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Food recs: Kansas City's best sports bars

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 Kansas City Chiefs fans at John's Big Deck downtown react when Nick Bolton caught a loose ball and ran it back for a touchdown in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2022.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Chiefs fans at John's Big Deck, in downtown Kansas City, celebrate during the 2022 Super Bowl.

With the Chiefs back in the Super Bowl and March Madness right around the corner, what better time to catch a game at your neighborhood sports bar? Here’s a list of Kansas City’s best watering holes with big TVs and great food.

This must be deja vu, because the Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl again. On Sunday, Feb. 11, roughly a third of Americans will tune in to watch the big game.

For fans in the area looking to spend Super Bowl Sunday out on the town, Kansas City has you covered. Dave Eckert, a freelance food and drink journalist, suggests heading to Social, in the Waldo neighborhood.

“It's one of those places where you walk in and you feel welcome,” he told KCUR’s Up To Date on Friday. “It's just a great way to socialize, and the food's good. It's really solid.”

The Peanut is a perennial favorite throughout Kansas City. In the words of one KCUR listener: “Best wings hands down. Mic drop.”

Die-hard Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks fan Caitlin Eckard loves The Peanut, too.

“Where else are you going to go for wings? They're my favorite,” she says. “As I've moved around, there's always a neighborhood Peanut.”

Food and drink writer Pete Dulin enjoys the kind of bar that caters to a specific fan base.

“If a place has that identity or that reputation, that enhances the experience as well, because you're bonding with, you know, your tribe,” he says.

Below, Eckard, Dulin, and Eckert share their favorite Kansas City bars to grab a bite and watch a game.

Pete Dulin

Tower Tavern, though not your average sports bar, is a familiar neighborhood hangout for chomping on sliders topped with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. Also on the menu: wings, a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, pizzas and strombolis.

The Brooksider Sportsbar & Grill is a longtime sports-watching destination, especially during March Madness. Start with the Bavarian pretzels or dry-rubbed wings. You can’t go wrong with a classic Reuben, decadent short rib grilled cheese, or the Brooksider Pub burger with beer cheese sauce.

The Blue Line in River Market is a classic sports bar with drink specials, plenty of screens, food, and a jovial, sometimes rowdy, atmosphere. It’s dedicated to hockey, but all kinds of fans flock here, including “First Things First” sports TV personality and Kansas City native Nick Wright.

Gael’s Public House & Sports offers three full-service bars and a lively atmosphere to watch Chiefs, Royals and college games on 26 television screens. Menu highlights include the hearty beef cottage pie, mushroom burger with fontina, and savory lamb burger with cheddar.

Coach’s Bar & Grill, operating in the area since 1983, continues to draw a strong following. Chicken lovers will find four types of wings, two types of chicken fingers, fried chicken livers or gizzards, chicken pecan salad, a chicken pot pie and rotating daily specials.

The Other Place is rooted in a college bar experience that spans generations. They specialize in celebrating the triumph and heartbreak of sports with family, friends, and fellow fans in a familiar setting with pizza, subs, sandwiches, salads and more.

Caitlin Eckard: 

Taps on Main in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, features classic comfort food from the owner’s family recipes. They have the best Philly in town and a pour-your-own beer wall featuring local brews. Order a side of poutine fries with their hand cut potatoes.

Gert’s Grille in Overland Park has amazing sandwiches and soups. The bread is superb and the spicy Russian mustard is delicious. Gert’s has a wide variety on their menu, with a little something for everybody. Order a half sandwich and soup combo for the ideal meal.

Social in Waldo has great drink and food specials throughout the week, including all-day happy hour on Mondays. On the weekend, get a mimosa tower and brunch, and you can’t go wrong with any of their tacos.

The Peanut has multiple locations in both states and north of the river, each with their own unique feel. This list would not be complete without mentioning their wings and their BLTs. Also, don’t sleep on their hot dogs.

Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille in Brookside is always a win. Their menu features burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and more. Bonus: I love their french fries! There’s a range of sports fans there every time I go, which makes for a fun experience.

No Other Pub at Power & Light is the official spot for watching Sporting KC games. While their menu isn’t big, it’s done very well. If I’m with friends, we always split a Sporting Signature Tower so everyone gets their favorites. Great drink specials, too!

David Eckert:

T-Shotz in the Northland is a locally-owned take on the Topgolf concept with great ambiance and TVs everywhere. The food takes sports bar offerings to a new level. Try their Detroit-style pizza, spicy firecracker shrimp, and the T-Shotz smash burger.

Puttery Kansas City in the Country Club Plaza has three indoor mini-golf courses, bars on multiple levels, tons of cozy nooks and crannies and a myriad of televisions. The food and beverage program certainly does the space justice — name another sports bar with an outstanding tuna poke bowl or pasta primavera! 

Murphy’s Corner in Lenexa is the reinvented Callahan’s Sports Bar, and what a reinvention it is! Sporting a cozy, clubby atmosphere for the game of your choice, this place features a scratch kitchen, some of the best chicken wings in town and killer “puffy” tacos that are specially priced on Thursdays. 

Tom’s Bar and Grill, in an old Pizza Hut in Independence, hits all the right notes for a neighborhood sports bar and eatery. The room is cozy, there are great views from all seats (especially at the bar) and the food is out of this world. I’ve heard the pork tenderloin is one of the best in town. 

Brick House on Martini Corner in Union Hill combines fun and games with fantastic food and terrific value. With a large patio and one of the best happy hours in town, this spot is a winner. Highlights include the fish and chips, the Buffalo chicken sandwich, and the Brickhouse mac and cheese!  

The Landing Eatery & Pub, a fixture in the Northland, is an old-school sports bar that’s loud, expansive and crazy on game days! What really sets The Landing apart is the food. The menu is huge and even has 10 different salads, all made fresh.

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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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