Grand Rapids is home to a number of pro sports teams, including the West Michigan Whitecaps (baseball), Grand Rapids Griffins (hockey), Grand Rapids Gold (basketball) and Grand Rapids Rise (women’s volleyball). Each of them offers fans a thrilling in-person experience. But local sports lovers know there are also tons of great places to catch a game on TV.
We asked our social media followers where they like to get together with family and friends to watch televised sporting events – and the top vote-getters are listed below. There’s not a bad seat in any of them!
Big E's Sports Grill (pictured at the downtown location) is home to a multitude of TVs and beers on tap to add to your viewing experience.
Photo by Addison Causley for Experience GR.
Big E’s Sports Grill
With locations in downtown Grand Rapids and on East Beltline Avenue in the southeast part of town, Big E’s Sports Grill attracts sports fans from all over the city. There are dozens of large-screen TVs at each site, including on the outdoor patios, all tuned to a variety of different sporting events.
There are endless beers on tap – mostly from Michigan – along with wine and specialty drinks to keep your throat well lubricated as you cheer on your team. The food menu offers something for virtually everyone, with virtually everything made from scratch using fresh, local ingredients.
Get the Big E’s Scorecard to earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, discounts and more.
The Score Restaurant & Sports Bar
70+ televisions. 120+ beers on tap. That combo alone could justify The Score’s lofty ranking on our list, but this northeast Grand Rapids destination has much more to offer.
Football season is huge here, with games streamed from every corner of the country and a live DJ providing entertainment during commercial breaks of Detroit Lions and University of Michigan games. The TVs are tuned into sporting events all year long, but when warmer weather hits, patrons flock to the beach patio – complete with an outdoor bar – for live music, dining, dancing and beach volleyball.
The Score offers scores of luscious libations other than beer, and its food menu is as big as its drink menu. It’s no surprise that The Score often tops local “best sports bar” polls.
Find plenty of TVs, a hearty mix of Italian and bar food, a variety of taps and daily specials at any of the six Uccello's locations in Grand Rapids.
Photo by Addison Causley for Experience GR.
“Where Great Food & Sports Come Together!” is the tagline at Uccello’s, which has six locations in the Grand Rapids area: downtown GR, Grandville, Standale, East Beltline Avenue, Caledonia and Rockford.
All of them offer a plethora of TVs for watching sports along with delectable Italian and bar food, a wide variety of beers on tap, daily drink specials and a loyalty program that rewards you for your purchases. Gluten-sensitive sports fans will find plenty of food and drink options here, too.
Uccello’s is a family-owned and family-friendly destination that packs ‘em in from lunch ‘til closing (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).
SpeakEZ is THE destination for soccer fans in GR.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids
If you’re an international soccer fan, the SpeakEZ Lounge is for you. This casual downtown GR pub features all the weekly matches from the Barclays Premier League as well as available broadcasts from Italian Serie-A, Spanish La Liga, German Bundisliga, all available matches for the UEFA Champions and Europa leagues, plus many International Friendlies and Qualifiers. The bar is open for ALL Premier League matches, as early as 7am depending on match schedule.
SpeakEZ continues the international theme with a variety of imported beers as part of its extensive bottle and can selection. There are 12 taps offering a rotating selection of drafts. Freshly made signature cocktails and a nicely curated wine list ensure there’s a refreshment for every taste.
The food menu is eclectic, ranging from shrimp tacos to peanut tofu stir fry to a brisket mac & cheese grilled cheese. Weekend brunch – served Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm – offers a mix of classic breakfast fare and one-of-a-kind creations.
Come for the game and stay for the food. Or come for the food and stay for the game. Either way, you’re bound to be satisfied at Monelli’s in Wyoming.
With six projection TVs and 20 other sets throughout the restaurant and bar, every seat provides a great view of the action. The TVs features stadium-quality sound, so you can always hear what’s happening, too.
In addition to pizza and pasta selections, Monelli’s offers a variety of elevated pub fare, from burgers and salads to steak and salmon. It also has 52 beers on tap. Game on!
Also in the Big Leagues
These sports bars didn’t make the top five in our poll, but their fervent fans propelled them to a strong showing:
Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante & Sports Bar. With TVs inside and outside, Flo’s is a great place to watch the game and savor authentic Italian food along with beer, wine and cocktails. There’s a second location in Greenville.
Glass House Bar. This friendly neighborhood joint on Michigan Street, just minutes east of downtown GR, serves us satisfying bar food as well as a full selection of drinks – perfect accompaniments to the games on TV.
Joey’s Tavern. Another neighborhood favorite, this time on the city’s West Side, Joey’s has several TVs playing sports as part of its mission to serve “everyone in search of a good time and a strong drink.”
Küsterer Brauhaus. The TVs at this Bavarian-style beer hall and deli on the city’s West Side are tuned into baseball, football and international soccer, depending on the time of year.
Peppino’s Pizzeria & Sports Grille. Located right across from Studio Park in downtown GR, Peppino’s has 70+ TVs so you can watch every big game with a slice and a beer (or a salad and a cocktail or a burger and a hard seltzer or …. well, you get the idea). Additional locations in Allendale, Jenison and Kentwood.
Putt Putt’s Bar. “You’re Only A Stranger Once” reads the sign above the entrance at this West Side institution, and you really feel the friendly vibe upon entering. It’s often packed for major games and sporting events, with fans throwing back great drinks and bar food.
Shots Grill. Watch the games and take advantage of game day food and drink specials at this restaurant and bar 10 minutes west of Grand Rapids. Or head roughly 10 minutes northeast from the city center to enjoy the same perks at Shots on the River.
This list doesn’t cover all of the great venues in Grand Rapids where you can catch a game. For more options, click “sports bar” when you search our Nightlife venues. Even if your team doesn’t win, you can still have a fantastic time!