Get your game on: best bars for watching NFL in New Orleans

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Written by ADAM KARLIN

There are a lot of pressing questions one must ask before visiting New Orleans, and “Where can I get a local beer and a shot of rye at midday on Sunday” is one of the big ones. To whit: our game day bar guide. Some of these are Saints bars, and some are a good bet for out of towners who want to watch their respective teams plays, because apparently there are other teams in the NFL, not that’d you’d ever think that living here.


Cooter Brown’s Tavern

509 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118

BJ’s Lounge

4301 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117

Bullets Sports Bar

2441 A.P. Tureaud St.
New Orleans, LA 70119

The Avenue Pub

1732 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130


Take it from us . . .

Cooter Brown’s
Cheap oysters, a stupendously deep beer selection, lots of big screen televisions, a sandwich menu that includes the Radiator’s Special (oysters and shrimp and melted cheese; good Lord) and did we mention the oysters? All those televisions mean there’s a good chance you can catch another game here even during Saints’ games – if watching in silence while inebriated bros scream WHO DAT is how you like to enjoy your NFL franchise. Fair warning: indoor smoking, and thanks to Tulane/Loyola proximity, you tend to get a lot of backwards baseball caps.

Finn McCool’s
Finn’s may be the only bar in town that loves football as much as it loves football. Headscratch? That is to say, Finn’s loves soccer as much as the NFL, so if you like to watch foreigners without last names running around aimlessly for 90 minutes, this is your spot. With that said, it is also a great spot for NFL. And Gaelic football. And Hurling. This isn’t some faux-faith-and-beggorah Irish pub; they keep true to the Emerald Island here, at least as far as sports go. It’s a neighborhood spot that attracts a crowd as diverse as Mid-City itself. The burgers are the bomb, and there’s always free food on gamedays. As with Cooter Brown’s, they may show other games on smaller screens even when the Saints take the field. Expect lots of cigarette smoke.

Freret Street Publiq House
Like the Swiss Army Knife of New Orleans bars, the Publiq House does it all. Well, it does live music and great gameday specials, but what else do you need? Smoking? Look elsewhere: the Publiq House is smoke-free. It’s also eclectic, friendly and has a deep well of drafts as well as a nice cocktail menu; toast that Colston reception with a strawberry-basil margarita. Proximity to the excellent eating options of Freret St is a huge plus.

The bad news first: BJ’s is small, crowded and smokier than a meat curing shed. The good news: it’s a great neighborhood bar, and sometimes, Robert Plant pops in and has a little jam sesh. Also, local legend Queen Dawny is often on hand making delicious food that you can subsequently stuff your face with (for gratis!), and the local cast of characters is like a Who’s Who of 9th Ward quirks. There’s the guy who swears at his can of Miller Lite every time a play happens (good or bad, doesn’t matter. He just swears a lot), the lady with the raspy voice who probably puts cigarettes on her cornflakes in the morning, assorted bar flies, the odd Bywater gentrifier and an enormous dog. Good times.




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