also excellent. The burgers are a blast!
04 The Irish American Pub
The The Irish American Pub in direct neighbourhood of the 9/11 Memorial is a MUST DO for us, that’s how good it is. It is not without reason that we have been a regular here for years. What sets it apart? A wonderful uncomplicatedness, good drinks (they are really something), great prices and last but not least: probably the best chicken wings ever.
05 Bowery Beer Garden
If you’re close to Chinatown, be sure to check out the Bowery Beer Garden. This open-air space is located at 93 Bowery and is more pandemic-friendly than other venues. Offering over 50 big-screen televisions and 40 different brews of beer, Bowery is NYC’s most extensive sports beer garden, so watching March Madness at this spot is a no-brainer! If you get hungry, be sure to opt for house specialties such as loaded garlic shrimp fries or beer garden wings.
06 American Whiskey
In the Tribeca or Chelsea areas of NYC, you’ll find American Whiskey locations. Unlike other sports bars you’ve ever visited, this venue allows guests to slug whiskey inside of a three-story booze lodge. Fans love the main bar, which is leather and oak accented, and the mounted bison heads and 36 flatscreen TVs. Just be sure to bring your A-game because this place offers one to two-ounce shots of over 100 different types of domestic whiskey. Basketball fans will enjoy their NCAA specials, so don’t forget to inquire about those!
07 Bounce Sporting Club
Anyone looking for a more swanky spot to watch March Madness in NYC should check out the Bounce Sporting Club. Located on W 21st Street, this venue is home to 30 HD flatscreen TVs and a 4,000-square-feet lounge area. So, if you’re looking for a larger place to watch the games during the pandemic, consider this spacious sports bar that offers creative cocktails and pub foods with a twist.
08 The Playwright Irish Pub
The pub has everything that a real Irish pub should have: a great long bar, sports broadcasts, a good selection of Irish whiskeys and delicious burgers. In short: a sensational bar.
09 Molly’s Pub
Only three blocks from Madison Square Park towards the East Village you will find Molly’s Pub, which is one of our absolute favourites. We have been fans of this pub for a long time, we have been coming here regularly since our first visits to New York. It is super-authentic and radiates everything you would expect from a real Irish Pub (including sawdust on the floor!).
10 The Red Lion
If you are looking for a cosy pub in Greenwich Village, The Red Lion is your place to go! A pleasant, uncomplicated atmosphere and live music awaits you here. We were here for three relaxed hours and really enjoyed it!
11 Tap Haus 33
Tap Haus 33 is a gastropub that’s located in Midtown and that has more than 40 beers on tap. During March Madness, catch your favorite team on one of the numerous big screens while chowing down on foods and sipping drinks that are half price!