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Best O.C. Sports Pubs

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There are few things Americans love more than sports and beer. Between baseball, basketball and football, there’s always a game to be watched. Sure those games can be watched from the comfort of the sofa at home with a six-pack in the mini-fridge. But there’s something special about hitting a pub and sharing the excitement of the game with other sports fans over a cold draught brew. Whether you’re looking for a local dive or an over the top sports fan experience, here’s a guide to some of the best sports bars and grills in Orange County, California.

Suds Surf City Sports Grill

This favorite among Huntington Beach locals makes the list for being a classic sports bar known for the heavy pour on mixed drinks. Suds doesn’t have the slick feeling that some of the others on the list have, but for those who prefer bars that feel like bunkers, Suds is definitely worth checking out for it’s great happy hour specials and laid-back atmosphere.

Danny K’s Billiards & Sports Bar

Danny K’s is more than just a sports pub, it’s a pool hall with a bar inside. In fact, the owner, Danny Kuykendall prides himself on being a billiards champion and a leading tournament director. This place isn’t known for having great food or stellar service, but rather for enjoying a beer, watching a game with friends and playing a lively game of pool.

ESPN Zone

Located in the Downtown Disney District of Anaheim, the ESPN Zone was voted the No. 1 O.C. sports bar in the O.C. Register “Best of O.C.” reader poll. This sports pub features 120 HD TVs, leather recliners, arcade and arena games, a menu featuring classic Americana cuisine, a wide variety of beers of and a family friendly atmosphere, ESPN Zone is a sports fan’s dream. During big sports events, you can expect a huge crowd and lots of enthusiastic patrons cheering on their favorite team.

Players Sports Grill

This critic’s favorite is located in Laguna Beach and a favorite for the after work crowd and Steelers fans. Unlike so many of the local, non-chain sports pubs on the list, Players prides itself on it’s “upscale menu” and patrons rave about the burgers, beers and sandwiches. You can expect this place to be packed after work and during big sports events, and especially when the Steelers on.

Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Co.

Oggi’s started in the Del Mar village of Newport Beach, with two brothers and a pizzeria. Over the years it evolved into sports pub and micro-brewery, and has grown into a chain with 17 franchised locations. Despite being a chain, Oggi’s maintains a local flare, fresh brews and a family friendly atmosphere. And with TVs lining the walls with everything from college basketball to NASCAR racing, Oggi’s is an O.C. favorite.

Yard House

The Yardhouse is known mostly for its huge selection of beers. Beyond the beer, the Yard House has a fun happy hour with great cocktails and delicious American fusion cuisine. Did I mention the beer? There are anywhere from 150 to 200 beers on tap depending on which location you visit. With large TVs, attentive service, a lively atmosphere and locations in Newport, Irvine, Brea and Costa Mesa, the Yard House a favorite among O.C. throughout the county.

Silky Sullivan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub

Irish pubs hold a special place in the heart of this author, and Silky Sullivan’s is no exception. From the vibrant and friendly happy hour, the strong drinks, the pub quizzes, the TVs with games always on and live music on weekends, Silky’s has become a favorite among Fountain Valley locals. In fact, you can expect Silky’s to be pretty busy all day Friday through Sundays, and even doubly so when there’s a major sporting event on. And watch out when Notre Dame is playing, the fans are fiercely loyal.
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