Top 5 Sports Bars In Cleveland

Two-time MMA Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic once said, “Cleveland people are crazy, that’s why I live here.”

Maybe waiting so long for a title and still supporting your teams wholeheartedly makes you crazy. Or maybe unyielding dedication is a sign of insanity. Either way, Cleveland is home to many of the greatest sports fans in the U.S., whether they cheer for the Cincinnati Reds, go way back to the NBA’s Royals, wore a dog collar for the Browns, or were part of baseball’s longest sellout streak.

This is the point where we transition to the list, picking the 5 best sports located in or near Cleveland. This list is culled from reaching out to Clevelanders, sports fans in Ohio, and even the bars themselves. Copy and save, and visit one (or five) of these places the next time you’re in “C-Town.”

What Are The Best Sports Bars In Cleveland?

1. City Tap Cleveland

Absolutely the best sports bar in downtown Cleveland, within walking distance of the Guardians’ Progressive Field and the Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Dave, a regular who says he’s been going to City Tap for more than 10 years, praises the familiar faces. “The bartenders make you feel like part of the family, and I always get a smile and a great conversation.”

City Tap has more than 15 TVs, and when the games are on, the bar and dining area are busy. Many Google Reviews recommend the wings and burgers. Choose from more than 40 beers on tap and many rare brands in bottles.

  • Google Reviews: 4.4 out of 5.0
  • Website

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2. Winking Lizard Tavern

Smack-dab downtown, the Winking Lizard is perfect for a pre-game meal and drink. According to longtime patron Les Bergmann, the wings are great but don’t miss out on a chance to try the burgers or nachos.

Not as many TVs as other sports bars, but Winking Lizard is known for piping in the radio broadcast of home games, and also runs trivia for sports fans on select weekdays.

CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATION:

“Love the Bison Burger. with fries: not sure what they do to those fries, but wow! I top them with the chipotle ketchup.” — Les Bergmann

  • 16 locations in Ohio
  • Google Reviews: 4.2 out of 5.0
  • Website

    3. Characters Sports Bar & Grille

    Located in Parma, this neighborhood bar is famous for its chicken wings and happy hour. Many bars and restaurants have photos on the wall to impress you with their famous visitors, but once you start to see how many Cleveland and Ohio sports celebs have traveled to Characters for the wings, you’ll want a dozen. The consensus seems to be that “Mike’s Island” sauce is the best. How good are the wings? They are sold in batches of 100 ($125) and plenty of tables get that many to share.

    CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATION:

    “The service is excellent but the wings are what you come for…  It’s really rare to come to a place as long as I’ve been coming here and not have one bad experience.” — Scott Ruskin

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    4. Stevenson’s Bar & Grill

    How can you not love a bar that has this to say of itself: “Plucky, humble, long-standing sports bar offering bar fare, along with cocktails & draft beer.”

    You had us at plucky.

    Various publications have voted Stevenson’s burger (in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2021) the best in Cleveland, Ohio, or even ranked it among the top 5 in the country (4th in the U.S. by Thrillist).

    Located on East 200th Street in Cleveland.

    CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATION:

    “I like being able to sit in a corner and enjoy a game or if I want, joining a crowd around the bar to cheer on Cleveland. The burgers are the best ever.” — Aimee Chandler

    • Google Reviews: 4.4 out of 5.0
    • Website

    5. Benny’s Sports Bar and Latin Restaurant

    This establishment values commitment. In 2006 the owners purchased a neglected location on Fulton Avenue and have gradually revitalized it, making it a popular destination for sports fans as well as foodies and community members who desire sustainable and culturally diverse options.

    According to Benny’s, it has “come to be known as ‘the bridge’ between opposite ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.”

    An example of the atmosphere is the tributes to Latin athletes on the walls, such as Roberto Clemente, and Pelé, as well as female superstars like Billie Jean King. Fitting for the city that had baseball’s first black manager (Frank Robinson), and one of the most iconic athletes turned civil rights activists of the 1960s (Jim Brown).

    But make no mistake, you can grab a beer, great Latin menu items, and take in a game too.

    • Google Reviews: 4.3 out of 5.0
    • Website
    About the Author

    Dan Holmes

    Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.