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Each week, KCUR's Adventure! newsletter brings you a new way to explore the Kansas City region.

Ready for game day? Here are some of Kansas City's favorite sports bars

A man in a black shirt and hat and a man in a Kansas City Chiefs jersey cheer and clap with other people cheering behind them.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
At the Brooksider, fans clap and cheer during the Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship game.

From the Super Bowl to the World Cup to March Madness, Kansas City loves its sports — and watching with a crowd. We asked local enthusiasts for their favorite places to cheer on their favorite teams.

This story was first published in KCUR's Adventure! newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

It’s been an exciting few years for Kansas City sports enthusiasts, who year-round get to enjoy an abundance of teams and athletes to cheer at the professional and college level. And the town's many sports-friendly bars make it easy to find your fellow fans.

Whether you’re watching the Chiefs, Royals, Current, Jayhawks or even the Olympics, there are a few musts for any good sports bar: enough (and big!) television screens to catch the action from any angle, great food and drinks to pass the time, and an atmosphere of winners (even when your team isn’t doing great).

We asked local enthusiasts about their favorite sports bars in Kansas City, and these spots took the crown.

Touchdown around town

A smiling woman in a Kansas City Chiefs shirt raises her hands in celebration.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Chiefs fan Marshon Stephenson celebrates at Gael's Public House & Sports.

Located in a 100-year-old building near UMKC and Rockhurst University, Gael’s Public House touts 26 television screens, three full-service bars, and a hearty menu that includes pizza, burgers, shepherd’s pie, and other pub fare. Quench your thirst with local craft beer and cider on tap, wine and cocktails — including a wide array of non-alcoholic options.

Kevin Collins roots for University of Oregon’s football and basketball teams (go Ducks!), but he’s also a well-rounded fan of the Chiefs, Royals, and Sporting KC. For their atmosphere, Collins enjoys The Granfalloon, a sports bar staple on the Country Club Plaza since 1977, and Ugly Joe’s in South Kansas City.

Dedicated to “providing the best game day experience in town,” Ugly Joe’s displays more than 30 high-definition big screen televisions, including several 96-inchers. Guests can also entertain themselves with bar games, such as Golden Tee machines and dart boards. Elsewhere, Collins highlights Hi-Dive Loungeon W. 39th Street for the “great staff and Chiefs game atmosphere.”

Cassie Niemeyer pitches Midtown’s Tower Tavern “for all things soccer and its charred Buffalo wings.” Make it a goal to explore their Chicago-style Italian roast beef sandwich and stromboli options, too.

For Sara Harper, Johnny’s Tavernwas her pick “for watching sports because of their great food and service. If it’s hockey, then I head to The Blue Line. I’m always rooting for the Chiefs, KU basketball, Wisconsin football, Chicago Cubs baseball, and Colorado Avalanche hockey.”

Kickoff Kansas City-style

A group of people in Kansas City Chiefs shirts sit at a bar, with large television screens behind them.
Robert Hoops
Kansas City Chiefs fans gather at Chappell's Restaurant & Sports Museum in North Kansas City.

Jesse Smith, Ward 2 city council member in North Kansas City, swings over to the original Chicken-n-Pickle,which “has tons of TVs and will often set up a private viewing room for bigger games, or at the request of fans.”

Smith keeps up with March Madness college basketball, the Georgia Bulldogs (“Go Dawgs”), the Atlanta Braves, and the Chiefs. Plus, as a World Cup watcher, he’ll have plenty of games to enjoy when Kansas City is one of the 2026 host cities.

Speaking of March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is coming to Kansas City on March 24 and 26 at the T-Mobile Center downtown. The nearby Power & Light District is home to several sports bars, such as Yard House, Johnny’s Tavern, and McFadden’s Sports Saloon (which celebrates its 15th anniversary on February 2). KC Live! also offers outdoor sports viewing for you and hundreds of your closest friends.

Bruce Smith catches soccer matches at Strange Days Brewing in the River Market. You can check online for upcoming viewings of Premier league and other European football events.

Former Kansas Citian-turned-Floridian Erica Williams favors The Peanut’s “really fun atmosphere for all sports” and Christine’s Firehouse for Chiefs games, where “they have raffles during the games.” Located in North Kansas City, Christine’s Firehouse is known for their pork tenderloin sandwiches.

Also in North Kansas City is Chappell’s Restaurant and Sports Museum, a destination for sports memorabilia.

Longtime food and drink journalist Dave Eckert tees up Northland-based T-Shotz for “great views, solid food, and good booze” when he cheers for the Chiefs and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Even more neighborhood favorites

Women and men play pinball machines lined up in a row at The 403 Club.
Kyle Palmer
KCUR 89.3
At The 403 Club, bar patrons can play on an array of pin ball machines.

Ashlee Fairchild Jones likes the atmosphere at The 403 Club in Kansas City, Kansas. Owned and operated by Artie Scholes, the club is known for its craft beer selection, array of top-condition pinball games, and patio.

“There’s usually a fun spread of snacks, and if you aren’t into the game or need to blow off some steam from a loss, then you can play pinball,” Fairchild says.

Bob Plagens, a professional soccer fan and craft beer enthusiast, admits that he “generally despises sports bars.” So he prefers to watch Bundesliga, a German professional football league, at Kansas City Bier Company, Sporting KC away matches at Pathlight Brewing, or River Bluff Brewing in the River Market.

Sometimes, Plagens watches U.S. soccer matches at Johnny's Tavern: “That's where the supporters’ club has watch parties.”

Neighborhood sports bar Sully’s Pub in Mission, Kansas, serves cold beer in cold mason jars. Outside of the dozen televisions, sports lovers can play skee ball, foosball, darts, Pop-A-Shot, shuffleboard, and GoldenT.

Other neighborhood hotspots include Social in Waldo, Brookside hangouts Charlie Hooper’s and The Brooksider Sportsbar and Grill, and The Other Place in Downtown Overland Park.

Don’t see your favorite destination to watch the game or match? Take your shot and pass us a tip on what sports bars are winners.

Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer and author of four books, including Expedition of Thirst and Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland.
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