I didn’t go to a school where the basketball team was given much attention by the student body. But I can imagine that if that wasn’t the case March would have been one hell of a month (given if the team did well, okay, I realize there’s a lot more to this than I initially thought). ANYWAY, this list is a round up of the best places to go in D.C. to watch March Madness if you’re not a douchebag or don’t like being around douchebags.
If you’re not interested in watching the game and still want to venture outside for cocktails, our Best Bars Without TV In DC will help. If you’re interested in playing a game rather than watching a game, consult our Bar Sports Guide.
- 1833 14th St NW
One of the best things about going to Bar Pilar to watch a game is that there aren’t people there to just watch a game. If things aren’t going well for your team you can divert your attention to another part of the room. I don’t know what it’s like to root for a team that’s gotten to the final rounds of March Madness but I’m guessing no one is rooting for any team in Bar Pilar. It’s just a good place that happens to have games on the screen. Beers and wine are $5 during happy hour.
- 1841 Columbia Rd NW
I like Bedrock more than Atomic or Rocket or Buffalo because it’s slightly calmer than most billiards bars. It’s usually full of clumps of groups having conversations about work, not whatever game is on multiple televisions. And darts. I like that they have darts. The happy hour is four hours long (from 4 – 8p.m.) and you can get rail drafts for $3.50.
- 1410 14th St NW
Black Whiskey has free pool and whether or not you care about the money you might have lost betting on your #1 team, you can play free pool! Also, it may be the best looking regular bar in D.C. The 5 – 7 p.m. happy hour gives you $1 off drafts, $8 specialty cocktails and $8 PBR and a shot specials.
- 1337 14th St NW
I watched the Slam Dunk Contest at ChurchKey. I did not go to ChurchKey, one of the best bars in the world, to watch the Slam Dunk Contest, but it was on so I stayed and watched and it was great. When you’re drinking great beers, whatever sports dudes are doing sports things tend to be better.
- 3628 Georgia Ave NW
I really enjoyed watching Nationals games at this Petworth bar. If you’re a fan of the Looking Glass but their TV’s aren’t playing the game of your choosing, you can’t do much better than DC Reynolds, especially if it’s happy hour. BOGO everything from 5 – 9 p.m.
- 1940 9th St NW
If you get a seat at the bar, this may be a good place to watch March Madness games. If you know one person that really wants to watch the game and you’re one of a large group that could care less, this may be a good place to ignore the game. The 5 – 8p.m. happy hour specials include $4 rail drinks, $3.50 Bud, and a $4 beer of the week.
- 2007 18th St NW
The best room in Jack Rose does not have a TV. That’s in the basement. The top floor has the TVs. Watch the whatever game and then run to the basement. The basement will keep you safe from March Madness. Get $2 off draft beers during the 5 – 7:30 p.m. happy hour.
- 3634 Georgia Ave NW
When we put together our Super Bowl version of this guide Looking Glass Lounge was temporarily closed because of a fire. But alas, it’s now open and great and you should consider going. Even if you aren’t watching any games. Get $4 drafts, $4 rail liquor drinks, and $2.150 half smokes during happy hour from 5 – 8p.m.
- 3203 Mt Pleasant St NW
It’s a soccer bar that I go to when I want to hear weird music (We Fought The Big One the first Friday of every month) and country music. I don’t think of it as a sports bar and that’s why it might be fun for March Madness. They don’t have happy hour specials but their beers range from $4 – $10.
- 3400 11th St NW
Large enough to comfortably enjoy the company you came with and large enough to hide from the company you came with. A fantastic beer selection and proximity to The Coupe makes it a relatively safe bet. The 5 – 7p.m. happy hour special is $1 off all draft beer, wine, and rail liquor.
- 2440 18th St NW
Go while you can. You most likely won’t be able to watch 2017’s March Madness in Adams Morgan’s favorite dive.
- 900 U St NW
THE gay sports bar in D.C. If you’ve been to this site, you know Nellie’s. If you’ve been to U St, you know Nellie’s. It’s one of the few bars that I don’t mind watching games when it’s packed. The happy hour specials at Nellie’s are also pretty great. On Monday through Thursday happy hour goes from 5 – 8 p.m., on Friday it’s from 3 – 8 p.m., on Saturday it’s from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., and by the time it’s Sunday you can get those good deals all day long.
- 801 E St NW
Similar to Meridian Pint, Penn Social is large enough to comfortably enjoy the company you came with and large enough to hide from the company you came with. The biggest difference it’s the arcade games and ping pong tables and cornhole and more things to take your attention away from the games. A big pro for some, a big con for others. Stay for $2 off all drafts, $5 drinks, and $6 wine from 4 – 7 p.m.
- 1234 H St NE
Cash only. No frills.
- 1206 H St NE
Yes, it’s a British pub. And yes, that’s all the more reason to go there to watch an American basketball game. Queen Vic celebrates her guests by offering $1 off all draft beers and ciders from 5 – 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. on weekends.
- 2047 9th St NW
The Satellite Room doesn’t sound like it would be a place that sports fans would flock to, and that’s the point. Order your drink, have some food, talk to friends, and watch the game when you feel like it/when things are going well for your team. The TV’s in Satellite Room are positioned in high enough so that even the shortest sports fans can tune in to the game. Or anyone who couldn’t find a good seat. And the $5 draft beers, $5 tots, and $10 burgers during the 5 – 8 p.m. weekday happy hour are a plus.
- 2471 18th St NW
There’s NBA Jam/NFL Blitz arcade game in the basement. Most of the TVs are in the basement. You’ll want to watch it in the basement. Weekday happy hour specials include $4 local drafts and $5 whiskey from 5 – 7 p.m.
- 1420 Pennsylvania Ave SE
No one goes to Trusty’s to impress. Go to Trusty’s to drink beer, eat delicious food that’s bad for you and watch and/or play games. No frills in the best way. Their weekday happy hour is from 4 – 7 p.m. and gives you $1 off all drafts and rail drinks.