The 7 Best Sports Bars in Grand Rapids (Ranked by a Local)

best sports bars grand rapids mi

To quote LCD Soundsystem – I was there.

I was there, at local sports bar Uccello’s. It was 2007, and I witnessed what is colloquially known as “The Horror.” One of the greatest sports upsets of all time. The final score: Appalachian State 34, Michigan, 32.

Michigan was the #5 team in the country, and App State was a podunk team from the FCS that no one had ever heard of.

Look. Your team isn’t going to win every game. But it’s always more fun to catch the game at a sports bar.

There’s something about being surrounded by strangers, all pulling together for the same team. The euphoria of victory, the misery of defeat.

This is a slam-dunk list of Grand Rapids’ finest sports bars.

Map of the Best Sports Bars in Grand Rapids, MI

The best sports bar in Grand Rapids: The Score

Bar food? Yup. Pizza, wings, barbeque, and more. You’ll need plenty of napkins.

Extensive tap list? How do over 100 beers on tap sound?

A TV plastered to every square inch of wall space? Pretty much. They’ve got over 70 TVs that are certain to put your man cave to shame. You won’t miss a second of the action at The Score.

Bonus: if you’re sick of watching sports, there’s a section of arcade games to check out. And there are outdoor volleyball courts where you can burn off those burger and beer calories.

  • Address: 5301 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Website: The Score

The best bar for soccer hooligans: SpeakEZ Lounge

Oi, lads! Ready to watch the blokes hit the pitch for a bit of footie?

Opened in 2012, SpeakEZ prides itself on being the premier destination for soccer (football if you’re continental). In 2022 they broadcast every single game of the World Cup. Even the games that aired during the wee hours of the morning.

SpeakEZ also served foods inspired by each country during the 2022 World Cup. So you could enjoy some bangers and mash while the English played.

The ambiance during the games is thrilling, and if the USA is playing, get there early. SpeakEZ fills up quickly.

I’d call their non-World Cup food offerings elevated bar food, with some options that are globally inspired. The beer, wine, and cocktail menu isn’t overwhelmingly large (a dozen or so beers on tap, for example), but the drinks are rock solid.

  • Address: 600 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: SpeakEZ Lounge

Best downtown Grand Rapids sports bar: Peppino’s

There are a handful of Peppino’s sprinkled in the Grand Rapids suburbs, but if you’re downtown, this is the place to catch the games. I’ve never counted how many screens there are inside this place (all that math would make my head hurt), but it’s surely an impressive figure. Perfect for March Madness or Sunday NFL games, when a few different games are going on simultaneously, demanding your eyeballs.

It’s a huge restaurant, although it still gets busy during peak hours and big games. Their menu is also vast, but if I’m catching a game here, I’m sticking to their excellent pizza or chicken wings. Like any good modern sports bar, the draft beer and other drink options are impressive.

  • Address: 130 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Peppino’s

The best sports bar for kids: Big E’s Sports Grill

Big game? Head to Big E’s.

Big E’s brands itself as “a man cave for every man, woman, and child.” Hey! Way to be inclusive and kid-friendly Big E’s. Love it.

They’ve got more TVs than Walmart. The space is vast, with high ceilings, so you don’t feel like a sardine in a tin can, even if the place is hopping.

You’re coming for the sports, but the food is solid as well. Salads, wraps, sandwiches, and some delightful Mexican plates make up the bulk of the menu. If you’re getting an app, the pizza pinwheels are worth every penny. And there’s a suite of drink options to choose from.

Note: the Big E’s location on the East Beltline is closed as of this writing.

  • Address: 710 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Big E’s

The best sports bar for cheap drinks: Eastown Sports Bar

If you’re looking for ridiculous drink specials, look no further. Eastown Sports slings out pitchers for cheap, so you can enjoy watching sports without hurting your wallet.

The bar area is replete with TVs everywhere, and further back, you’ll find two massive projectors and more wall-mounted TVs. I like to sit up top in the back and watch the game on the projector.

Food options here are solid but narrow. Expect a small menu of bar food staples.

Fun Grand Rapids fact: Eastown Sports is in the building that formerly housed The Intersection. Dazzle your friends and beguile enemies with this bit of GR trivia.

Best bar to bowl and watch the game: Woodrow’s DuckPin Bowling

woodrows duckpin bowling

Formerly GP Sports Bar, this space inside the Amway Grand Plaza has been transformed into Woodrow’s DuckPin Bowling.

The great news: there are still a bunch of TVs up, so if you’re looking to catch a game, do it in style while you go DuckPin Bowling.

New to DuckPin Bowling? Hurl a wooden ball the size of a softball at bowling pins that are suspended by marionette strings. Joy and happiness ensue. And it’s kid-friendly.

Don’t feel like bowling? Do you hate fun? I kid! That’s fine! There’s plenty of seating, so you can enjoy a drink and a game – no need to bowl.

Note: some snacks are available. Outside food is allowed. Take it from me and grab a pizza from nearby The Kitchen.

The best dive bar with TVs: Duke’s

Okay, it’s not technically a “sports bar.” If you’re bedecked in Tiger’s gear and want to be among like-minded brothers and sisters for opening day, Duke’s might not be your scene.

But if you’re looking for plenty of TVs, cheap drinks, a pool table, and an atmosphere that only dive bars can deliver? Head to Duke’s. Thank me later.

  • Address: 700 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Duke’s